5 tips for a successful winter picnic

If I say ‘picnic’, chances are you come to think of sitting in the grass in a park on a warm, sun-kissed day. But a winter picnic can be just as much fun, with the crisp air and snow-covered landscape creating a unique backdrop for your outing. Even if you haven’t been blessed with snow, a winter picnic is a good way to get the entire family outside during the cold season. A winter picnic is much like a summer picnic, except colder – which means we need to take greater care dressing for the weather and layering properly. The beauty of the season is that fewer people venture outside, meaning more space and opportunities for restoration for you. 

These five tips can help you make the most of your winter picnic:

1.     Choose the right location

The more natural and remote an area is, the greater its power of restoration. Having said that, the best winter picnic spot is the one you can feasibly get to without needing a month’s worth of advance planning. Walking there will help you stay warm and make the outing last longer, and with outdoor time we all know more is more. If there’s a cold wind or heavy snow, try to find a sheltered spot where you are protected from the weather.


2.     Dress for warmth

Sitting still for a winter picnic requires warm clothes. If you’re combining your picnic with physical activity, be prepared to add and remove layers as needed. A “puffy” is the perfect extra garment to bring along, since they tend to be lightweight, warm and pack down easily. Don’t forget seating pads to sit on – wool pads keep moisture out while providing extra warmth. If there’s a group of you, a waterproof blanket is also a good option.


3.      Bring warming foods and drinks

Winter is the season for the food thermos – fill it with hot soup, chili or a stew that you’ve prepared at home. Sandwiches filled with spreads and roasted vegetables are another hearty option that works well for picnics, especially when combined with a hot drink like mulled cider, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Finger foods, like homemade energy bars, nuts, dried fruit and cookies are a good complement as well.

4.     Add fire

Where permitted, a campfire is the perfect companion to your winter picnic, adding both warmth and light in one go. Portable fire pits come in all sorts of sizes and is an environmentally friendly option as it doesn’t leave any trace on the ground. If you have a backyard, consider building a permanent fire pit to gather around all year. At times when having a fire isn’t an option, bring along a lantern, headlamps or LED lights if your picnic will extend beyond daylight hours.


5.     Play some games

If you’re lucky enough to have snow, you may want to extend your picnic with some fun winter games. No snow? No problem. A lot of the same games that you play outdoors in the summer can be played in the winter as well – just bring a ball to kick around or play a game of tag or hide and seek.


Now that you know the essentials of a successful winter picnic, savor the season – literally – and, as always, be sure to pack out what you brought in.

2 thoughts on “5 tips for a successful winter picnic

  1. Shelby says:

    After reading your blog, me and the kids went to the park to try out our first winter picnic. While I was unsure of how they would take it, they ended up having a blast! So, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this wonderful activity, and if you’re reading this, give it a try!

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