Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An idea whose time has come

One of the biggest temptations of living abroad for me at our current stage of life is the range of fun and exciting stuff that one can do with the kids. From picking fresh strawberries at a farm to ballet classes to camping in the great outdoors... there's probably enough to pack every weekend of the year. However, given my aversion to cooking and housekeeping, it's unlikely that is ever going to happen so we try to make the best of what we have within our reach.

In a city like Mumbai, the problem starts with there not being many available options. I think most cities in India would be similar but Mumbai's lack of space and green cover reduces opportunities for non-school kids' activities even further.

Then there is the problem of knowledge. There is stuff happening but no way to ensure that the information gets to you in time. Sometimes, we get lucky and hear about stuff from friends, newspapers or blogs - the recent International Clown Show which Ayaan absolutely loved - was one such lucky break. But most of the time, weekends are spend lounging at home, running errands and hanging out the handkerchief-sized lawn that passes in this city for a neighbourhood park.

I have often wished there was a local magazine or portal that made this easier for me - that consolidated everything I need to know to survive and enjoy life as a parent in my city. So I was both impressed and jealous to come across the Facebook page for the Delhi-based mycity4kids a couple of months ago. I really liked what I saw and decided to unselfishly share the joy with my mommy friends in Delhi.

They now have a website as well - which all you lucky Delhiites can find here. The long list of stuff they cover is amazing - from schools and tutions to hobby classes and kids' events and almost everything else in between. Enjoy! Me, I am just going to linger mournfully on the sidelines and hope they get around to other cities some time soon. (mycity4kids, are you listening?)

20 comments:

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  3. Rohini, for whatever its worth, you will have a few options in the kids section of the fortnightly Mumbai Magazine "Time Out"!

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  4. I live in the US,talk to me if you have had the opportunity to move here,and are not doing so only because of lack of cooking/cleaning help!

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  5. Hey... i grew up in bombay... and yes the green cover is lacking. but luckily my parents had an amazing club membership.. which implied ample pool time, manicured lawns and enough tennis etc...

    I agree in US, kid friendly options are way more.. and the cooking and cleaning and chores... you get used to it to a point that you only like it "your way!"

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  6. This is why I love living in London as there are so many parks and free kids' activities. There's no reason to stay home on the weekends. But yes, most Londoners have to do their own cooking and cleaning! Does not Time Out Mumbai have a kids section though?

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  7. Err..there is ballet in Bangalore, a lovely city farm called Martin’s Farm (and a couple more but I haven’t been there) and loads of places you can camp in (even there you could opt for someone coming to cook/clean!)

    OTOH, you get cooks and cleaners in London very easily :)

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  8. I completely agree. We went to Delhi last month and went to a different park everyday that we were there, all within 5 minutes of my sister in law's house! I think Time out Mumbai website does have listings of kids' events, activities and so on. I do remember seeing this on their website.

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  9. artnavy9:22 am

    Did you try Story Trails yet? Are they still there ?

    Kids theatre shld be an option in a year or so as Ayan grows

    Also u r so creative - design your own activities/ outings na- more flexible and fun and who knows u launch it as a biz!!

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  10. [Sailakshmi/ Planethalder/ Nina K] I do subscribe to Time Out but don't often come across information I can actually use. Many of the features activities are way into town (I live in the suburbs) and for older children. Will check out their website to see if they have more meat there. Thanks.

    [V/ Choxbox] If I did have to move abroad, I am definitely going to pull out all the stops to find help :) But that's really not the only reason - I love living in India too much. Call me a stick-in-the-mud :)

    [Garima] We have a club membership too but in our part of town the clubs are pretty much building with a swimming pool, some courts, a gym and a restaurant thrown in :(

    [Art] No Story Trails here. And whatever gave you the idea that I am creative?

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  11. Totally agree Mumbai is a big offender when it comes to adequate space. A couple of recos from me (though must say these suggestions have not been tested out on kids) - Borivli National Park has some open spaces and is great for a weekend morning. And bnhs (http://www.bnhs.org/) sporadically organises some really nice children's activities revolving around nature and wildlife at their conservation centre in Goregoan .

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  12. [Anita] Yes, must to Borivili National Park one of these. The BNHS activities are usually for slightly older kids...

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  13. Anybody who can vouch for this book?

    http://www.flipkart.com/must-mums-rina-mehta-mumbai-book-8120417356

    The summary on the site doesnt mention that the book includes any fun activities though...

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  14. [KA] Sorry. Haven't come across it. Do tell me how it is if you do buy it. :)

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  15. Sorry Rohini,I wont be getting that book in the near future,I dont even live in India :) I did however, present a friend with the Bangalore version of the same series, by the same author.Can check with her about the contents and hope that the Mumbai version is the same.

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  16. Mum's delight12:08 am

    Treasure books has some nice weekend and daily activities for kids- you must be getting their messages since you had Ayaan's birthday there , was thinking of taking Sumedha for the painting classes there on Monday.

    Why don't you start a page on facebook where anyone can post activities across Bombay for kids? Am sure most people are looking for this kind of info

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  17. I have the book by Rina Mehta. Doesn't help. Mostly for older, SoBo kids.

    Why don't you start the mycity4kids Mumbai chapter? Honestly, I cannot think of a better person to run it.

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  18. Nice post - I have the same feeling about not knowing when something's happening until it's too late.

    I have the Just for Mums Bangalore edition - it's mostly about schools and non-school activities which are for older kids - ideally 8+. Didn't find much of interest for my 5 year old let alone my 2 year old !

    Greenery as of now is still available in spaces in Bangalore though fast disappearing!

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  19. www.bpbweekend.com is a website i came across which gives some event updates!

    See if you want to use those!

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  20. Well, ask and thy shall receive. :)

    Have you looked at these guys? http://mummyknowsbest.com/
    They cover B'lore and Mumbai and most stuff is really useful.

    HTH

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