Thursday May 30th, 2024
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The Most Picnic-Ready Free Parks Around the Region

Whether you're in the mood for a mountaintop meal or a beach-side buffet, these free parks have all your picnic needs covered.

Scene Traveller

The Most Picnic-Ready Free Parks Around the Region

If you, like us, are drowning in the annual Q1 workplace madness that has descended upon the corporate world, then you’re probably finding yourself fantasising about greener (and less stress-inducing) lazy afternoons spent lounging in a sun-kissed garden, preferably in a foreign country.

Yet, if you, like us, have already taken a bat to the proverbial piggy bank (perhaps for a certain special someone on Valentine’s), and can barely just afford flight tickets, then you definitely need some travel activities that are more on the frugal - or literally free - end.

Luckily, the region has a variety of absolutely, 100% free (thank God) picnic-friendly parks you can choose to spend any and all afternoons in.

Al Khazzan Park - Dubai, UAE

Famed for its iconic 40 metre tall blue-and-white water tank, Al Khazzan Park is a zero-energy public garden, utilising sustainable technology for electricity, irrigation and nighttime lighting. So, you can have your cake (scrumptious picnic) and eat it too (not feel guilty about contributing to the destruction of our rapidly disintegrating world). 

Situated near City Walk, Al Khazzan Park houses a children’s playground with a shaded area for sun-phobic parents, a famous cafe-library, a breathtaking walkway, and, of course, a dedicated outdoor picnic space.

Public Al-Suwaidi Garden - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

A mini-getaway within the bustling city limits, Public Al-Suwaidi Garden features a sports area, kids playground and a bicycle zone (which my clumsy self will avoid at all costs). 

However, perhaps the most alluring features of the park are the vast, verdant areas that beckon weary, tight-pocketed travellers to spread out on a blanket, pull out a few delicious local dates, and bask in the Kingdom’s soul-warming sun.

Aspire Park - Doha, Qatar

Covering 88-hectares, Aspire Park stands out as Doha’s largest park and one of the biggest and most popular in the entire country. 

Offering everything from play areas, running tracks and exercise facilities to diverse eateries, the lavish Torch Doha Hotel, and the city’s only birds-filled lake, Aspire Park also plays host to a number of events and festivals. 

If you find yourself in Doha anytime soon, definitely consider calling a friend, grabbing some picnic treats and packing a pair of running shoes, since Aspire Park also organises regular fun runs.

Budaiya Park - Budaiya, Bahrain

What could possibly beat a relaxing picnic in a lusciously green park? A relaxing picnic on a sandy beach!

Budaiya Park is a waterfront standout among the Bahrain picnic crowd, offering free access to a beach as well as a wide selection of amenities and facilities – including paved winding walkways, sprawling lawns, lavish fountains, and bountiful playgrounds.

Toubkal National Park - Al Aaroui, Morocco

This one’s not for the faint of heart (and agility). 

A climbing and trekking destination first, elevated picnic hotspot second, Toubkal National Park boasts captivating landscapes, towering summits, and vibrant native wildlife. 

So, you can munch on your hastily packed picnic spread, as you gaze out at the High Atlas Mountains surrounding you and the eagles circling above.

Al Shaheed Park - Kuwait City, Kuwait

Between the magnificent botanical gardens, the sparkling lake, and the two museums – Thekra and the Habitat – it’s difficult to choose a favourite aspect of Al Shaheed Park. 

But since this list is about picnicking, I think I’ll go with its vast picnic areas, overlooking manicured green meadows and the city’s glittering skyscrapers.

Al Hussein Public Parks - Amman, Jordan

At Al Hussein Public Parks, an entire complex of public gardens that covers 70 acres of a hillside, you can take a break from all the munching on za'atar and stop by the cultural village, challenge your picnic companions to a game on the sports field, or test your automobile knowledge at the car museum. 

And, for the history nuts, there’s also a monument to King Hussein, a 488-metre mural wall depicting the country’s history, and various historical sites scattered around the impressive grounds.


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