Abu Dhabi’s parks and gardens offer a great alternative to those who want to spend a few peaceful hours away from the buzz of the city. Picnicking at weekend is a favourite pastime in the emirate, with families and friends filling the parks at weekends.
A large park near Airport Road, Um Al Emarat Park is a wonderful place to take the kids and have a bit of fun. It has amusement park rides (with varying fees), swings, fountains and ample car parking. It's a popular 'ladies only' facility so photography is not allowed. The garden is open from 3pm to 10pm (3pm to 9.30pm on Fridays). On public holidays it is open from 9am to 12pm and 3pm to 10pm.The garden is in Abu Dhabi city’s Al Mushrif district, to the south of Old Airport Road, and its entrance is opposite the National Theatre and near Choueifat School.
Al Nahyan Garden is a well maintained and compact park near the Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel on Sh Zayed the 1st Street, Abu Dhabi, where your little ones can't get up to too much trouble. Simple play equipment helps the kids let off steam.
Capital Gardens is a welcome patch of green in the middle of the city (op opposite NBAD, Al Markaziyah district, Abu Dhabi) Each little garden cove has a small selection of climbing frames, swings and slides. A large pond in the middle erupts periodically with bursts from the stunning fountains. Vending machines and an enclosed cafeteria provide refreshment.
Taking up a whole block off Khallej Al Arabi Street in Abu Dhabi, Khalidiyah Garden is very popular with families. It has a variety of play areas, with equipment for toddlers and older children. Its lovely grassy areas are great for picnics, with a number of large trees providing shade.
The Old Airport Garden in Abu Dhabi is a quiet and an ideal place if you want to relax after taking the kids ice-skating at the adjacent rink to Zayed Sports City]. One side of the park has swings and small tidy gardens, while the other side is more ornamental, with plenty of trees for shade.
Just off the Eastern Ring Road in Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park is one of the city's larger parks and a major landmark. Inspiration for the gardens has been drawn from Arabic and Islamic architecture and from the world's great gardens. The landscape boasts canals, fountains, lakes and waterfalls. You can tour by hopping on the miniature railway. With play equipment for children, picnic facilities and an outdoor auditorium, it's a popular spot in the cooler evenings and during weekends and there’s the Murjan Splash Park, which is great value-for-money fun for the little ones.
Al Ain Ladies Park, also commonly known as Basra Park is a quiet and attractive garden is for women and children only (boys under the age of 10). If you are looking for somewhere to sit and enjoy the peace, there are plenty of benches under the shady trees. Play areas with swings, slides and climbing frames are sure to keep the kids busy. A dry wadi, crossed by wooden bridges, runs through the middle of the park and there is also a small snack bar to satisfy the days cravings.
The main park in Al Ain (on Zayed Bin Sultan Street), Al Ain Public Garden is a tranquil spot amid the hustle and bustle. Walkways meander under shady trees, fountains are attractively lit at night and areas for younger children have a variety of play equipment. For the older kids, there is a small amusement arcade tucked away near the back entrance.
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