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Anteater’s Guide to Picnicking in Aldrich Park

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Aldrich Park is a popular site for UCI students of all majors to unwind, which often includes a nice picnic. With a plethora of looming trees offering shade, benches, and rows of different flora, it’s the go-to spot for an aesthetically pleasing gathering with friends or for solo meals under the sun.

As the weather starts to heat up, Aldrich Park is bound to flood with more picnickers.

Those looking to picnic may not know where to start. Though impromptu picnicking is just as fun, most Anteaters put a lot of thought into preparation. 

UCI student Pierre Nelson has hosted a few picnics of his own and likes Aldrich Park because of its greenery. Nelson doesn’t picnic very often, but when he does, he takes the planning very seriously. 

“I secretly don’t trust my friends to plan a picnic the way I would want it to be,” Nelson joked. 

When he has free time and the weather is right, Nelson likes to plan out a picnic featuring homemade sandwiches and junk food. The entire prep-time takes about thirty minutes for the drama major. 

Setting out a blanket and busting open some pre-packaged goodies is a low-effort but high-reward relaxation activity for students. 

Psychological sciences major Abigail Lee also enjoys picnicking in Aldrich Park because it is the perfect photo opportunity. Since the park is on campus and nearby to her housing, Lee finds it to be the perfect meeting place. 

“It’s easy, a big open space and everyone knows where to go,” Lee said. “And you don’t have to worry about parking either.”

Lee’s planning involves creating Pinterest boards for inspiration and preparation of props and activities. She likes bringing painting supplies, books, magazines and flowers along with her to set up on a white blanket.

As for food, Lee often shops at the Trader Joe’s located in the University Town Center.  

“We normally prepare some fruit, a charcuterie board-type food and something sweet like some cookies or a cake if it’s a fancy occasion,” Lee said. 

Like Nelson, Lee also takes some serious time preparing for her picnics. For her birthday, Lee gathered supplies and planned a few days in advance. A more casual occasion will only take an hour to gather supplies.

All Anteaters can easily set up a picnic, whether they prepare a fancy spread or simply stop at The Hill for some chips and candy. All you need is a large blanket, good company and delicious food.

Asia Boyd is a Campus News Staff Writer. She can be reached at