There is unbearable heat in my hometown and last couple of years that we have tried spending summers there, both my kids have invariably come down with heat stroke. So the verdict from nana-nani this year is to stay put in Mumbai.
We do head out for 2 weeks for a holiday in the hills, but that apart it’s a Staycation for our family this year. Yes Staycation, that’s a real word and it doesn’t mean stay at home and watch TV all day. Not at all. It means we are going to be staying in our home but participate in MANY leisure activities within driving distances, dining out more frequently, setting up the makeshift swimming pool, getting creative in the kitchen and much more. Basically avoiding routine and creating a feeling of a traditional vacation.
In this series of blogs that I am going to be writing through the summer, I plan to give a peek into all the interesting summer activities that we will be enjoying together as a family while on our Staycation.
The first in this series is an account of our day spent at Smaaash.
So why did I choose on Smaaash?
Well, I have two kids who are 8 and 3 years and I would ideally like to plan places that can keep both my kids entertained. With the brand new 6,300 sq ft kiddie play area that promised to be the biggest in Mumbai so far, there seemed enough and more options not only for both age groups but also for us. And I can’t roast myself in this sweltering heat and this place is fully air-conditioned. Also they seemed to have some pretty interesting virtual games like the finger coaster where you draw a really crazy zig-zag line which converts into a virtual roller coaster for you to ride virtually!! So if I am staying put in India, this seemed like my best chance to experience thrill.
What to expect at Smaaash?
Smaaash is well known for Sky karting, Bowling Alley & Simulation cricket where you play against like of Malinga & Wasim Akhtar but that’s only a small fraction of the gaming options available at this massive 1,20,000 sq. ft. entertainment zone in Lower Parel. Here are some of the things that really excited my kids and me
- Bumpy car was my little one’s favorite and a revival of my own Appu-Ghar visits.
- Sharp shooter with a gun where I, for once, made it to the semifinals. I never thought I could be good at shooting and beat my husband at it! It was really good fun.
- Both Virtual Hand Glider & Walk the plank were super hit with my 8 year old daughter. She in fact had a go at almost all the virtual reality games.
- Finger Coaster (the virtual roller coaster), well my husband got sick in his stomach, it was THAT good!
- The shooter basketball & shooter soccer ball was pre-timed and good fun.
- If you plan to play football kicks or Go Karting then make sure you wear sneakers.
- King of hammer was worth a shot.
- After a quick snack the kids spent close to an hour at the Smaaash Junior, the kids indoor play area. With 3 set of slides of varying difficulties, 2 massive ball pools, hurdle climbing, a hanging bridge, trampoline and a merry-go-round the kids could spend an entire evening inside. There were so many things to do for the kids. What I especially liked was the toddlers zone equipped with 5 cars, wall puzzles, pretend and play supermarket, kitchen and even a beauty Salon.
- With the kids inside, I spent some time playing Pac Man which is pretty much air hockey with tons of pucks being slid in very frequently. Well, I can say it was fast paced workout for me that day!! I still lost to my husband.
- We had a go at some of the games once again as the kids were settled in the play area now.
- Dodge ball , Free kick, Power Truck and a few more we couldn’t try for we were totally blown out by then.
Why do I recommend going there?
Apart from the fact that we had a riot of entertainment, here are some of my reasons for recommending Smaaash.
- The best part is that there is no minimum entry fee, which means I can take my maid along too. And you pay as you go, for the number of games you play. Just makes it more viable monetarily. Like I said, I have two kids and it’s easier to have an extra pair of hands, especially when kids want to do separate activities.
- It’s a place for my whole family, there is something for everyone – toddlers, kids, teens and grown-ups.
- The food was extra-ordinarily good and very reasonably priced. You have a family styled café or a bar styled restaurant to choose from.
- Competitive games like bowling alley, Go Karting, simple things like basketball can be enjoyed with small groups of family or friends.
- Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are their brand ambassadors, speaks volumes for cricket buffs.
- Its super fun for kids to draw their own roller coaster ride and see it transform into a real ride through the virtual eye wear.
- But my foremost reason remains that it’s a very safe place. Like when my kids went into the Smaaash Junior Play Area, I could comfortably step out and indulge in some play myself. The staff were very vigilant, they even wrote down my name and mobile number on my kid’s wrist band apart from having it in their record book. There were loads of magazines to flip through in the waiting area. I mean I would go just for that. Good time for my kids. Good time for me.
What I didn’t like
We tried the vending machines games but I wouldn’t recommend these given that there are so many other exciting games to explore. Also the toilets were very mall style – in one corner. Though they were well maintained, we had to trek down every time one kid wanted to take a leak.
So tell us, what are your plans for your Staycation? Drop in some interesting ideas in the comment box.