The Best Family-Friendly Activities in Kochi, India
Kerala is a perfect family destination as it offers plenty of sights, sounds, and activities that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. From enjoying the vibrant nature that the state is bestowed with, to fun activities; choose from a range of things to do for a complete and entertaining family time. Kochi is a thriving city that offers limitless possibilities to keep little ones busy and learning while they enjoy.
Introduce children to the history and culture of Kerala at the palace-turned-museum that was once the abode of the rulers of the erstwhile kingdom of Cochin. Discover the well preserved art and history through murals, oil paintings, sculptures, and ancient curios. It is built in the ettukettu style – a traditional style of Kerala architecture.
How to reach: Hill Palace is located in Thripunithura, which is 10km from Kochi city. The best way to reach it is to hire a taxi such as Uber or Ola. You can also take the local bus from Vytilla Mobility Hub and get down directly at the gates of the entrance to the museum, at the Hill Palace bus stop.
Entry fee: Rs 30 for adults; Rs 10 for children up to the age of 12
Timings: Open daily except Mondays, from 9:30am to 12:30pm, and then 2 to 4:30pm
Subhash Bose Park is a classic choice for families to bond over like the old times. The oldest, largest, and most famous park in Kochi, it has become one of the icons of the city. There are swings and large grassy lawns for children to play, while adults can catch up with each other, relaxing on the nearby benches. It is a large and spacious park buzzing with families and their little ones, and is particularly active during evenings.
How to reach: Take a bus to Marine Drive and get down at the District Court bus stop
Timings: 10am to 9pm
Wonderla for never ending fun
An amusement park is the best bet for an entire day of wholesome fun. Wonderla, formerly known as Veegaland, is the name that stands for entertainment and complete fun for the entire family. The oldest amusement park in Kerala, this theme park has the most thrilling rides and even a water park.
How to reach: Located in Pallikara, the best way to reach Wonderla is by hiring a taxi
Timings: Open daily from 11am to 6pm (weekdays) and 11am to 7pm (weekends and public holidays)
Entry fee: Rs 970 for adults and Rs 620 for children
Chill at Cherai Beach
You can always turn to nature for fun and nothing beats an active day at the beach. Cherai Beach near Kochi is a beautiful destination to spend quality time with loved ones. With gentle waves, it ensures fun for the entire family. Take a dip or splash in the waves, or just laze back on the soft sands to create a memorable time.
How to reach: Cherai is located 25km from Kochi and can be reached by hiring a taxi or taking the local bus from Vypeen
For sparkling times at Sparky’s
One of the largest shopping malls in India – Lulu Mall in Kochi has a special attraction for children. Their topmost floor houses Sparky’s – an entire section filled with games and rides for children. A safe place to leave the little ones while the elders enjoy shopping, Sparky’s ensures hours of unending fun. But beware as it can get addictive for the little ones who don’t want to leave!
How to reach: Hire a taxi or take a local bus to Lulu Mall in Edappally. You can also travel conveniently in the Kochi metro and get down at the Edappally Station.
Visit Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Amid the buzzing Kochi metro lies a green spot with a variety of birdlife and butterflies that can instill the love for nature in any child. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is the roosting and nesting place for a large variety of migratory and resident birds – a paradise for bird lovers. Carry mosquito/insect repellants as the place is filled with them. Take a pair of binoculars along for better bird sightings.
How to reach: Hire a taxi to the entrance gate of MBS or take a bus to High Court Junction bus stop and walk less than a kilometre to reach MBS
Timings: Open daily from 10am to 5pm
Best season: January to March
Heritage Walks in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry
Fort Kochi and Mattanchery are two small towns within Kochi that ooze historical charm and are dotted with monuments from the past, influenced by various communities who made Fort Kochi their home. Lessons on Kochi’s history is incomplete without a visit to Fort Kochi and Mattanchery. Take a walk (or hire a bicycle) and visit the following places/structures of historical importance here:
- 512 year old Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica – one of the eight Basilicas in India
- 515 year old St Francis Church – the oldest European church in India, where Vasco da Gama was buried in 1524
- Array of Chinese fishing nets along the Mahatma Gandhi beach promenade – an influence of trading with Chinese merchants
- Dutch Cemetery – believed to be the oldest European cemetery in India
- Walk/ride along Vasco da Gama square to the ruins of the Gunnery of Fort Emmanuel
- Indo-Portuguese Museum – a museum with exhibits that show Portuguese influence in the area’s art and culture
- Bastion Bungalow – a 17th century Indo-European bungalow
- Jawahar Park and the interesting houses that ring the park – Koder House, Tower House, Old Harbour Hotel
- Stroll along Princess Lane and Napier Street, flanked by building from the Imperial times
- 365 year old St George Orthodox church aka Koonan Kurishu – the oldest St George church in Kochi
- Gujarathi Jain Temple built in 1960
- Paradesi Synagogue – the oldest functioning synagogue in India
- Mural art at Mattancherry Palace
- Stroll and shop along Jew Town