In the play zone
We walk down the by-lane in Juhu that opens into a wide space and even from afar, Tic Tac Toe looks like every child's idea of a fun place
Have you seen a bungalow in Mumbai? These are such rare treasures in a city dying for space that when you spot one, which has used all of its three-storyes and its garden space to be an indoor playspace, you simply can't believe it. And that is what Tic Tac Toe is all about.
We walk down the by-lane in Juhu that opens into a wide space and even from afar, Tic Tac Toe looks like every child's idea of a fun place. I am here with my friend Semeen and her four-year-old. The arched doorway with balloons, and the cute ticketing counter beckon us.
There's so much to do that we first spend time glancing at everything before we decide what to hone in to. The ground floor uses its indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly. If I ever have to choose a place for a birthday party for a toddler, this will be my pick, eyes wide shut. There is too much fun packed in here; with a train (that was unfortunately not working when we were there), a super cute carousel, motor vehicles, and a giant rocket that one can climb up and reach another floor of fun. The ground floor also houses the most adorable restaurant that has been designed just for kids, and has clothes and accessories for them as well. The food and other products have been curated well, too.
The first floor is converted into a soft play area and has all the requisite equipment — ball pool, trampoline, swings, crawl spaces, slides — that most indoor spaces have. But there are other niche additions. There is air hockey and an easel-based blackboard as well as ground-fixed metal mirrors. Not only are mirrors important for the development of self-esteem in young children, but they also help begin enquiry-based learning; children also develop pre-reading skills from the use of mirrors. A cozy cloth swing is another welcome addition and something I have not seen in any toddler play zone before. The sliding tunnel is deep and ultra-cool.
But there are more adventures to discover, and so we clamber to the roof top to the water and sand play areas. Woah! Our little four-year-old is zapped. The mini pool has toy fish and fishing rods of all shapes, sizes and colours. There is a whole set of things to do for kids that tests their fine and gross motor skills. The sand pit is air-conditioned and packed with sand-play toys.
One hour zips by. We have to literally drag our four-year-old back home.
We were told that the crash mats would be fixed, but look out. The wet area can be slippery too, so watch out.
Where: Damini Bungalows, 889, Juhu Tara Road, (Near Starbucks), Juhu
Best for: boys and girls, 6 months to 10 years
How to reach: Alight at Vile Parle station and take an auto towards Juhu beach. Past the beach, head towards Starbucks or the very visible Podar College. Damini Bungalows is inside a narrow lane that opens up
Timings: Daily, 11 am to 8pm Budget: Rs 550 per child per hour
Food: Fantastic in-house restaurant
Rest Room facilities: Yes
Where else to go: Juhu beach for actual sand and water play; there’s Funky Monkey for an indoor soft play space
Parent Poll: Lots to do. We could have ended up spending half a day here.
Kids' Poll: Loved the water play
What's Good: The range of activities is huge
What's Not So Good: The cute toy train was not working.
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