Where To Picnic With Your Fam This Winter!
There’s nothing better than a lovely breakfast or lunch alfresco (combined with the opportunity for the kids to have a run around), and what better way to enjoy this glorious time of year than with a good old-fashioned picnic – especially when there are school holidays to fill and visitors in town too?! From the desert to the beach, parks to palm-shaded glades, we’ve found 10 of the most perfect spots to roll out those picnic rugs and get feasting. Time to fill up those baskets, mamas!
Read More: Annabel Karmel’s Top Picnic Picks
We all love a trip to the beach so why not set up there for the afternoon? With a tasty picnic followed by oodles of space for post lunch activities, you are sure to have the perfect family day out, just don’t forget the bucket and spade!
Sassy Mama loves: Kite Beach, Sunset Beach, La Mer and The Beach, JBR
Sassy Mama Tip: Sunset Beach (near the Burj Al Arab) is one of the best beaches for breaking waves so for those of you with keen mini surfers, this is the beach for you!
Sassy Mama Tip: Forgot your picnic? Kite Beach has loads of cool foodie options – plus the SALT food truck is parked up there if burgers are calling!
For Fridays when mama needs a break too, why not try out one of Dubai’s picnic brunches. They offer a particularly lovely way to spend time with the family without dragging your kids to one of the more lively brunches. Think picnic supplies, lovely soft blankets to sit on and a feast of everything you can dream of.
Sassy Mama Tip: No one does fun like Reform Social and Grill and we highly recommend the Brighton brunch with bbq’s, inflatables, games, lake views – and lots of silliness! Kind of like a picnic (you’re sat at picnic tables and the food is v. relaxed bbq style) and the kids can run free. Perfect. Next one is on January 12, 2017.
There is something quite magical about an Arabian trip to the desert and it’s definitely entertaining for the kids to let loose on the dunes. Encourage the children to participate in running races or sand surfing, and then throw out a blanket and feast on your packed up goodies.
Sassy Mama loves: The Arabian Glamping team and their incredible, whimsical picnic set ups in the desert complete with fairy lights, billowing curtains and delicious food – the most magical way to enjoy a meal al fresco.
Sassy Mama Tip: Stick to finger food for your kids to ensure the least sandy tea possible.
Read more: Annabel Karmel’s Top Picnic Picks
Bustling markets provide the opportune shopping experience, from arts and crafts to picnic supplies at the food stalls and topped off with a great playground or open space for the kids – sound perfect? A trip to the Ripe Market at Zabeel Park or Barsha Pond Park is a lovely way to picnic – just pick up your treats at some of the stalls, spread out your picnic rug under the shade of a tree and enjoy! The Gardens at Emirates Towers also offers a great market and picnic opportunity.
Read More: The Best Grocery Delivery Options in Dubai
Safa park may seem somewhat of a building site, but there are still lots of green areas to explore plus plenty of other gorgeous parks in Dubai to throw down a rug and open a basket – and with most parks housing little playgrounds, the kids are sure to be in heaven.
Sassy Mama loves: Safa Park, Al Barsha park, Al Mamzar Beach Park and Mushrif Park and Al Khazzan Park.
Sassy Mama Tip: There’s a gorgeous little cafe called Inn The Park in Al Khazzan Park opposite City Walk. Run by the same team as Sassy fave Bystro, you can expect the most delicious food in a beautiful setting under a huge protected ghaf tree – perfect!
Read More: Dubai’s Best Outdoor Play Areas
Pack up your picnic and enjoy your feast whilst watching a competitive game of polo. The children will love the thrill as the horses flash by! The entertainment and your delicious feast are are guaranteed winning combo.
Sassy Mama loves: Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club where you can park up on the side of the field, spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the game while the kids run around. Simply heavenly.
Sassy Mama Tip: Let the children join in with replacing the divots in between chukkas.
With a huge outdoor terrace (complete with tables if that’s what you prefer), The Irish Village is a small piece of the Emerald Isle (aka a lively pub) with plenty of lawn area for spreading out on. Go all out on a pub lunch or pack up your own sandwiches and enjoy the gardens and lake views.
Sassy Mama loves: The Irish Village ducks! Take extra bread as our feathered friends are often hanging around for the kiddos to feed.
Sassy Mama Tip: If you are after a table on the terrace then get to The Irish Village early as they get snapped up quickly.
Lakes in the desert? No it’s not a mirage mamas – out beyond Arabian Ranches are a series of beautiful man-made lakes that a huge gaggle of geese, ducks, swans and over 130 species of other birds call home. Located in the middle of the Seih Al Salam desert and Bab Al Shams, the lakes were created by the civic body as part of an eco project and are the perfect place for a picnic while the kids wade in the water. Head out on Umm Suqeim, parallel to the Al Qudra bike track until you get to the bike shop and roundabout – then prepare for a small amount of gentle off-roading.
psst…rumour has it that visits to the area will be stopped if littering continues so be sure to leave nothing but footprints!
Sassy Mama loves: Pitching a tent and making a night of it!
Sassy Mama Tip: Stay for sunset – the birds come ‘home’ to sleep for the night and the light is beautiful for taking photos.
Read More: Best Camping Spots In The UAE (& Beyond)
This has to be one of the most amazing spots we’ve ever been to, with skyline views to match. Rise at Dubai Creek Harbour is part of the new Emaar development on the banks of the creek and is open every Friday and Saturday during the cooler months – with activities and food and fun available from noon until night. Completely family friendly, there are playgrounds to enjoy, activities to enjoy, food trucks to order from, live performances to take in and lots and lots of outdoor space for picnicking.
Sassy Mama loves: The views! Literally stunning – this place is an instagrammers dream!
Sassy Mama Tip: Keep an eye out on the Rise schedule as there are frequent film screenings for kids (Moana and Ratatouille are coming up). And it’s all free!
You won’t get loads of green space but you will get a big bench and plenty of boardwalk space for your kids to scoot or bike along after they’ve finished their sandwiches – and Safa Park is right next door if you are after a bit of green too. Head to Dubai Canal and enjoy your lunch while watching the boats go by – before walking it all off (and stopping for dessert?!) at Al Habtoor City (the Rose & Crown do a chocolate fondant to-die-for).
Sassy Mama loves: Biking to the canal via the new bike tracks in Jumeirah – such a lovely family outing.
Sassy Mama Tip: If you want a real adventure then take a metro to the canal – simply get off at Business Bay Metro station and then walk on the footpath on Sheikh Zayed Road towards Habtoor City. OR, take a water taxi from Dubai Marina – fun!!