You Should Be Having Winter Picnics: Here’s How

You Should Be Having Winter Picnics: Here’s How

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I enjoy skiing as much as the next gal. However, as I dedicate more of my paycheck to this hobby than I care to admit, I also know that outdoor winter activities can quickly become pricey and labor intensive. With the extensive planning, arduous travel and expensive gear, waiting to have fun until summer doesn’t always seem like the worst idea. Thankfully, the humble winter picnic is here to save your sanity (and credit card statement.) 

Picnicking is a customizable and affordable activity that doesn’t require technical equipment or snow access. When opting for a winter picnic, you’re also able to avoid all the not-so-pleasant aspects of the activity in the spring or summer: heat, humidity, and BUGS. A winter picnic is everything you want out of refreshments in nature, and nothing you don’t (read: mosquitoes). Plus, is there anything better than enjoying your favorite snacks with friends while bundled up in your coziest outdoor attire?

 Ahead is a step by step guide that fully prepares you for a fun, affordable and accessible trip to the snow (or to your neighborhood park—no judgment here).


17 Must-Have Items for Throwing a Winter Picnic:





    Pick Your Base

    After selecting the location of this glorious winter outing, it’s time to talk ground cover. Of course, you could grab a folding table or park bench if available, but we’re operating under the assumption of the classic (and IMO more fun) picnic style: on the floor. 

    For this, you’ll want a weather-proof blanket as a protective base between you and the cold/wet/snowy ground. I recommend this Everywhere Mat from Rumpl. Made from 100% recycled post consumer material, it’s super light and packable with a waterproof underside. The gingham version is also on sale for $59—how perfect is that? One note; these come in a 1‑person-size only, so if you’re planning on a large group it may be worth buying a few. The Forest Picnic Blanket ($159) from Wandering Folk is another great option. Each piece is designed with intricate hand drawn prints with a waterproof base, which gives the look of a vintage rug with a modern touch and a functionality you wouldn’t expect from something so pretty. I would (almost) feel bad eating on one of these blankets. Nothing ruins the party before it starts like a damp butt.


    Pick Your Layers

    Here comes the fun part: choosing any and all cozy items to put on top. I love these woven blankets ($250)  from Slow Down Studios, which showcase and support individual artists from all over the world. My personal fav is the Kimbie throw (designed by Uruguayan artist Maite García), but there’s a design flavor for just about anyone.

    I would be doing a disservice to not include the TikTok viral Barefoot Dreams Blanket ($147), as these throws ooze cozy. I thought I couldn’t justify the price tag of this because fuzzy blankets are so accessible—until I felt it for myself. It is, unfortunately, worth the hype. If you’re still not into the price tag, here’s a Target option ($25) that’s an incredible dupe.

    Lastly, this cordless electric blanket ($349) from Life Giving Warmth is a major contender if you’re dealing with frigid temperatures. The portable battery pack allows for endless charging, so you stay completely toasty during each course.  While it’s pricey for a blanket,  the company carries a lifetime warranty that ensures you get every penny out of your purchase. Being a member of the forever-freezing-girl club, I appreciate a high quality and convenient electric blanket at any time during the colder months.


    Pick Your Vessels

    Arguably the most important aspect of a picnic; the container in which you pack your food and drink. You simply can’t have a picnic without a picnic basket. (I mean, you can, but we’d rather not) This hand woven ($159) option from Wandering Folk is quite frankly the picnic basket of my dreams. With a compartment for snacks, included mini bamboo board, and space for a bottle (or two), what more could you ask for in a traveling food receptacle?  It is so, so cute and gives the cottage core energy everyone deserves when dining in nature. The baskets from SunnyLife are also excellent if you have a group larger than 2. This large cooler basket ($250) comes with a full set of flatware and cutlery for four, so all you need to focus on is what wine pairs best with your charcuterie. I also love this unique round option ($180), which doubles as a cheese board or table.

    If you’re looking for more functional picks, I’d recommend this 12 inch coolerfrom Yeti ($160), which is on sale in a funky limited edition purple color. Yeti is a trusted brand that delivers on quality and durability, ensuring this cooler will stand up against this harsher picnic weather. A more affordable but still very durable choice is this insulated cooler backpack from Carhartt ($89); perfect if it’s a bit of a hike to your spot.


    Accessories and Additionals

    This is where you can really get creative as picnicking at its core is a choose-your-own-adventure. 

    Feeling brunch? Pack a breakfast board & some mimosas. Check out this delish pre-mixed ($15) option from Soleil to streamline the process and save space. And for our sober girlies, non-alcoholic cocktails are just as easy to pack. 

    Looking for a sunset picnic? Grab some extra blankets and fill up a thermos with homemade hot chocolate. Here’s our top pick from Stanley ($31) that’s perfect for sharing. 

    Want to go for s’mores? We found these amazing portable campfires ($21) that allow for a safe fire anywhere, without the hassle that usually comes with.

    Love the idea of a more opulent meal? Pack some candles and fancy glasses to elevate even the simplest of spreads. These flowered tapered ($12) candles from Urban, and the national parks candles ($26) from Good & Well Supply Co. totally fit the PLEIN AIR vibe. 

    If you’re going for over-the-top, I  also adore these occasion glasses ($98)  from Lisa Says Gah!, which are perfect to pair with your favorite winter cocktail. The opportunities go as far as your imagination, and you can make your spread as simple or as elaborate as your mood and budget allows. 

    Made a picture perfect picnic set up? We want to see! Tag us @INTOPLEINAIR

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