Any city in the world we travel to we have to give a day to visit something techie, a science museum, a planetarium, a science center for the sake of our children. Any amount of wandering about doing other things and visiting tourist attractions don’t keep them happy.Whenever we visit Chennai, I make it a point to take them to these museum in Chennai. This sure keeps them happy and when they are happy I am happy too! Believe me, many times it is not just the children that are happy, we are happy too and we learn a lot or we get refreshed and things which we didn’t understand in school all of a sudden gets clear!
So what is that in Chennai that keeps my kids happy? Here is a list.
The Government museum
This is one of the oldest museums in India and is more than 160 years old. The museum itself is very interesting with it having the biggest collections of Roman antiquities in the world outside of Europe. What is more interesting for my kids though is the science gallery, the technology gallery the transportation gallery and we also tend to visit the kids corner and toy galleries sometimes.
This is one of the places, if interested where you can spend a whole day visiting all the different galleries in the museum. Also outside the children’s museum is a science park where kids can run around and have fun at the same time learn something too.
Closed on Fridays and the rest of the days it is open from 9:30 to 5:00 and the entrance fee is Rs.15 for adults and 10 for children below 12 years
Birla Planetarium and Science Park (Periyar Science and Technology centre)
We actually love the planetarium so much that we plan our times to attend different shows in different languages each time. It is generally empty unless there is a school group or something. We like to go on weekdays and spend a lot of time there. There is much more than just the planetarium. The 3D shows there are interesting, though within the first five minutes my kids want to run out because of the sound levels. There are so many other galleries like the Energy gallery, Innovation gallery, Transport gallery, Ocean gallery, etc.
Other than these, there are outdoor parks as well, the Science park, traffic park, energy park, there was even a park full of dinosaur statues with information on each one of them – the favourite for my children.
We love this place because it is not closed any day of the week. Just decide to go and go! It is open from 9 to 6, seven days a week! The planetarium is closed only three days in a year – Republic day, Independence day and Gandhi Jayanthi. The entrance fee is Rs.20 for adults and 10 for children below 12 years for the science centre and an additional charge of Rs.20 for adults and 10 for children for planetarium and the Rs.10 for the 3D show.
Railway Museum in Chennai
If you are looking to spend half a day in a quiet place with a picnic lunch packed in and a place where the kids will be entertained too, then this is the place for you.
Not too many people know about this museum in Chennai and it is very cool and surrounded by trees. The museum has indoor exhibits, outdoor exhibits (old engines and coaches), joy train ride, children’s park and a miniature working model railway.
The museum is closed on Mondays and is open from 10:00 to 18:00 the rest of the week. The charges are only Rs.10/- per head and they charge you extra for cameras.
The Chennai Lighthouse at Marina
The viewing gallery in the Chennai lighthouse is open for public. If you are going towards Marina beach and you have some time to spare during the day, make it a point to visit this place. Very interesting and exciting for children and adults alike. The viewing gallery is open to the public only since 2013, it was closed for over more than two decades. The public is allowed on the 9th-floor gallery. The 10th floor has high-security radar and the eleventh floor has the light source.
There is a tiny little heritage museum at the base of the building. Probably one of the smallest museum in Chennai, it has oil bearing large wicks, petroleum vapour lamps, kerosene lights and electrical lamps that were used in the past. It also has some history of marine navigation.
The view from the top is amazing and you can stay there as long as you wish. We went on a weekday and there was hardly anybody there. It is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. The entrance free to the viewing gallery is Rs.10 for an adult and Rs.5 for a child and for an extra Rs.10 you can visit the heritage museum too.