The sun is shining, the music is playing ... and the legs are sleeping.
D.C. is a city for grass-sitters. At Fourth of July events, Fort Reno concerts, Screen on the Green and Jazz in the Garden, we love to feel the blades of green beneath our toes. Until we’ve been sitting for an hour and our behind starts telling us how nice it would be to get off the darn ground.
We here at the Going Out Guide appreciate a good patch of grass and want to upgrade your outdoor sitting experience. First, some advice from the experts:
Arrive early. Seating at most outdoor events is first-come, first-served. Late-comers are more likely to be cramped and sitting uncomfortably. -- Deborah Ziska, chief of public information for the National Gallery of Art, which hosts Jazz in the Garden.
Keep changing your posture. Muscle stiffening often comes from sitting in one position for too long. Try to sit however feels most natural to you, but change often. If you can, walking around every once in a while helps too. -- Gabe Oran, general manager and personal trainer at Mint Spa.
Think about the weather. If it might rain or has rained recently, bring a few trash bags for beneath your blanket. If it’s going to be hot, come prepared with sunscreen, hats and cold beverages. -- Rachel Davis, director of events at the NoMa Summer Screen.
If you’re a dedicated summer grass-sitter, it might be worth investing in something you can carry to your grassy event of choice.
Blanket: One step up from bringing a blanket or towel from home, a picnic blanket like this one from Brookstone provides a bit more cushion, a waterproof underside and a handle for easy carrying.
Portable chair: A favorite of soccer moms everywhere, the fold-up chair with cup holder is a grass-sitting classic. Most come with shoulder-strapped carrying bags, like this version from Bed Bath and Beyond.
A chair for your wine: There is use crying over spilled wine. Avoid catastrophe with wine bottle and glass holders that screw into the grass for steady holding between sips. (Remember: Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on National Park Service land and at many other public events.)
Reclining mat: Although you’re more likely to see these at the beach, a mat that elevates your back is perfect for an outdoor movie screening.
Reclining chair: A smaller take on the reclining mat, this outdoor seat from Overstock is a bit more chair-like.
A place for food: If it freaks you out to have your food too close to the ground (and the ants), check out a mini table like these offered at REI. They’re also useful for board games or playing cards.
$50 and up
Portable picnic table: Now this here is serious picnic business. Bring a four-seater to your spot of choice; all the other grass sitters will be jealous. (And probably annoyed if you block their view, so choose carefully and make sure chairs are permitted.)
Zero gravity chair: For those truly devoted to outdoor comfort, Dick’s Sporting Goods makes a semi-portable recliner that you might just fall asleep in.