Age no bar
That is how I find myself heading to the leafy Ballard Estate in search of Rush on a Wednesday
Rush, Ballard Estate (Indoors)
The dilemma of a super-hot summer is that it is vacation time and there are kids who haven't been dispatched to school. After days of pretending that they don't exist, you have to come to terms with the fact that they do. You have to spend time with them. And when you have two teenagers, you also have to accept that even threatening them with their lives may not get them out of bed at dawn. With that simple deduction, trekking and the outdoor activities stand eliminated, leaving you with fun things to do indoors. After five years of reviewing spaces for children in this city, there are only so many places left that cater to older kids and that I have not visited. That is how I find myself heading to the leafy Ballard Estate in search of Rush on a Wednesday.
My 14-year-old and 12-year-old are now taller than me (most indoor spaces have height restrictions for certain activities), so I call Rush to recheck. I am happy to learn that they allow kids up to 16 years of age. Phew! The space is huge, and it is such a relief to walk into cool, roomy places in Mumbai. One section is a typical soft play area with massive slides, a ball pool, a matted area with a giant play house, a crawl space and a soft obstacle zone. The other part is a trampoline park with basketball hoops. Of course, that's where the kids veer.
The trampoline park is massive with 10 trampolines, two diving platforms and a dozen basketballs lying around with plenty of baskets to slam-dunk them into. At the far end, there's a zipline which cuts across a foam pool. Once the kids gather the courage to try it, they seem torn between slam-dunking and zipping and falling into the foam pool. The staff quietly walk in and remain alert while the kids play.
There are virtual games, too and you can pick one from four genres — cutting, adventure sports, shooting, and sports. The kids sign up for different ones. The daughter does the walk-the-plank while the son opts for virtual cricket, playing it safe. They are fitted in with the gear in a small matted area and they love the thrill so much that they want more.
There is enough to do here, no matter the child's age. This is the kind of place that you can visit with friends or guests who have children in different age groups, and be rest assured that everyone will have fun.
The manager is a soft-spoken, attentive young woman. There are a bunch of male and female staff in uniforms and no one is peering at their phones. The music makes me want to bounce on the trampoline and we don't realise when an hour whizzed by. We could have stayed longer and this was fun.
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Safety tip: Be careful at the trampoline diving area and do not do it unless you are sure you will clear the jump.
Where: Rush, 10-12 Cochin Street, Ballard Estate.
Best for: Two years to 16 years of age
How to reach: Alight at either CSMT or Churchgate railway terminus, and head to Ballard Estate. Landmark is Ambico Ice Factory.
Timings: 11 am to 8 pm (Monday to Thursday), 11 am to 9 pm (Friday to Sunday)
Budget: Weekdays R540, per head, per hour, R630 on weekends; virtual games are R90 per game
Food: In-house cafeteria provides a range of milkshakes and beverages
Rest Room facilities: Yes
Where else to go: Go Bonkers,Colaba
Parent Poll: Airy space; attentive staff
Kids' Poll: Loved the the space but wished it had laser tag. Rating: JJJJ
What's Good: There is enough to do, age no bar. Updated games.
What's Not So Good: The baskets were ripped and the foam pit was dull.
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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli