One of the most enjoyable phases of everyone’s life is their childhood. You would never have to worry about projects, targets, review meetings, etc. Kids are the home of happiness. Even if you spend a minute or two with the kids, they’ll definitely make you smile. They enjoy anything that is huge, fun, fast and action-packed. It is not advisable to keep them at home when on a holiday. They bug, pester and irritate you to take them out and they love it when they are taken out of home. And of course, they don’t like to go to school. You have to imagine yourself as a kid to know the places they enjoy. It’s difficult to take a call on the best places, as each kid enjoys something different. After some critical filtering of Namma Chennai, here are the top 5 interesting places that kids would enjoy the most.
Obvious first choice for the kids when they are taken out in Chennai would be the long Beaches along the East Coast Road. Without any shout of a doubt, Chennai enjoys the best beaches in Southern India. I have seen lots and lots of fascinated kids along the Chennai beaches which made me give them the 1st place in my Top 5. They absolutely love to play in the waves, even grown-ups enjoy that. Chennai Beaches don’t stop with that. The soothing smell of Sundals, pinky-pinky Panju Mittai(Cotton Candy), rock-n-roll mini giant wheels and much more offer the best outing spot for the kids in Chennai. Also the wide and lengthy shores coupled with breezy air gift them with lot of place to run around, enjoy and play. After all we have the world’s 2nd longest beach with us, then what’s short for the kids to have fun? Inarguably “Namma ooru Marina dhan Mass-u…!”Do’s and Dont’s
1. Always keep an eye on your kid as they might get too excited to run through the waves, which is very dangerous.
2. Avoid oily food across the coast, which may lead your ‘always-excited’ kid to lay ‘bed-ridden’.
3. Ensure the kids play ball games, at a distance fairly away from the coast.
4. Always get your kid a fresh water bath after going home from the beach as the sea water might affect his/her skin.
5. Do not leave kids below 5 years all alone in the beach. Always hold your hands on.
Horse Ride, Sundal, Panju Mittai(Cotton Candy), Mini Giant wheels, Open-air sports, Building Sand Castles and Balloon Shooting.Cost
It would cost to the maximum Rs. 250-300 per kid, which includes tasty Panju Mittai, Mini games, horse rides, etc.Best time to visit
Mornings from 06:00 AM-09:00 AM and evenings after 05:00 PM would be the best time to visit beaches as the breeze would be pleasant. And weekends will always be crowded. Possible outing during weekdays in the evenings give the kids a happy time to relax and have fun as there would be lesser crowd.
Marina Beach – Though there are many entrances to the beach, the prominent route is through the Walaja Road alongside Anna Salai, which gets you near Anna and MGR Memorial.
Elliot’s Beach – The better of the two, Elliot’s can be reached through Besant Nagar via Adyar.
Wildlife is the next best thing that blows kids away. And we have a great zoo in Chennai. The famous Vandalur Zoo, otherwise called as Arignar Anna Zoological Park is just 23 kms away from the heart of the city. People who have pets at home, know how much their kids love animals. You can even see school students being taken to the Zoo on picnic tours. The Best part of the zoo is its adventurous structure that’s spread over 1490 acres. It will be amazing to watch the kids get overjoyed seeing the real life animals that they have seen only in the books. The zoo also offers cycling facility. You can take your kid on a cycle or even make them ride on their own. I’d prefer a father-son combo, as it would be the best choice to enjoy this place. Kids also enjoy the Elephant and Lion Safaris here. I guarantee that your kid will consider you as his or her hero when you take them here. Elephants, tigers, lions, langurs, snakes, deer and over 100 varieties of birds are the main attractions of this zoo. Though it’s one of the most interesting places to visit, it is strongly not advisable to take your young bud here in summer as it’s a vast place and they will exhaust too soon. The maximum amount you would spend inside the park is around Rs. 500/-. After all, it’s your children’s happiness. Guess you wouldn’t mind about the tariffs.Do’s and Dont’s
1. Ensure you take required amount of water inside the zoo, as there are water sources only outside the zoo.
2. No outside food is allowed inside the zoo.
3. Please ensure you don’t take plastic bags inside the zoo and drop it somewhere inside. If proved, you can be fined.
4. When visiting the zoo during summer, take umbrellas or caps so that your kid is safe from the scorching sun.
5. Don’t use flash cameras while taking pictures of animals, as flash might turn them aggressive.
Barking Deer, Camel, Giraffe, Tiger, Jaguar, Panther, Elephants, Lion, and Reptile House.Cost
Adults (Above 12 years) - Rs. 30/-
Children (5-12 years) - Rs. 10/-
Children (below 5 years) - Free
Zoo Rounds Vehicle:
Adults - Rs. 30/-
Children - Rs. 10/-
Adult - Rs. 30/-
Children - Rs. 10/-
Wheelchair - Rs. 25/-
Battery Vehicle - Rs. 330 per vehicle.Best time to visit
It’s the best place when visited during the months of September to February as the weather would not be so hot and the animals present will be active, whereas in summer you just get to see them sitting and walking in their region.
The zoo is open on all days from 09:30 AM to 5:30 PM except Tuesday
It is situated on the Trichy-Chennai Highway between Urapakkam and Perungalathur. Also, you can reach this place on a 10 minute drive from Vandalur Railway Station.
VGP Universal Kingdom
There can never be a list of interesting places for kids without an amusement park. I reckon ‘amusement’ is a word that goes in line with the kids. Chennai has numerous amusement parks. But as far as I have seen, VGP Universal Kingdom is the best for kids. All other amusement parks offer many rides for youngsters. But VGP gives the kids their first preference, with over 50 rides and games just for them. Not only games and rides, but they also own a part of the Beach right behind their amusement park, which is always a treat for the kids. It is a perfect picnic spot for the kids as well as you, to spend some time off, from your hectic work. The Aqua Kingdom inside VGP has under-water caves and structures along the coast, which gives your kids some breathtaking enjoyment. Tariff rates are based on packages but then, when you are to get an awesome feel, as your kid waves hands at you from the toy train, would you ever think about money? 🙂Do’s and Dont’s
1. Don’t take kids to wave pool, as they are not adapted to grip on a wet soft surface.
2. Avoid taller rides for children as they might fall apart because of gravity.
3. Do get the kids a fresh water bath after going home from here as the chlorinated water may not suit your kids.
4. To the best possible extent avoid taking food from here, to ensure no rushing to hospitals.
5. Always protect your kid with safety jacket while they are playing in water rides.
Toy Train, Water Boat, Baby Train, Mini Duck, Helicopter, Merry-go-round, revolving cups, trampoline (my favorite when I was a kid) and the world famous statue man.Cost
Adults - Rs. 225/- (12 rides)
Children - Rs. 175/- (16 rides)
Super Saver Package:
Adults - Rs. 325/- (Basic+Aqua Kingdom)
Children - Rs. 250/- (Basic+Aqua Kingdom)
Giant Saver Pack:
Adults - Rs. 425/-(All free and paid rides+Aqua Kingdom)
Children - Rs. 325/-(All free and paid rides+Aqua Kingdom)
Both excludes Go Kart Fee
VGP is best to visit during summer to beat the heat with its huge water rides, aqua kingdom and beach. It opens up at 10:00 AM and closes by 06:30 PM during weekdays and 07:30 PM on weekends.
It is located in the East Coast Road. It can be reached on a travel of 2.5 kms from Injambakkam or 5 kms from Sholinganallur.
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Guindy Snake Park and Children’s Park
Well, Well, Well! When you have a children’s park where you can see freely roaming ducks, birds, deers, monkeys and that too in the centre of the city, then you are not gonna miss one of Children’s paradise. Yes! The Guindy National Park vests in itself, a beautiful Children’s Park with see-saws, slides, swings, etc. The kids are always fond of Donald Duck and Daffy Duck. That too when they see real ducks play alongside them in a park where they play, they would never miss out on pestering their dads and mums to take them here. Also, the kids get a chance to feed the ducks and deer here. The park offers a pleasant play time as it’s surrounded fully by trees that gift you and your kid with fresh air and calm environment. The Snake Park, which hosts lot of species of snakes and other reptiles like lizards, crocodiles, etc., fills the kids’ day out with adventure and amazement. The park is open on all days except Tuesday.Do’s and Dont’s
1. Avoid coming here during rainy times as the kid will be fully drenched in mud and slug.
2. Make sure the food which you feed the deer are authorized by the forest personnel here.
3. Don’t try to touch the deer or its horns, as they might kick you or your kid so hard. Might even dent your skull if it gets so furious.
Peahowl, Pythons, Spotted Deer, Ducks, Feeding the ducks and deer, slides and see-saws.Cost
Adults (Above 12 years) - Rs. 15/-
Children (5-12 years) - Rs. 10/-
Children (below 5 years) - Free
The park is best during all times of the day as it is fully covered with trees, and in particular the summer between April to June, it is a calm place for the kids to run around and play. It opens up at 09:30 AM and closes by 06:00 PM and is open on all days except Tuesday.
Guindy National Park is located on Sardar Patel Road, Guindy adjacent to Raj Bhawan and opposite to Anna University. The Children’s Park and Snake Park can be entered via the Access Road adjacent to IIT-Madras Campus.
Fun City – Express Avenue and Chennai Citi Centre
Kids love colours. They live and rejoice anything which is colourful. When such colourful things are fun-filled games, would they ever hesitate to join the party? The last spot in my list goes to Fun City, located at two places, viz. the Express Avenue Mall and the Chennai Citi Centre Mall. They host a lot of games, be it arcade games or video games and every single game will certainly woo your kid. As the name suggests, the place is all about fun. There are ‘learn’ games too, where kids not only play but learn something new every time, as they say, the Fun Way! You can also celebrate your kid’s birthday here as they have special birthday halls for rent. Its ‘priceless’ to see your kid happy. With that am gonna say that this place is little expensive as compared with the toppers. You gotta have some deep pockets, failing which, will disappoint your young bud in a bad way. Spare a thought - Money comes and goes. All that matters is your kid’s happiness. No doubt! This place is ‘Smile Guaranteed’! 🙂Do’s and Dont’s
1. Ensure whether you have recharged the Fun City card which they give you to swipe and play.
2. Confirm with the officials whether the same rate as mentioned on the game swipe pad applies, as they may some times increase the rates, during weekends, for games on demand.
3. Do encash your game tickets with the officials to get cool gifts for your kids.
Video Games, Shooting Games, Dashing Car and much more.Cost
Game rates vary from Rs. 35/- to Rs. 200/- per game. Many games offer prize tickets exchanging which will get the kids some amazing gifts like crayons, toys, chocloates, etc. You pay, you play and of course you win.Best time to visit
Fun City is open on all days from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Best time to visit would be during the evenings of weekdays as there would be lesser crowd and the kids would get a fair amount of chance to play their favorite games.
Chennai Citi Centre – It is located in Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai and can be reached from Marina Beach Road.
Express Avenue – It is located in Whites Road and is 1 km away from Anna Salai.
Namma Chennai also has various other kids’ destinations like Muttukadu Boat House, Abirami Mall Kids House, Crocodile Park, MGM Dizzee World, Kishkintha, etc. But I feel the above places are the best in town that the kids would love the most. So why are you waiting? Surprise them even before they ask you. No matter what, they are the best source of happiness the world can ever give you. Cheerio! 🙂
About Vignesh Sriram Iyengar
Hi Folks! I am Vignesh Sriram. I am gonna be a Chartered Accountant in a few months from now. To describe me in short, EAT, SLEEP, ENJOY, REPEAT! I am veggie and I eat a lot. I try out every new place that offers food. But I enjoy my best food times at some quality Kaiyendhi Bhavans or Thattu Kadai, as we call it in Coimbatore. As I am from traditional music family, I enjoy music and I sing well too (Bathroom singing is considered proper singing too right??). I read a lot of stuff. Am a movie freak. I watch a movie every day without fail on various genres and of any language. In fact am waiting for my short film’s release. 🙂 Don’t tell this to anyone. Lol! 😛 Am from the same set of people who believe “If Cricket is a Religion, then Sachin is my God!”. With all that you would have understood that I talk a lot. Don’t know when my mouth is gonna get me into trouble?? 😛 Bubie!