Skip to Content

How To Plan A Winter Picnic For The Kids

As winter blankets the world in a frosty embrace, the prospect of a cozy picnic with the kids might not be the first thought that comes to mind. However, an enchantment in the crisp winter air adds a unique charm to the traditional picnic experience. Let’s break down how to plan a delightful winter picnic with your little ones. 

winter picnic ideas

Winter Picnic Ideas For The Family

Picture warm blankets spread on a snowy canvas, the aroma of hot cocoa filling the air, and the joyous laughter of children amidst the serene winter landscape. A winter picnic isn’t just an ordinary outdoor gathering; it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories in a setting adorned with the season’s magic. We know that summer picnics get a lot of press, but if you pack the right winter picnic foods, you can have just as much fun during the colder months. 

Supplies to Pack for Your Winter Picnic:

Supplies to Pack for Your Winter Picnic:

During the winter months, there is more to just picking a great picnic spot and throwing a few picnic blankets in your car when planning ahead. Having hot food and hot chocolate, a portable heater, and an extra pair of socks is a good idea!  You also have to plan for bad weather while on winter outings. This means extra layers and perhaps a few umbrellas. 

  1. Blankets and Throws:
    • Bring an ample supply of warm blankets to keep everyone cozy.
    • Consider a waterproof blanket to provide insulation from the cold ground.
  2. Warm Clothing:
    • Dress in layers and pack extra hats, gloves, and scarves.
    • Thermal socks and waterproof boots are essential for comfort.
  3. Thermos with Hot Beverages:
    • Pack a thermos filled with hot cocoa, tea, or coffee to stay warm.
    • Don’t forget to bring insulated cups for everyone.
  4. Winter-Friendly Foods:
    • Choose hearty and warming foods such as soups, stews, and sandwiches.
    • Pack easy-to-handle snacks like trail mix, cheese, and crackers.
  5. Portable Seating:
    • Bring foldable chairs or portable cushions for comfortable seating.
    • Consider waterproof or insulated seat pads to keep everyone dry.
  6. Winter Treats:
    • Include seasonal treats like gingerbread cookies, cinnamon buns, or roasted chestnuts.
    • Add a touch of sweetness to enhance the winter picnic experience.
  7. Thermal Flask for Soup:
    • Pack a thermal flask with a delicious, hot soup for a comforting meal.
    • Choose a soup that’s easy to pour and enjoy outdoors.
  8. Picnic Basket or Cooler:
    • Use a well-insulated picnic basket or cooler to keep perishables fresh.
    • Ensure it’s spacious enough for all your food and drinks.
  9. Disposable Utensils and Plates:
    • Opt for disposable, eco-friendly utensils and plates for easy cleanup.
    • Pack napkins and wet wipes for tidying up hands and surfaces.
  10. Entertainment Items:
    • Bring winter-themed games, such as snowball toss or a scavenger hunt.
    • Pack books, playing cards, or a Bluetooth speaker for added enjoyment.
  11. First Aid Kit:
    • Include a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
    • Be prepared for minor accidents or injuries during the picnic.
  12. Trash Bags:
    • Bring large trash bags for proper disposal of waste.
    • Leave no trace and keep the picnic area clean and tidy.
  13. Fairy Lights or Lanterns:
    • Enhance the ambiance with fairy lights or battery-powered lanterns.
    • Create a magical atmosphere as the daylight fades during your winter picnic.
  14. Winter-Themed Decorations:
    • Add a festive touch with winter-themed decorations like snowflakes or holiday ornaments.
    • Consider a small, tabletop Christmas tree for a charming centerpiece.
  15. Camera or Smartphone:
    • Capture the memorable moments with a camera or smartphone.
    • Consider providing disposable cameras for the kids to document their perspective.
  16. Backup Power Bank:
    • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged with a backup power bank.
    • Stay connected and have a power source for any essential gadgets.

Preparedness and thoughtful planning will ensure a delightful and comfortable experience for everyone involved.

what food to pack

What Food To Pack:

When planning a winter picnic, it’s delightful to include foods that warm the body and complement the season’s charm. Here’s a list of winter-friendly foods to pack for a cozy picnic:

  1. Hot Soup: Thermos containers filled with hearty soups like chicken noodle, tomato basil, or butternut squash soup. Make sure you have crusty bread or bread rolls on hand. 
  2. Warm Sandwiches: Grilled cheese sandwiches, beef sandwiches, sausage rolls, pulled pork sandwiches, or paninis with seasonal ingredients.
  3. Stews and Chili: Pack slow-cooked stews or chili in thermos containers for a satisfying and warming meal.
  4. Hot Beverages: Thermos flasks of hot cocoa with marshmallows, herbal teas, or spiced apple cider.
  5. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips with herbs and olive oil.
  6. Cheese and Crackers: Assorted cheeses, crackers, and sliced baguette for a simple yet elegant picnic snack.
  7. Winter Salads: Salads with winter greens like kale or spinach, topped with seasonal fruits, nuts, and a warm vinaigrette.
  8. Pasta Salad: Cold pasta salad with winter vegetables and a flavorful dressing.
  9. Savory Hand Pies: Finger foods like individual hand pies filled with savory ingredients are hearty and perfect after a long day. Fill your pies with chicken, mushrooms, or spinach and feta.The perfect winter treat. 
  10. Quiche: Quiche slices with various fillings such as bacon, cheese, and vegetables.
  11. Winter Fruit Platter: Fresh fruit is always a good idea. Sliced apples, pears, and citrus fruits served with a side of honey or caramel for dipping.
  12. Baked Goods: Freshly baked muffins, granola bars, scones, or cinnamon rolls for a sweet and indulgent treat.
  13. Trail Mix: Easy snacks! A mix of nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate for a portable and energy-boosting snack.
  14. Holiday Cookies: Assorted holiday cookies, chocolate chip cookies,  or gingerbread cookies for a festive touch.
  15. Chocolate Fondue: Pack a small fondue set with melted chocolate and dippable items like strawberries, marshmallows, and pretzels. Always a lot of fun and a great idea if you have kids with you. Give everyone their own cups. 
  16. Warm Pastry Desserts: Individual servings of warm desserts like apple turnovers, fruit crumbles, puff pastry, or handheld pies.
  17. Caramel Popcorn: Popcorn coated with caramel for a crunchy and sweet snack.
  18. Hot Breakfast Items: Popular dishes like breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches with cheddar cheese, or warm oatmeal for a morning winter picnic work best for the great outdoors. Nothing beats a hot breakfast on a cold day – even during mild winters. 

Remember, an insulated thermal container will keep your food items warm. Ensure the whole family keeps their energy up by bringing enough food supplies for the day. Outdoor activities can wear you out.

snowball fight

10 Outdoor Activities To Do While On A Winter Picnic

  1. Snowball Fight: Take advantage of the snowy landscape and engage in a friendly snowball fight. It’s a classic winter activity that adds an element of playfulness to your picnic.
  2. Build a Snowman: Channel your creativity and collaborate on building a snowman. Use twigs, rocks, and accessories from home to give your snow creation personality.
  3. Winter Scavenger Hunt: Create a winter-themed scavenger hunt with a list of items to find, such as pinecones, specific types of leaves, or even animal tracks in the snow.
  4. Ice Skating: If your chosen location has a frozen pond or outdoor ice rink, bring along your skates for a delightful ice skating session. Ensure the ice is thick and safe before venturing out.
  5. Sledding or Tobogganing: Bring along a sled or toboggan for some thrilling downhill rides. Find a gentle slope and take turns enjoying the winter fun.
  6. Nature Exploration: Take a winter nature walk to explore the beauty of the season. Look for animal tracks, examine frost-covered leaves, and enjoy the tranquility of the winter landscape.
  7. Snow Art and Sculptures: Bring spray bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring to create vibrant snow art. You can also try your hand at sculpting snow figures or structures. Can’t do this with the summer heat! You need a chilly season to enjoy this activity. 
  8. Winter Picnic Games: Plan classic picnic games adapted for the winter setting and set them all over the picnic site. For example, a winter-themed bingo or a snowflake ring toss can add entertainment to your outing.
  9. Photography Adventure: Capture the winter wonderland with a photography adventure. Encourage everyone to take photos of the scenery, each other, and the various winter activities.
  10. Stargazing by the Campfire: If your picnic extends into the evening, bring along a portable fire pit or a safe designated area for a campfire. Use the opportunity to enjoy some stargazing while staying warm by the fire.

Remember to tailor these activities based on the age and preferences of your picnic attendees. Additionally, prioritize safety by ensuring that the chosen activities align with the weather conditions and any regulations at your selected outdoor location.

snowy picnic

How do you plan for a picnic in the winter?

Planning a picnic in the winter requires thoughtful consideration to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience. Begin by selecting an appropriate location with winter charm, such as a snow-covered park or a forest with evergreen trees. Check the weather forecast to anticipate temperature changes and potential precipitation, and encourage participants to dress in warm layers. 

Prepare a winter-friendly menu, including hot beverages like cocoa or tea, hearty soups, sandwiches, and seasonal treats. Pack these items in insulated containers to keep them warm. Bring plenty of blankets, throws, and pillows for seating, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Consider adding winter-themed decorations for a festive touch. 

Plan activities that embrace the winter setting, such as snowball fights, building snowmen, or even a winter scavenger hunt. Ensure safety by packing a first aid kit, and have a backup plan in case the weather takes an unexpected turn. 

Lastly, capture the memorable moments by bringing a camera or encouraging attendees to document the day. With careful planning, a winter picnic can be a magical and memorable experience for everyone involved.

When is the best time to go on winter snow picnics?

The best time to go on a winter picnic often depends on personal preferences, the specific activities planned, and local weather conditions. However, there are a few general considerations to keep in mind when setting up at your local park:

  1. Late Morning to Early Afternoon: Choosing a time between late morning and early afternoon allows you to take advantage of the warmer hours of the day. The sun is higher in the sky, providing more natural warmth during this period.
  2. Avoiding Extreme Cold or Darkness: It’s advisable to avoid the early morning or late evening when temperatures may be colder, and visibility can be reduced. Additionally, planning activities during daylight hours enhances safety and enjoyment.
  3. Weekends or Holidays: Consider planning your winter picnic on weekends or holidays when family and friends are more likely to be available. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience with loved ones.
  4. Special Occasions or Celebrations: A winter picnic can be particularly charming during special occasions or celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holiday gatherings. It adds a unique and festive touch to the festivities.
  5. Weather Check: Always check the weather forecast for your chosen date. Select a day with milder temperatures, minimal precipitation, and manageable wind conditions to ensure everyone’s comfort.
  6. Winter Events or Festivals: Explore local winter events or festivals in your area. Planning your picnic around such occasions can add to the overall winter ambiance and make it a more community-oriented experience.
  7. Snow-Covered Landscapes: If you’re hoping for a snowy picnic, aim for a day when the landscape is freshly covered in snow. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also provides opportunities for winter activities like snowman-building and sledding.

Ultimately, the best time for a winter picnic is when you can align the outing with the preferences and schedules of the participants while considering weather conditions that contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.