This paper investigates the role of streets and open spaces near home in the lives of middle-school aged Muslim children within a low-income, high density settlement, relatively free of traffic inside but surrounded by high speed vehicular roads on the periphery, in central New Delhi. All children who participated in this study typically walked to school, and to all other everyday places. Far-off city level places were reached by using public transport. The study is part of a larger research on the meaning of the child friendly city for children in low-income communities in New Delhi. This paper however, investigates one dimension of conceptualizing child friendly environments and sustainable cities, through the notion of place-child exchange or sharing of activities and interests between child and place (Chatterjee 2005). Streets and open spaces near home were nominated the most number of times in this dimension of place-child exchange. Streets and open spaces near home also emerged as most friendly places across all the dimensions of the child friendly city during in-depth semi-structured individual interviews (n=31, girls=16, boys=15). However, proximity of streets and open spaces to home appeared as the most critical factor, more than other physical attributes in determining regular access and engagement in play and other activities especially for girls. Focus group discussions, including mapping friendly streets on aerial photographs, with 15 girls in the 11-12 year age range revealed that a friendly street for one child was a very unsafe one for another simply because it was away from home. The deviation from this pattern was noted in children, both boys and girls, who were newcomers, from low socio-economic status (SES) migrant families. These new migrants, sought out far-off attractive places such as nearby middle-income neighborhood parks, as well as more global city level attractions across high traffic corridors and flyovers, at every opportunity. The focus group discussions with a larger sample (n=70) and including a larger age range (9-16 years) revealed, the socio-cultural constraints on use of outdoor spaces for older Muslim girls, and higher SES Muslim girls. However, even relatively active outdoor users, the younger girls from low SES backgrounds, could do so through negotiation with families, demonstrating the tension between social structures of family and wider society. Both boys and girls experienced constraints in using the most accessible of childhood outdoors—streets and open spaces near home, though the nature of constraints were different for the genders—the constraints on girls were based on social and structural norms of a patriarchal Muslim community, and constraints on boys were based on social class, and politics of territorial control by dominant groups. However, in a low-income, relatively homogeneous community, proximity of streets and open spaces, the multiple affordances for action as well as the identity of these places contributed to active use by children overcoming constraints. The findings of this study suggest ways to create more child friendly streets and open spaces in inner-city low-income neighborhoods. But the most significant finding is that in order to create active childhood outdoors, and hence a sustainable child friendly city, parents’ fear of places needs to be overcome, and a respect for the performative ability of the individual child needs to be respected.