Alaska comes to Kamala Mills at a new snow play station where you down candy-infused vodka shots, and take selfies with penguins
Warm winter boots. Check. Insulated, hooded jackets. Check. Gloves. Check. We felt as if we were embarking on a Himalayan trekking expedition as we slipped into winter gear (dry cleaned daily, thankfully) before entering Snow Rush, a new 4,000 square feet snow play area launched at Smaaash in Lower Parel. Inside an anteroom, there was a sudden temperature drop to zero degrees. As our eyes adjusted to the changing ceiling lights (blue, red, yellow and white) presenting a trance-y vibe, the operations manager Malcolm Ilavia informed, “It’s important to spend two minutes here first, so that your body gets adjusted to the temperature drop. Inside, it’s minus 7 degrees.”
The tube carousel and adult slides at Snow Rush. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Alice in a snow-land
Greeted by the gawky sounds of cute, robotic penguins, we stepped into the Arctic-like first section called the War Zone. We scooped out a bit of snow from the layers under our feet and found it soft and flaky, perfect for a snowball fight with friends. “Fresh snow is blown into the area every day through a high-pressure blower pipe, so it’s hygienic. The equipment is imported from Germany,” shared the manager. While this section housed a slide for kids and a merry-go-round, another featured an igloo, a tube carousel for kids, sledges and 18-feet long slides for adults too. Six staffers are stationed at different spots in the area large enough to fit 70 people.
The well-stocked bar
With help from the attendants, who provided us with kneepads, we climbed a metal staircase to reach the top of the slide. Though inhibited by the slippery surface and the idea of landing our derriere on wet snow (you can also use scoot pans to protect your bottoms), we took the risk and swoosh! An adrenaline rush gripped us as we landed in the soft snow. Exhilarated, we tried the breezy ride a couple of times, reliving our childhood memories. Of course, the snow made the experience better.
The reporter with Malcolm Ilavia on the merry-go-round
Hit the snow bar
By now, we could feel our nose tips freeze, and decided to warm up at the snow bar. Lodged on the second level, it overlooks the play area. With benches, Christmas trees et al, the well-stocked bar made for a cool hangout and offered straight and flavoured shots. “We couldn’t include cocktails because water would freeze,” said the bartender.
We began with Spicy Snow Flake (Rs 250 each) featuring vodka infused with chilli and lime. While elsewhere the concoction would have burnt our tongues, the shot gave us a much-needed warm kick here. Infused with star anise and mango, the vodka-based Abominable Snowman was deliciously sweet. Next, we tried Grand Slalom, a candy (gems)-infused vodka shot after which, we swear we were transported to the Alps. Just for a bit. Bringing us back to the city was the Chatpata Crunch, flavoured with a pani puri mix and served with the crunchy puri bits.
It was time to leave the snow-packed environs and return to the anteroom but by then, we’d already fixed the venue for our birthday bash. Who said, only kids can have all the fun, right?
Time: 12.30 pm to 10 pm (Monday to Friday), 11 am to 10 pm (weekends)
At: Gate 4, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
Cost: Rs 300 (20 minutes on weekdays), Rs 400 (30 minutes on weekdays and 20 minutes on weekends), `500 (30 minutes on weekends)
Note: A guardian required for kids below five years and senior citizens
Other attractions at Smaaash...
Trampoline Park (Read more)
Indoor paragliding (Read more)
Indoor cricket pitch (Read more)