Winter picnic ideas

adult gloved hands pouring a thermos of liquid into a cup held by a child with gloved hands holding it. Overlay text that reads winter picnic ideas for families

Picnics aren’t just for spring and summer. There are plenty of opportunities for winter picnics too. In fact, these winter picnic ideas will be a warming treat on your next family walk. Picnics are great outdoor activities for children. With a little bit of thought and preparation, your family can enjoy picnics all year round.

text reads winter picnic ideas for families. Image is red gloved hands pouring liquid from a thermos flask

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Winter picnic ideas

First, you’ll need to decide where you will be going for your winter picnic. Perhaps you’ll stay close to home for your first one and try a picnic in your garden? Or my favourite is to take a picnic on a winter family walk. My kids always get hungry on walks so a picnic is definitely a good idea. It will warm you all up and mean you can walk for longer. You could also take a picnic on your next day out to keep the costs down.

Wherever you decide to picnic put a little thought into the food you pack and the equipment you need to pack so your picnic is a fun winter adventure.

Winter picnic food

Choosing the right food for your winter picnic is key. Warm food is the best as it is bound to warm you up on a cold day but you could still take sandwiches for example if that’s what your family enjoys eating. If not, here are some warming winter picnic ideas.

Hot drinks

Hot drinks like tea and coffee are a staple part of any picnic for the grown-ups in your group but in winter why not take a flask of hot chocolate for all the family to enjoy?

Flask and two stainless steel cups (filled with hot chocolate) with reusable straws in a woodland setting

Soup

Soup is a really simple hot food to enjoy on your winter picnic, Simply heat it up at home and fill a flask with it. Make sure you pack something to serve the soup in and eat it with (see the equipment section below for ideas). I also like to pack some bread for dipping in the soup too.

Stew

If you want something a little more than soup, how about packing a stew? Again you need to heat the stew at home and then transport it in a food flask. Don’t forget to pack bowls and cutlery for all the family.

Sausage rolls

My kids love sausage rolls. If your family enjoy them warm you could try wrapping them in tin foil after heating them and keeping them in an insulated picnic bag.

Chilli

Similar to stew, you can take a preheated chilli with you in a food flask. Serve with bread, nachos or even jacket potatoes (see below).

Hot dogs

Another favourite with my kids is hot dogs. Simply cook your sausages at home and transport them in a food flask to keep them warm. Don’t forget to pack some bread rolls and tomato sauce for the perfect hot dog that all the family will enjoy.

Jacket potatoes

You can cook jacket potatoes at home and then wrap them in foil before storing in an insulated lunch bag to keep them warm.

Winter picnic equipment

There are a few things that will make winter picnics easier and more fun for all the family. You’ll need to think about what you’ll sit on, how you’ll transport warm food, what you will serve it in and what cutlery you will need.

Picnic blanket

Every picnic needs a blanket for you to sit on. We love these Pacmat picnic blanket map prints. They’re lightweight, compact and machine-washable. Perfect for keeping in your adventure backpack. * Get yours here.

Picnic mat with an OS map on it

Single picnic blanket patches (Pacmat patch)

I have to admit, in the depths of winter, spreading a blanket on the ground isn’t that appealing. Picnic benches and even logs are a better option but often they are damp. That’s where these fantastic individual patches come in useful. They pack up really small and much like the standard Pacmat picnic blankets, they are machine-washable and lightweight. They are even insulated to feel warmer. Such a great addition to a family winter picnic. * Find out more here.

Hot drink flasks

We love our Kleen Kanteen Vacuum-insulated TK Wide for hot drinks. For soups, stews and sausages you might be better of with a Thermos flask.

Food flasks

As well as the larger Thermos flask above, you might want to consider investing in a set of * food flasks for your family.

Cutlery

You’ll definitely need some basic cutlery if you are taking soup or stews. You don’t want to be carrying around loads of heavy metal cutlery so how about a * 3 in 1 Spork?

Insulated picnic bag

Kelly kettle

If you want to make a real adventure out of your winter picnic, have you considered a * Kelly kettle?

Activities to enjoy with your winter picnic

I’m sure you’ll combine your winter picnic with a family walk. So don’t forget to pack our free Winter scavenger hunt printable.

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If you need more Outdoor activities for kids in winter then you need to read this post.

Where to go for your winter picnic

Find details of some of the best UK family days out here.

If you want inspiration for your next family walk then you need this post if you are in the North West (of England) The best family walks North West. Better yet, join my Facebook group.

Four different countryside scenes and text across the middle that reads Family walks North West - Facebook group

Join Family walks North West Facebook group to be part of a community sharing the best walks for families across the region. Click here.

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