At the outset, the big, bustling city of Mumbai may not look like a very child-friendly city. After all, it is the financial capital of the country, the city where Bollywood churns out its movies, and a city that fulfils a million dreams daily. So doesn't that get a little too much for kids? On the contrary, Mumbai is just like a child -- ever growing, never sleeping, and always trying to do more than it can!
So if you are in Mumbai with your child, what are your must visit places? We tell you the best and most kid-friendly places in Mumbai to visit.
Mumbai is a city that is steeped in history and there is tons of evidence still around to show for it. Children will love a visit to the Gateway of India and a leisurely stroll after a brunch in the Fort area where you could point out old English architecture and marvel at a time gone by. Make sure to take some touristy pics at the Gateway of India and at the steps of the Asiatic Society. Head on over to the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to witness the hustle and bustle of trains coming and going and to take in the opulence of the building itself.
Gateway Of India
What to do: Feed the pigeons, look up at the great big structure and take a cheesy tourist photo. Tell your children the story behind the Gateway of India. While on your way out, have some nariyal pani . You may also want to take the boat ride so read our review of that experience right here!
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What to do: Walk along Flora Fountain and let your kids see the landmarks in the business district. Experience the lovely buildings and little by-lanes of Fountain. Stop by at Kitab Khana for a refreshing break, some books and treats from the lovely cafe there. It's a great experience to just see buildings with such high ceilings in Mumbai.
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What to do: No visit to Mumbai is complete without a pic at these steps. After a long walk through the area, rest your feet awhile and take in this iconic building.
Kala Ghoda area
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
What to do: Right from the waiting area to the numerous platforms, the coolies, the goods trains, the whistle blowing, the ATM, the old vintage clocks and lots more. Keep this for the weekend when this place is a lot less crazy or try the afternoon slot. Let the kids buy their tickets and hop on a local train to a station that suits you. Pick a book or paper from the news stall, a bottle of water from the vendor and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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Slightly older kids might really enjoy a visit to the museums of Mumbai and there are so many to choose from! Depending on their interest at the moment, make sure to take them on a weekend afternoon so they can browse through the displays and artefacts and spend a really educational afternoon.
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Prince Of Wales Museum
What to do: The Bird & Animal section is really good. On your way out treat your kids to some great knick knacks and books at the must visit museum shop.
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum
What to do: This museum has loads of things to pique a child's interest. And they organise lovely workshops from time to time so make sure you check their website to knwo about them.
Nehru Science Centre
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What to do: This is a really nice place to visit if you want to introduce your child to the wonders of science. With tons of experiments they can try their hand at to a room for prehistoric animals for your dinosaur lover, this place is a must visit.
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Maybe the city tries to overcompensate for the fact that it never seems to have any space, but if you look hard enough you can actually see a lot of parks and green spaces for children in Mumbai. Here are a few of the more popular ones that you must check out with your kids. Also, a place you must visit is the famous Sanjay Gandhi National Park which is 40 square miles of green area and rich biodiversity right in the city.
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Sanjay Gandhi National Park
What to do: Go on the safari, or simply on a nature trail to see birds, insects, animals, and plant-spotting. Pick a spot by the Tulsi river for a family picnic.
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You can't come to Mumbai and not visit the beaches! Pick from a list of many and head there with your kids and sand toys and simply see an entire day melt away. From the food you must try at the beach to the many stalls you visit and the sand castles you build, Mumbai's beaches are an unforgettable experience.
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Silver Sands Beach
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Extended weekend? Take in a theme park with the family! From classic Essel World to Adlabs Imagica and Water Kingdom, there is something for everyone!
What to do: Perfect for a day trip and fun guaranteed for the entire family. Make sure to read our review for the best rides and restaurants to visit when you are there!
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Is your child a huge sports fan? Then just like tourists make a beeline to visit the football stadia of Italy, you must take your child to visit the batting nets at Shivaji Park where Sachin Tendulkar trained or Wankhede Stadium for countless milestones in Indian cricket and home to the Mumbai Indians!
Once you have done all of the above, Mumbai has more! You could take in an open air bus tour of Mumbai and simply take in the city, or visit the Elephanta caves - a short ferry ride from the Gateway, or the newly renovated Taraporevala Aquarium, or even the Humboldt penguins at the Byculla Zoo!
Open air bus tour of Mumbai
What to do: A really fun way for the kids to witness the hustle and bustle of Mumbai from on top of a bus! This is the route the bus takes. You can spot a lot of landmarks from the bus!
Gateway of India - Vidhan Bhavan - Oberoi Hotel - Marine Drive - Churchgate Railway Station - Eros Theatre - Oval Maidan - Maharshi Karve Road - Rajabai Tower- CST Railway Station Building - Hutatma Chowk - Homi Modi Street - Horniman Circle - Asiatic Library - Gateway of India.
Penguins at the zoo
What to do: You could spend a lazy afternoon walking at the zoo and looking at the hippos, Indian birds, elephants, spotted deer, and monkeys. Then visit the zoo's latest residents - the Humboldt penguins who have built up quite a fan following for themselves!