Kolkata was the erstwhile capital of India for quite a long time during the British rule and is widely considered the cultural and intellectual capital of Pre-independence India. The city has many tourist attractions and is the ideal destination for families with kids. It offers fun and entertainment, and is aptly named the ‘City of Joy’.
The unique colonial history of Bengal and the central role it played in shaping the intellectual life of India is evident in all the landmarks in the city. While there is plenty to see and do when on a trip to Kolkata, you may often wonder where to take your kids. So, we have rounded up a list of kid-friendly places to visit in Kolkata, and ensure that your child has a whale of a time.
Top Tourist Attractions In Kolkata
1. Nicco Park:
- Located in Salt Lake City, Kolkata. NIcco Park was created to attract tourists and provides family-friendly recreation that is both educative and entertaining. The park was opened 24 years ago and is widely known as the ‘Disneyland of Bengal’. Nicco Park is the most popular destination for kids and one of the places to visit in Kolkata. And it is no surprise as the park offers 35 different types of rides ranging from the Toy Train to Paddle Boat to Flying Saucer. The biggest attraction of the Park is ‘The Giant Cyclone’ which was added in 2003 and is one of the largest rides in Asia. It is 750 m in length and reaches a height of about 55 feet.
- Nicco Park is extremely beautiful which can truly be seen by going up the ‘Eiffel Tower’ in the Park, which gives a panoramic view of the whole Park. There is also a man made a waterfall and rose garden so the more nature inclined people should be satisfied. To top it all off, there is a decommissioned MIG-21 on display in the park that is sure to capture the imaginations of young kids wanting to fly. Nicco Park is easily one of the most fun places to visit near Kolkata.
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2. Birla Planetarium:
- Birla Planetarium is a single storey circular structure that looks like the Sanchi Stupa. It has the distinction of being the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest in the world. The planetarium was inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963 and offers visitors more than 100 astronomical projects that deal with astronomy, space science and astrophysics. It has a maximum capacity of 680 people and conducts daily programs in English, Hindi and Bengali.
- The place is a must visit if you are a science buff, but even if you are not it is still a fun place to go. Kids will undoubtedly be enthralled by the images of celestial bodies as they try to figure out the mysteries of the universe.
3. Botanical Gardens:
- The garden is located just outside the city limits on the banks of the Hoogly river. The Garden was laid out in the year 1787 and is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the country. It has over 12,000 perennial trees and millions of plants from all over the world. However, the main attraction of the garden is the giant Banyan tree that is a wonder of nature and has the second largest canopy in the world. The very sight of the huge tree is sure to marvel anyone who sees that for the first time.
- The Botanical garden is also an excellent place for a family picnic and the plethora of beautiful orchids and colorful flowers should keep the kids busy for hours. There are also rare trees that you would not find anywhere else in India. A library also exists in the garden that has an extensive collection on all stuff related to botany.
4. Alipore Zoo:
- This zoo is the oldest zoological part in India and was opened in 1876. It is a huge tourist attraction and was world famous for having a giant tortoise that was over 250 years old before it died in 2006. The zoo houses some of the most attractive fauna found anywhere in the country with a diverse array ranging from the Bengal Tiger, African Lion, Rhinoceros, Jaguar and many more crowd-pleasing animals. Bird lovers will find some of the rarest of bird species at this zoo.
- Alipore Zoo is an ideal picnic spot and a natural wonderland for kids. The place is a great attraction and a chance for kids to see their favorite animals for real. You can also spend hours teaching them about animals at this zoo! Alipore Zoo is one of the most famous tourist places in Kolkata.
5. Nehru Children Museum:
- This children’s museum was opened in 1972 and is dedicated to Pt. Nehru, who was famous for his fondness of children. It is one of the most popular museums in the city and one of the top Kolkata tourist Places. Unsurprisingly, children love to visit this museum and it should be a memorable trip for your children.
- The museum has four floors with galleries for Dolls, Toys, Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a huge collection of dolls from 88 countries that will give you not only an idea of what kids around the world play with but will also be a blast from the past in the video games age. The museum also exhibits Indian history and culture with whole sections dedicated to clay models depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are also various competitions for children, so if you have kids, make sure to take them to the Nehru Children Museum when you visit Kolkata.
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6. Indian Museum:
- This museum was founded in 1814 and is one of the oldest in the world. There is a rich history of the museum and it showcases the cultural heritage of India. The museum was founded by the Asiatic Society at a time when India was suffering from a lack of self-esteem due to British rule. The Indian Museum is among the most famous places in Kolkata.
- The museum is commonly referred to as ‘Jadughar’ due to the magical effect the place has on visitors. Kids are sure to be enchanted by the rich display of Indian culture and heritage ranging from antiques to ornament to sculptures and fossils. There is also a huge collection of Mughal era paintings which should interest people who are into the era.
7. Oxford Bookstore:
- This legendary bookstore is easily the best place to read and buy books in Kolkata. There are books on almost every conceivable subject; kids should have a field day in the children’s section where there are thousands of books and comics for children. It is one the places to see in Kolkata.
- In today’s age of Kindle and Amazon, it would be a nice change for children to go to a good old-fashioned bookstore. Thus, it becomes one of the most important places in Kolkata. You can spend hours reading the books, and there is a tea bar, gift shop and a reading room to make your visit comfortable.
8. Victoria Memorial:
- Probably the most historically important and famous place to visit in Kolkata. The memorial was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1901. The place is beautiful to watch and makes extensive use of white marbles. The place is also a glimpse into the colonial era of Indian history and should be a very good history lesson for the kids. Victoria Memorial is the quintessential Kolkata tourist place.
- The memorial has a large collection of colonial era paintings, memorabilia and other colonial artifacts that provide insight on the part of Indian history from the arrival of British to their departure.
9. Princep Ghat:
- This is probably the oldest recreational spot and one of the most famous places in Kolkata. The Riverside is located on the banks of the Hoogly river and is surrounded by greenery. The place has been featured in many movies and is sure to be a hit with kids and old folks alike. The place is ideal for a boat ride or leisurely walk away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
- To top it all off the ghat is also home to the famous stalls that sell “puchka” and “jhaal muri”, so the trip here should be a treat not only to your visual senses but also to your taste buds, helping make it one of the top places of interest in Kolkata.
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10. Marble Palace:
- This 19th century mansion is one of the best-preserved houses in Kolkata. The palace was built by a very wealthy Bengali merchant for collecting works of art. The exhibits the time in Indian history when Indian elites were beginning to adopt the British lifestyle and attitudes. The mansion has a huge collection of western scriptures and Victorian era paintings and memorabilia. There is also a small Zoo next to the mansion with a diverse range of birds.
- The palace should interest kids who like to know about the Indian colonial history and the central role Kolkata played. The best part is that the entry is free, and there are guides who explain the various artifacts in the Palace.
11. Clown Town:
- This is an amusement park that is famous in Kolkata. There are many activities that should keep the kids busy. There is go karting, roller skates, rock climbing and a toy kingdom where kids can play with their favorite characters. Parents can spend a few minutes trying their hand at indoor games or feasting on yummy refreshments!
- The Clown Town lives up to its name and is a fantasyland for children who would like to indulge in some of the old fashioned fun that never really goes out of style. This place has something for everyone and makes a great family picnic spot. When in Kolkata do make it a point, to keep a day for a visit to Clown Town.
12. Millennium Park:
- This is a very large park that is part of the Kolkata Riverside Beautification project. The park is located on the shores of Hoogly and the scenery at sunset is a sight to behold. It is an ideal location for a family picnic and has many fun rides for kids.
- The Park makes way for an excellent break from the life in the city and has something for everyone. Be sure to visit the park when you are in Kolkata as nowhere is the beauty of Hooghly and Howrah Bridge more pronounced than this place.
- This is a water theme park that is one of the largest in water amusement parks in Eastern India. The place is a smash hit with tourists and locals alike. There are lots of fun activities for kids ranging from surf riding to Karting. There are also food Courts, party halls and many other indoor facilities.
- The place is a must visit if you are with kids. The amusement park has rides for kids of all age groups. What’s more? The weather conditions in Kolkata make the park viable even during winters. So, if you are in Kolkata and want to have some water-soaked fun with kids, then Aquatica is the place to go!
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14. Science City:
- Kolkata has been the intellectual capital of India for a long time, so it is no surprise that the largest Science Centre in the subcontinent is located there. The place has a large variety of science-related exhibitions with separate galleries for Evolution, space and many other branches of science. It is among the top 10 places to visit in Kolkata.
- Many parents visit the place to foster an interest in science in their children. However, the place is not at all boring, and children love various gadgets and telescopes available. There are also many amusements for kids like Gravity Coaster, Musical Fountain and butterfly nursery. The creators of Science City have worked hard to make sure that science is made fun for kids in this city.
15. Ravindra Sarovar:
- It is an artificial lake that attracts many tourists and locals alike. There are many rowing and swimming clubs within the Ravindra Sarovar complex that is sure to excite kids of all ages. There is also a Japanese Buddhist temple situated near the lake that has become a well-known tourist attraction.
- The kids will love the scenery and the opportunity to go for a boat ride at the Sarovar. They may also enjoy taking part in various swimming competitions organized at the place, for history buffs, there are some rare Nawab era cannons places on the west side of the lake.
16. Rabindra Sadan:
- IIt is a Cultural Centre and Theatre located in Kolkata. The foundation was laid by Pt. Nehru in 1961 and was completed in 1967. The place is a prime venue for Bengali Theatre and Kolkata Film Festival. So if you time your visit to Kolkata, then you can watch some of the best movies made in India.
- The place is a magnet for film and culture buffs; there is enough pop culture and theatre to interest children while also showcasing many cultural events that will interest grown-ups. Various plays are regularly staged at the place, and a visit is highly recommended.
17. Shobhbazar Rajbari:
- It is one of the oldest Royal houses of Bengali Aristocracy. The palace is famous for its annual Durga Puja and tourists are recommended to coincide their visit with the festival. The palace has a rich history that documents the Nawab and British era. The family that built the palace were also great progressives who supported the Bengali Renaissance.
- The place is a valuable piece of Indian history and reaffirms the notion that the British era can only be fully understood by visiting Kolkata.
18. National Library:
- It is the largest library in India by volume and has in excess of 2 million books. The library is open to all visitors and is a treat for people who like reading books. There are books on almost every conceivable subject with some of the rarest and hard to get book available at the library. It is a popular tourist place in Kolkata.
- Inquisitive children are sure to get lost in the world of books here as there are more books than any human can read in a lifetime. Kolkata has often been called the cultural capital of India and any visit to the city is incomplete without reading some books at the National Library.
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19. Gurusaday Museum:
- This museum was opened in 1961. The museum has a collection of over 3000 artifacts that range from rare manuscripts, sculpture to woodwork. The collection at the museum excellent and a visit is an excellent way to get a dose of the culture of Kolkata.
- Take your kids to a quick visit to this museum during your holiday in Kolkata. You will be surprised to see that they will love it. This museum has a reputation of kindling an interest in the minds of kids for the finer things in life!
20. Town Hall:
- This building is built in Roman Doric style and was a social club for Europeans during the British era. The building is very beautiful and captures the Roman style of building. It is one of the few buildings in India that is built in Roman style. Visitors from around the world make it a point to catch a glimpse of this hall when visiting Kolkata.
- The hall also has a large library that has many rare books and journals. The place is a testament to the bygone times of British rule and gives a glimpse into the colonial era that permanently changed India.
Take your kids along to the Town Hall and keep a few interesting tit bits about the place ready for when they throw a dozen questions at you!
- It is one of the best picnic spots in the city. The place is a deer park and with many other animals that give the place a rugged natural feel. The entry fee is nominal and children will simply love the place. If you are lucky, you can sight a few deer and tortoise, up close!
- Garchumuk is a small, quaint little place that will make you fall in love with nature all over again! If you are done with shopping and want to spend a day in leisure, you now know where to go!
22. Shahid Minar:
- The recurring theme in Kolkata is the deep impact British rule had in shaping its culture and monuments. This building was a memorial to all the soldiers who died in defense of the British Empire during its tumultuous times, now, however, it has been rededicated to all the freedom fighters who fought for Indian Independence from the British rule.
- The monument offers a bird’s eye view of the city and is popular with both the locals and tourists. The building is a valuable insight into the history of India and a living testament to the effects of British rule that transformed India and Kolkata in particular.
23. St. Paul’s Cathedral:
- This is a huge structure that was the first Episcopal Church in Asia. The cathedral is built in a Gothic style that is more similar to monuments founds in Germany than anything British. The uniqueness of the Cathedral makes it a popular destination for tourists.
- The place is very picturesque and is made all the more beautiful due to the rarity of a Gothic Church in the East. For many this may be the very first Gothic church they have seen. You can also get to be a part of the mass that is regularly conducted at the Cathedral. Just a look at this beautifully built cathedral will leave your eyes mesmerized!
24. Kalighat Kali Temple:
- Bengalis are famous for their devotion to female goddesses. It is most pronounced at the Kali temple where devotees from across India come to worship the Goddess. It is also a good insight into the cultural diversity of India with tourist from more patriarchal cultures can come and observe devotion to female deities.
- Take your family for a short visit to this Kali temple when in Kolkata. It is a great way to teach them about Indian culture.
Kolkata has the last China Town in India where you can see the lifestyle of Chinese immigrants who have lived in India for centuries, it is among the most intriguing tourist places near Kolkata. There are also culinary delicacies that mix the Chinese and Indian style that will have you smacking your lips. In all the city is a delight and a must visit for anyone who wants to explore the colonial era and the impact that period had on the country. So, did you explore any of these places? Do you know of any kid-friendly places to visit In Kolkata. Leave a comment below!