In today’s busy schedules, when everyone has only a limited time for friends and family, day outings and picnics have considerably reduced. Looking back at my childhood days, I remember, we frequently used to go out to parks or gardens with our parents and other family members and friends on holidays; that was the time meant only for fun, relaxation and interaction with each other. Today, these outings have confined themselves to just malls and theatres; family interactions and spending quality time with each other have taken a backseat. Moreover, children these days do not get exposed to natural environments such as parks, hills or lakes; which plays an important role in their growth. As the saying goes, ‘nature is a great teacher’, scenic pleasure in the form of short picnics help kids learn many new and practical things which are not in their books. So, take out some time from your busy schedule and plan a short picnic with your friends, families and kids on a weekend or holiday- pick any picnic destination nearby your location from the list below.
An iconic symbol of Delhi as well as the country, ‘India Gate’ is one of the favourite picnic spots for many. Lush green lawns around India Gate; provide perfect settings for lunch with friends and family during balmy winter afternoons. Gorge on a delicious roasted ‘bhutta’, have a tangy ‘fruit chaat’, ’enjoy a spicy ‘bhelpuri’ or relish on a chilled ‘ice-cream’ in cold winter evenings. Celebrate your picnic with a memorable boat ride or revel in the mesmerizing views of India Gate adorned in dazzling lights surrounded with colourful fountains, during late evenings.
‘Pratapgarh Farms’ located near Delhi in Jhajjar district of the state of Haryana, is a small charming holiday village, perfect for spending a fun-filled day with your family, friends or office colleagues. With a plethora of activities, unlimited food, live music and dance, adventure sports and games; the place is ideal to have a memorable and wonderful day. Enjoy a camel cart ride or a horse ride, indulge in unlimited fun of playing some ethnic and forgotten games like ‘gilli danda’, ‘pitthu’ or ‘kanche’, enjoy the sights of rural women pounding grains and cooking on hearths, or revel in an exciting experience of ‘pottery making’ or ‘matka painting’. You can also indulge here, in some modern sports activities such as ‘Table Tennis’, ‘Carrom’ or ‘Badminton’. The picnic is incomplete without relishing on some delicious rural delicacies constituting ‘Bajre ki Khichdi served with Ghee Bura’ or ‘Sarson ka Saag with Makke ki Roti’.
Located in Garhmukteshwar, just a short drive from Delhi, the ‘Baghaan Orchard Retreat’ is a great option for a much needed family break, away in the lap of green and tranquil environment. Spend the whole day in activities like ‘Ziplining’, ‘Rappelling’ or ‘Archery’ or sit back and relax while enjoying indoor games such as ‘Carom’ or ‘Table Tennis’. The place is also great for kids – take them on a bullock cart ride in the nearby fields or let them play in the refreshing waters of the swimming pool. Enjoy a lovely evening in the cottage with sumptuous dinner or plan for your own bar-be-que for a fun-filled evening.
Located near Panchkula, ‘Morni Hills’ is one of the favourite picnic spots for the people living in the nearby areas. Set amidst thick forest cover of pine trees, the place is ideal for spending a relaxed day, away from the hullabaloo of the city life. Cool weather, picturesque surroundings of the hills and the ‘Tikkar Taal’ lake, and fun of light adventure sports such as trekking and rock-climbing, make this place an ideal destination to spend some quality time with friends and family. Boat ride on the serene man-made lake, combined with some fun of bird-watching adds to the charm of a fun-filled day at the Morni Hills.
The iconic ‘Rock Garden’ in Chandigarh, is one of the major tourist attractions of the city. Known for its art objects and sculptures made of urban and industrial waste such as broken frames, cutlery, bangles, auto parts etc., the Rock Garden is an epitome of innovation and creativity. Take idle strolls in the pathways, appreciating the artwork or enjoy a boat ride on a small man-made lake inside the gardens.
The beautiful and serene ‘Sukhna Lake’ in Chandigarh, makes for an ideal picnic destination where you can spend lovely time with your friends and family. Walk on the pathways along the lake enjoying the cool breeze, take an enjoyable boat ride, or gorge on some tasty food served in the nearby food stalls; thereafter, head back to home after spending some relaxed and stress-free moments with family.
Situated at a distance of around 40 km. from Mumbai, ‘Manori Island’ with its palm fringed beaches of Manori and Gorai, makes an ideal picnic spot for Mumbaikars who are short of time to drive to far-off exotic places. Tucked away from mad crowds, you can spend here a quiet and relaxed time with your family. Just walk around the beach, fiddle with sand to make sand houses with kids or enjoy the packed home-made food under the shade of a palm tree – all in all, a good idle break at Manori is sure to make you feel refreshed and revitalised.
Karnala near Panvel in Maharashtra is one of the most famous picnic destinations in Maharashtra. Individuals, school, college and corporate groups can plan out a fun-filled day at the ‘Panoramic Resort’, an amusement and water park, where picnickers can enjoy water rides, indulge in fun of rain-dance or just sit back and relax in the lush lawns. Nature and bird lovers can visit the ‘Karnala Bird Sanctuary’ nearby, to experience the fun and excitement of the sights of some rare and colourful birds. Picnickers seeking some adventure fun can indulge in trekking and rock climbing to the ‘Karnala Fort’.
Kolad is another fun destination for day picnickers, who travel here with friends and family to spend a day in lap of Mother Nature. ‘Tamhini Falls’ in the area is a great picnic place where people can have a relaxed time swimming and playing in the gushing waters of the falls. The place is also a paradise for trekkers and adventure lovers owing to its plethora of adventure activities such as white-water rafting on the Kundalika River, river rappelling, river zip-lining, rock-climbing and trekking.
Famous for its pristine weather, strawberry farms, picturesque valleys, and beautiful lake, ‘Venna’, Mahabaleshwar is one of the most visited destinations by day picnickers from Mumbai and Pune. Enjoy boat rides on the serene lake, indulge in some horse-riding, pick strawberries from the famous ‘Mapro Garden’ or enjoy the scenic vistas of valleys and nature around – in a nutshell, nothing can be better than this for a day outing with kids and family.
The ‘Sinhgad Fort’ near Pune is an ideal place to have a day picnic with your family and friends. Located on a hill top, you can either drive or choose to indulge in some trekking fun up to the fort. Historic gates of the fort depict the glory of the Maratha Rule in the bygone era. Pay a visit to the Kali Temple inside the fort and catch some scenic views of the Pune city and its surroundings from the hill top. Complete your trip by taking in some mesmerizing views of the setting sun while enjoying the delicious ‘onion bhaji’ and ‘vada pav’, which is a speciality of this place.
Located close to Bangalore, ‘Nandi Hills’ is a nice picnic spot for a day outing with friends and family. Take your own food along, and enjoy watching the scenic vistas, feeling the cool breeze of air brushing your face. With lack of options for adventure or sports activities, you can choose to have a quiet and peaceful time with family. While returning, pay a short visit to the old temple on the hills.
Located near Bangalore, the ‘Bannerghatta National Park’ is a good spot to go out for a day with your kids. Explore the park on a jeep safari to sight tigers, leopards, elephants and other wild animals, indulge in some boating on the Swarnamukhi stream, watch colourful butterflies at the butterfly park, take an elephant ride with kids, or get a glimpse of few caged animals, birds and reptiles at the mini zoo once you are done with the park exploration, enjoy some delicious food at the restaurant inside the park.
Picnics and day outings play a significant role in bonding you with your families, kids and friends. Today’s hectic schedules have not left us with much time for recreation and fun activities, but, if we can make some great use of whatever free time we have with us to socialize, it will not only help us to refresh and rejuvenate from our monotonous routines but, will also make our families, especially kids happy. Picnic spots listed above are very few, if you have been to some other great picnic destinations in India, please share with us.