One afternoon a few months ago, pushed nearly to the brink by overly energetic children and a general sense of cabin fever, we decided to pack up a picnic, douse the kids in mosquito spray, and head to a local park – heat stroke or no.
When we arrived there, far more quickly than we’d expected, we wondered why on earth we hadn’t done it sooner! The park was bustling with people, the sun had lost most of its heat, and we all crashed into bed that night happily, sweaty and exhausted.
Below are a few of the favourite picnic spots that we like to head to these days, as well as some top picnic spot picks from the rest of the Happy Go KL team. Let us know in the comments where you like to go for an evening picnic, as we’re always keen for new ideas. And who knows, maybe we’ll see you out for dinner sometime soon!
1. Sri Hartamas Park
Sri Hartamas Park is by far the place we picnic at most often. With a mini scooter/bike track, two playgrounds, a basketball court, a football pitch and multiple exercise stations on offer, this park is a firm favourite with us as well as with many residents of the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Highlights and tips:
- The football pitch is enclosed and locked, but a big green field next to it is a perfect place. to kick the football anyway.
- Benches to sit on, but no tables – a picnic rug is a must!
- The closest toilets are at the Petronas Petrol Station half a block away.
- Dogs seem very welcome here.
Location: Sri Hartamas Park is at Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas (find it as ‘Sri Hartamas Basketball Court’ on Waze).
2. ASEAN Sculpture Garden
The ASEAN Sculpture garden winds down the hill below the National Monument on Jalan Tugu. There is a small shop at the top of the gardens, where you can stock up on any picnic extras, or grab an after-dinner ice cream. My girls like to scooter around the fountain here, before careening down the path through the gardens, past the sculptures, and along the small streams. There is enough room on the grass to kick a football, and two small ponds filled with lots of fish. It’s good to note though that this park is not fenced, and at the bottom of the hill is a very busy road. So if you have small toddlers or children with a tendency to run off, then it would be best to set your picnic up at the top of the hill, if you don’t want to spend the evening herding children away from the cars.
Highlights and tips:
- No picnic tables here, but a few benches, and plenty of soft grassy spots great for a picnic rug.
- Toilets can be found next to the shop at the top of the park; you can use them for a small fee.
- Bring a spare change of clothes to this park – there are some big stones along the streams that are great for jumping along, but more often than not we end up with wet children afterward!
Location: the ASEAN Sculpture Garden can be found at Pesiaran Sultan Salahhudin, Kuala Lumpur.
3. Taman Metropolitan Batu
Taman Metropolitan Batu is a large gated park 10km out of KLCC on your way to the Batu Caves. Open daily from 6:15am to 7:30pm, it is a very popular place for the local residents to meet for a picnic, go for a run, or play at the two large playgrounds. In the middle of the park is a lake surrounded by a walking track, giving Taman Metropolitan Batu the feel of a slightly less manicured Desa ParkCity. That said, the grounds are well maintained, and there is plenty of space for little feet to run around on grass.
Highlights and tips:
- There are picnic tables, benches and lots of space for picnic rugs.
- While a sign indicates that balls aren’t allowed, we’ve seen families playing badminton and football without a problem.
- If you’re lucky, you might see a community performance in the middle of the park at the large open square!
- Dogs are not allowed.
Location: Taman Metropolitan Batu is between Sentul and Batu Caves.
4. Taman Botani Perdana
Taman Botani Perdana, sometimes known as the Lake Gardens, is a huge park in the centre of KL that spans over 90 hectares. We like to enter the gardens near the Royal Lake Club and head straight to the very impressive playground, which is large and exciting enough to even entice my eight-year-old playground sceptic onto it. There are lots of different sections of the gardens to explore, but in the evenings we generally set up near the playground area where there are plenty of activities on offer to keep everyone occupied!
Highlights and tips:
- Parking here can be hard; we sometimes catch a Grab here just to avoid the car park search.
- There are plenty of toilet facilities and a little shop where you can buy ice creams and snacks.
- The gates close at 8pm, so just make sure you’re out of the park by then.
Location: Jalan Kebun Bunga, Tasik Perdana.
5. Titiwangsa Lake Gardens
Another great picnic spot to bring your family along. Lake Titiwangsa is close to the city centre and next to Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture). The park offers lots of space for many activities like cycling, roller blading and horseback riding. There are also a few restaurants and food stalls and you can rent pedal boats as well. The park has got wide walking paths and many trees, so you can always find a spot in the shade. The park has a great view toward the city with his twin towers and KL tower, which creates a beautiful backdrop for some nice pictures.
Highlights and tips:
- Picnic tables available but you choose to bring a mat.
- Parking is ok around the park, but better be early if you visit during weekends.
Location: Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.
Please note that Titiwangsa Lake Gardens is currently closed due to upgrading works as part of the River of Life project. The park will re-open in November 2019.
- Keep a packed bag. If you’ll be going picnicking regularly, try to always keep a picnic bag ready packed with the essential items. That way, it’s easy to grab the bag, pop some food into it, and head out of the door without forgetting to pack the plates (we learned that lesson the hard way!).
- Take some wheels of choice. All the parks listed allow wheels, so if you can fit your kids’ favourite wheels into the car, please do so.
- Get the timing right. Find the time you’re comfortable being outside and aim for that (for us it’s never earlier than 5:30pm, but you might be less heat sensitive than us!). Also, to make sure you don’t spend 40 minutes on your way home blasting Wiggles tunes to keep your kids awake, so they’ll actually sleep that night (or is that just us!?), check the traffic in advance to estimate your times to get there and back, so you know what to expect. Waze’s Plan Your Drive function is really handy for this.
- Dress for moving (and for mosquitos). Our picnic uniform consists of long tracksuit pants, t-shirts, and runners. Basically, we wear clothes that we can chase kids up the slide in, or sit on the ground in, or fish a child out of the stream in. And, of course, clothes that protect us against those pesky mosquitos. Because if we are out at dusk, we can be sure the mozzies will be too. Nothing some sensible clothes and a can of mosquito repellent can’t fix though, right?
- Simplify your meal. Picnics are a lot of fun, but sometimes preparing food for them is a lot of work! Keep the dinner simple and aim for something the kids can grab off you as they run past on their way to the slide.
Some favourite picnic food ideas from the Happy Go KL team include:
- Mini quiches
- Rice paper rolls
- Fruit salad
- Cucumber sandwiches
Other great picnic spots in KL
- Taman Lembah Kiara park in TTDI has a playground, paths suitable for scooting and a stream running through it that is perfect for wading and catching little fish.
- Templer’s Park in Rawang is a short drive from the city. Walk 15 minutes up the stairs and you’ll find a slow running river with sandy banks, most suitable for a picnic and water play.
- Desa Parkcity has plenty of grass to spread your mat on, and two playgrounds.
- Kepong Metropolitan Park is famous for the kite flying taking place on weekend afternoons. Take your own or buy one there!
Have a great time out there!