Make the most of the chilly weather with a winter picnic

Some in Toronto would rather stay indoors binge watching their favourite show when the winter weather comes around, but for local blogger Lindsay Zier-Vogel she says the cold weather is the perfect time for a picnic.

Local blogger Lindsay Zier-Vogel says winter picnics are great way to 'enjoy the beauty that is winter'

It was nearly a windchill of -20 C when blogger Lindsay Zier-Vogel went picnicking next to the CBC on Wednesday. She recommends having a winter picnic when its 0 to -5 C out. (CBC)

Some people in Toronto would rather stay indoors binge watching their favourite show when the winter weather comes around, but for local blogger Lindsay Zier-Vogel she says the cold is the perfect time for a picnic.

"I tried it and it was so much fun," she told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"There's something so delightful about being out in the cold and seeing your favourite parks in a totally different light when they're covered with snow. It's really quite beautiful." 

Zier-Vogel came to the realization years ago that when she layers up she could enjoy picnicking nearly year round.

"If you're not a cross country skier or skater or do winter sports. It's sort of a great way to be outside and enjoy the beauty that is winter," she said of winter picnics.

"I love picnicking in general and to not be able to picnic for six months of the year seems like such a travesty." 
Lindsay Zier-Vogel swears that picnics are a great way to enjoy the city during the winter season. 1:40

Zier-Vogel explains location is key for a perfect winter picnic.

"I say wherever you like to picnic in the summer, try it in the winter," she added. "My favourite place to picnic is by the lake. The lake looks so magnificent in the winter. It's such of a different look than it is at any other time of the year."

Zier-Vogel has also taken her children picnicking near Dundas Traffic Island Park, which she says her toddler loves because of the view overseeing trains, buses and emergency vehicles. That doesn't mean he didn't get a bit restless in the cold, but her youngest can't object to the picnics.

"I was feeding him chips between when the trains were coming," she said. "I have a baby, who you know, she can't really protest, we just stick her in a snowsuit and she comes along."

Picnic blanket, good food still important

To make your picnic a comfortable one, you'll need a good picnic blanket. Zier-Vogel uses a waterproof one, but also supplements it with a camping sleeping mat to stay as warm as possible.

And it wouldn't be a picnic without something to eat. She recommends avoiding sticky and wet treats as you'll need something you can eat with your winter mittens on.

When camping out at Simcoe Park next to the Canadian Broadcasting Centre on Wednesday, she went with gingerbread, a mocha topped with marshmallows and some chips, which she says are best when they're cold.

Lindsay Zier-Vogel says, 'There's something so delightful about being out in the cold and seeing your favourite parks.' (CBC)

And since it's chilly out, dressing warmly is crucial for a great winter picnic.

"Think as warmly as you would as you would normally dress and then dress even more warmly than that," she added. "I'm wearing three layers on the bottom. I'm wearing a bunch of different pairs of socks. I don't even know how many tops I'm wearing."

While it was a freezing -18 C with the windchill when she visited CBC News for her picnic, she says it's best to have your winter picnic when it's between 0 C to -5 C out. 

But don't feel guilty for giving into that voice that says to stay inside. There's a way to enjoy both the cold weather and nights cozying up in front of the TV.

"I have the hibernating instincts myself. I feel like there's a place for both. I feel like absolutely hibernate, watch those Netflix," she said. "[But] I feel so good about being in the city. I feel so good about getting all that vitamin D. It's really beautiful."

With files from CBC Radio's Metro Morning