Dining Al Fresco for Fall Break

This blog post was sponsored by KING’S HAWAIIAN® but the opinions are all my own.

Yesterday was the beginning of Fall Break for Ella. One good thing about starting school in July is that we get two weeks off in October.

We’d considered taking a trip somewhere, but eventually decided that we’d rather just stay in town.

Of course, if we weren’t going anywhere, I wanted to make sure we did some fun things as a family and made it feel like at least something of a vacation (not least of all because Ella has mentioned every day for the last week, “I just really want to go on a trip on an airplane again”).

We’ve made a few plans with friends, I have a list of outings to go on, we’re putting up Halloween decorations, working on craft and art projects, and obviously doing lots of reading, because there is no way I can wait two weeks to read more of Farmer Boy.

Last night, to kick off Fall Break, we had a little picnic party in our backyard. Ani had picked up a Fancy Nancy book at the library a few weeks ago and it included the term “al fresco” in it, and Ella was really enamored with the idea of eating al fresco.

We’re working on both our front and back patios right now, trying to get them more ready for the cool weather that’s coming, and last week, I bought a picnic table for our back patio at an end-of-summer sale for a whopping $98.

So clearly a little al fresco party on the back patio was in order.

Earlier in the day, after some art projects on my ruined canvases, we made a quick Wal-Mart run and picked up some fun food and decor items for dinner. When we made a stop in the toy section, Ella said, “This is my favorite grocery store in the entire world”. I’m can’t argue – I love when I can pick up everything I need for a good price at one stop.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time prepping our picnic, but I also like something that doesn’t feel completely thrown together. Whenever I’m putting on a party, whether it’s a little dinner party like this, a baby shower, or a tailgate party, I like to keep things simple.

We picked up some King’s Hawaiian rolls and some turkey from the deli to make sandwiches (my current favorite meal), and then grabbed some chips, fruit, and drinks.

A fun outdoor tablecloth (to cover the fact that we haven’t stained the table yet) and, obviously, flowers. Because any excuse to buy a cheap little bouquet (less than $5!) is a good excuse in my book. I also like to use real serving dishes (but paper plates and cups) to make things look a little more substantial and also to keep things from blowing away.

It was such a fun little meal and our sandwiches were fantastic – I love a sandwich or burger with a slightly sweet roll to contrast with the savory fillings. The King’s Hawaiian rolls were definitely the biggest hit; the girls couldn’t stop eating them and Bart and I both ate. . . several sandwiches.

I’m looking forward to lots more al fresco dining this fall and winter. It’d be the perfect tailgating meal because it’s so simple and everyone can assemble their own, which means less prep ahead of time.

We went really basic in terms of food this time, but I’ll be sharing one of our favorite tailgate sandwich recipes (crockpot, of course!) in a few weeks. I’m excited!

I’m also looking forward to two weeks of not watching the clock as closely to make sure I don’t miss school pick up and drop off – who knew that’d consume so much mental energy?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Michelle September 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I used to be paranoid like that too and then I set an alarm on my phone to go off every day when I have to go pick up my kids. Now I never forget. I can happily chat away on the phone or read up until the last second and then when my phone goes off I dump whoever I'm talking to or grab a bookmark and off I go 🙂

  • Reply Paige Flamm September 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Please tell me this $98 picnic table was an online purchase and not a local AZ purchase!

  • Reply Karen September 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Hmmm. Didn't know Ella got a two week Fall break. Have to keep that in mind for the future. Looks like it is off to a great start with dining al fresco, though such dining seems a little incongruous with Halloween—guess it is just my northern latitude mentality.

  • Reply Lins - Domesticated Working Woman October 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Those rolls are the bomb dot com

  • Reply april October 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Eating outside is my favorite, even when it's stupid hot out. We haven't done much of it this year because the mosquitoes have been out of control but I have got to fix that so we can be out more.

  • Leave a Reply