With the crisp bite of late fall air and the trees still turning countless shades of red, yellow, and orange, now is the perfect time to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and get “lost” in the woods. Just outside the city, only twenty minutes from downtown lies a little hidden gem that most don’t know about: Greenbelt National Park.
Here, there are nine miles of hiking trails and a campground that is actually open year-round, which is very hard to find near the city. Score major brownie points by surprising your significant other with a romantic picnic, as you snuggle up next to a roaring fire and enjoy the great outdoors -- and each other of course!
Add to the surprise by arriving early to set up the romantic atmosphere before your lucky date arrives. Just give them hints on what to wear and directions to meet you at the park at a certain time. All you have to do is follow these four simple steps to create the most romantic setting for the perfect fall date.
What you will need to pack in your car:
- Fire starters
- Camping Chairs
- 5-6 cozy/ warm blankets
- Wine or beer (Don’t forget the wine opener)
- Board Games
1. Fire pit area
Start by lighting the fire. I am a fan of the log cabin method, but whatever works for you will do just fine. After you have mastered the fire, set your camping chairs up around the fire pit. Throw blankets over the chairs so when you sit in them they are cozy and warm. The blankets do double duty by making ugly camping chairs look chic, but when the sun begins to set you can wrap them around your shoulders to keep warm.
2. Set a cozy tablescape
Take another blanket and cover the picnic table. Add two more blankets one on each seat of the picnic table. This will keep your bum warm and make the tablescape look more inviting. Next add chargers, napkins, plates and glasses. Make sure to set up a few board games ahead of time to enjoy while you’re waiting for your food to cook!
When planning a picnic, keeping it simple is the best way to go. Create a simple salad with all the fixings and throw it in a mason jar (this looks super cute but is very functional at the same time). Since you will be enjoying a campfire, why not cook your meal at the same time that you are cuddled up next to the roaring flames? Good quality bratwurst with buns toasted on the flames are the perfect campfire dish.
The best part about escaping to the woods and sitting next to a campfire is enjoying both nature and the company you are with. Play board games, talk, take a hike or simply listen to the trees swaying in the breeze. This is truly a great way to get away from the chaos of city life and to reconnect with one another and nature. Happy Trails!