The vacations have started, and just like so many other parents, you would be wondering how to keep your children busy! Well, a good way to keep your bundle of energy under control would be to take him/her on a tour. Your little one deserves a break from everyday life too! So, pack your bags and get your leaves approved while we list down the best kid friendly summer destinations for you. From jungle adventure, boating by the serene lake to an adventurous and crazy ride at an amusement park, we have some great places listed here.
Mapro Gardens, Mahabaleshwar
Go, Strawberry Picking
Crisp and fresh mountain air, acres of strawberry fields, a mix of old world charm and natural beauty – Mahabaleshwar is a destination which truly offers a blend of relaxing holidays with some unique activities. None more exciting than the strawberry picking sessions at Mapro Gardens. As a bonus, you can treat yourself to these fresh strawberries as long as you like at this beautiful strawberry farm. What’s more, the farm also has an on-campus chocolate factory and a kids park! A dream destination for every kid.
Entry Fees: A visit to these farms (for strawberry picking sessions) is absolutely free!
Shopping: Do not forget to stuff your bags with your favorite jams, jellies, strawberry chocolate syrup and sauces [ kindly pay for it 😉 ]. Also, try out their fresh juices, creamy shakes, and wood-fired pizza.
Must Try: Trip to Mahabaleshwar would not be complete without tasting some sinful strawberries with cream at the Cream Corner Restaurant, which would cost you around Rs. 80-100.
Other Activities: Enjoy great views of the mighty Sahyadri Hills and enjoy paddle/row boating at Venna Lake on a leisurely afternoon.
Travel Tip: The nearest and most convenient railway station to Mahabaleshwar is at Pune.
TRAINS TO PUNE
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Go for a wild safari
The whole idea of driving down to Corbett National Park with kids can spark some excitement. What more would your kids want other than an opportunity to see the wild animals from their textbook roam in front of them! Right from jungle safaris, preferably on the elephant back, to some bird watching and even fishing your kids would love the entire jungle experience.
Safari Rates: Rs. 4200 per Jeep (for 6 persons), or Rs. 800-1000 per individual.
Shopping: Do not forget to taste and take home some of the local sweet specialties such as Baal Mithai and Chocolate Barfi.
Tip 1: There are various entry zones to the Park. Due to less vegetation, Dhikala and Bijrani zones offer more scopes for tiger spotting. Sitabani and Durga Devi zones have dense forests and naturally more scenic.
Tip 2: Allocation of entry gates is done on a first-cum-first-serve basis. So, if you want best experience book for the safari well before leaving home.
Other Attractions: You can also pay a visit to the nearby places such as Nainital, Pangot, Marchula or Lansdowne.
Travel Tip: The nearest railway station is at Ramnagar. You can easily find buses to JimCorbett from Ramnagar.
TRAINS TO RAMNAGAR
The Black Thunder & Jolly World Parks, Ooty
Ride, Play, Relax, Repeat…
Rightly titled the ‘Queen of Hills’ in South India, Ooty guarantees a complete family experience and an all-inclusive fun retreat, especially for the kids. If you want to center your Ooty tour around the kids liking then here are our suggestions.
Destination 1: The Black Thunder Theme Park
Located 40 KM away from Ooty, this park offers a wide array of joy rides for the kids. Spread over 65 acres, it is a perfect place to get an adrenaline rush. A swimming pool for kids built around an artificial volcano deserves a special mention along with numerous other adventure and water rides.
Entry Fees: Rs. 450 (for an adult), Rs. 390 (for child between 3-10 years)
Destination 2: Jolly World Children Park
This superb fun park is equipped with a lot of games and rides. There is also a go-kart track for the grown ups. While you can relax and have a good time amidst the lush greenery, your kids can run around freely and have the best of their time.
Location: Near Reflections Lake, Ooty.
Price Range: Rs. 5 – 50 for rides.
Timings: 9 AM – 7:30 PM
Destination 3: Ooty Lake
Surrounded by groves of Eucalyptus trees, this Lake is a gem to mesmerizing Ooty. While you would enjoy the serene boat rides, your kids will definitely love the horse and mini toy train rides. To top it off, there is also an amusement park for kids here!
Entry Fees: Rs. 10
Boating Rates: Rs. 160-200
Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM
Travel Tip: The nearest railway station is at Coimbatore. You can take a bus from there to Mettupalayam from where you will be taken to Ooty via toy train ride.
Toy Train Rides, Darjeeling
Enjoy nature in ‘THRILL-ION’ ways
Darjeeling is one of the best places to visit with kids, especially in summer. Treat the kids to probably the most beautiful sunrise view in India at Tiger Hill Peak, early in the morning. After allowing them to have some delicious pastries at the local bakeries, give them a surprise by taking a ride on the toy train. This slow paced train would chug past beautiful locales with the majestic hill views remaining constant. If your kid desires some more, visit the local Himalayan zoo which contains a treasure of rare species of animals.
Toy Train Ticket Fares: Rs. 800 – 1300
Tip: There would be a heavy rush at Darjeeling during the summer, so it is wise to book the Toy Train tickets at the earliest.
Other Attractions: Botanical Garden, Dhirdham Temple, Shrubbery Park (Nightingale Park) and Japanese Peace Pagoda.
Travel Tip: Darjeeling is a major railway station in West Bengal.
TRAINS TO DARJEELING
Where learning is super fun!
Kidzania is an indoor theme park that introduces children to the grown-up world. From learning about manufacturing, cooking, flying planes to living as good Samaritans is what your kids will learn, only with oodles of fun added to it. This is probably one place where your kids will learn and enjoy themselves far more than you’d even expect them to.
Entry Fees: Rs. 500 (2 to 3 years), Rs. 950 (4 to 16 years), Rs 500 (17 to 59 years), Rs 300 (60 years above)
Note: The schedules for this park changes every month, so do check and plan accordingly.
Other Attractions: They have read about these monuments in their history lessons, now let them see. You can visit many historical sites in Delhi, so take your family on a ‘Dilli Darshan‘.
Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
A trip to the Reel Life
This is the world’s largest integrated film city and the country’s only theme-based holiday destination. Started by Ramoji Rao, several reputed multi-lingual movies have been shot at the Ramoji Film City. There is a touch of cinema to the amusement park and several interesting activities are organized here. Your filmy kids will like this experience for sure! It also has live shows, an ecozone (including a Bonsai Park and Butterfly Park), Bird park, a theme park with rides, adventure park, and an entertainment park for the kids. So, we are sure you and your kids will have a gala time in this wonderland!
Entry Fees: Rs. 1900 (13 years and above), Rs. 1600 ( 3-12 years)
Timings: 9 AM – 5.30 PM
Other Attractions: Visit the historical Charminar as well as try some scrumptious Hyderabadi biryani.
Travel Tip: There are many trains plying to Hyderabad railway station.
Adlabs Imagica, Khopoli
Scream, Shout & go crazy
This is one of the biggest and hi-tech amusement parks in India. Adlabs Imagica was opened in 2013. Modeled on Universal Studios, it has 25 themed rides (including the country’s largest roller coaster and 4D simulation rides) and five themed restaurants. The park would make your kids jump out of joy. It would take them into a fantasy land full of joyrides. Once they are done with the rides, take them to the Aqua Imagica Water Park and Snow Park for some extra fun. It would truly be a memorable experience for your little one!
Entry Fees: Rs.1599 (for Adults), Rs. 1299 (for Kids and Senior Citizens)
Location: In Khopoli, halfway between Mumbai and Pune, near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
So, all set for the fun-cation time with kids?