Need To Know: Picnics in the Park
We’re now in Phase 2 of the BC Restart Plan and restrictions are being lifted on many businesses and amenities including our parks. And while we can’t wait to feel the lush lawns underfoot, take a dip in the mountain-fresh waters of our lakes and let our babies (fur and otherwise) run a little more freely, we’ve still got to keep the two-metre physical distancing in mind and stay home if we feel at all under the weather.
The advisory against non-essential personal travel is also still in effect, but we are hopeful that BC will transition to Phase 3 as early as June, which means we’re getting ready to welcome BC residents soon.
With our parks and green spaces now officially open, we’ve put together a few of the things you need to know and consider when planning a trip to the park, as well as some yummy picnic suggestions.
Whistler Park Etiquette 2.0
As we transition into this new era, there are a few changes to our typical park etiquette that the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) would like us all to bear in mind when using these amazing outdoor spaces;
- Stay two metres apart from others outside of your normal “unit”
- Respect that playgrounds are still closed due to their high-touch surfaces
- Be courteous and kind to others – everyone has their own version of what is and isn’t safe right now, give people space and the benefit of the doubt
- If it’s too busy, come back another time or try another park
- Bylaw Officers and Parks and Trails Ambassadors are out and about to remind people about physical distancing. They are there to help everyone have a positive park experience, so say hi and shoot them a distanced high five.
Suggestions and Tips:
- Pack some hand sanitizer and wipes (remember to pack out what you pack in)
- If you use a bench or picnic table, wash your hands afterward
- Think about going at non-peak times, like early in the morning or in the evening (romantic sunrise / sunset anyone?)
- If you see a family with small children, give them extra space (toddlers = touching)
- If you’re going to play a game like Frisbee, go at off-peak times as no one wants to be ducking a disc right now
Picnic Ideas Supporting Local Business
Although some of our restaurants are starting to reopen for in-person dining (good job Earls Kitchen + Bar), many of them are fine-tuning their logistics in preparation. To support them through this period and celebrate the opening of our parks we’ve put together some mouth-watering suggestions for take-out picnics that make the most of our mountain vistas.
From Australian pies to Mexican tacos, Japanese sashimi to Indian butter chicken, Italian pizza to French pasteries, there’s a lot to choose from. Here are just a few picnic-friendly food suggestions and some silly puns for you to enjoy, for a full list of who’s open see: COVID Business Impact in Whistler.
Taco ‘Bout Awesome
The team at La Cantina is as busy as ever serving authentic, fresh Mexican street food for lunch and dinner, and they’ve just launched a new Verde beef taco, which we’ve yet to wrap our greedy hands around.
So Grilled to See You
A picnic classic – the sandwich. Ingrid’s Village Cafe is a tucked-away local gem. Their lentil burger is a tasty veggie option and for the carnivores, the chicken schnitzel is a local favourite. Open for breakfast and lunch, you can place your order over the phone and pick it up at their take-out window.
Starting in June and available every Tuesday, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre will be doing a picnic for four that you will need to grill, but trust us, they’ve done the hard work for you. Part of their Bring Home the Bannock take-out range, the new, summer picnic includes short ribs that have been marinated in maple and juniper berries, sprinkled with smoked mushroom salt, a roasted Pemberton potato and arugula salad with berry vinaigrette, fried bannock with whipped herb butter, and rhubarb and strawberry scones for a sweet finish. It’s time to get your grill on!
Maki Today Special
Sushi is an easy-to-eat picnic option, although we wouldn’t suggest travelling too far with it in the heat before you tuck in. For lunch, try a Bento Box from Fuji Market and if you have a sweet tooth, add some Japanese candy into the mix when you order online.
Spring is all around us, so we couldn’t help but think of the Kani Blossoms served at Sachi Sushi. Open for dinner, Head Chef Toshiyuki Kobayashi has been making sushi in Whistler for over 25 years and he’s not stopping now. Sushi Village is also open for dinner picnics with those epic SMASS rolls we all know and love.
In Pizza We Crust
Pizzeria Antico is Whistler-famous for giving out scissors with their pizzas and also for their epic lineup of craft beers. They have paired the two (the pizza and beer, not the scissors) on Wednesday nights for their takeaway pizza and growler deal for $25. We’d say that’s a fine picnic in the making.
Better Latte Than Never
For picnics on the lighter side, you could opt for a coffee and sweet treat. Many Whistlerites rejoiced in the news when purebread reopened their doors earlier this month with takeaway window service and pre-order pick-up. Owned and operated by a local husband and wife team, this bakery has become part of the Whistler experience and they’re located right at Olympic Plaza.
If you’re around that area, Blenz Coffee is another option. They serve hot and cold chocolate made from single-origin Columbian chocolate (it’s dreamy creamy) and you can even make it dairy-free with the dark chocolate option and your milk-alternative of choice. Of course, there’s all the java options too, we just really like chocolate…
Keep Korma and Curry On
Authentic garlic naan anyone? Tandoori Grill is open for lunch and dinner orders and along with the curry of your choice, you get a complimentary serving of garlic naan – yum! They have a great selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes too. Order online and pick up.
You Wanna Piece of Me?
No, we don’t want a piece, we want it all. An Aussie-style pie (meat and veggie options available) is topped with mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy, this is Peaked Pies. They also have barista-quality coffees and sweet treats with an Australian twist, like their chocolate- and coconut-covered sponges, aka, Lamingtons. They’re open for take-out every day of the week.
So…We Meat Again
Although Hunter Gather has some tasty vegetarian options, we can’t help but sing the praises of some of their meat-filled menu items. Just take a look at this lamb shoulder baguette – remember to grab napkins.
Owned and operated by the husband and wife team behind Whistler Cooks Catering and Fridge Full, you can also round out your take-out with a can of something cold from our local brewery, Coast Mountain Brewing, at the same time.
Wok This Way
We’re big fans of noods, therefore we’re also fans of Main St. Noodles, where you can choose your own flavour profile, spice level, protein addition and order it all to go on an easy app, or their website for lunch and dinner.
We hope that you’ll practice safe picnicking, social responsibility and remember that we’re all #InThisTogether. It’s a huge learning curve for everyone, we’ll have to be patient, and work together to make sure everyone stays safe and has a good time.
We can’t wait to open our parks to the wider world, until then dream of the mountains and we’ll be ready for you when it’s time.