What to do with Children in Tow
There is no dearth of attractions for children in Delhi. With parks aplenty, museums of varied nature and theater for kids where you're bound to find something of their choice, there's never a dull moment for your little ones. Be sure to check out these places for they're as compelling for adults as well!
Shankar's International Dolls Museum
This fascinating collection of dolls from around the globe was set up by the renowned political cartoonist, K. Shankar Pillai in 1965. The exhibits are divided into two categories. One section has exhibits from European countries, the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The other section houses dolls from Asian countries, the Middle East, Africa and India. There is a collection of over 150 authentic Indian costume dolls made at the Dolls Workshop attached to the Museum. There is also a Dolls Designing Center. Altogether there are over 6000 dolls representing the social life and culture of over 85 countries. Some of the dolls worth mentioning are a 250 year old doll from Switzerland, the Kabuki Dancer of Japan, and Indonesia's bridal pairs. Special dolls are made on specific themes or to commemorate events in History for example, Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi March and Man on the Moon.
While there, one can also visit the Children's Book Trust of India and pick up some quality books on children's literature.
Location:Children's Book Trust Bldg
4, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi 110002
Telephone: 91-11- 3316970 - 74 (5 lines)
Timings: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Admission: Adults Rs 10; Children Rs 5
Ticket counter closes at 05:30 pm
Closed on Mondays, National Holidays and Festivals
Rail Transport Museum
Railways have always held a fascination for children who love to explore trains while traveling and never seem to sit still in their seats. Well, here's the chance for them to explore the bogies as much as they want without danger to their lives or without tension for the parents. The National Railway Museum set up in 1977, showcases the rail heritage of India and has a varied collection of rare and antique steam locomotives, carriages, saloons and other artifacts. The indoor gallery has live exhibits as well as working and non-working models. Its not just the number of locomotives housed here but the history of each that is fascinating and which gives an insight into an era gone by.
Some prominent exhibits include Fairy Queen, the oldest running steam locomotive in the world, built in 1855, Patiala State Monorail, Saloon of Maharaja of Indore and Saloon of Maharaja of Mysore. This saloon was designed using teak, gold and ivory.
Location: Diplomatic Enclave (near Bhutan Embassy)
April - Sept 09:30 -19:30 hrs
Oct - March 09:30 - 17:30 hrs
Lunch 13:00 - 13:30 hrs
Closed Every Monday and National Holidays
Admission Adults Rs 10; Children(below 12 yrs) Rs 3
Free for children (below 12 yrs) on Tuesday
Photography charges apply
National Science Center
The National Science Center houses a unique collection of scientific models to arouse the interest of children and help them to understand their functions and workings. The center is divided into various galleries, each with a particular theme having exhibits based on different different scientific laws and theories. Children can learn these laws by watching practical demonstrations of the same. Children can operate the models themselves and get hands-on experience. The numerous exhibits on display help to combine learning with fun and retierate the concept of 'learning by doing'. Some of the intriguing exhibits are the models at the Human Biology Gallery. the most popular gallery is the Dinosaur's Gallery. The Museum complex also has a library, an inflatable planetarium and a souvenir shop.
A visit to this museum will definitely help unravel the mysteries of science and be a valuable and rewarding experience for children of all ages and adults as well.
Location: Gate No 1, Bhairon Marg
Timings: 10:00 am - 05:30 pm (Monday Closed)
Admission: Rs 10
Nehru Memorial Museum and Planetarium
This is located at Teen Murti House, the residence of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The house, which was converted to a museum after his death, has a collection of many of his belongings.Also on display are the many unusual gifts Pandit Nehru received over the years. Housed within the compound is the Nehru Planetarium which gives an overview of the Indian Space Program. Daily shows are screened in a special auditorium. Children are fascinated as the wonders of the outer world unfold in front of them and they find answers to their searching questions. The Space Capsule in which Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma went into space is also kept here.
Nothing can compare with the joy of being outdoors and one with nature. Of flying high up on a swing and feeling the swoosh of air on your face as you reach the top, or the thrill of crossing a rope bridge, hanging on precariously to the dangling support above not knowing whether you'll reach the other end triumphantly or topple and fall off below in this endeavor, or the feel of sand between your toes as you reach the end of a smooth semi-circular slide, stomach down. Or the smell and touch of the grass as you tumble down in exhaustion after racing your friend till the little hillock and back. Yes, your kids can experience all this and more on a visit to Children's Park, a huge park in the middle of the city. Huge shady trees provide the perfect cover for a picnic and the simple play equipment like the see-saw, merry-go-round, jungle gym, etc. press home the fact that kids can have a whale of a time without having to resort to high-tech games and rides. The large well maintained lawns provide good sitting grounds to visitors who can also stroll or jog on the well paved paths. The park also houses a small aquarium which though is nothing to boast about, is nevertheless an added attraction. Another attraction is the children's reading room within the premises.
Location: Beside India Gate
Time : Sunrise to Sunset
India Gate Lawns
The verdant expanse on either side of the famed war memorial, India Gate, is the perfect place to be on any evening of your trip. Take your children close to the structure and see the 'Amar Jawan Jyoti', the eternal flame under the arch in honor of the martyred soldiers, read the names of slain heroes inscribed on the walls, and get yourself photographed against the backdrop of this majestic monument that stands proudly in the center of the road. After that you are free to frolic around this lush expanse and thoroughly enjoy its fair like festive atmosphere. Citizens of Delhi as well as tourists come here in droves for an evening of relaxation and fun. Children especially are attracted to this place as they can run around and play freely and enjoy boating in the water bodies along the lawns. Ice cream vendors of course do brisk business wherever children are around. Hawkers selling all types of edibles and cheap toys dot the place. Favorite with kids is the soap bubble maker and one can see beautiful iridescent bubbles float through the air. Another popular toy is the parachute which is shot into the air and opens up on its descent. It is a pleasure to see children scramble across trying to catch the parachute before it lands on the ground. No children's play area is complete without balloons and this is no exception. Balloon sellers lure little kids with their beautiful balloons in delicate pastel shades. Perhaps a sight most endearing is of a toddler, walking with his arms around a huge balloon which hides him completely!
After sunset, the regal monument is bathed in illumination and is truly a sight to behold. Fountains located nearby are also illuminated with colored lights which adds further resplendence to the environment. Kids are sure to love this place and will definitely ask you to bring them back once more.
Zoos have always held a special attraction for kids of all ages and the Delhi Zoological Park is no exception. Established in 1959, it is spread over 214 acres. It is regarded as one of the finest zoos in Asia. An almost natural habitat, conducive to their lives, is provided to the 2,000 species of animals and birds housed there. Most of the animals have their own open enclosures. Birds are seen all over the zoo and at the specially created marshlands. The main pathway of the zoo forks off in two directions. On the right side are various animals like the chimpanzee, spider monkey, wild buffalo, the Gir lion and others. There is also a library which has information on animals, birds, plants, rare zoological species, etc in India. The left side leads to the enclosures of water animals.There are also a number of migratory birds housed in the swamps made for water birds. In the center of the zoo lies the underground reptile home and one can see the King Cobra, pythons and other species.
The Delhi Zoo is also the place to learn a little about the flora of the city as here are planted approximately 200 varieties of trees which are displayed with all information regarding their names, species etc.
The zoo can be viewed in an open-roofed mobile van which is available within the complex at affordable charges. With an abundance of greenery, it is an ideal picnic spot especially in winters. Since you're already there, why not let the kids enjoy boating next door at the lake in front of Old Fort.
Location: Adjacent to Old Fort
Timings: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm (April to September)
9:30 am - 4:30 pm(October to March)
Admission: Rs 10 (Closed Friday)