10 Child-friendly holiday destinations in India
Created by Mamta Upadhyaya Updated on May 12, 2020
When my eight-year-old daughter, Reva, told me about her friends’ summer vacation plans (some were heading to hills in the north, others had chosen a beach break in the south), I knew what was coming.
But since we were yet to finalise a destination, I looked to the internet for idyllic options to beat the summer heat and, most importantly, are all about kids. And there’s no country richer than India that offers a varied travel experience, where your child will be spoilt for choice.
India's Holiday Destinations For Your Child - Region-Wise
So take your pick, pack your bags and head for a memorable trip with your young ones:
Kashmir: This is indeed heaven on earth, especially in summer. Kids can learn to appreciate nature, and you can visit Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Srinagar. Stay in a boathouse or take a shikara ride and feel like royalty! You could even take a Gondola ridewith them in Gulmarg to experience the Apparawath and Kondoori Peaks. Plus, there’s river rafting and angling activities at Pahalgam.
Shimla: Known for its beauty and colonial architecture, the city has a number of sightseeing spots. Take a walk around the Indian Institute of Advanced Studycampus or explore the landscape around the Jakhoo Hill. A visit to the Simla State Museum, Daranghati Sanctuary, Kufri can also be fun with kids.
Kullu: Himachal Pradesh’s most popular destination offers trekking, camping, mountaineering, hiking, rock climbing, angling, skiing, white water rafting, and paragliding - ideal for kids looking a holiday filled with adventure.
Manali: An idyllic place with lush valleys, it is a hub of adventure activities. Go on a sightseeing trip to the Solang Valley, Hidimba Temple, Van Vihar or the Rohtang Pass. You can also plan a family picnic at Bhrigu Lake or an exciting day out to enjoy paragliding, camping, zorbing, horse riding or the Vashisth hot water spring.
Mussoorie: Known as the Queen of Hills, in Mussoorie you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, bathe in waterfalls, go on a soft trek, go boating, and take an exciting cable car ride from the Mall to Gun Hill. Take your child to meet and listen to Ruskin Bond, the famous writer of children’s literature.
#ParentuneTip:This is one of the safer places to introduce your child water sports or teach them fishing.
Nainital: Be it a stroll along the ridges or boating in the magnificent lakes, trekking, yachting, horse riding or a visit to the local zoo or wildlife sanctuary, kids are guaranteed to have a fun time here. Take them for a safari and explore the stunning wildlife at the nearby Jim Corbett National Park. Finally, surprise them with an astronomical experience at the local observatory and planetarium and let them gaze at the stars and planets.
From New Jalpaiguri, embark on a fairytale ride on the toy train with your kids. In Darjeeling, you can also try the cable car ride to get a better view of the green landscapes. Embark on a trekking journey toTiger Hill to experience the clear skies, fresh airand a picturesque, famous sunrise. For a more thrilling experience, visit the local rock garden, tea estates, and waterfalls.
If you’re a family full of adventurous members head to Pelling, the popular hill station in Sikkim. With an unsurpassed view of the Kanchenjunga at dawn, you’ll come away with beautiful memories. Your children will love the rejuvenating walks through the raw natural beauty and hundreds of monasteries that can be reached by short treks.
#ParentuneTip: This is a good place to walk around without fearing the traffic.
This tourist spot is the wettest place on earth, and has vivacious waterfalls, lush meadows and delightful weather. Visit the Nohkalikai Falls, the tallest plunge waterfall in India, the Seven Sisters’ falls, Dainthlen Waterfalls and Mawsmai Falls all offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Go sightseeing at the David Scott Memorial, Eco Park, and Khasi Monoliths. You can try something offbeat and set up a camp underneath Cherrapunji's famous living root bridges,or visit Krem Phyllut Cave or Krem Mawmluh Cave.
#ParentuneTip: Families running homestays will be happy to mingle with you and teach the kids a thing or two about their culture.
If you’re planning a vacation in Gujarat, consider visiting Saputara, the only hill station in the state. With lush greenery and a number of activities, like the ropeway, rose garden, tribal museum, boating, and camel and horse riding, kids will hardly find time to get bored. Take them to the honey extraction center located near Aakar Lords Inn hotel and let them observe the art of extracting honey from hives.
There are many things that kids can do when holidaying in Goa. You can rent a bike and go out sightseeing with them —visit churches, old forts, interesting museums, spice plantations, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. For a more adventurous time try the water activities like swimming, jet skiing, parasailing, banana rides and much more.
#ParentuneTip:Many resorts offer kid-friendly activities and even babysitting facilities, should you want to spend some evening alone with your spouse.
Hills, valleys and numerous picnic spots with spectacular views are aplenty here—kids can go on horseback to view the Venna Lake area and enjoy various gaming options. Do not let them miss the opportunity of hand-picking and savouring juicy strawberries at select gardens.
Embark on a breathtaking journey from Metupalaiyam on the Nilgiri Toy train that weaves through forests, along the misty valleys, passing through 250 bridges and 16 dark winding tunnels to reach the Queen of Hills, Ooty. Treat your children with a trip to the local confectioners and a boat ride at the Ooty Lake. Do visit the Honey & Bee Museum to see how honey is gathered.
There’s also a theme park, horse riding and boat rides.
Let the kids wander around the vast tea plantations in Munnar and appreciate the natural beauty, mountain air and pleasant climate, a rarity inmetro cities. For fun, they can stay in a tree house or ride elephants. For a more enriching experience take them for soft trekking in the hills, visit wild sanctuaries and take a trip to the tea museum to learn about how tea is made.
Veegaland (now Wonder Land) situated near Cochin has Asia’s best amusement park and boasts of numerous water and ground rides. Kids can have fun all through their stay in this quaint town.More than 50 adventurous rides and several in-house multi-cuisine options will ensure that you don't have to step out of the park till it closes in the evening. For a memorable experience stay on a houseboat and have fun cruising the backwaters.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Away from the hustle and bustle, Andaman & Nicobar Islands with its pristine beaches, blue water and clear skies is an ideal spot for family vacations. From walking in the water to swimming with elephants and exploring underwater marine life, children can enjoy various water activities. Take them for an interactive trip to Port Blair to teach them about India’s struggle for Independence, or show them the active volcano at Barren Island. Plus, there are plenty of spots where children can run, climb trees, swim or build sand castles.
Where are you and your family going for a summer holiday this year? Let us know in the comments below!
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