India isn’t probably the first destination you would think to take your kids, and the capital, the capital of India may not be an obvious choice but kids are warmly welcomed there and throughout the country. Younger kids may find the city overwhelming but if you plan your days carefully, get off the beaten tourist track a bit and schedule in fun child friendly activities, kids of all ages will get a lot out of their visit.
Top Picks for Delhi with Kids
- Lodhi Gardens is our top pick. A large garden area dotted with Mughal tombs, a pond and lots of space to run around in. A perfect refuge for families. The kids can run free, exploring tombs, watching the ducks on the pond and buying trinkets.
- Dilli Haat is an outdoor village market in South Delhi where artisan craftsmen/women gather from all over India to sell their wares. The prices are usually pretty good, there are food stalls and it’s a nice place to get some shopping done without dragging the kids all over town.
- Humayun’s Tomb is a tourist favorite, with it’s incredible buildings and stunning grounds. This is not off the beaten tourist path, but is worth seeing regardless.
- Arkshadam is totally over the top, but definitely a good site to visit with kids – and it is free!
- Qutab Minar is another fantastic Delhi landmark not to be missed. Go over in the morning and then head over to brunch at one of the many great restaurants nearby, such as the wonderful Mediterranean restaurant Olive.
- Garden of 5 senses, near Qutab Minar, is great for the kids to run around in and has a lot of different areas to explore.
- India Gate, another major tourist site, is a must do. But what’s even better is that there is a huge children’s playground next to it.
- Delhi Zoo isn’t the best zoo in the world, but if you need a down day away from the crowds and pollution, this is a decent option. However, note that no food/drinks are sold inside and you are not allowed to bring your own food inside. (We always sneak snacks in in the bottom of our bags, but they do check carefully). One interesting thing about this zoo is that often being a foreigner the zoo employees will ask if you want to get a closer look at the animals and will give you a sneak peak behind the scenes. I can’t guarantee this for everyone, but it has happened to us more than once!
- After the zoo, head over to Purana Quila for a picnic afterwards. You will have to have a car/driver waiting where you can store your picnic lunch!
- Train loving kiddos will enjoy a visit to the Railway Museum and a ride on the toy train.
- Deer Park is a good place to let the kids run around and see peacocks and lots of deer, but the best bit is ending up in the ruins around Hauz Khas Village.
- Completely off the beaten tourist trail, but interesting for kids nonetheless is a visit to the slightly odd Emu Farm.
- Stellar Children’s Museum has recently opened up in Delhi and is a great day out for the whole family. A visit to the museum gives the smaller kiddos a much needed day of fun in a more traditional (aka “western”) way.
- If you are in Delhi on a Sunday and want to have a great meal but make sure the kids are entertained, try Yum Yum Tree. They have a dedicated children’s buffet with craft activities for the kids.
- Remember, the shiny new air conditioned malls dotting the city often have children’s play areas, movie theaters and food and drinks if you are hot, tired and need a break.
- Get out of your tourist vehicle to take your kiddos out in an auto rickshaw at least once while you are in India. They will love zipping around in the open sided 3 wheelers.
- Train travel is a quintessential Indian experience. Take the train to your next destination. Delhi has several stations, but the main train stations are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station (aka Delhi Junction) and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
Remember driving anywhere in Delhi will take time – traffic, poor road conditions and seemingly never-ending road construction are to blame. It is not possible to do as many activities in a day as you might think. Don’t over fill your days – the heat, noise and pollution can take its toll on everyone!Thanks to Emily Rogers, a current New Delhi resident, for help compiling this list!