“I am bored”, “I cannot walk anymore”, “Can I play on the mobile?”. How many times have we parents heard these words? Listening to them especially on a vacation is exasperating. No matter how much planning you put in, the kids are bound to get bored if the place is not interesting enough for them.
The solution for this is going to kid friendly travel destinations. If the place has some excitement for the young ones, they would be more likely to enjoy it. It could be a place out of a book, or seeped in history or it could simple be somewhere they could run around freely. No matter what, but todays generation of kids need to put down the tablets and mobiles and make some memories with family vacations.
We have started planning our trips keeping these things in mind and since then vacations have been enjoyable for all in the family.
Here are a few places I would recommend for a kid friendly holiday:
Pench National Park
Take a tour of the wild with your little cubs to this National park in Madhya Pradesh. Breathe in the fresh forest air and discover the jungle Mowgli grew up in, and while you are at it let us know if you spotted Bagheera, Kaa, the Bandar log or Sher Khan himself.
The Bengal tiger is the main cat species in the park with other animals like Indian Leopard, Indian Wolf, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Sambar etc. The park also houses various species of birds like crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, Indian roller, magpie robin etc.
There are seven safari zones and the safaris take place in three shifts – Morning from 5.30 am to 10.30 am, afternoon from 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm and night from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The nearest Railway Station and Airport is in Nagpur around 92kms from Pench National Park and the best season to visit is from October to April.
Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
Bring out the movie buff in you with a visit to our very own version of the Universal studios. At 1666 acres, visit the world’s largest integrated film city in Hyderabad.
From Studio tours, adventure Sports Park, Movie magic park, Wings – the bird parks to a kid’s adventure and fun park, they have it all. They also have hotels & restaurants within the premises or you can choose from various packages online. Ramoji film city is open on all days from 9 am to 5.30 pm. It will take atleast a day to cover all the attractions. You never know you may bump into your favourite star there. So, let this vacation take a filmy turn!
While in Hyderabad, you can also visit the famous Charminar & Golconda fort or shop at the first Ikea store in India.
If your kids are a little older, a visit to the country’s capital is a good idea. They are learning all about it at school, and seeing places like India Gate, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament house, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar etc will be a fantastic learning experience for them.
You can also visit the famous Lotus temple and the Akshardham temple, or spend time in the beautiful Lodi Gardens and attend the Light show at Purana Qila. The National museum is one of India’s largest museum and should be on every parents and kid’s list!
Finally, while the kids have had their fill of History, you can gorge on the amazing food in purani Dilli or shop in the many markets & haats.
Since having watched the Chotta Bheem Himalayan Adventure movie, Manali is a top destination on my kid’s list. Building a snowman, or throwing snowballs at each other and playing in the snow is the fantasy of most kids. Manali is truly India’s very own winter wonderland.
You can opt for Skiing in Solang or river rafting on the mighty Beas river. Camping and trekking around Manali is also a great option. It helps kids to learn to adjust with minimal comforts and also builds their endurance levels. Kufri, Kasol and many other Himachal villages near Manali offer unparalleled beauty for the much-needed uninterrupted family time together.
When all else fails, hit the beach is our mantra. Get your hands dirty while building sand castles with your kids or slip on your swimsuits and splash away in the waves. There is nothing like letting your kids play freely in the sand while you enjoy the sunset. Ride the bicycles in quaint little village lanes or just take the afternoon siesta. These unhurried moments have made Goa a repeat destination for us.
While in Goa, you can visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, Fort Aguada, Baga & Calangute beaches and the ‘Dil Chahta hai’ fame Chapora fort!
Hope this list helps you to decide your next travel destination with kids. Let us know if you know any more kid friendly vacation places in India that you can add to this list.