For most of you going back home probably means lots of family gatherings, dinners, meeting old friends and the best part .. cousins and the endless sleepovers!
Before this year’s trip to Karachi, I never had to worry about what my kids would do there. They were always surrounded and busy with their cousins. Cousins, who were either living in Karachi or visiting around the same time. So every holiday to Karachi meant, all the cousins staying over at their dados (grandmother’s) house, playing (and fighting) all day long! We never had to plan anything to keep them busy.
But this year it was different.. their cousins living in Karachi have relocated out of Pakistan and no one was visiting at this time too! So we had to make an effort to keep our 3 monkeys entertained in Karachi.
So here are my TOP 6 favorite things that we did in Karachi (All are Kids Approved!)
1. ARTEL Winter Camp
The top of the list has to be the Winter Camp at ARTEL by Bina Ali. Though ARTEL needs no introduction.. let me just say that her work is very unique and she is popular for her furniture, ceramics, artifacts, jewelry etc.
Working in Pakistan for over a decade now, Bina Ali trains underprivileged youth with little or no educational background as her design team. Her vision is to make a difference in society and take ARTEL to an institute level, have a training program for underprivileged youth, giving them not only diplomas but a platform to sell from. Now thats what I call passion for art combined with compassion for your the people of your country!
ARTEL by BINA ALI, offers Art camps for kids during school breaks as well as all year round(weekend classes). We registered our kids for a 2 week Winter Camp (1.5 hour class, 4 classes a week – a total of 8 classes).
Needless to say the kids loved the art classes – they not only had fun but learnt new things too.
Here’s a quick round up of what the kids learnt in these 8 days.
Week 1: Still life, Self Portraits, Designing Board Games & Life Size Drawing
Week 2: Art inspired by Sadequain, Collage Work, Painting Sunsets & Clay Art
Yep, so much just in 8 days! Isn’t that AMAZING? I highly recommend this art camp, if you are visiting or residing in Karachi.
2. Watching 3 Bahadur – The Revenge Of Baba Balaam
Teen Bahadur is Pakistan’s first 3D animated film in Urdu produced & directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. The first one was released in 2015 and the one currently playing in cinemas is the second one of the series called 3 Bahadur – The Revenge Of Baba Balaam. The kids LOVED it (though with their level of Urdu they were reading the subtitles as well for help). A very good attempt by the Pakistani animators. Loved the concept and looking forward to more on the series.
We came out of the movie with my kids in character..as the 3 Bahadurs – Amna, Saadi and Kamil. They love it so much that the boys want to have a 3 Bahadur themed birthday party! (Good luck to me with that! )
3. A Ride On Super Savari Express
The experience of riding a fancy mini bus was very exciting for my daughter. She had always been fascinated with the colorful buses and actually having the chance to ride these was quite something for her.
Not only was it just a bus ride, we got to show her the side of Karachi, that I would not have been comfortable taking her on my own. Showing her our roots and the humble living of so many Karachites was an experience that I would highly recommend to do with older kids. (We left our boys home as it would have been too long a tour for them and I am glad I did)
4. Visit to Mohatta Palace Museum
Another trip we took with our daughter was the Mohatta Palace Museum (the boys are too young to appreciate museums, so they stayed home..). She really enjoyed the exhibits on the old World Maps. Even I learnt something new, that Junagarh was a part of Pakistan at the time of partition and joined India in November 1947. There was East Pakistan, West Pakistan and Junagarh marked as Paksitan, on one of the old maps(how interesting is that…. see you learnt something new too.. or may be I was the only ignorant one who didn’t know 😀 )
And while I was busy photographing the grand architecture, she found these beautiful peacocks in the garden to keep her amused 🙂
5. Horse Riding at Sea View
What’s a trip to Karachi, without visiting the beach. But since we were short on time and couldn’t manage to go to far off beautiful (& cleaner) beaches that Karachi has to offer, we made use of the easy to access, Sea View at Clifton Beach.
The kids had fun riding the horses, camels and seeing the snake show.
6. Visit to the Book Store
And last but not the least, our favorite and a MUST do every trip, is a visit to the Book store. We usually end up going to Liberty Books (and all of us going crazy there!), but this time we got lucky to visit one of the oldest book stores of Karachi, called Tit Bit Book Stall.
What we found there was priceless.. Vintage Marvel comic books, some dating back to the 60’s and 70’s. (we got them all! )
And some very special and old ,”The adventures of Tin Tin” Comic Series and other classics..We went to another art exhibition and came across this book about Truck Art.. which I found quite interesting as there is so much of truck art around these days. This books tells the story behind it.
And of course a family trip to Liberty Books, which ended up with these…
What are other interesting things to do in Karachi with kids?? (except the indoor play areas.. I am not a fan!). What do you guys like to do?
Let me know, so I can note them down for our next visit to Karachi.