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Of course you can have a picnic in winter! Enjoy the fresh air! Winter picnics with the family are a great way to get out and enjoy winter but proper planning and a few great family winter picnic ideas are the keys to success. Of course, the age of your children will have a large impact on what you decide to do.

Sledding and snowball fights

One of the simplest and best winter picnic ideas for young kids is to bring along a sled and find a big hill. If you plan on walking, sledding is an especially good winter picnic idea for young children because they get tired easily. You can just put them in the sled and pull them along behind you as you go to and from the picnic site. Some other fun winter picnic activities for small children are making snow angels, building a snowman and playing “king of the hill”.

Another great idea for families is a snowball fight. These are great for young kids and older kids alike. If your kids are old enough, you can spend a few minutes building “snow forts” and have a long snowball fight. Be sure to pack something warm to eat though. A long snowball fight will really work up a good appetite and something like a hearty soup or chili will really hit the spot.

Picnics for teenagers

When it comes to teenagers, snowball fights or sledding aren’t the type of winter picnic ideas that are likely to get them too excited. You should to consider more “grown up” winter activities like snowboarding or skiing. Pack a nice big lunch and have a family winter picnic on a ski slope. You could also find a pond that freezes over during winter and have a bit to eat by the pond while enjoying some ice skating.

Winter picnics are great but they do tend to require more planning than summer picnics when it’s easy to just pack up a few things and head out to the nearest lake or pond. But, with just a little bit of planning winter picnics are often more fun than in the summer.

Ask Granny’s five winter picnic tips

Pack simple food

Cold hands can make unwrapping and making food difficult. Prepare and pack things like sandwiches, biscuits, cubes of cheese and fruit. You can keep food hot for a couple of hours if you wrap it in foil and bundle it together in tea towels.

Be prepared for the weather

Take a waterproof sheet and some chairs to sit on; a wet bum is not much fun. If it’s a clear day and you’re lucky enough to have snow it may be a good idea to use sunscreen in winter, the snow reflects the sun and can result in sun burn even in winter.

Carry a thermos

Hot drinks or soups kept in a thermos flask are a great way to warm up.

Dress in layers

Several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick jumper. It’s also easier too cool down by removing a layer or two if the sledding and snowball fights have worked up a sweat.

Remember to clean up

Pack hand wipes, napkins and a plastic bag to take rubbish to the nearest bin or home if there isn’t one available.

Picnic recipes

For some lovely picnic recipes, visit the the BBC Good Food website.