Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the smallest of the four Indian main 'metro cities', nevertheless there are a lot of daytime activities to choose from although these may seem curiously at odds with Chennai's old world, smaller town charm. The locals are still quite traditional but this doesn't stop them having fun at a water amusement park or on the golf links. As Chennai is not as big as its contemporaries visitors will not have trouble getting around.
Water and Amusement Parks
Dolphin City and Little Folks
Included a water park and an amusement complex for children. An American Sea Lion performance is hosted here; the first of its kind in the country. The multi-cuisine restaurant is also nice. A little shopping complex offers some toys, swimwear and camera batteries.
- Location: 46 km from Chennai towards Mamallapuram, four km after the Crocodile Bank and 10 km before Mamallapuram. About an hour's drive to Chennai.
MGM Dizzee World
This 27-acre theme park has many attractions, including a separate waterworld section. The park offers a choice of packages based on if you want to try out only the amusement rides or if you want to do the amusement rides and the waterworld rides together. Kids do enjoy playing with their favourite cartoon characters.
- Location: 24 km from Chennai on Mamallapuram Road.
VGP Golden Beach
is a popular amusement park. There are many rides for children at the Universal Kingdom as well as thrilling rides for adults and you can even enjoy a 'musical fountain'. The amusement also features 'Rain Forest', a multi-cuisine restaurant. Liquor is served at the Golden Bar. The park has folk dances and also has artifacts made out of sea shells. Makes a good excursion.
- Location: About 20 minutes drive from Chennai City on the East Coast Road.
The only indoor Go Karting centre in Chennai and has a 200-metre long concrete track. It is also the most recent one to come into existence. If you don’t want to head far out of the city for your Go Karting this would be the ideal choice.
- Location: about 5km from Chennai at the AVM studio complex.
Chennai Gymkhana Club Golf Course
Contained within the 2,400-metre oval of the Guindy Racecourse. The Gymkhana Club was founded in 1886 and is affiliated with many national and international counterparts. The course is fairly challenging and can offer unexpected hazards like racehorses on work outs! The greens are very well maintained and the fairways are flat and fast.
- Location: Located on 334 Anna Salai, previously Mount Road at Nandanam, about ten minutes from Central Chennai.
Madras Cosmopolitan Golf Club
It was designed by Peter Thomson and laid out in 1873. It boasts 18 holes with a par of 72. There are many water hazards on the course and on weekends only members and their guests can play.
- Location: In south Chennai on Anna Salai Road, about 30 minutes from central Chennai.
Spread over almost two acres and the 300m long track has many turns. The machines are powered by Honda engines and go up to 50km per hour. The feel of the track is rather like Formula One racing with less chance of any mishaps. It is the oldest Go Karting track in Chennai.
- Location: East Coast Road, about 20 minutes from central Chennai.
MRF Danny’s Karting
Run by an ex-professional racer called Sherif Dyan. He was one of India’s prominent motorcycle racers and is the driving force behind the place. It has a 600-metre long tarmac-coated track which is well lit in the evening and is better for racing then as it is cooler.
- Location: On the way to Mamallapuram, just ahead of Tidel software park about 27kms from Chennai City.
The Madras Riding Club
Merged with the Madras Polo and Rider’s Club to be rechristened the Madras Riding School. It offers training to potential horse riders, show jumpers and polo players.
- Location: 34, Velachery Road, Guindy, 45 minutes from central Chennai.
The Chennai Equestrian Academy
Offers similar services to visitors. They have regular horse riding classes and will also welcome walk-ins.
- Location: 130, Old Mamallapuram Road about half an hour from central Chennai.
If you are looking for something more interesting to do with horse riding get in touch with the Velkom Equestrian Centre who offers some adventurous horseback trails through villages, paddy fields and casuarinas groves.
- Location: East Coast Road near Kovalam about 15 minutes from central Chennai.
A full range of soothing massage treatments, along with aromatherapy, sauna, plunge tubs, and other holistic treatments. They have a separate beauty salon that you can take advantage of as well. Self produced and promoted bathhouse products which act as beauty aids are for sale.
- Location: In Gokul Towers on CP Ramaswamy Road, Anna Nagar in east Chennai. About 15 minutes drive from central Chennai.
Thai Spa & Fitness Centre with all the trappings of a world-class rejuvenation and healing centre. Yoga and meditation classes, massage treatments, and specially formulated spa cuisine is featured here for you to pick from. Natural herbs are used based on ancient remedies for holistic healing. A swimming pool and a hair spa also feature.
- Location: Inside the Asiana Hotel at 1/238 Old Mammallapuram Road in Semmencherry. About 20 minutes drive from Central Chennai.
A famous for its Moroccan Body Pack. Their oil-less Thai Massage is equally popular and leaves you feeling refreshed. If you wish to experience their ultimate luxury try out the rose oil massage with sandalwood and milk bath. The Spa even has a gift coupon facility called 'Oryza Day' which clientes can redeem for any Spa treatment they fancy.
- Location: at 46/1 Chamiers Road in Nandanam about ten minutes drive from Central Chennai
offers a four-lane bowling alley in the very heart of Chennai. The alley is among the favourites of the younger crowd in Chennai. It also offers a couple of pool tables for those interested.
- Location: On the third floor of HM Centre on Nungambakkam High Road. Ten minutes from central Chennai.
is a bowling alley located in Spence’s Plaza. It is not just a bowling alley but a full fledged recreation centre with pool tables in more than one size, snacks counters and beverage counters. The décor is Wild West inspired and features cacti. The painting adds to the charm.
- Location: 2nd Floor Spencer’s Plaza on Anna Salai Road. It's about eight to ten minutes from central Chennai.
literally translates into 'web of illusion'. It is a multiplex which also features an eight-lane bowling alley and is the largest in Chennai. It also has pool tables and you can take in a movie in the mutiplex besides eating at the multi cuisine restaurant.
- Location: 34 East Coast Road, about 15 minutes from central Chennai.