I recently uploaded a reel up on Instagram on the subject – ‘Tips for Planning a Party at Sunder Nursery’. It was on the request of a few people who had seen the photos of my son’s birthday party there. The reel did very well and made me realise that other people would benefit from this information too. So, here I am sharing detailed tips for planning a party at Sunder Nursery, Delhi.
Back in 2019, in what seems like another lifetime, I had written a fairly long post about the beautifully landscaped public gardens in the heart of Delhi called Sunder Nursery. An extensive restoration project of these 90 acres of land, was undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust in 2008. Though restoration of the monuments is still ongoing, the grounds were opened to public a year before the global pandemic hit. Almost immediately, my family and I fell in love with this beautiful space. In fact, between deadly waves of Covid-19, Sunder Nursery became our weekend sanctuary. We love it so much that my son even wanted to celebrate his sixth birthday here! He was very particular about organising a ‘birthday playdate’ with six of his closest friends instead of a large party, despite the beautiful weather and his birthday fortuitously falling on a Sunday this year.
Aware of the incessant crowds that descend on Sunder Nursery over the weekends, I was worried about the potential glitches we would face in planning his party. And so, I began putting thing in motion nearly a month in advance.
Read on to know my tips for planning a party in Sunder Nursery. This information applies to kids’ parties as well as general bookings and / or events:
- You can book the designated party area and plan your party as you would any other party
If you’re simply looking for a pretty venue and are happy to organise all other elements of the party yourself (food, décor, games, etc.); there is a designated ‘Children’s Party Lawn’ located near the children’s playground and the small amphitheatre. The bookings can be made by emailing details of the booking on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, one can inquire about potential bookings at the Sunder Nursery gate.
- If you book FabCafe by the Lake, make the booking a month in advance
Since our party was going to be a small one, we decided to do it at FabCafe by the Lake, instead of at the designated lawn. This café run by FabIndia, is hugely popular amongst visitors, making it almost impossible to get a table here on the day itself. Though they don’t usually take bookings on weekends, I was able to book a table for 15 people, because I had called a month in advance. The catch being that the table would only be allotted to us in the morning – strictly between 11 am and 1 pm. Also, it is important to note that FabCafe by the Lake is notorious for not picking up their phones, if you call on the number listed on Google / their website. It’s better to make the booking at the venue itself and then take the Manager’s personal number for future coordination or queries.
- Re-check your bookings before the actual date and try to avoid booking on weekends
I’m just reiterating that weekends at Sunder Nursery are absolutely chaotic. If you can, avoid any bookings on the weekend, but if you absolutely can’t (as was the case with us), make sure to re-check your bookings a week in advance by calling the Manager or visiting FabCafe by the Lake personally.
- Arrive at least an hour in advance
For our 11 am slot, we were there at 10 am and even then, it was chaotic. We couldn’t find parking near enough and so had to carry our stuff quite a way. Plus, they had somehow got the number of seats we had booked wrong (we booked 15, they had prepared for 10). But, because we were early, we could manage these things before the arrival of the guests.
- Request for a dedicated server for the table, otherwise it’s chaos!
Haha! I didn’t think I’d be using the term ‘chaos’ in this article these many times!! Hahahaha… Don’t worry, the experience of planning a party in Sunder Nursery is not as stressful as it may seem from reading this post.
FabCafe by the Lake has a self-order service, even though the food is served to you on your table. The problem with a self-order system is that most people decide to look through the menu and speculate on their orders only when their turn arrives – in turn delaying everyone in line behind them! As our guests came in at different times, we requested for a dedicated server so we could place individual orders as and when required.
- You are allowed to take your own cake, so try to take some other kid-friendly food if possible
Giving a huge disclaimer here – FabCafe has NO kid-friendly food!! Since we were allowed to bring our own cake, helium balloons and return presents, we also snuck in blueberries/ raspberries/ blackberries and cake pops as snacks / treats for the kids while their parents ordered from the regular menu. There was an advantage to the timing here – 11-1 isn’t really breakfast and neither is it lunch, so snacks and cake worked well.
- The playground near FabCafe by the Lake is best option to entertain kids. Or encourage free play in nature!
When it comes to hosting children’s parties, entertaining the kids is one of parents’ biggest concerns. Even though we couldn’t organise games at FabCafe by the Lake, we chose this spot for two reasons – it’s located very close to the children’s playground, and right next to the beautiful lake and fountains, which are quite an attraction when it comes to free play!
As always, if you’re a visual reader, here is the original reel posted on Instagram:
These are my tips for planning a party in Sunder Nursery. If you have planned your own party in Sunder Nursery recently and feel like you can add your learnings to my observations listed above, please do so in the comments below. Happy planning and don’t forget to share this post with others who may find it useful!
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