Mumbai: Places in the city that trapezed the youth through 2018

Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 11:23 IST | Vinitha Ramchandani

A look-back at places and ideas within the city and beyond that engaged young minds all year through

Mumbai: Places in the city that trapezed the youth through 2018
NexGen Timezone and The Game

As we reach the last week of 2018, it is time to look back at the year that was — what are the places we trapezed through in the city, where we ventured, what we loved, what we would love to revisit at a given chance, what we look upon fondly at and what taught us, all-knowing Mumbai denizens, something new.

This year opened with us tiptoeing through Sassoon Docks — an excuse to take the kids to one of its oldest city docks — because a handful of artists from all over the world had come over and set up an urban art festival in a city barely able to stand on its legs. And stood tall it did. The 142-year-old landmark that had been a forgotten universe and home to the native Kolis living in a world of their own making, celebrated the city in a singular voice and format. The Sassoon Dock Art Project set the tone for the year.

Mumbai for me and my two bachchas — my 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son — meant exploring the city, discovering places that we knew existed and looking at their ancient crevices that still told stories, with new eyes. If I had to pick outdoor and indoor spaces that stood out in memory, and where that I would love to go to over and over again, it would be these places, in random order.

Best of indoors
NexGen Timezone and The Game
The two indoor play spaces tie for the number-one spot with both my kids. Both these indoor places had the kids hooked for hours. Much as I am not a fan of indoor play spaces, these two venues are made to engage the entire family with games in which you earn points.

Kids' rating: *****
Parent rating: **** (only because I am an outdoorsy person)

Clawplay

Clawplay
Started by the founder of HoppertySkipperty, this is the western suburb's answer to adolescent indoor adventure. Clawplay has loads of options for the to-be young adult; a cool cafeteria, a trampoline park as well as a foam pool to chill out in when you are tired of the ropeway routes and vertical walls to climb. The kids have returned here time and again.

Kids' rating: ****
Parent rating: ****

RBI monetary museum

RBI monetary museum
The Monetary Museum earned the aah-of-the-year from me and the kids. This collection of Indian monetary history has a wealth of information for a range of audiences (my kids loved it too, as did my 17-year-old niece). It is free and a must-do for school and junior college students.

Kids' rating: ****
Parent rating: ****

Ransai

Best of outdoors
Ransai
The weather, the nature-lover-cum-photographer who curated the glamping trip and the place itself, all made Ransai, conducted by the Big Red Tent, a trip the kids and I would love to do all over again, unhesitatingly. All camping trips are huge learning experiences. For someone who saw herself as an outdoors person, it taught me that I was not as outdoorsy as I had considered myself to be, that I did worry about creepy-crawlies, that it takes time to unwind, and that each one of us reacts to raw nature in different ways. The trip introduced Karnala with a new lens; it was the food at the night photography, as much as it was discovering the beauty of winter darkness. It was a four-star-rated adventure for the kids and I.

Kids' rating: *****
Parent rating: *****

Banganga

Banganga
The Banganga trail is, for me, one of the most treasured heritage walks of the year. I was part of so many. But I am partial to Banganga because I waited to meander through this ancient water tank, replete with mythology and legends and temples, and structures built by the Goud Saraswat Brahman community — and at no point was the walk, conducted by Khaki Tours, disappointing.

Kids' rating: *** ( because they felt that the walk was a bit long)
Parent rating: *****

Cycling routes

Cycling routes
Cycling in Mumbai was not such a hazard when I was a child and now that I have my own, I have often wondered about the point of buying one for them, if there aren't places they could wheel their bikes and pedal with abandon. The outdoor cycling routes in Mumbai that Bandra-based cycling evangelist Faisal Thakur put together for mid-day's readers was useful, and kept in mind the length of the ride, riding safety as well as levels of riding.

Kids' rating: ****
Parent rating: ****

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