Hooray- it’s a holi-holiday!

If you’re fretting about how to engage your kids during these year-end hols, don’t. Here’s a checklist of interesting things to do- mild, wild, fun and adventurous!

  1. No, museums are not boring. Take them to the Viswevaraya Science Museum and enjoy their grey cells perk up. It’s a wonderful and fun way to learn science (and we mean not just the kids). From Aviation, Principles of Electronics, Optics to Space Exploration, it can keep them and you interested for hours together. The younger ones will enjoy the Dinosaur section.
    Contact details: 22864009 10-5.30 PM, Website: vismuseum.org.in
  2. Movies – Your kids will love you if splurge on a mall-movie-ice-cream day, friends in tow. Ice-creams at Corner House, Koramangala/Sheshadripuram/Jayanagar 9th block will work fine too… your halo will shine for atleast a week.

  3. Lalbagh (pic: Deepa Mohan)
  4. Does your child have an artistic bent of mind? Discover his/her hidden talents amidst the flowering blooms of Lalbagh. Buy him/her a brand new set of crayons and a colouring book. The Lalbagh gardens are an ideal setting for your Taare Zameen Par to create his/her magic. Alternatively you could take your child to Active Canvas in Jayanagar that’s conducting various courses on drawing, sketching, theatre and pottery for children of all age groups.

      Jog through Cubbon Park with your kids. The one with the maximum leaf collection will get a ‘mystery’ gift. Alternatively you could do this at your nearest park too. For older children who love the camera, ask them to make an interesting 5 minute movie. For the younger ones, take them for a ride on the Putani Express in Bal Bhavan. The Bal Bhavan is closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays. It’s open on all other days until 6.30 PM.

    • If you live in apartment complexes or in any neighbourhood where there is a mix of children from different backgrounds/states, invite your children’s friends for a potluck. Request their parents to send a dish from their native cuisine – from Kerala to Assam. Try to make the dish kid-friendly, like putting mozzarella cheese on the dosa, or making carrot/peas smiley faces in idlis and making star shaped paranthas. If you celebrate Christmas, you can have this dinner on Christmas eve and arrange for some lovely gifts from Santa.
    • Discover Ring Road. Take him/her on the Route 500 bus that commutes from Banashankari to Hebbal through many areas – BTM Layout, HSR Layout, Agara, Marathahalli, Old Madras Road, Hennur Road and Bellary Road – to name a few. The Route 501 commutes from Kanakapura Road Mysore Road, Magadi Road, Peenya and Tumkur Road. Hop out for lunch (there are some good resorts off Bellary Road, e.g. Royal orchid’s 9th Mile Dhaba, Ramanashree etc.) and hop in onto the next bus. Rediscover your city.
    • Go on a cycling trip. Download your neighbourhood map from Google Maps and ask your child to mark all their friends’ houses. Create a trail away from the main road’s traffic and have fun. You could also set up a treasure hunt/detective trail with your kid and his friends.
    • Sure the Australia and South Africa Test matches are very exciting to watch and so also are the English Premier Leagues. But instead of sitting in front of the TV this weekend, play cricket/football with your kid and his friends in the local grounds. It means a lot to him/her. You could also take them to the ongoing Under-14 Inter Zonal cricket matches that are held at under RSI (Rajinder Singh Institute Grounds, MG Road), IAF (Indian Air Force grounds near Mekhri circle), NRA grounds (Jayamahal Road; approach via cantonment- grounds is approximately 500 meters before the Fun World gate) and RWF (Rail Wheel Factory grounds near Yelahanka). Here’s the schedule.
      Date Venue
      26 Dec 08 – 27 Dec 08 RSI, IAF
      28 Dec 08 – 29 Dec 08 NRA, IAF
      31 Dec 08 – 1 Jan 09 NRA, IAF
      1 Jan 09 – 2 Jan 09 RWF

      There’s also a Tamil Nadu and Bengal Ranji match at the KSCA from 26th Dec – 29th Dec. Details in cricketkarnataka.com.

    • Take them boating in Nagavara lake. Nagavara has many games by the lakeside. From mini rock climbing and mock bull fighting for the older children to merry-go-rounds for the young ones, there is a whole range. There’s also a good food court after they have worked up an appetite. Nagavara is on the ring road, close to Hebbal Flyover.
    • Organise a Bengaluru Jr walk and see your kid swear that history is fun thing to do. The walk is conducted by Arun and Roopa Pai, for a minimum group of 15 children. See Bangalore Walks for details.

    • Tipu fort (pic: Meera K)

    • Tipu’s Day Out – Introduce your kids to Tipu Sultan. Drive them to Nandi Hills. Have a mock fight at the Tipu’s Palace. Have a hearty lunch on the hills and drive down to Devanahalli fort where Tipu was born. They could walk on the ramparts of the fort with you. You can end the Tipu trail at his summer palace in the Market area or at Lalbagh. Buy them a comic on Tipu from the Amar Chitra Katha collections.

    • Chennapatna (Pic: M S Gopal)
    • Drive down to Wonder La at Bidadi. Your kids would love the water slides and wave pools in this hot December sun. Tickets are priced at Rs.350-420 for kids and Rs.450-570 for adults. There’s an ongoing discount for students. More details here. For a smaller version of the park, you could visit Neeladri, situated behind Electronics City. Contact number: 22429370.
      You can also drive to nearby Chennapatna to buy wooden toys, Bheemeswari for coracle rides,  Sawandurga to trek with older children.
    • Bannerghata Zoo is a wonderful way to show your child the wild cats. Bannerghata is open from 9 AM – 5 PM on all days except Tuesday. The highlight of the park is its Tiger and Lion safari where one can see the Tigers and Lions through an enclosed safe vehicle. There are also other safaris – herbivore safari, elephant safari – and the nature walks. Don’t miss the relatively recent butterfly park.

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