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Head out for a Winter Picnic

Yes, that's right, a winter picnic!!! Most people think of winter as a time to hibernate and wait for warmer weather. Others take up skiing or snowshoeing, and some of us just like the beauty and solitude of spending time in nature without the crowds of summer. Hence the winter picnic. The nice thing about going for a picnic in winter is that you can make it the main event, or use it as an excuse to go for a nice drive in the country.

I recommend a venue that has a pit so you can build a fire to either cook your lunch , keep warm, or both. Fires also add a nice ambiance to the setting. Be sure to take your own wood just in case there is none available at the site.

The menu can range from very simple hot dogs and potato chips, to pre-made sandwiches or a full course meal cooked on a Coleman stove. Don't be afraid to be extravagant, take along table clothes, cushions to sit on, real dishes, glass wear and cutlery, and maybe even a nice center piece for the table.

Binoculars are a must for viewing wildlife and the distant scenery. Don't forget to take your camera too so you can show your friends just how much fun a winter picnic really can be.

Some suggested picnic sites include:

Within city limits: Sandy Beach, Fish Creek Provincial Park, Edworthy Park, Carburn Park and Beaverdam Flats Park.

Outside the city: Kananaskis Country day-use areas and campgrounds,Dinosaur Provincial Park, day use areas in the Drumheller Valley, or any other favorite spot your family likes to frequent in the summer!

For more details on winter picnics or other type of outdoor adventures, why not pick up a copy of the book "Heading Out, A Celebration of the Great Outdoors in Calgary & Southern Alberta", by local author Bruce Masterman.

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