When Funky Monkeys, opened their first outlet in Lower Parel, Mumbai in 2012, I was still pregnant. It was on my list of “Must-visit places with my baby” ever since then. However, this couldn’t happen for a long time as it’s not a cake walk to travel all the way to Lower Parel from Malad, especially with a baby in tow. So, Funky Monkeys continued to remain in my “Must-visit places with H.” But now anymore! They are now closer to home! Yes, They have opened their second outlet in Andheri, tucked in a by-lane close to the celebrated Yash Raj Studio.
Though I am not a big fan of indoor play, but in today’s day and age when it is very easy for kids to become couch potatoes, any kind of play that promotes physical activity is good news. ‘Exercise in disguise’ is what they call it. Not just that, this is also a great place to for toddlers to socialise, especially for those like H, who don’t go to play-school yet.
Not just that, in Mumbai when space-crunch and monsoons rob away kids of their precious play area, ‘free play’ places like Funky Monkys is exactly what we need – safe, clean and climate-controlled environment.
What next? All set to rock and roll, we were on our way to Funky Monkeys. Once there, we put on our socks and we were ready for some action. (They won’t allow you without socks. So, better carry them along, else you can also buy a pair from them).
A sprawling 4100sq.ft. (bigger than the Lower Parel branch) world class play area awaited us to be explored. It’s designed for children aged 6 months to 10 years offering hands-on discovery and learning through spontaneous play, keeping fun and entertainment intact.
The place is divided into two areas – a toddler zone (6 months – 3 years) and a junior zone for kids from 3 to 10 years of age. Since, H is 11 months old, we made our way into the toddler zone. A little surprised, a little apprehensive, H started touching and feeling the place like any inquisitive toddler. Keeping in mind the uncertain steps of a toddler, the floor is soft and walls padded to ensure injury-free play. H, who is still learning to crawl was happily exploring the bright surroundings that offered a surprise at every step.
The toddler zone includes soft blocks, foam rockers and drum to roll in. But what H enjoyed the most was a cozy pony-ride on the mini carousel and the ‘play & learn’ corner that promoted hand-eye coordination. H had a blast ringing the bells and playing the piano, however, she wasn’t interested in wall puzzle. Though a little scared in the beginning, H had a whale of a time in the ball pool. A word of caution here, balls are a great fun but they are way too many and the slide leading to the pool very steep. A toddler under the age of 2 should not be left unassisted.
We also took a tour of the junior zone. The captivating area features a multi-level structure comprising of a triple-lane slide, that’s big enough even for the parents. A trampoline, ball pool, bouncy castle and a jungle gym. There’s also an adventurous zone with fun elements like tunnels, punching bags and crawl up slides to name a few.
As this was H’s first time and she can surprise you with a tantrum in front of strangers, so I chose to accompany her into the play area. However, if your child is big enough to play alone, you can enjoy your cuppa with your friends at Funky Monkey’s inhouse cafeteria or read Mutter-n-Tochter using their free WiFi as kids indulge in some ‘free’ play. Funky Monkeys also has a dedicated team of assistants, who would be happy to help you and the kids, whenever they need.
They have first aid in place, so in case of an emergency, the child will be attended to immediately. They don’t offer a ‘drop off your kid’ facility, so you can’t think about wrapping up some shopping while your kids play. If you have a personal help, can help if you want to leave your kid at Funky Monkeys and go out.
With approximately Rs.500 to keep your child busy, healthy, entertained and of course happy for a couple of hours giving you some time to relax, hopping into Funky Monkey’s this weekend isn’t a bad idea!
P.S: Don’t forget your socks!
Where: Sharyans Audeus 2nd Floor, Fun Republic Lane, Opp. Yashraj Studios,
Off Veera Desai Road, Andheri West, Mumbai 400053
Days & Timings: (Open 7 Days a week) Mon to Thurs : 11 to 8 p.m. Fri to Sun : 11 to 8:30 p.m.
Entry Fee: 1 Hour: Rs. 420 on week days/ Rs. 500 on weekends
2 Hours: Rs.550 on weekdays / Rs. 650 on weekends
Facilities: Free WIFI / Valet Parking / Cafe / Newspapers & Magazines /
First Aid Kit & CCTV on site
Tel: 022 2673 5115/16/17