Mumbai for kidsEvery time I mentioned Snow World (SW) to a friend, the reaction would be a crinkled nose. But with soaring temperatures, any place guaranteeing -10 degrees seems like a good idea.

So, Saturday saw one adult and four children heading for Snow World, Phoenix Market City, Kurla. At the sprawling mall when we asked for directions to SW, we were told, "Straight ahead, where there is a crowd."

And what a crowd there was! The procedure is this: You get in and move to the counter where each person is handed a hooded jacket, boots and mittens according to the approximate size that he/she is. You are expected to carry or wear a pair of socks. I did not. So I had to buy a pair inside for '30. Many of the boots that were handed were still wet inside and from some slush fell out in chunks. Worse, the mittens reeked.

Slightly intimated by the crowd we proceed cautiously towards a door that say, “Way to Kashmir”. Suddenly the surroundings change. There are Penguins (statues) lined up and at a distance I can see an attempt at creating igloo-like structures. But wonder of wonders! There is snow. Light, flakey and soft, we are promptly making balls and having a snow fight.

Everyone around us are either having snow fights or sitting on toboggans or sleds and taking pictures. At a far end there is an installation of an evergreen tree (duh!) with a man dangling upside down. Around it is a sliding board open to young and old, where you climb the slide with a tyre. The kids love it. There is also an attempt to create a ski slope, as well as an ice rink where roller blades are doled out, invitingly.

It is less than 30 minutes but my feet feel wet and frozen. The kids have snow inside their boots; one child’s ill-fitting mittens have fallen off, but nothing seems to be able to get them to leave SW.

Another 20 minutes, and I have had enough of blowing icy rings of breath in the air, and pushing the kids in sleds (its sharpened edges are a no-no as it can hurt kids). We even noticed some of the attendants go through the motions without really helping the kids. Not done, especially in a children’s space.

I’m literally stiff cold as I leave the premise. So are the kids. We peel off the soaking boots and the smelly gloves, grin at the staff and scuttle off.