Nestled throughout the City of Perth, you’ll find a number of beautiful parks and gardens which make for the perfect day out to relax and connect with nature. The best part, especially at a time when cost of living is a big consideration, it makes for an entertaining day out with the kids and family without breaking the bank.
Get the kids to help you pack a picnic for the day — that way, they’re sure to have the right goodies in there that they’ll love — and head out to one of these picnic spots which are all favourites of ours.
If picnics aren’t your favourite pastime, we’ve also included a few kid-friendly eateries that you can navigate to nearby.
Preparing the perfect picnic
Before we pack the car up and hit the road, we’re going to need to fill that picnic basket with everything we’re going to need to feed the clan. So what makes for the perfect picnic? Of course, that’s going to depend on who you ask; but here are some of our favourite things to include — it’s the perfect blend of kids’ and adults’ delights.
Firstly, there are the obvious staples like nuts, cheese, fruit — grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, capsicum, and melons are our go-to’s — and deli meats such as ham, salami, and prosciutto.
For the kids, we like to add in some Nutella fairy bread — yes, it’s as simple as it sounds and always a favourite — sandwiches and wraps with their favourite fillings, and because it’s one of most Australian things ever, lamingtons. We also often stop by the bakery on the way to add in a few party pies and mini sausage rolls.
Don’t forget to also pack a couple of picnic blankets and things like napkins or a towel, wet wipes, hand sanitiser, a first aid kit, and, of course, an esky of drinks to stay hydrated.
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
Although in no particular order, number one on the list is Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. Fun fact for the kids — At 400 hectares, Kings Park is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful inner-city parks. There are so many things to do and keep both kids and adults entertained here that you’ll likely want to make this a regular spot. Plus, it’s a great educational experience for all involved.
Make sure you check out the Rio Tinto Naturescape where your kids can tire themselves out while discovering creeks and wetlands, exploring the treetops, playing on the cubbies and climbing ropes, and generally enjoying themselves in one of the most unique play spaces in WA.
During the school holidays, there are also a number of additional activities from Budding Green Thumbs where you’ll get your hands dirty in a gardening workshop to following the Djilba Bidi Kaarta Koomba trail to learn about the plants and rich Noongar culture and connection to the land.
With picnic spots a plenty, you’ll always find a new spot to sit down and enjoy a fresh experience every time you’re there.
If you don’t want to take a picnic with you, Zamia Cafe — located within the bounds of the park — is a great kid-friendly spot where you can sit down and enjoy a feed.
One of the city’s biggest open green spaces comes complete with river views, easy access with ample parking facilities nearby and lots of street parking. Langley Park is an often-forgotten picnic spot and maybe that’s why it’s one of our favourites.
If you’re heading to Langley Park, throw some of your kid’s favourite sporting gear into the car as it’s the perfect place to kick a ball around, play a few overs of cricket, or even fly a kite. Once they’ve worked up an appetite, it’s picnic time!
If they still have some energy left afterwards, it’s a fairly short walk to Elizabeth Quay where you can treat them with some ice cream from Baskin & Robbins or Gusto Gelato. By the time you get them back to the car, they’re sure to be ready for a nap for a quiet drive home.
Supreme Court Gardens
Location, location, location is one thing that comes to mind when you think of the stunning Supreme Court Gardens. Located a stone’s throw from the Swan River foreshore and the vibrant Elizabeth Quay precinct, you’re truly in the middle of the action — be it a relaxing picnic or as an open space for the kids to play kick-to-kick.
Here’s the ultimate picnic hack for those parents who only want to take a picnic blanket with them. Before heading to Supreme Court Gardens, stop by Elizabeth Quay and grab some takeaway from Amberjacks — one of Perth’s best fish and chips shops.
If you’d rather the comfort of tables and chairs, Elizabeth Quay also has two family-friendly restaurants that are sure to please both parents and children.
Grab a seat outside at The Island next to the nautical-themed playground which will allow you to relax while your kids enjoy some fun in the sun, working up an appetite for the beef sliders, fish and chips or a Margherita pizza.
If your kids are burger lovers, then Milky Lane is a must-visit — with its outlandish milkshakes and delicious burgers, the family will be sure to leave full with no one saying “I’m still hungry.”
Mardalup Park and Victoria Gardens
You’re likely thinking “Where are Mardalup Park and Victoria Gardens?”
We always have to keep the best-kept secrets for last! Mardalup Park and Victoria Gardens are nestled on either side of the Claisebook Inlet with a vast array of activities and plenty of space to set up for the afternoon.
Both sides include barbeque facilities along with picnic tables if you want to take your picnic up a notch.
On the Mardalup Park side, there’s a kid’s playground and basketball rings; however, it’s the Victoria Gardens side where the kids will have a blast. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that provide the best entertainment and that’s what you’ll find here — a small grassy hill with a good enough slide to go “sledding”. Pack some old cardboard boxes with you as the kids are going to need them to use as their “sleds” and slide down the grass slopes over and over again. It’s an absolute hoot.
Nearby, you’ll also find East Perth’s best collection of cafes from Kinky Lizard Espresso Bar to Toast and The Partisan. If you need to do that quick coffee run to keep the adults happy, you’re all sorted!