Students spring back into picnic season, enjoying new, old traditions


Terra Nagai

EC Lawrence Park is a public park open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. With picnicking areas including tables and gazebos, EC Lawrence Park is a location students can enjoy with family and friends.

Terra Nagai, Sports Editor

Fruit kebabs, chips and dip and throwing a frisbee are some classic ways to enjoy a picnic. National Picnic Day is today and some students shared their favorite areas around the DMV to enjoy with friends and family. 

“My favorite places to go include EC Lawrence Park because it’s very peaceful and near a pond,” senior Caroline Li said. “Another is Gravelly Point Park; it’s a small park in Arlington and you are able to see airplanes land.”

An eight minute drive from CHS, EC Lawrence Park is a public park that offers picnicking areas including tables, a gazebo and open grass areas. It is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although much farther from CHS, Gravelly Point Park is within the National Park Service’s George Washington Memorial Parkway, located west of the Potomac River. Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m The park does not charge fees, and is an area to enjoy picnics while watching airplanes fly above.

“Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a really nice place for a picnic because it is a really beautiful garden and there is a lot that you can walk around and look at,” sophomore Abby Nave said. “In the spring, the flowers are really pretty too, so I love going there with my family and friends because the weather is perfect during springtime.” 

Walking through the gardens of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens can be a relaxing activity before or after a picnic. There is a picnic area located outside the garden, adjacent to the Lilac Pavilion. There are daytime garden entrance fees that vary based on age, and the garden is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until October.

For other students, picnicking in D.C. is a must. Seniors Naren Kota and Annalisa Le both enjoy the Washington Monument and the trail around the tidal basin as places where students can enjoy a picnic. 

“The field [at the Washington Monument] is really wide which makes everything a lot easier to see and a lot more interesting,” Kota said.

Le and her family rent bikes and bike on a variety of D.C. trails and stop by the waters near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to eat banh mi and relax.

“It may not sound [like] much, but it’s a tradition for us, which makes it special and a great picnic,” Le said. “A good picnic to me has all the necessary items to bring and is very generic in the aesthetic and activities. A great picnic, I would consider, is doing the things that everyone would enjoy and is unique to what the group likes, including food, activities and conversations.”

Junior Ahran Dymond enjoys picnics in the same way his home country Japan does. He brings food like Dango, a Japanese dumpling made of rice flour mixed with uruchi rice flour and glutinous rice flour, and enjoys the settings of picnics in D.C.

“My favorite food to eat at a picnic is a Japanese Dango,” Dymond said. “There is a tradition of eating Dango during a picnic in Japan, and it is great to bring, being colorful and very delicious. I love to go to picnics in D.C. during the Cherry Blossom Festival, as I can enjoy great Japanese food surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms.”

Li, while also fond of the classic picnic aesthetic, likes to bring new and different foods and drinks.

“I like bringing dessert, specifically cake, because I get to experiment with different designs and flavors,” Li said. “I always try to bring something unique like a matcha crepe cake. I also bring brownies, specifically the Ghiradelli ones from Costco.”

No matter how students may enjoy their picnic, National Picnic Day can be a day to celebrate spring and nature. National Picnic Day can positively affect physical health through ample amounts of vitamin D and calcium absorption, and emotional health through quality time with friends and family as well.

“I enjoy the memories and new experiences that come with having a picnic because then any activity that comes with a picnic becomes automatically enjoyable for me,” Le said. “Eating with friends and family just makes food taste even better as well.”