Dining al fresco in winter is easy with these simple how-to winter picnic tips and food ideas to keep one and all warm and cozy.
When winter comes, it’s easy to stay indoors rather than venturing outside. But you are definitely missing out on all of that winter beauty.
Outdoors? Of course!
You can have fun in the snow and sun and it’s as easy as packing up the family and heading outdoors for an amazing day outdoors.
And one activity that is a must is having a winter picnic.
A picnic? Absolutely! It only takes minimal supplies to set up an area where one and all can nosh on hot drinks and food while engaging in your favorite winter sports and activities like snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, tobogganing, and making snowmen.
You can set your food and drinks on your vehicle’s tailgate, picnic table or even a snow table–if the snow’s really packable.
Truly there’s nothing better than fresh air and lots of winter fun to get one’s appetite going, especially if one knows that there will be plenty of enticing hot food and drinks at the ready.
And, what a wonderful way to make memories with those you love. Psst! Don’t forget to take plenty of pics too!
If you’ve never hosted a winter picnic, no fear. It’s quite simple to do. Check out these cool tips for making your event the best one ever!
Cold Weather Clothing
Keep in mind that winter comes with its own set of challenges, so dress for success. It’s always a good idea to check the current weather outlook before adventuring out to your destination just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Boots, hats, scarves, winter jackets, snow pants, mittens and/or gloves, are the obvious initial clothing choices for winter gear.
And, of course, think dressing in layers. Also, if possible, bring along a change of clothing if you’re planning on engaging in any activities that will cause your clothing to get snow-soaked.
You certainly don’t want to get chilled when the activity slows.
Picnic Tip: Be sure to bring along sunscreen if you will be outdoors for any extended amount of time. Snow is notorious for reflecting the sun’s rays and it’s easy to get sunburned if you are not prepared.
Snow-Worthy Picnic Supplies
Just like summer picnics, you’ll need to gather a few essential supplies to put on a winter-worthy spread.
Start with these must-haves:
When looking for a winter-worthy picnic basket, be sure to buy one that is well built and offers you multiple place settings, storage options, along with cups and/or glasses.
You can’t go wrong with an outdoor favorite: buffalo check plaid tablecloth. Perfect for all of your outdoor dining needs. And, when you’re ready to go home, just shake it out and fold it up.
You’ll want to keep sandwiches and other hot food favorites just the right temperature, so use an insulated bag. Remember to also preheat your food prior to placing into your insulated bag and be sure to wrap well each container with aluminum foil to help keep the heat in.
Picnic Tip: Perishable foods can travel well and safely in an insulated bag up to two hours.
Brave whatever the day brings you while keeping cozy and warm with a waterproof outdoor blanket. It’s best to have a couple of these on hand for those folks who get chilled easily. Best of all they’re easy to store and go.
For me, I usually have at least four thermoses going. Some are filled with hot cocoa, some with steaming coffee, and others filled with Mom’s Hearty Chili.
Picnic Tip: To prep your thermos for hot liquids be sure to fill it first with hot water. When ready to fill, pour out the water and fill with your favorite hot beverage. You can use this same procedure prior to adding soup, chili or stew.
Other picnic must-haves:
- sanitizing wipes
- dish towel/rag
- several garbage bags – not only for trash but also to safely bring the dirty dishes home.
From soups to stews to hot drinks (with and without alcohol) and desserts, you’ll definitely feel warm and cozy inside and out with these cold weather-inspired food and drink recipes:
RELATED: Homemade Cornbread
For more delicious winter-inspired treats and eats, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.