Families and Kids

Perfect Parks for Picnicking in Tempe

Soak up the season with a Tempe park + picnic pairing.

It’s time to take full advantage of the perfect temps and enjoy the great outdoors in Tempe. Of course, there are countless ways to do this. But some occasions simply call for a good, old-fashioned picnic. Nothing says the most perfect season in Tempe is upon us quite like pairing delicious cuisine with serene landscapes for a perfect picnic at one of Tempe’s parks.

Tempe is home to a total of 50 parks, which offer a wide variety of amenities — from lakes to playgrounds, including some with inclusive playgrounds for kids of all abilities. Explore our list of top parks for picnic picnicking, which range from such fan favorites as Tempe Beach Park and Kiwanis Park to hidden gem neighborhood parks.

To elevate your next picnic, we’ve paired these locations with nearby Tempe restaurants. Super convenient! All you have to do it order your meals and goodies to-go, and then find the perfect perch for picnicking.

For more information about each park, visit the City of Tempe website, where you’ll also find up-to-date information about park amenities. Note: glass containers and alcohol (without a permit) are prohibited at all parks.

Estrada Park

1801 E. Palomino Drive, Tempe, AZ 85284

If you’re looking for an outing where your kids won’t come home with sand or wood chips in their shoes, this is the park for you. Beautifully maintained, Estrada Park features a foam floor under the park equipment, large mature trees for shade and plenty of benches and picnic tables. The playground offers a playset with slides, multiple swings, a metal rope climber and several spinning structures that the kids will love. There’s also an exercise circuit and a basketball court next to the playground for those looking for a workout while the kids play. A picnic here makes for a lovely way for the entire crew to spend the day.

NOTE: This park does not have bathroom facilities, so make sure everyone uses the bathroom first before heading to this park.

Here are a few great options for takeout just minutes from Estrada Park:

Kiwanis Park

5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85283

Honestly, Kiwanis Park has it all. From a wide variety of amenities to recreational offerings and activities, this 125-acre park encompasses sports fields, including batting cages and a recreation center, and a 12-acre lake that’s surrounded by mature trees and enough shade to make picnicking cool and comfortable. Before heading to the park, head to the Mill Towne Center (on the Southeast corner of Mill Ave. & Baseline Rd.) where you’ll find a variety of food options for your picnic feast. You’ll notice right away that this is a very active park with folks barbequing, jogging and dog walking. The hustle and bustle of the park made sitting that much more enjoyable. If you visit on a weekend, however, be sure to include Boat Rentals of America – Kiwanis Park in your plans. On Saturdays and Sundays, they’re open for business … renting out Surrey bikes, double kayaks and pedal boats (including duck-shaped option).

With nearby playgrounds, water recreation, ramadas and plenty of grassy space to play, you could spend half your day here. Families were expertly navigating the jungle gym, while others were playing frisbee with their beloved pets. There were even fishermen casting their lines. During summer months, the water play area — called The Cloud — is a place where parents can bring their kids to cool off when the temperatures are warm.

NOTE: There are public restrooms on-site throughout the park.


  • Easiest parking is street parking on Mill Ave., south of Baseline Rd.
  • You can also access parking lots from All America Way and walk down a hill to the main park.
    5922 S. All America Way, Tempe, AZ 85283
  • Lastly, you could park at The Cloud at Kiwanis Park.
    5233 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, AZ 85283

Here are the nearby takeout options:

Hanger Park

Rural and Knox roads, Tempe, AZ 85284

Situated in the Warner Ranch neighborhood, Hanger Park is perfect for families, sports lovers and picnic goers. With two jungle gyms, two swing sets and a tire swing, kiddos will have endless options here. There are two playgrounds, both adjacent to each other, with ramadas in between. Parents will have a great view from either the ramadas or the various benches near the playgrounds. Both play areas are equipped with sand and rubber surrounding the concourse, offering a safe environment to play.

For those who like to participate in organized sports, there are several designated zones for that too! Hanger is equipped with one basketball court, two soccer/mixed used fields and one sand volleyball court. Each sports court or field is located away from the playgrounds, so you can be sure that your littles are safe from stray balls. If neither of these activities interest you, this is also a great place for taking in the scenery and enjoying the great Tempe weather. Bring your bike, scooter or walking shoes, and explore the concrete paths winding in and around the park.

Fun fact: Hanger Park was designed to be used as an overflow retention basin for the Gila Drain. If you visit this location during monsoon season or after great rainfall, you may notice that this park looks more like a lake. While some might be tempted to bring a kayak or floatation device, don’t. We strongly advise against this!

Fun fact: Hanger Park was designed to be used as an overflow retention basin for the Gila Drain. If you visit this location during monsoon season or after great rainfall, you may notice that this park looks more like a lake. While some might be tempted to bring a kayak or floatation device, don’t. We strongly advise against this!

Here are a few great options for takeout just minutes from Hanger Park:

Creamery Park

1520 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281

Creamery Park is on the smaller side (comparatively speaking), but it has plenty of space for your dogs and kids to run around. They have a basketball court, a ramada and a playground. Plus, it is conveniently within walking distance of one of our favorite spots, Four Peaks Brewing Company. We got takeout from there and walked to the park to enjoy our delicious meal of 8th Street Chicken Strips with a side of their famous fries and Greek pita! We even got to watch a couple of people having a lacrosse match with still plenty of space to set up our picnic on the field. Another great walking-distance spot from the park is Infusion Coffee & Tea Crafters. This park is a perfect place for a Sunday morning walk with a cup of freshly brewed coffee from Infusion!

Fun fact: This park was named after a creamery, Borden Milk Co. Creamery and Ice Factory, which was once a major employer and a historic site in Tempe. The creamery is now occupied by Four Peaks Brewing Company and has since become a prominent local restaurant.

Here are a few great options for takeout near Creamery Park:

Selleh Park

Los Feliz and Aspen drives, Tempe, AZ 85282

This park is definitely a hidden gem. Selleh Park is located in the middle of a neighborhood off of McClintock Drive between Broadway and Southern. Its most unique feature is a pond with lots of ducks and even a turtle or two. It also has a basketball court, a playground with a fun climbing tower, restroom facilities and lots of picnic tables and grills.

I went with my family on a recent Sunday afternoon. We brought our dog, Zoey, and a picnic blanket and ordered takeout from Los Reyes de la Torta. There were a few people enjoying the park, but there was lots of room to spread out. A walking path provides easy access around the park, including great views of the pond. It’s a quiet spot and honestly, I felt much more Zen after spending time there. And, it doesn’t hurt that Los Reyes de la Torta’s Mexican food is oh so delicious.

Selleh Park

Fun fact: Selleh Park is named for Joe Selleh, a long-time Tempe resident who owned a local sporting goods store, helped gain support for Tempe’s first municipal golf course, Rolling Hills, and helped found the local Boys & Girls Club.

Here are a few solid options for takeout near Sellah Park:

Daley Park

1625 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

Daley Park is a 17-acre local gem, one of the largest public parks in Tempe. They have all the amenities you can possibly think of: basketball courts, baseball and softball fields, volleyball courts, built-in horseshoe pits and concrete cornhole setups. You will never get bored here. The playground is quite large, with about 7 or 8 slides and different kinds of swings. If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed the 400-foot mural by College Avenue between Broadway Road and Apache Boulevard next to the railroad tracks. This colorful mural is called “Meet Me at Daley Park,” painted by Jake Early. It is an amazing artwork portraying a historical timeline of the neighborhood, so check it out if you haven’t seen it! Read more about it on our mural blog.

We set up another picnic here with our takeout from Board & Brew, which is a great place to get specialty sandwiches and craft beers. We chose this place because it is only a five-minute drive from Daley Park, and their sandwiches are perfect to just grab and go. Their portions are massive, but boy, did it blow our minds for how good it was! We got the California Delight and the Beef Dip with Au Jus. But the best part about Board & Brew is their specialty secret sauce to dip your sandwiches in. Okay, I’m drooling just writing this.

Here are a few options for takeout near Daley Park:

  • Board & Brew
    1015 S. Rural Road, #105 Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-781-2900
  • Ahipoki
    1015 S. Rural Road, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 248-9834

Ten01 Park

Northeast of Scottsdale Road and Tempe Town Lake

Picnics are more fun in private so that’s why we love to go to the “Ten01” Park located on Tempe Town Lake. If you go to the north side of the lake, and take the bike path east past Rural Road, you’ll find this little hidden gem park wrapped along the sidewalk. Part of the park is designed to be more of a dog park with the other half is super close to the lake itself with blue picnic tables and a grassy area. We love to sit on the grass and stare at the gorgeous Tempe skyline and “A” Mountain before hopping back on our bikes to continue exploring lakeside.


Contribution by Lacy Cain, owner of Wild Joy Experiences

Here are a few options for takeout near Ten:01 Park:

Ten01 Park | Photo credit: Wild Joy Experiences
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