One of the big problems with time is how it seems to work. It can’t seem to decide what speed to flow at! Every single student waits all year long for the minutes to inch past, counting down to summer vacation; and two weeks into it they’re bored out of their minds. Not to mention frustrated parents who can’t wait for school/college to begin again. So what do you do with all that summer time? And how much will it cost you? To all those people who complain that Chennai doesn’t have enough to do, you’re wrong.
No need to take off to New Zealand or other exotic locales any more, Chennai has all of it and more. From zorbing to obstacle courses to paintball, consider adventure sports. Movies and malls aren’t your only options any more. Most places offering these activities are along the ECR and OMR, but there are a couple within the city proper, too. Zorbing can be done at Wired in Nungambakkam and you can indulge in paintball at Adventure Zone in Thiruvanmiyur.
How much: Varies from place to place, starting rates are around Rs.250.
For all those who have a fondness for history, summer is the time to learn about your city. The fact is that most of us take Chennai for granted, so open up those guide books and you’ll realise how much the city has to offer in terms of its past, and how little of it you’ve actually seen. And it won’t burn a hole in your pocket either. PS: The Egmore Museum is a great place to start.
How much: Price of tickets to historical sites and monuments varies based on the funding they receive: usually Rs.5-30. If you’re going with friends from outside the country be prepared for them to have to pay more.
We’ve all heard that the city is soaking in culture and heritage, and summer is when you get to discover why, where, what and how. Drive to Dakshinachitra and take a look at the tradition, art, architecture and folk culture of this country. Getting there is relatively easy – and spending the day there, even more so. A basic tour takes about an hour and a half but there are various workshops and demonstrations you can schedule or sign up for, too.
How much: Prices begin at Rs.30 for students.
Visit Birla Planetarium housed within Tamil Nadu Science & Technology Centre. The best-equipped planetarium in the country, they have shows in both English and Tamil. Believe me, you’ll never see stars the same way again. For the more scientifically inclined, there are various other galleries on premises.
How much: Tickets are priced at Rs.10 for children and Rs.20 for adults for the planetarium alone. There are also combo packages for those who want to see more than just the Planetarium.
Hone your skills
Summer is a great time to brush up on skills you’ve let go of or, better still, acquire new ones. Dance, theatre or even kickboxing, most training facilities have summer packages that last just about a month or two. Many professional schools and groups offer workshops for basics in certain disciplines, too.
How much: Classes/workshops begin at Rs.500, depending on the skill set and institute you choose.
Consider a summer internship in the field you love. Even if you don’t find your passion you’ll discover what you really do not want to do. Promotional offers always need people to sell their product. Keep your ears open and you might just find offers coming your way.
How much: You make the money here.
Of course, for those of you to whom summer is just about long lazy days, Chennai still has a plethora of multiplexes, malls, resorts and cafes to spend summer at, or in true summer style, you can take a long drive to the beach, soak up the sun and relish Chennai’s summer fruits. But if you’re up for it, make some calls, gather up some company, dress right and watch those summer hours disappear.
Wired is at Old #20 New #8, Rutland Gate, 4th street, Nungambakkam, ph: 45038512, 9884095678.
Planet Adventure is at No.8 Sri Krishna Enclave, Water Land Drive, Kottivakkam, ph: 9600016350.