Mumbai has plenty to offer if you are looking for rewarding places to take children for a day out. We have compiled a list of the city’s best historic sites, museums and outdoor spaces that are kid-friendly.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Established in 1855, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai, and the third oldest in India. Housed within the 155-year old Jijamata Udyaan botanical gardens and zoo in Byculla, the museum houses historical artifacts, maps, photographs, manuscripts and rare books that document and showcase life in Bombay during the 19th and 20th centuries. Children may be particularly fascinated by the museums dioramas and clay models of the city’s earliest boats, textile mills, housing complexes etc, while also learning about Mumbai’s amazing history.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is Mumbai’s primary museum, and an excellent spot to take children for a great day out. The building’s stunning architecture, along with the museum’s rich collection and various workshops (many of which cater specifically to children) will fascinate anyone, irrespective of age. The museum houses archaeological finds and artifacts from the Indus Valley civilization, the Mughal era, as well as other prominent kingdoms. The museum’s various galleries include sections dedicated to Nepal and Tibet, European paintings, and natural history among others.
The Hanging Gardens in Malabar Hill is one of South Mumbai’s few well-maintained green spaces. Built in 1881, and overlooking the Arabian Sea, this lush green park will delight children of any age. The gardens include a variety of attractions including topiary in the shapes of animals, a flower clock and the ‘Old Woman’s Shoe’ or the ‘Boot House’ – a giant boot structure which children can climb into.
Spellbound Kids Bookstore
Mumbai has numerous bookstores, most of which feature excellent children’s sections. The city also has a few bookstores catering specifically to younger readers. Spellbound Kids Bookstore in Juhu houses a great collection of educational and interactive books and materials, particularly worth checking out.
If you’re seeking an adventurous day trip to embark on with your child, then the historic Elephanta Caves must be among your most rewarding options. Just an hour from the Gateway of India by ferry, these 2,000-year-old Hindu and Buddhist cave temples feature stunning architecture and sculpture work along with deep historic significance. Not only will children find the ferry ride and subsequent train ride to the caves enjoyable, but they will also learn much about Mumbai’s ancient history.
As our comprehensive guide to Mumbai’s beaches will tell you, there are plenty of options if you’re looking for a good picnic spot by the sea with your children. Juhu beach, the city’s most famous, is a fantastic option as long as you’re not looking for an empty beach! Always busy, yet scenic and mostly clean, Juhu beach offers ample space for children to play around.
National Center for the Performing Arts
Foster your children’s appreciation of the arts with a visit to one of the city’s premier performance arts venues. The National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) frequently hosts music, theatre and dance performances specifically catering to children. Spanning from classical to contemporary, these performances are likely to ensure you have a memorable experience as well.
NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai