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Prime parks perfect for a picnic with panache
By Pan Zheng

AMID Shanghai's towering skyscrapers and seemingly endless blocks of concrete, there are numerous parks that are great places for a picnic.

Most parks in the city have big lawns and allow visitors to have picnics - just make sure to clean up afterward and not leave any trash behind.

A picnic isn't a picnic without a large blanket or towel to place on the grass. A small tent is also recommended as it provides shelter from the sun if you are not fortunate enough to get a spot under a tree, gives more privacy if you want to take a nap after eating and also provides better protection for your belongings.

The following parks have good lawns and facilities for those who fancy a picnic. But don't forget to check the weather report before you go.

Century Park

Century Park in the Pudong New Area is the biggest park in downtown Shanghai with an area of 140.3 hectares. It features large lawns, forests and lakes. It is surrounded by modern high-rises.

Both the Lawn Area and Country Garden Area are great for picnics.

The park is popular, especially on weekends. Colorful tents dot the lawns while a kaleidoscope of kites dangle in the sky when the weather is nice.

An admission fee of 10 yuan (US$1.6) is charged to prevent overcrowding.

Entertainment facilities such as boating, bicycling and fishing are available.

There is a supermarket outside the Century Park Station of Metro Line 2, which allows picnickers to stock up on supplies.

Address: 1001 Jinxiu Road

Open hours: 7am-6pm

Admission: 10 yuan

Gongqing Forest Park

Located on Jungong Road in Yangpu District, Gongqing Forest Park is probably one of the most popular places for youngsters to hold outdoor parties. It's a huge park with a total area of 131 hectares, of which 124.7 hectares are open to the public.

A lawn about 93,200 square meters is in the center of the park. It is surrounded by trees and bushes.

There's also a barbecue area near the lawn where guests can rent a barbecue and buy meat skewers.

Address: 2000 Jungong Road

Open hours: 6am-4:30pm

Admission: 15 yuan

Gucun Park

The park now occupies about 180 hectares in Gucun Town of Baoshan District although upon completion it will cover 400 hectares.

Its biggest claim to fame is its blossoms. Cherry blossoms draw big crowds in spring, lotus flowers rule in the summer, osmanthus blooms take over in autumn and plum florets add color to the area in winter.

There are several large lawns along the river and lake. Depending on the season, visitors can also dig up their own bamboo shoots, pick fruit and plant vegetables.

Address: 4788 Hutai Road

Open hours: 5am-6pm

Admission: 20 yuan

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164