It has taken a while for us to get our heads around the fact that the indoor and outdoor play areas are perhaps not what you are used to in your own countries. Everything feels a little homespun but every year new things are opening, and standards are certainly improving. Again, outdoor areas of play are not completely geared to children, but you can make them fun and bring your own activities.
T&T TiP Don’t forget to take socks for you and kids.
Adventure Zone (One Galle Face Mall – Level 4) Opening Hours: 10am – 8:30pm (10pm on weekends) │1A, Centre Road, Galle Face, Colombo 2│ 0767496765
Yippee, this is an awesome play space for all the kids of Colombo. The Adventure zone is a modern/clean space for children from 2 – 12. It is considered both an educational and play area. Children are supervised while they explore and play, by either their parents (children under 4 must have a guardian accompanying) or watchful staff. There are slides, kids’ climbing rocks, a sand pit (made of cassia seeds), a soft play area and ball pit for toddlers, and the highlight a glow in the dark art room. The ‘recharge café’ is brilliant with healthy snacks for kids and parents. It is expensive but it is 3 hours of play and they offer membership deals. They are also starting various classes including Robotics which is cool.
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Open till 8pm on weekends) | 1110/1 Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla | 077 356 7974
They have a big one in Battaramulla and another smaller one in Havelock (216 Havelock Rd, Colombo 5). They are great indoor spaces for your little ones to run around in. They’ve activities for babies up to tweens, so it’s a good place to go when you need multiple activities for different age groups. The Battaramulla centre is bigger and has a much wider range of toys and activities.
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) |573, Nawala Road, Rajagiriya | 0112 862 656
Another indoor play area, they have one in Nawala and a bigger, better version in Mount Lavinia. They’ve got dress up areas, climbing areas, and ball pits. They are good, but as one of the older soft play areas it could do with a revamp.
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Open till 7pm on weekends) | 3/8 Gunasekara Udyanaya, Nawala Road, Rajagiriya | 076 854 4705
It’s not full of all the arcade games that a lot of these places have, which is great in our eyes. The indoor section is full of young and interactive staff, and is completely visible so your kids can run around while you find a bean bag and reflect about the joys of parenthood over a large cup of coffee. They also move sections around every few weeks, so it seems new and exciting to the children. They’ve got a huge garden with a trampoline, swing set, sandpit and monkey bars. They also hold workshops. The whole place is very clean and gets our thumbs up.
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm | 137 Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo 02 | 070 251 4811
Playworks is not a huge space, but it is excellent for entertaining children for 30 minutes or so while you go off and shop. They’ve got giant trampolines, a velcro wall to throw yourself on, and an upstairs section with virtual reality games and arcade style games.
6. Viharamahadevi Park
We love this park; it’s always a hive of activity. They have ponies which you can ride and stroke, and there are often foals roaming around. There is a giant playground, an aquarium, a track to ride your bikes on and it’s easy to scooter around the outskirts of the park. Also, they’ve got pedal-boats on the lake. Lower your expectations and you will enjoy the vibrancy of it all. Side note: the playground can get very busy especially on weekends and evenings. Prepare for your children to be photographed and people might stroke their face or touch them (this is not to be viewed as threatening, more a sign of affection.)
7. Galle Face Green
“Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height…” Galle Face Green is a magical and entrancing space, where in the evenings the locals descend for some family fun of kite flying, pony rides along the promenade and street food stalls aplenty.
120 Quarry Rd, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 6pm (They also open from 7pm – 10pm from Friday – Sunday) | 0112 712 752
The Singapore Zoo modelled themselves on this zoo in the 60s… something to contemplate when you take the kids. Up until a few years ago it hadn’t really been touched since the 60’s, but they are re-doing large areas of the zoo, and it is a good day out. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat. Take plenty of water, wet wipes and your resident visa because the local rate is so much cheaper.
95, Biyagama Road Thalwatte Kelaniya |Opening Hours 9.30am – 5.30pm| 0115 555 434
An aquarium set over 5 acres of land just outside Colombo (it will take you about 40 minutes to get there). They have a 30ft water tunnel, a bird park and, obviously, fish. It’s a fun outing for the children but it can get very busy with streams of school children, so go earlier rather than later.
316 Ethul Kotte Road,Batturamulla | 0112 863 863
A fantastic spot to go as a family; take your bikes, scooters, roller blades and have an adventure. They’ve got good well-marked lanes, so it’s very safe and there’s always wildlife to see. You can also hire a boat for a fun little jaunt.
11. Local parks around you
The Municipal Council has been brilliant at renovating lots of the playgrounds in areas around Colombo over the last few years. The newly done parks are bright, plastic and safe- your children will love them, you might be a little on edge though. Just take a deep breath and be happy your kids are running around and having fun.