How to have a winter picnic
Here are Mookychick, we absolutely love alternative tea party and picnic ideas (got a good one? Let us know!) This fantastic how-to will leave you brimming with cool ideas for a winter picnic. Think snofas, ice lanterns, snow angels, hot drinks and a campfire to warm your toes and heart
What to wear to keep warm?
When it is cold you need to dress well. The rule of thumb is three layers of clothes, no cotton.
You could sneak in an extra underlayer if you have a silk vest top – silk is great at keeping you warm if it’s one of many layers, and it’s so fine and thin it won’t bulk you out. It’s breathable too, so it’s good for skin.
Make sure your shoes are not tight, wear a hat and it is a good idea to have a reserve pair of dry mittens. Since you are going to spend some time sitting still outside it’s nice to bring an extra sweater too, or even better: Some thick blankets and a hot-water bottle to snuggle up with.
You also have to put some thought into what you are going to sit on. You certainly don’t want a urine tract infection. The aim is to insulate your precious butt from the cold and wet snow. A reindeer pelt is absolutely superior, but probably not something carried by the local mall. Think creatively. Slabs of polystyrene work very well for example, or fill a big plastic bag with cushions.
Light and winter lanterns
This time of year the dark comes before you really noticed that it was a new day. By the time you’ve come home from work/school it might be night already. Fortunately this poses no real threat to your picnic. It’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark, and when the nights are frosty you can make beautiful ice lanterns to light up your surroundings. If you want coloured light, just add some food dye to the water.
If you have no frost, only snow, make a snow lantern.
Food and drink for your winter picnic
If you have access to an area where you can have a campfire, I heartily recommend that you make one. Hot food is great when the weather is nippy and a fire will help you keep warm too. Plus red and orange flames against the blue background of snow at dusk are astonishingly pretty.
The best cheese toasties ever are the ones you have painstakingly smoked and heated on a stick over open fire. You can also make baked potatoes by wrapping them in tinfoil and roasting them in the embers. Actually, the tinfoil wrap cooking can be applied to most fresh foods. My favourite is to hole out the core of some apples, fill them with cinnamon, raisins and chopped almonds. Nom.
Don’t despair if you can’t have a fire at your picnic. If you have a cooling bag for summer use, you can also use it in winter to keep food warm. And don’t forget the cakes! There is no picnic without them, but in winter you might want to make them a bit more spicy and heavy than you would in summer. Chocolate and chili cupcakes are yummy in the cold, and so is a slice of fruitcake.
Fill up some thermos flasks with hot drinks: Tea, hot chocolate and coffee are all great for giving you a delicious injection of heat. There is also a thread over in the Mookychick Messageboard where mooks share their favourite hot toddy recipes.
Thermos flasks will keep your hot chocolate or hot toddy properly hot.
Winter picnic activities
A good way to avoid getting chilled is to mix the picnic with some activities. The first thing that comes to mind is building a snowman, but why stop there?
- If you can make a snowman you can also make a snow dragon.
- Why not build a snow couch to sit in, if you have enough snow? Build a snofa, or snow sofa, with your friends.
- Make snow angels. Of course you can also make other kinds of snow prints by, for example, creatively falling down in the snow. Merriment guaranteed.
- If you’re allowed, cook lovely food and warm your tootsies over an open campfire.
- Make a lovely ice or snow lantern.