20 exciting things to do with kids in Mumbai

I’ve been planning to write this post for quite a while, but kept postponing in fear of getting stuck in the middle of it forever – there are way too manly things to do with kids in Mumbai:) It’s been a lot of fun to explore the city with my trio – Adriana, Alexandra, and Ares. Here I’ve gathered 20 ideas of child-friendly activities in Mumbai, but I’m sure I’ll keep updating this post, so stay tuned 🙂

 My top 20 things to do with kids in Mumbai

Walk from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to the Gateway of India

Walk from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to the Gateway of India and admire the heritage buildings on the way. It’s so much fun. Make sure to point out interesting details to your child. Depending on the architectural style, my Adriana calls the heritage building of South Mumbai either Aladdin’s palace (if the building features prominent Islamic elements) or Quasimodo’s castle (if the structure is basically Gothic).

Ride a double-decker bus

The kids will love to ride on the top section and enjoy the views sitting on the front seats. There are not so many routes with double-decker buses left in the city – the best option would be to take a ride on the bus No. 138, departing from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (SCT) bus stand and going towards Colaba.

Double-decker buses in Mumbai

Double-decker buses in Mumbai

Observing the city from one of them

Observing the city from one of them

Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere near the Gateway of India

It’s a popular touristic place where people get to see not only the magnificent arch of the Gateway, but also the legendary Taj hotel – one of the most recognized landmarks of the city. There are always lots of vendors offering their services, and it’s also a place to take a ferry to the Elephanta island. But if you’d like to avoid the crowds and have some quiet time looking at the sun rising over the Arabian sea, come early in the morning, just like we usually do.

Alexandra is running around

Alexandra is running around

Adriana is looking at the sea

Adriana is looking at the sea

Visit the Elephanta island

Perhaps your kids won’t find the rock-cut caves with sculptures of the Hindu gods particularly interesting, but you will, trust me! As for kids, they’ll love the sea journey, the monkeys, the toy train, roasted corn on the cob, huge variety of souvenirs where you can buy them “I love Mumbai” T-shirts and so on.

The ferry ride

The ferry ride

The toy train

The toy train

The monkeys

The monkeys

Go boating 

 If you’re short of time, the ferry ride to the Elephanta can be replaced by a quick boat ride – there are lots of boatmen offering their very affordable services near the Gateway of India. From what I’ve heard, for many Mumbai dwellers going for a boat ride with their parents is one of the sweetest childhood memories, and I’m sure your kids will appreciate this little adventure too.

The boats

The boats

Pay a visit to the Hanging Garden

I know, I’ve criticized this place rather harshly in one of my posts, but it does have thing to offer to its smallest visitors – a lovely playpark, a giant Shoe with a spiral staircase and lots of windows, and beautiful flowers.

Also read: There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – the giant Mumbai Shoe in Hanging Gardens

Giant Shoe

Giant Shoe

Go to the Byculla Zoo

Yes, there are lots of empty cages and the place is not so well maintained as we all would like it to be, but it seems children hardly notice these things – they are happy to explore the beautiful garden, to see some exotic varieties of birds and animals, to feed the squirrels (my advice – buy some roasted peanuts specially for this purpose), to observe hundreds of bats hanging from the tree and so on.

In the zoo

In the zoo

The squirrels

The squirrels

People taking pictures with my Ares :)

People taking pictures with my Ares 🙂

Learn about the history of Mumbai in Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

 Next to the Byculla Zoo there is Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum – go there with your little ones to learn about history of Mumbai. Children especially like dioramas and clay figures representing people of different backgrounds and professions.

You may also like: My cultural shock: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Clay models

Clay models

Clay models

Clay models

Dioramas in Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Dioramas in Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Explore the galleries of the Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)

And speaking of museums, Prince of Wales Museum (or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) is a must. The place is gigantic and it’s highly unlikely you’ll cover all the sections in one go, so choose whatever you kids like more – sculptures, paintings, coins, weaponry, natural history and so on.

Prince of Wales Museum

Prince of Wales Museum

Get immersed in the underwater world 

Explore the underwater world in renovated Taraporewala Aquarium. Don’t count on the wow-effect – there are no tunnels with sharks swimming over your head, but still, your little ones will get to see newts and frogs, seahorses, catfish and jellyfish, anemones, lionfish, sea turtles and many other varieties.

Suggested to you: A visit to renovated Taraporewala Aquarium in Mumbai – the fun in underwater world

Taraporewala Aquarium

Taraporewala Aquarium

The girls are waiting for the tickets to be bought

The girls are waiting for the tickets to be bought

Ride a local train

Rather unexpected option in the list of things to do with kids in Mumbai, right? To be honest, traveling by Mumbai local trains is getting harder and harder due to the burgeoning population. A few years ago it was possible to choose the right time and avoid the infamous crowds. At the moment, the trains are crowded all the time. The situation is a bit better in ladies’ compartments, so I always make sure to take one of those when traveling with kids. The views outside the windows won’t be enchanting, unless you’d like your little one to learn about poverty in its extreme. Instead, I’d concentrate on things inside – it often feels like an oriental market, with girls and women selling fruits, jewelry, clothes, bindis, maps, books and so on. The prices are very reasonable and you can let your child choose some lovely souvenirs for family and friends.

Adriana in a Mumbai local train

Adriana in a Mumbai local train

Go to the beach

The Chowpatty beach is a perfect destination if ou’re looking for thing to do with kids in Mumbai. Forget about swimsuits though, it’s not that kind of beach. Just imagine you’re going for a picnic and prepare everything you need accordingly. You can sit on the blanket, enjoy the snacks, listen to the sound of waves. The kids would make their sand castles and enjoy running around on the sand. Make sure to buy kulfi, corn on the cob (bhutta), coconut water or roasted peanuts from the local vendors.

Adriana is all busy - things to do with kids in Mumbai

Adriana is all busy 🙂

Alexandra's first experience with the sand

Alexandra’s first experience with the sand

 Go shopping at the Crawford market

The place is bustling and could be rather tiring for a small child, so I’d suggest to make it quick. Go straight to the fruit market, for example, and show your kids all the variety of exotic fruits. Let them get immersed into exploring the variety of colors, shapes, smells and textures. Make sure to buy some fruit too 🙂

 Visit the Nehru Planetarium

To be honest, we haven’t been there yet, but I’ve heard a lot of positive feedbacks. Considering Adriana’s love to everything space themed, I’m sure we’ll have a great time in the planetarium. Visit their official site http://www.nehru-centre.org/planetarium/ to learn about timings, admission fees and other details.

See the stunning Haji Ali Dargah – a mosque in the middle of the sea 

 It’s a unique structure situated on a small islet in the Arabian sea. The kids will like walking along the broad walkway connecting the shoreline with the mosque.

Recommended read: Haji Ali Dargah – a mosque in the middle of the sea

A walkway to Haji Ali Dargah - things to do with kids in Mumbai

A walkway to Haji Ali Dargah

Watch people at work

Dabbawalas, for example. Every day dabbawalas deliver more than 130 thousand lunchboxes to the office workers of Mumbai. To see them bringing and sorting out the tiffins, go to the Churchgate station – they usually start arriving by 11 a.m.

Explore the Bandra Fort

 Enjoy the seascape and the view over the Banrda-Worli sea link.

Experience the flower power at the Dadar flower market

 Early in the morning, pay a visit to the Dadar flower market – the variety of flowers is stunning! Let your kids pick up as many flowers as they like, the prices are negligible – it’s a wholesale market, after all.

Flowers we bought at Dadar flower market

Flowers we bought at Dadar flower market

Adriana loves roses

Adriana loves roses

Visit idol making workshops

 During festivals, visit Ganesh or Durga idol making workshops and let your kids observe creative process.

Also read: Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganpati festival) is coming soon

Curious Ares

Curious Ares

Ganesh idols

Ganesh idols

Cool down in the malls 

 Only if you’ve run out of things to do with kids in Mumbai, go to the malls, check out their activities and enjoy the air-conditioned environment at last 🙂 Some of the biggest malls include Infinity Mall (New Link Road, Malad), Phoenix Market City (L.B.S. Marg, Kurla West), InOrbit Mall (Link Road, Malad), High Street Phoenix (462 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel) and R-City Mall (LBS Marg, Ghatkopar)

Fun in the mall

Fun in the mall

Fun in the mall

Fun in the mall

 Have fun!

You may also like: Twelve Tips for travelling India with kids

Diem

 

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8 thoughts on “20 exciting things to do with kids in Mumbai

  1. Pingback: Places to visit with kids in Navi Mumbai (Vashi, Nerul, Belapur, Kharghar) - indiapalette.com

  2. Pingback: Tips on visiting Elephanta Island near Mumbai with kids - indiapalette.com

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