What are your plans for the long summer holidays? Indoor & outdoor games all done? We must keep looking for the new that already exists. This summer vacation, I am planning to explore a little bit of Mumbai with my daughter. It’s embarrassing that I have been living in this city and calling it my home for almost a decade, but still haven’t seen much of it.
Apparently, there are many fun places to visit in Mumbai! No, no, I am not talking about the Essel World, Kidzania or the umpteen malls with their soft indoor play areas. These places are different, but could be equally fun for you and your kids!
I have heard so much about it, that it has to be at the topmost on my list. Apart from being home to various flora and fauna including leopards, striped hyena, antelopes and deer, this park is also where the famous Kanheri caves are. There are various bus safaris so that you can watch the majestic lions and tigers in their natural habitat. There is also a crocodile park and a boating facility. There are various nature trails and treks if you want to explore the park further.
Museums: You will be surprised to know that there are not one, but three very interesting museums for kids to check out.
1. Monetary or coin museum in Ballard Estate run by the Reserve Bank of India takes you on a historical tour of India through coinage. They have coins dating back to 600 BC to today’s Gandhi-covered notes. It’s a must see for kids to know the money that was used before plastic cards took over.
2. Prince of Wales Museum or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya can be as mouthful as it can be overwhelming. The natural history section of the museum is much touted for its wonderful exhibit of indigenous birds and animals.
3. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum or the Victoria and Albert Musuem is the oldest museum in Mumbai. Located in the popular Jijamata Udyan, the museum has a fabulous collection of archaeological finds, maps and historical photographs of Mumbai, clay models, and silver and copperware. What’s more! You will be stunned by a giant elephant sculpture parked outside. It’s believed to have originated from the Elephanta Island.
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Parks: I am not talking about the one in your lane, though there is nothing wrong with it. But, how about exploring the other beautiful parks of Mumbai. For example, the Kamla Raheja Park in Santa Cruz, popularly known as the aeroplane garden is a big hit with kids for its airplane structure. Or the Kamla Nehru Children’s Park in South Mumbai with its iconic boot house. Even the newly constructed Amarsons garden by the sea at Breach Candy has a lot of kid-friendly rides. You could also consider amusement parks like Wonder Park in Nerul.
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Aquariums: Taraporewala aquarium at Marine Drive, the oldest aquarium of Mumbai was re-opened in March 2015 after it was suitably renovated. The aquarium hosts marine and freshwater fishes, has a long acrylic glass tunnel and special pools where children can touch harmless fish. Another aquarium is in the western suburbs called the Dolphin Irla aquarium. Apart from fishes, it even has a boating pond and a toy train. There are ducks, emus, rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, and squirrels that will make kids go crazy with delight.
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Dhobighat: Today’s kids know washing of only one kind, the one that their washing machine does. So how about opening their eyes by taking them to Dhobighat where they will actually see how the real laundry has always been done. They will love it when heaps and heaps of colourful clothes are washed, rinsed, shaken and dried in the open.
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Forts: For kids who love wilderness, and wouldn’t mind a bit of walking, a one-day visit to Vasai fort is ideal. Away from the hustle bustle of the city life, kids will love the tales about the Portuguese rule. Take a picnic hamper and enjoy it in the peaceful environment. For others less enthusiastic about driving far can go to Bandra Fort. It was built by the Portuguese and has been recently restored.
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Chhota Kashmir: That’s what Aarey Colony is popularly called. Go for a picnic in the gardens, stare at the giant cacti or take a boat ride.
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Gateway of India: Apart from enjoying a pleasant breeze and nibbling on cotton candy, kids will enjoy the sight of boats and yachts bobbing in the sea. Just a short hop away, there is the famous Gupta sugarcane juice center. It would be a crime to not buy a glass of freshly crushed sweet nectar from there.
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Prithvi Theater: Watch kids play at Prithvi Theater. They host many plays especially for children. And treat your child to the ever popular bun-maska at their cafe.
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Do drop by and create memories of your own this summer! Write to us if you find any other interesting places that we missed out in this list.
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