It's almost 7 pm on a Sunday, and Funkey Monkey is so packed we almost turn back. But it is a birthday party — a frequent weekend booking — and we are told that the crowd will peter out soon. So, armed with socks and anticipation, four kids (guided by yours truly) enter the indoor play area of Funky Monkey.
The areas are divided for toddlers up to three years and younger and for four and above. An adult has to accompany one child; everyone needs to wear socks. There are attendants wearing yellow Funky Monkey T-shirts all over the space.
After a bit, I follow the kids into the play area. It’s fun to play again: ducking in and out of a netted and padded space, diving through mazes and watching parents slide down curvaceous slides, shrieking with as much - or perhaps more - pleasure as the kids.
The toddler area has a gentle slide that dips into a ball pool, a soft carousel, wall puzzles that seem to absorb the adult more than the child. My nine-year-old has perched herself on one side of the zone, absorbed in a wall keyboard, making music, and no one stops her despite the fact that it clearly mentions ‘below 3 years’.
There are balancing boards and trampolines and hollowed, padded drums to roll and get your daily dose of physical activity. Since parents or an adult are supposed to accompany a child, many parents seem to take the space as a fun-together-with-child space.
The entire place is safe with crash mats and all the equipment is padded. Even in the section for older children, there are padded steps that you can climb and weave in and out of. Punching bags are placed in between play areas, while padded bridges and tunnels either end up dead-ends or lead to fun places. For those who prefer to sit, the walls are utilised with puzzles, Math and jigsaws that you can sit and solve.
The entire space is safe with crash mats and plenty of staff to watch over the kids
My kids voted the ball shooter as their favourite activity zone, with the trampoline and the ball pool and the slide as the next best thing. There are 50 play elements here for toddlers and junior kids. There is nothing like the outdoors and roughing it out in a park. But if you are worried about hygiene and want the exercise, this — it seems — is the next best thing.
Residents in the Western suburbs can visit Funky Monkey’s branch at Andheri (W).
Where: Benefice Business House, third floor, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel.
How to get there: Lower Parel station (Western Railway) or Currey Road (Central Railway) are closest. Hail a cab to reach.
Timings: 10 am - 7.30 pm (weekdays); 10 am - 8 pm (weekends)
Charges: Rs 500 per child (with an adult) food Inside the premise, you can buy milkshakes, tetrapak juices, French fries, sandwiches and smileys. There are options outside too.
Water: Aquaguard and packaged water
What’s good: It is a safe indoor space for 3-10 year-olds. A fun place for toddlers what’s not good Lack of signage, especially since it’s inside a building. We had to pay for parking; after paying Rs 500, this isn’t welcome.
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