Pack a Picnic in Middleton

It’s officially picnic season — so grab your baskets, bags and coolers and enjoy one of the many beautiful outdoor spaces Middleton has to offer.

It’s officially picnic season — so grab your baskets, bags and coolers and enjoy one of the many beautiful outdoor spaces Middleton has to offer. With more than 30 parks and natural areas, there are plenty of great picnic spots to choose from in Middleton. Plus, multiple events are happening this summer in downtown Middleton’s newly renovated green space, Stone Horse Green, that highly encourage picnicking. One of the best things about picnics is how low maintenance they can be. A successful picnic only requires two significant decisions – location and food. Below are a few recommendations for hosting a picnic in Middleton.

Step 1: Pick a Location

Note: Dogs are allowed in all Middleton parks and trails while on a leash, except for Stone Horse Green, which is a dog-free green space. Alcoholic beverages are allowed in all Middleton parks except for Firemen’s Park (by the high school), and no glassware is allowed in any park or on any trail. Depending on the size of your party, multiple parks in Middleton offer covered shelter spaces that can be reserved up to a year in advance. View a complete list of parks that offer shelter reservations below. More information on shelter reservations can be found here. From three playgrounds and a free splash pad, to a scenic pond with ADA-accessible piers for fishing, to multiple walking trails and plenty of picnic space, as well as a baseball diamond, tennis courts and soccer fields, this 80-acre park offers something fun for all ages to enjoy. Lakeview Park has multiple rental space options suited for all party types, including a larger pavilion shelter (with open public restrooms) with both indoor and outdoor facilities as well as a small shelter. There is also a gazebo, perfect for a small group to grab some shade and enjoy lunch, and plenty of picnic tables. This park is located on Middleton’s far north side and offers easy access to Pheasant Branch Conservancy’s trail system. Orchid Heights features excellent outdoor recreation areas, including a playground, baseball diamond, soccer fields, and basketball, softball, volleyball, and tennis courts. There are paved walkways that weave their way throughout the park, including Orchid Heights Conservancy Area and John C. Bock Community Forest. One covered shelter is available to reserve and multiple picnic tables for smaller groups. Parisi Park is adjacent to the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor, making it easy to hop on and off the conservancy’s trail system. The park offers a baseball/softball diamond, a playground for children ages 5 to 12, a rain garden and an ADA-accessible, porous asphalt trail that runs through the park. Reservations can be made for the park’s covered shelters. There are also multiple picnic tables available to use at any time. This 10.2-acre park was named after two generous benefactors who donated their entire estate to allow the park to be built. This park is filled with an abundant amount of outdoor recreation facilities and equipment, including the largest Playworld System® playground as well as three full-size football fields, lacrosse fields, a basketball court, eight pickleball courts, walking paths, picnic areas and a shelter that is available to reserve. The playground, picnic areas, paths, parking and football areas are all ADA-accessible.

Pick a Table

On top of the multiple parks that offer shelters reservations, there are also plenty of picnic tables placed throughout Middleton at the following parks and green spaces: Downtown
    • Terrace Avenue Pavilion, 7733 Terrace Ave (covered picnic tables next to Capital Brewery & Bier Garten)
    • Outside Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave (uncovered picnic tables)

Step 2: Pick a Meal

Picking out the right food for a picnic is almost as important as picking out a location. Whether your group prefers takeout from a local restaurant or a large spread from a local grocery store, meat market or farmers market, Middleton has plenty of great food options. Middleton is home to more than 80 restaurants and cafés, many offering great takeout options for a picnic. No matter what side of town you plan to have your picnic, there’s a restaurant or deli nearby.
    • Downtown offers 20 restaurants (and counting!)
Greenway Station Farmers’ Market: From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday starting early May through the first week in October (May 2-Oct. 3, 2024), the Greenway Station Farmers’ Market offers farm-fresh produce and local goodies, including veggies, fruits, nuts and honey, cheese, baked goods and more. This market offers various local food options that will make your picnic experience spectacular. UW Provision –The Meat Market: Whether you’re looking to grill out or build a charcuterie board with local meats and cheeses, The UW Provision Meat Market has you covered. The Meat Market is stocked daily with a variety of products, including fresh and frozen meat, cheese products, pasta and potato salads, hamburger and hot dog buns, desserts, chips, soda, alcoholic beverages and condiments—what else could you need for the perfect cookout? Delis and markets: Gino’s Italian Deli is a family-owned deli offering fresh, gourmet and specialty deli and grocery items that are perfect for adding to any picnic — especially if you’re going for an Italian charcuterie board theme. This deli also offers a large selection of made-to-order salads and sandwiches, pre-cooked meatballs and trays of frozen lasagna. There are also multiple local groceries to stop at in Middleton to pick up your picnic essentials, including Willy Street Co-op and Metro Market; both markets have deli bars and plenty of to-go options including rotisserie chicken, freshly-made salads and sandwiches, and a variety of meats, cheeses and baked breads to build a charcuterie board.

Modified May 10, 2024