Blog

Harris Park is the Perfect Picnic Park With a View

One of the best things about London Ontario is how many amazing parks there are in our city. We are incredibly lucky to have parks all over the city and each park offers something different for those who visit. Harris Park is the absolute perfect park for a picnic. It’s a park with a view and is host to many incredible events. The fact that it’s on the edge of our bustling neighbourhood of downtown London is also a great bonus. I mean, anything that you want is so close by that you can spend an entire day in the park with anything that you need just a quick walk away.

This park is the perfect park for spending a day in the sun on a summer weekend. It’s that quintessential kind of park that has giant green space for playing with frisbees and throwing around a ball, shady spots for lazy reading, and picture-perfect views.

I love the fact that if you work downtown, you can quickly access the park on your lunch for a chance to stretch your legs, eat your lunch outside, and enjoy the sunshine, and all in a beautiful park with a view.

Main Park Features

Shaded trees

If you’re looking for a park to have a picnic, Harris Park is the perfect park for it. It has many large trees that are widely spaced out and cast nice shade for you to take shelter from the sun. If you want to spend the day playing catch or tossing around the frisbee, you’ll have many shade options to choose from to cool off for a bit.

 

Picnic tables

If picnics on the ground are not your thing, there are plenty of picnic tables in Harris Park for you to sit around and enjoy your lunch or dinner. Try packing a deck of cards with your stuff so that when you get tired of activities in the day, you can sit down at a picnic table and play cards in the sunshine and enjoy the beautiful view before you.

 

Thames River

Is there anything more idyllic than a park nestled beside a beautiful river? The Thames river flows quietly and softly beside Harris Park, making it absolutely picturesque for a picnic. Watch the wildlife on the river as you sit on the river bank under the shade of a tree and breathe in the summertime. With the stunning river and bright green space, Harris Park is a park with a view.

 

Geese and ducks

The park is home to many geese and ducks. You can feed the ducks. You can spend the day relaxing and watching the ducks. Or you can curse at the ducks when they inevitably get in your way when you’re trying to bike down the path. Either way, the cute ducks do add to the picturesque setting of Harris Park.

 

Paths

They have paths for biking, walking, and pushing strollers. The path goes right along the Thames River, giving you a perfect view for your stroll. And then loops up around the field.

 

Large field

Right in the center of Harris Park lays a large stretch of bright green field. It’s absolutely perfect for all of those idealistic park activities such as tossing the frisbee around in the sunshine or playing a leisurely game of catch as the sun sparkles off of the river. The field is big enough that you could even organize a casual game of soccer or even touch football with your friends. Could anything be better than spending a lazy summer day in the sun playing around with your friends in a beautiful park with a beautiful view and then settling down at a picnic table under a shady tree and having a delicious lunch to re-energize you for the rest of the day.

 

Bandshell

There is a bandshell in Harris Park, which can offer shade and shelter if mother nature decides to rain on your sunshiney day. There are plans to renovate the bandshell. They are going to update it and make it a really beautiful addition to the park. They also want to add in a memento to Canada’s 150 years in the remodelling of the bandshell. They also want to connect it to the path, which will make it accessible. Lastly, they want to re-orient it so that it’s facing a more picturesque view.

 

Photo by Scott Webb

Boat ramp

There is a great spot for launching small boats, canoes, or kayaks. Imagine spending a day on the relaxing Thames River and then coming back to Harris Park to have a nice picnic lunch. If you want to fish, you can catch walleye and different kinds of bass in the Thames River (just make sure that you have your fishing license up to date and on you).

 

Events

 

Rock the Park

Over 15 years ago, this annual music festival was created for Londoners to enjoy. Of course, they could not have chosen a more beautiful venue than a park with a view, right alongside the river. It’s a nice, large space, which is perfect for a music festival, and it’s in the heart of the city. It’s also a very short walk to downtown, which is great for establishments and for concert goers because anything they could possibly want is close by.

The event is not just for fun either, it has a deep connection with raising money for great causes. For the first 12 years, Rock the Park was in connection with Bethany’s Hope Foundation. Over the years it has raised over 3 million for local charities.

The event has a general area, which includes two large beer gardens for the thirsty people, food stations, as well as a standing area in front of the stage. There are also VIP areas which have tabled seating close to the stage, as well as separate washrooms, entrance, and food/bar stations. Private Suites: hold up to 40 people, access to private bar service and washrooms

The event started with just classic rock, but has since expanded its musical horizons and has country music, the latest and greatest, as well as nostalgic bands and the classics. Big names come to London to play here and people flock to this beautiful park to enjoy a whole day of music, great vibes, food and drinks.

 

Canada Day

If you can only go to one place in London on Canada Day, it should be Harris Park. It’s an all-day festival that is completely free to attend in this beautiful park with a view. There is amazing food and beverage stations set up throughout the park. Vendors are scattered throughout for people to see their art and beautiful craftsmanship and wares. There is live entertainment throughout the day as well as multicultural performances.

There is also a heritage corner so that you can revisit all of the things that make this country great on the day that we celebrate it. There are delicious cupcakes and a beer garden. Interactive games can be played and there is even a kids zone for your little ones to enjoy. Of course, the whole thing leads up to the main event which is absolutely breathtaking fireworks that light up the night sky and gives Canada a true celebration.

 

BlockParty

Blockparty is one of London’s best events in the whole year. It’s a great music festival and one giant party. It has amazing performances by the biggest and hottest names for performers. The music is pumping and the vibes are great. And it all happens right in Harris Park, which means that you’re in the beautiful outdoors in a park with a stunning view. It’s close to downtown, which means that the party can continue on throughout the night.

 

Bluesfest

Harris Park also hosts Bluesfest which is a great music festivals for fans of blues music. It’s three days of live blues music set in the stunning view of Harris Park. There are craft and food vendors throughout the park for the event.

 

Things Close by

Ivey park

Harris Park and Ivey Park flow into one another, which means that you get the benefit of moving from one park to another and enjoy the elements that both parks have to offer. Ivey park has a small playground for kids as well as a refreshing splash pad for those hot summer days when your kids just want to cool down. So if you’re over at Harris Park, enjoying the beautiful view, and having an amazing picnic, but shade simply is not cutting the summer heat, you can take a short walk over to Ivey Park to cool off before going back and playing frisbee on the beautiful green space.

Museum London: If you’re spending a day in the sun and want to leave the park for a bit to go and do something, Museum London is right there! They have wonderful exhibits, and if you’ve been there before there is a good chance that they have something different there because they’re always changing things up. Museum London also is home to the bakery Red Rhino, which is absolutely yummy. If you have not gone, I would totally recommend going.

Covent Garden Market

Don’t worry about packing a lunch for a picnic. Just walk up the short distance to the bustling and beautiful Covent Garden Market. Grab some fresh, local produce, grab some delicious cheese, grab some freshly baked bread and some meat sticks and then head back to Harris Park. You can grab a nice shady spot under one of the many trees, take a look at that picturesque view of the river, and enjoy a good, old-fashioned picnic, without the big wicker basket to carry around. And if you want something sweet like an ice cream or truffle chocolates later in the day once you’ve strolled, and read, and played cards, and tossed the frisbee around, you can stroll back up to the Covent Garden Market to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Restaurants

If picnics are not your thing, or if you had your picnic and continued on with your lazy summer day in the park, reading, talking, playing in the field and strolling around the walkways, and want to grab dinner, there are so many restaurants close by within walking distance from the park. The Works, an amazingly delicious burger joint, is right close by. There is also Oliver Twists and Waldos, which is attached to the Market and have patios. Perhaps you’re into something a little different want to try out Thaifoon or Tamarine for delicious Thai food. If you’re into pizza, zen’Za Pizzaria couldn’t be closer to the park if it wanted to be. And if you’re in the mood for delicious pie, Billy’s Downtown Deli is so close and so amazingly delicious.

But maybe you’re not looking for a meal. If you just want a delicious cup of hot joe while you enjoy your day in the park, there are two coffee joints in the Covent Garden Market. Fireroasted is a very short walk from the park and coffee in the Rhino Lounge is basically right there.

 

Shopping

Since the park is right on the edge of downtown, you’re a short walk from so many amazing shops. The closest (and some of my favourites) include Über Cool Stuff, which is packed full of games, and nerdy items, and the coolest odds and ends that you could ever think of, as well as Jill’s Table, which is full of gourmet ingredients and amazing cook and bakeware. You’re also a very short walk from Citi Plaza, which has shopping stores as well.

If you’re looking for a park with a river view where you have plenty of space to play park-sports with your friends or catch up on your reading under a shady spot, then you’re going to want to head over to Harris Park. It’s close to downtown in case you need anything or have a sudden burst of wanting to be part of the city again. It’s the absolute perfect park for a picnic.

Enjoy one of the many great parks that London Ontario has to offer. Harris Park might just be one of many, but it’s one that is in a great location, is perfect for picnics, and has an idyllic view. So make sure to visit the beautiful park throughout the year.