Mumbai has a way of consuming one’s days and nights. If you’re looking at your calendar and wondering just where the entire summer just went and have absolutely no time for even a weekend getaway, let us recommend these places for a one-day picnic. ALSO SEE Top 5 romantic honeymoon destinations that offer visa on arrival for Indians

1. Elephanta Island

Elephanta


Photograph courtesy: alchimiae/Creative Commons

A ferry-ride away from the iconic Gateway of India, Elephanta Island is a perfect spot for history buffs. The caves, known for their marvellous sculptures of the Hindu god Shiva, were built between the 5th and 8th centuries AD and make for a great one-day excursion. Know that the island does not have electricity and so you cannot stay the night. Take the ferry back; your kids will probably thank you for the ride and the history lesson.

Entry Fee: Rs 10 per person

2. Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park

Hanging Garden

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Located in Malabar Hill, the tony residential area of south Mumbai, Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park are two of the most iconic open spaces in the city. With plenty of shady trees, a children’s play area and a walking track, the garden and park have been traditional favorites for as long as they’ve existed. Pack lunch and a frisbee and you wouldn’t know how the day went by!

Entry Fee: Free

3. Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Spread across an area of 104 sq km, the sylvan surroundings of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are the lungs of the teeming metropolis. Rent a bicycle to explore the park, take a leisurely stroll, visit the lion safari and take the toy train or drive all the way up to the 2400-year-old Kanheri Caves.

Entry Fee: Rs 30 per person

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4. Vasai Fort

Vasaifort

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Vasai Fort or Fort Bassein is one of the popular picnic spots in Mumbai. The fort serves as a popular location not just for Bollywood movies but also amateur filmmakers. Though much of it is in ruins, the fort does make for a good one-day trip. And who knows which Bollywood star you may run into here, right?

Entry Fee: Free

5. Kelva Beach

KelvaBeach

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking forward to a relaxing time, head straight to Kelva Beach. Stroll on the beach and explore the fort nearby. There are many cheap accommodation options in the area and they also offer day-package for groups.

6. Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Karnala

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

This small sanctuary offers a welcome break from the crowd and pollution of the city. Located just ahead of Panvel, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a good place to spot birds. But the main attraction here is the Karnala Fort, which sits high on the hill in the heart of the sanctuary.

Entry Fee: Rs 30 per person

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7. Khandala and Lonavala

Lonavala

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Not list about places to visit from Mumbai can ever be complete without two of the most famous hill stations, Lonavala and Khandala. Located along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the hill stations have many attractions like Karla Buddhist Caves, Bushi Dam and lakes that’ll keep you busy.

8. Essel World

EsselWorld

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

If its adrenalin rush you are looking for, what better place to head to than the city’s oldest amusement park. Located in Gorai in north Mumbai, Essel World has a skating rink, roller coaster and several other fun rides that will keep you AND your children entertained the whole day. The neighboring Water Kingdom also lives up to the hype; a swimsuit is all you need!

Entry Fee: Rs 699 for children, Rs 949 for adults and Rs 399 for senior citizen

9. Karjat

Karjat

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Located near Panvel, Karjat is known for its lush greenery and beautiful countryside. You can go for treks, rafting on the Ulhas River and explore ancient Buddhist caves. There are many resorts that offer cheap packages for a single day picnic.

10. Matheran

Matheran

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Another popular hill station near Mumbai, Matheran is also perfect for a one-day picnic. Start your day early at the Charlotte Lake and then visit the Louisa point. Have lunch and continue your tour to the other viewing points. For those who love adventure sports, try valley crossing from Honeymoon point to Louisa point.

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