Pack a Picnic in Middleton
Grab some tasty snacks, order your favorite local takeout, round up a few friends or family members and head to a scenic outdoor space.
Grab some tasty snacks, order your favorite local takeout, round up a few and head to a scenic outdoor space for a picnic. 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 parts of 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
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.
- Lakeview Park: 6300 Mendota Avenue
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.
- Orchid Heights: 3960 Valley Ridge Road
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: 2405 Park Street
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.
- Harvey John & Lucille Taylor Memorial Park: 5280 Bishops Bay Parkway
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:
- Middleton Hills Park, North, 6840 Ramsey Road
- Middleton Hills Park, South, 6805 Frank Lloyd Wright Avenue
- Middleton Ridge, 7100 Belle Fontaine Boulevard
- Parkside Heights, 3206 Ravine Drive
- Pheasant Branch Ridge Park, 6810 Whittlesey Road
- Stonefield Park, 6528 Clovernook Road
- Woodside Heights Park, 7202 Voss Parkway
- Stone Horse Green, 7550 Hubbard Avenue (bistro tables and picnic tables)
- Terrace Avenue Pavilion, 7733 Terrace Ave (covered picnic tables)
- 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.
Here are some picnic food options to consider:
- Order takeout from one of Middleton’s local restaurants or cafés
Middleton is home to more than 70 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 sure to be a restaurant ready to serve up some delicious takeout food, such as Gino’s Italian Deli if you’re in the mood for subs or Longtable Beer Cafe or Poke Bar if you’re hitting up some live music at Stone Horse Green.
From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday starting early May through the first week in October, 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.
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?
This family-owned deli offers 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.