As parents, we are forever on the lookout for places for our kids to play and ways to keep them entertained. In a city like Bangalore, it’s not always conducive to walk outside of your home and hope you find something. So where do you go?
We spent a year living in Koramangala, and my boys were 1 and 3 when we first moved out there (we’ve since returned to the green rolling hills of the Peak District, UK). My boys were too young for school and I was always searching for things to do with them. Thankfully there is actually so much to do in Bangalore with kids, and almost every day we were venturing off to soft play, a playground, or for a swim at one of the hotels. So, I’ve compiled this list of our favourite play areas in Bangalore:
INDOOR PLAY AREAS
Funky Monkeys at 1MG Road Mall is a clean, safe and super fun play area for children under the age of 12. Attentive staff inside the play area oversee your little ones, so kick back with a chai and enjoy some relative peace (with nursery rhymes blaring in your ear). There is also a bigger Funky Monkeys at Orion Mall.
Funky Monkeys, 1 MG Road Mall, Trinity Circle, Level 4, Opp. Taj Vivanta, M G Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008, Tel: 80220 86595
Funky Monkeys, Level 4, Orion Mall, Dr. Rajkumar Road, Brigade Gateway, Malleshwaram West, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560055, Tel: 80226 82301
On the ring road near Domlur, Girias Children’s Explorium is a wonderful place for your little engineers and scientists to play. With pipe work to connect, a digger to drive, electricity to fix, infinite tools to help invent and create, and a massive spaceship to climb, your kids will be entertained for hours. Just ensure you phone ahead to check there isn’t a school booking (you may be turned away if there is), and take a packed lunch as the cafe food is seriously awful.
Girias Children‘s Explorium, No 526, Amarjyothi Layout, Opp Dell, 100 Feet Road, Domlur, 560073, Tel: 80416 81858, TIMINGS: Weekdays 10:30AM- 8:00PM, Weekends 10:30AM- 9:00PM, www.explorium.in
There is also a small soft play in the food court area of The Forum Mall (Koramangala) and The Forum Neighbourhood Mall (Whitefield). We also visited on occasion Gubacheeze; although the apparatus was grubby and there were often mosquitoes. For more indoor play areas, check here; there always seem to be new ones cropping up around the city
Bangalore has a plethora of gated, clean playgrounds dotted around the city. Many even have security guards. Admittedly they may need a fresh lick of paint, but they are a great place for your little ones to climb, swing and slide with local kids. Just bear in mind the majority don’t open until later in the afternoon (sometimes as late as 4 pm). Our favourites are:
• Defence Colony Children’s Park
• Nandanavana Children’s Play Ground (Rs5, shoes must be removed).
Defence Colony Children’s Park, 3rd Main Road, Defence Colony, Indira Nagar, 560038, TIMINGS: 8:00 AM- 12:00 PM and 3:30 PM-7:00 PM daily
Nandanavana Children’s Play Ground, 4th T Block East, Pattabhirama Nagar, Jayanagar, 560041, TIMINGS: 4:00 PM- 8:00 PM daily
The green(ish) parks of Bangalore act as the lungs of the congested city. Cubbon Park is an obvious choice, although it’s often very busy. Our favourite was Lalbagh Botanical Gardens to spot monkeys and climb Peninsular Gneiss for city views.
However, if you’re looking for somewhere where they can really play, head to Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park. There’s a musical fountain display, which takes place at 7 PM and 8 PM every night. But if that’s too late for your little ones and you want to escape the crowds, bring the kids’ scooters and visit during the day; the footpaths are perfect for some scootering and biking and there’s also a playground. But the most exciting thing is the rockets and tanks dotted around the gardens, which YOU CAN TOUCH!
Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park, Opp to Jawahar Lal Nehru Planetarium, Raj Bhawan Road, 560052, Tel: 80228 64125, TIMINGS: 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM- 8:30 PM, Closed Mondays
The five-star hotels dotted around the city are used as an oasis from the chaos for expats and travellers alike. Some are more kid-friendly than others and you will have to pay to use the swimming pool facilities. Do call ahead to confirm prices.
Head to the Sheraton Grand Bangalore on Sunday for the city-renowned Sunday Brunch. The buffet is seriously incredible and kids under 4 eat FREE. But the best thing about this Brunch is the supervised play area with bouncy castle, face-painting, crafting, games, and toys. Unlike other hotels in the city offering Sunday Brunch and play areas, here you can grab a table right next to the play area to keep an eye on your little ones.
A little out of town, although handy if you’re your way back from Nandi Hills, Prestige Golfshire is a wonderfully friendly resort. Here you’ll find a kids’ pool (unheated), playground and indoor play area all in the same vicinity. The General Manager here will go out of his way to make your visit as perfect as possible. Just ring ahead to confirm price and availability of guest day passes.
The Hilton has the best swimming pool in the city for day guests. Unlike many other city pools, the Hilton pools are heated, and there is even a separate kids pool. The service here is impeccable and the staff is very welcoming to young kids.
Main Photo by Jenny Lynn