As cottage season winds down and fall kicks into high gear, some people get frightened by the falling temperatures and go into hibernation mode until the warmer weather returns. Care-free afternoons enjoying the outdoors start to feel like a distant memory. But just because there’s a chill in the air, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. There are lots of activities traditionally associated with late spring and summer that can still be enjoyable in cooler weather. A fall picnic is a great opportunity to spend some quality time outside and learn to appreciate the season in a whole new way. You may even discover some unexpected benefits to eating al fresco in the fall—fewer bugs, less risk of sunburn and heat stroke, and a more intimate setting away from the summer crowds. These tips will help you plan every aspect of a delightful fall picnic—from what to wear and eat to how to have some extra fun.
Double-up on the blankets
A picnic in any season demands a comfortable blanket to spread out on, but in fall weather you should pack an extra blanket (or two) to cozy up under as well. When you’re all bundled up you’ll be able to relish the crisp, fresh air on your face without catching a chill.
Pack warm meals
Coleslaw and pasta salads are perfect for summer picnics, but fall outings call for warm, hearty meals that will nurture your body. Delicious options include stews, baked dishes, roasted vegetables, and toasted sandwiches. And if you’re worried that it’s hard to pack hot food for a picnic it’s even easier than keeping those summer goodies nice and cold. Soups and hot drinks will stay toasty in thermoses and insulted bags or coolers will keep other dishes warm until you’re ready to chow down. Here are some delicious comfort food recipes that are sure to inspire you and keep you cozy once they’re eaten.
Design it to fit the setting
The rich hues of the fall foliage are so inspiring, why not compliment them with a spread that plays on a fall theme? Choose blankets, napkins, and baskets in fall-inspired colours and fabrics. Add some fancy elements with real plates and cutlery. Maybe even show off a few DIY picnic decorations. It’s a fun way to embrace the season and enjoy a classy afternoon.
Break out the cheese
The hot temperatures of summer make cheese platters difficult to pull off. It’s a hassle to keep your fancy selections cold enough on the journey to the picnic site, and once you spread them out under the heat of the sun it’s a race to eat them before they start to overheat and turn smelly (especially if you’re a fan of blue cheese).
Shield yourself from the wind
Choosing the right spot to set up is a big part of any picnic. In the summer you might want to be right out in the open to soak up the sunshine. But in the fall it’s important to choose a location that will protect you from any harsh wind. Under the canopy of a tree is a great spot to picnic. While you’re tucked away in a sheltered spot, you can admire the beautiful rainbow of changing leaves right above you.
No picnic is complete without some type of frivolous fun. Once you’ve finished with your delicious outdoor meal it’s time to pull out the Frisbee, fly a kite, or kick around a soccer ball. Running around will also help keep you warm. And remember that you’re never too old to enthusiastically jump into a big fluffy pile of leaves!