Photo by scoboco

Summer's heating up, and what better way to celebrate the upcoming dog days than with a picnic? That's right, it's International Picnic Day, and we've compiled a handy guide to help you take full advantage of the holiday:

THE PARKS
Central Park is obviously the big name, but there are quite literally hundreds of recreational spaces in the city where you can spread your blankets. Here are some of our favorites in each borough:

Fort Greene Park: This 30 acre expanse in the heart of Brooklyn has ample space, and no shortage of events happening to keep things interesting. With playgrounds and barbecuing areas, the oldest park in the borough is still a great place for a classic picnic.

Riverside Park: Stretching along the waterfront of the Upper West Side, this Manhattan oasis offers picturesque views and beautiful green lawns. If you pack the basket on your bike you'll be able to enjoy the paths of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway that stretch along much of the four-mile park.

Pelham Bay Park: Central Park may get most of the love, but it's a cramped backyard compared to the 2,770 acre green giant that is Pelham Bay Park. Perched on top of the Bronx, the park boasts countless hiking trails and a 13-mile saltwater shoreline. Just try to keep the sand out of the picnic basket!

Forest Park: This Queens park has a little something for everyone: you can relax in the shade of the 165 acres of trees, or work off those cookies you packed on the baseball fields, tennis courts and golf course.

Willowbrook Park: This green space tucked away on Staten Island is perfect for a relaxing evening off the city streets. You can fire up your own grill too, just make sure to stay within the designated barbecuing areas!

THE DOs
Do snag a pre-made picnic basket if you want to get fancy (though there are options), or if you don't have time to make your own. Telepan is offering one at $21 (with one main, one salad, and one dessert.) If you do pack your own, you could always follow the Dinner En Blanc list, packing up whatever foods you want, along with a white candle, a bottle opener, wine, cutlery, and a trash bag.

Do check out the rules and regulations of the parks. And although these look delicious, alcohol is technically not permitted. However, if you're sly about it, you'll be fine (even Bloomberg has said so).

Do bring games! We're big fans of ultimate bocce ball, but if you're feeling less extreme go for Scattergories or Go Fish.

THE DON'Ts
Don't forget the basics! Blankets, paper towels/towelettes, plastic forks, sunscreen/a sun hat, and bug spray are picnic essentials.

Don't feed the animals or mess with the wildlife in the park. We don't want Bloomberg to have to ban large sugary drinks from squirrel consumption too.

Don't leave trash behind. Seriously guys.