Some Joburg parks prohibit braaiing while others that allow it usually require you to braai only at the designated purpose-built stands. If you do decide to braai in the park we recommend arriving very early to stake out your spot. Bring your own braai grid to use (there are those who would rub any rusty piece of metal with an onion and tell you it's fine, we're not one of them). Remember you are in a public space so be a good citizen. Don't ruin the peace with overbearing bluetooth speakers, clear up after yourself and be careful with your fire.
Here's a look at some places to go for your next braai in the park.
Where to braai: There are built-in brick braai stands or you can also bring your own braai stands.
47 Boeing W Rd, Bedfordview
Emmarentia DamOne of the biggest parks in Joburg, Emmarentia Dam and the adjoining Johannesburg Botanical Gardens is a popular weekend picnic spot and loved by dog walkers. The dam itself plays host to watersports enthusiasts and flocks of Egyptian Geese and there's plenty of space on the vast open lawns for picnics, flying a kite or kicking a ball about. In the Botanical Gardens are some lovely rose gardens, a popular spot with couples tying the knot to get their wedding pictures taken.
Where to braai: Note that you can only braai at the dedicated braai area, situated along the eastern banks of the dam.
Olifants Rd, Emmarentia
Sandton Field and Study Park
Sandton doesn't have a lot of public parks and this green space is definitely one of the best. There's a huge kids playground with lots of jungle gyms, space to ride a bike and even an equestrian centre. Running through the middle is the serene Braamfontein Spruit and at the entrance you'll find the kid-friendly River Cafe.
Where to Braai: There are around a dozen dedicated brick braai stands a short walk from the car park. Most are located under trees so you can catch some shade and are far enough away from each other to mean you're not constantly engulfed in the smoke of nearby braais.
Cnr Louise Ave and 14th St, Parkmore
Florida LakeLocated in suburban Roodepoort, the park at Florida Lake is a welcome breath of fresh air in the West Rand. Also declared a bird sanctuary it's a delight for birdwatchers. The lake itself is popular with canoeists and for families there's a good playground and happily plenty of space to picnic or braai. If you're in the area on a Saturday morning check out the Florida Lake Flea Market (open 07:00–12:00) where you can pick up everything from jewellery to farm-fresh produce, home-baked pastries, kids toys, DIY tools and all kinds of bric-a-brac.
Where to braai: There's a large designated braaing area with a few purpose-built dedicated stands or you can bring your own.
Florida Lake, Roodepoort, West Rand
A premier green space where you can feed the ducks, set up a picnic, braai, hire a rowing boat, play basketball and generally enjoy a wholesome family day out. There are two large jungle gyms and play areas plus a bowling club and the Zoo Lake swimming pool (open in summer). Ice-cream sellers roam the place on bikes and vendors selling shiny kids' toys and novelties are never too far away. On summer weekends families and big groups of people intent on a good time swell the place and it can get loud, so if you want a quiet family gathering try come during the week.
Where to braai: There is one designated braai area closest to the parking entrance on the Parkview side of the park and bringing your own braais is prohibited. This is a mass communal braai area so be prepared to make some new friends!
Prince of Wales Dr, Parkwood
OUT OF TOWNIf you are a hiking fan there are a few spots where you can follow up a morning trek with a lunchtime braai.
Brookwood Trout Farm
R374, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp, tel +27 72 256 7561, brookwoodtroutfarm.co.za.Entrance R100, under 12s R60, fishing rod hire R50, caugh trout costs R130 per kg.
Entrance to trail off the R511 (10km south of the R105 junction), tel +27 82 825 9205. Entrance costs R100. Find out more here.
R96 (just of the R563), Magaliesburg, tel. +27 64 528 9339. Entrance costs R70, kids under 12 R3. Find out more here.