Relocating to India: Delhi with kids
Are you thinking of relocating to New Delhi with kids in tow? We relocated to India from Singapore in February 2021. I froze when my husband told me about us potentially moving to New Delhi. Holy cow! It certainly did not sound like a safe and clean place to live. Not to mention pollution and traffic.
I was convinced that Thea and I would lose all the freedom we enjoyed in Singapore and end up locked in a golden cage like little birds. I have never been more glad to have been wrong! While it is definitely different from our life in Singapore, the doors of the cage are actually open, and there are some charming places and captivating adventures we can fly to.
So if you are looking at moving to New Delhi with kids or traveling here with young children, fret not. It can be pretty spectacular, and I am sharing some of the activities and places that will make your stay memorable.
WHEN IN NEW DELHI WITH KIDS, DEFINITELY GO TO:
There are dozens of parks in Delhi, and some are just stunning. Imagine walking among lush greenery, manicured lawns, exotic birds, fountains, bonsai gardens, and beautiful ancient buildings built centuries ago!
Our favorite parks in New Delhi that we recommend to go to with kids are Lodhi Park, Nehru Park, Deer Park, Sunder Nursery, and Humayun’s Tomb. It’s true that the latter, being a tomb of a famous guy, does not sound like a place to be. However, it’s one of my favorite places here. A stunning building that looks like the Taj Mahal is surrounded by green lawns, soaring trees, bushes, a fountain, and paths for a calm stroll.
The main downside are mosquitoes. So don’t forget a repellent!
MUSEUMS IN NEW DELHI WITH KIDS
I’ve been taking Thea to museums since she was a tiny baby. Wherever we travel, we visit art galleries and museums of different kinds. From the Victoria museum in Melbourne to the MET in New York, we discuss art on display, and she is the one who refuses to leave. We used to spend hours in the National Gallery in Singapore and its art center for kids. I guess this contributed to her curiosity, and I highly recommend other parents to not wait until their kids are big enough to remember.
So, back to New Delhi. India has such a rich heritage and history! It would probably take years to explore everything available to us. We’ve already visited many museums. It turns out that from art to space travel, there is something for everyone in the Indian capital.
One of Thea’s favorites is the Rail Museum. In fact, it’s a perfect museum to go to with kids in New Delhi! She loves all things rail, space, and planes. So naturally, she loved the train ride within the premises, the actual trains on display, and many Indian Railways-related exhibits inside.
By the way, I have a blog post about the best things to see and do in New Delhi with kids. It also covers some of the places mentioned in this article in more detail, and you can read it HERE.
Overall, you will not be disappointed in Delhi if you enjoy visiting museums.
TEMPLES AND MOSQUES
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate stunning Hindu temples and impressive Islamic mosques in New Delhi. Our favorites are Swaminarayan Akshardham (more about it HERE) and an Islamic mosque called Jama Masjid. These two are a must-visit in the Indian capital. Very different but equally impressive.
We also like the Lotus temple. It’s one of the most visited temples in Delhi. As the name suggests, the temple is shaped like a white lotus flower. Thea and I like it because it reminds us of Singapore’s similarly shaped Art and Science museum. We used to pass it every single night while walking around Marina Bay. This bay is an absolutely stunning place in Singapore, and I’ve written a blog post about Marina Bay with kids, which you can read HERE.
Yes, you read it right! At the time of writing, there are two impressive parks in Delhi, where all structures are built from metal waste. Using random screws, old bicycle chains, old slides from playgrounds, ship engines, etc., artists made gigantic replicas of the 7 architectural wonders of the world in the Waste to Wonder Park and the most significant ancient buildings from all over India in Bharat Darshan park.
For example, you can see a replica of one of the most colossal domes in India, built in the 17th century, called Gol Gumbaz.
Its exact copy was built using angles, electric pole pipes, weighing machines, cooking utensils, cycle-rickshaw pedals, and some parts of an engine. And they all look amazing!
We highly recommend visiting both. The best time for a visit is in the late afternoon because you get to see all the waste wonders in daylight, and they all light up when the dark falls.
There are playgrounds for kids in most shopping malls all over Delhi. So if your children love adventure playgrounds, you will definitely find a fun place.
When the weather is nice, I prefer taking Thea to outdoor playgrounds in parks. For example, Sunder Nursery has a charming and exceptionally well-maintained, fenced play area for kids. Dogs are not allowed there, and it is clean with many activities for children.
Another outdoor playground that we go to is a playground in Deer Park. Unlike wooden climbing structures in Sunder Nursery, this one is more plastic-oriented. However, that does not ruin the fun for kids. Though I find it less clean.
When it’s raining, too hot, or polluted, we choose indoor entertainment spaces for kids. One of Thea’s favorites is Duck Duck Goose indoor playground. It’s small, but there are enough things to do. Moreover, it’s clean, sanitized, and equipped with air purifiers. Although it gets rather crowded on weekends, it’s relatively empty on weekdays. Multiple times Thea had the entire place for herself.
We’ve also been to Kidzania, which was entertaining as kids get to try various professions. Thea loved it, and I feel guilty for not taking her there more often. It’s just that Kidzania is so far away from where we live. Depending on traffic, it is over one hour drive which can be quite exhausting.
PLAYDATES AND BIRTHDAYS
If your child is invited, do go to playdates and birthdays. Or organize a playdate yourself! We were invited to flabergasting playdates and birthday celebrations. Kids always have a blast! Meanwhile, I enjoy meeting expat and Indian parents and learning more about this wondrous culture.
This blog post marks our one-year anniversary in India. I will not pretend that it’s my favorite destination on planet earth. Given a chance to move back to Singapore, I’d pack our bags right away.
However, while living here, I realized something that changed me for the better. In fact, it depends on how we feel where we are. The grass is not greener on the other side. If you set your mind to being unhappy and complaining about everything different from what you are used to, well, you’ll probably be miserable and sad. I chose to accept the differences and understand that we are guests in this country. It’s not up to Indians to behave as we expect, but we must adapt to this lifestyle and culture. Therefore, I embraced the opportunity of living in India. I met some of the most marvelous people and still find beauty daily.
Book a Zoom call with me
If you’re planning to move to New Delhi with kids, I know firsthand that it can be a daunting experience. But, as an expat mom here for over two years, I can help you. Just hop on a Zoom call with me. We’ll spend an hour together online, and I will answer all your questions, give suggestions, and share the right contacts and recommendations, ranging from finding the best area to live in, to getting the best pedicures in town. Click here to learn more and to book a session! So let’s make your transition & settling in India a smooth and positive experience!
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