Year-round sunshine makes most months perfect for playing in the park. Pack your basket (or find a nearby sandwich spot) and bring the family to one of the best places for a picnic in Phoenix:


Margaret T. Hance Park

Named after Phoenix's first female mayor, this is the essential park for anyone near downtown Phoenix. The large space is home to a popular dog park, bike paths, and the Phoenix Center for the Arts — not to mention annual festivals such as M3F and the Phoenix Chinese Week Culture and Cuisine Festival. It sits next to Roosevelt Row and the Japanese Friendship Garden, so there's plenty to explore nearby. The park recently underwent a renovation as well, so everything looks new and pretty. 

67 W. Culver St., Phoenix

Where to eat:

You'll have an incredible amount of options to choose from since you're so close to Roosevelt Row, but if we had to pick, we'd get some barbecue from Trapp Haus BBQ


Civic Space Park

Since this park is smack dab in the middle of downtown Phoenix's high rises, Civic Space is a bit smaller than other spots. But that doesn't mean you should skip out on it: Downtown Phoenix Inc. and lots of other downtown organizations host all sorts of events there, such as outdoor movies and food trucks. The intimate spot is also best known for its iconic overhanging sculpture, "Her Secret is Patience," which lights up at night. 

424 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Where to eat:

It's a Phoenix right of passage to grab a pasty from the English-focused brewpub Cornish Pasty, and lucky for you, there's a location right up the street.  


Encanto Park

Encanto Park has been named one of America’s Best City Parks by Forbes, and with good reason. Rent a paddle boat, run around the giant play structure or head to Enchanted Island Amusement Park for some serious fun. Though the onsite amusement park is aimed at kids ages 2-10, the park has something for everyone in the family.

2605 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix

Where to eat:

Pick up some delectable Neapolitan pizza from Cibo, one of downtown Phoenix's best pizzerias. You can choose between “pizze rosse” (tomato-based), standouts such as the Marina (tomato sauce, fresh garlic, oregano, capers and anchovies), or “pizze bianchi” (tomato-free) with choices including the Quattro Formaggi (mozzarella, fontina, parmigiano, pecorino and gorgonzola).


Granada Park

Located adjacent to Piestewa Peak, Granada Park has a beautiful expanse of grass perfect for picnics. With the skyline of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve to the north of the park, you can't beat this view. The lagoon at the park attracts ducks, geese, and egrets, among other birds. 

6505 N 20th St, Phoenix

Where to eat:

Stop by Luci's Marketplace on your way to Granada Park for a salad or sandwich made with fresh, local ingredients, or if you're feeling all-day breakfast, they have that too. Luci's also has pressed juices, smoothies (with protein), and a wide selection of drinks.


Steele Indian School Park

Situated in the heart of Central Phoenix, Steele Indian School Park boasts acres of green grass, a massive bird-shaped lake stocked for fishing and a taste of local history: Walk around the Circle of Life cistern in the middle of the park for a glimpse of three historic buildings and interpretive columns on the history of the Phoenix Indian School.

300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Where to eat:

The edge-less sandwiches at Zookz (just north of the park) skip the crust, but not the flavor, in their warmly toasted, neatly sealed pockets. Go for a savory thin-sliced meat and cheese option, or sweet fillings including peanut butter and nutella. 


Freestone Park

This 120-acre park is at the center of Gilbert and a landmark in the growing town. There are two lakes, a skate park, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, softball fields, several playgrounds and plenty of room for the kids to run around. Don’t miss the train that circles the park all weekend long.

1045 E. Juniper Ave., Gilbert

Where to eat:

Less than two miles from Freestone is a Gilbert classic: Joe’s Real BBQ. Try the pulled pork sandwich, ribs, mac ‘n’ cheese, cole slaw or any of their other homemade dishes and sides.


McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Located in the heart of Scottsdale, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park has a bit of everything for kids and kids at heart. There is an antique carousel, museum and a few options for snacks and sweets nestled between the playgrounds, ramadas and green grass. Don’t forget to bring a couple bucks to ride the train and see the McCormick Historical Railroad Exhibit.

7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale

Where to eat:

Stop at DeFalco’s Deli, a Scottsdale staple, on the way for classic Italian subs.


Desert Horizon Park

Desert Horizon Park is especially unique because it offers plenty of picnic space, playgrounds and an outdoor fitness center. Placed throughout the one-mile jogging course are several stations designed to increase flexibility and muscle strength.

16002 56th St., Scottsdale

Where to eat: 

For a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, beer and vegetarian and kid-friendly options, check out the The Grotto Café, located just a couple miles north of Desert Willow Park.


Sahauro Ranch Park

This historic park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has activities for the whole family (including your dog). It houses four softball fields, soccer fields and volleyball courts found throughout the 80-acre park. Bring your little ones to one of the many playgrounds and EVOS park, which is a unique suspended playground for kids ages 5 and older. The off-leash dog recreation park allows your pup to run around and socialize, while you socialize with other pet owners.

9802 59th Ave., Glendale

Where to eat: 

Less than 10 minutes away is Rocket Burger, a West Valley favorite for burgers, subs and hot dogs. Make it a combo and wash your meal down with one of their famous bottled sodas.