Aspire Park has been in the spotlight this week following an unofficial introduction of a new strict dress code for visitors. But that gorgeous park isn’t the only family-friendly outdoor venue in town.
Here are some suggestions of great parks from our audience, combined with research of our own:
1) Blogger JustKooki recommends Abu Dhalouf Park in Shamal. Although it’s a good hour’s drive out of the city, she says the trek is well worth the effort.
“Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a lush paradise but it does have a fair amount of shade.” she says. “It has a beach. And you can use it. It also has open lawns for picnics or barbecues. Two large-ish playgrounds. Toilets (women to the left of the entrance when you stand facing the beach; men to the right). It has parking. “
JustKooki’s blog has a map and directions to the park.
2) On Twitter, Cerwin suggested the Museum of Islamic Art park.
— Cerwin (@cerwin_me) October 4, 2012
The park at the MIA has a large, well-equipped kids’ play area (although not shaded) and two gorgeous cafes serving sandwiches, hot drinks and ice cream. They have elegant seating outside, designed for lounging and taking in the spectacular views of West Bay. It also seems that kids are allowed to ride bikes here.
Bonus: There’s a bazaar every first Saturday of the month (including tomorrow, from noon to 7pm).
See park opening hours here. It’s closed on Tuesdays.
3) Also on Twitter, Najat al Mahdy suggests two alternatives.
@toryscott Dahl al hammam isconvenient and offers good attraction for the kids. The kids love Barzan park-real treat with fountains.
— Najat El Mahdy (@81nj) October 4, 2012
Dahl al Hammam park (details courtesy of the Wahyu Family Blog) is near Landmark Mall. Named after an underground cave nearby (which has been shut for safety reasons), it has a large outdoor play area, skateboarding and free wifi.
Barzan Olympic Park looks like a real gem. Only opened in April this year, it has a cycle track (there are bikes for hire), two swimming pools, well-equipped kids’ play areas, mini football pitches for kids, and picnics are encouraged. The only downside is it’s a bit of a drive outside of town. Directions can be found here.
4) If you’re looking for something a little closer to town, we’ve found this place, Al Rayyan Garden turned up during an internet research. At the time of writing the website appears to be down, but what we can tell you is that this park, located in New Al Rayyan near Education City and just a block down from Compass School, has a shaded kids’ play area and lots of lush greenery. A map can be found here.
5) We also recommend Sheraton Park on the Corniche. It has a brand new shaded play area, free wifi and lovely views over the bay, plus outdoor workout equipment, a snack shop and the Msheireb Enrichment Center. (Note: a new park is under construction nearby. When finished, this promises a huge area with fountains, play areas and restaurants.)
Then of course down the Corniche opposite the National Theatre is Al Bidda (Al Rumailah) Park, which is always popular as a picnic spot, and features fountains, a skateboarding ramp (used as a slide by kids), free wifi and a few shops.
Do you have a favourite place to go that you can recommend to the community?
Please let us know if you do!
Credit: Photo by Osama Saeed