Love it or hate it but you can’t live in Gurgaon without cribbing about bad traffic, broken roads and general dysfunction. But look beyond all this and see what the millennium city has to offer besides malls and movies. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and spoilt for choice as well.
1. Vintage Camera Museum: Walk into the basement of photographer Aditya Arya’s home in Phase 3 and you can literally go back in time. This one of its kind museum boasts more than 500 analogue cameras, some of them dating back to the 1880s. The walls are crammed with stunning photographers of Nehru, Gandhi and political events from 1930s to 60s by photo journalist Kulwant Roy, Arya’s uncle. If you’re interested in photography you just can’t skip this one.
2. Epicentre: Catch a play, dance or musical performance at Epicentre, a cultural centre where workshops, events, art exhibitions are also held regularly. If all this does not interest you just go there to grab a bite or have a drink at their restaurant, Drift.
3. Kingdom of Dreams: You haven’t seen anything like this before – the setup is grand, Indian and dramatic. At Culture Gully you can eat and shop to your heart’s content for it has food and handicrafts from every state. After this catch the foot-tapping Bollywood musical, Zangoora, at Nautanki Mahal. Besides Hindi, there are shows in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Japanese languages as well. Jhumroo is a musical comedy featuring 19 Kishore Kumar songs.
4. Ice skating: As the mercury crosses 40°, you can beat the heat and try your hand at ice skating at iSKATE, the country’s first indoor natural ice skating rink in Ambiance Mall. Besides hour-long sessions, they even have training classes that you can enroll for. Don’t forget to visit the cafe for those hunger pangs after skating.
5. Paintball: Whether you’re a pro or a first timer the good news is that you can do it in Gurgaon. In this game each participant or team has to run across the field shooting the opponent with paintball guns. When someone is hit the bullet splits open leaving a paint splash. It’s fun when there is a large group. The Paintball Co. Gaming Destination in Sector 31 Gurgaon and 32nd Milestone are the two places that offer this.
6. Bowling: Nothing can beat a good game of bowling with friends. You can try your hand at this at either BluO in Ambiance Mall or 32nd Milestone. BluO happens have the largest bowling alley in the country.
7. Stellar Children’s Museum: Good news parents, your kids can go wild at this museum. It’s not a traditional one where they’ll have to walk around without touching anything. Here they can paint on walls, throw things, splash around in the water and learn while they have fun. An enjoyable and interactive place for children, it is divided into seven zones – Invent It, Build It, Create It, Live It, Explore It, Splash It and Discover It – and each one is dedicated to a unique theme.
8. Golfing: Gurgaon boasts the country’s first golf resort – ITC Classic Golf Resort – that was also India’s first designer course. Set amidst the foothills of the Aravalli range, this 18-hole course has a bucolic feel about it. Another place where you can play golf is Golden Greens Golf & Country Club, nestled in the Aravalli range off the NH8. It’s an 18-hole course.
9. Tau Devi Lal Biodiversity Park: An early morning jog at Tau Devi Lal Biodiversity and Botanical Park is probably one of the healthiest ways to kick-start your day. This sprawling park has a 1-km walking track and is dotted with a number of plants. It’s a feast for your eyes for you see green for miles ahead.
10. Raahgiri: We all know that getting up early on a Sunday morning is not a piece of cake, but when you see that you’re not the only one who’s out on Gurgaon’s streets – jogging, walking, cycling or doing some form of physical activity you’ll get motivated to go out each week. A few roads are closed and from 5.30am residents come out on the streets taking part in skating, yoga, aerobics etc. It’s a delightful experience for the kids as well.
11. International cuisine: Whether you’re craving for Spanish paella, Korean bulgogi, Belgian waffles, an authentic thin-crust pizza or German sausages, this city has it all. It is home to plenty of international cuisine restaurants so just pick one according to your choice.
12. Cyber Hub: This is one place no foodie can ignore. Cyber Hub is home to more than 30 restaurants, cafes and eateries and offers cuisine ranging from Bengali, Parsi, Italian, Mexican to Indian. The variety of food on offer is unimaginable. And the best part is that it’s not in a mall or building but in the open air with an amphitheater as well.
13. Organic Farmers Market: Think healthy and pick up a few things at the organic farmers market that takes place on certain Sundays (you can check with Roots Cafe for details) at Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park in Sector 29. You can choose from a range of organic fruits and vegetables, cow’s milk and breakfast cereals as well. After this, head to Roots Cafe for a hearty and healthy breakfast.
14. Microbreweries: Want to down a couple of beers to unwind after a hard day at work? Head to one of the microbreweries that are mushrooming all across this city. Howzatt, Striker Pub & Brewery, 7 Degrees Brauhaus, Downtown, Vapor and Soi 7 are just some of the options. The grub is as good as the beer.