Remember the school summer break? Didn’t you just love going for road trips with your parents? Well, I used to love it! It used to be so much fun -fighting with the siblings for the front seat, constant banter about the music we wanted to listen to, the highway-side restaurant we wanted to eat at or arguing about the room selection. The summer break was the best time of the year because we got to travel to a new destination every time. Children look forward to spending quality time travelling and exploring a new place during summer holidays. Well, sometimes, it can be difficult to identify the places. So, here is a curated list of 7 child-friendly destinations. Take your pick this summer!

Dharamshala

Nestled in the cradle of the Himalayan paradise, Dharamshala has long been a popular tourist retreat, an
escape from the hustle and bustle of our city lives. The year-long pleasant climate and the natural
splendour of the hill town make it perfect for a trip with kids. Dharamshala is also home to a quaint little
cricket stadium that often serves as a practice ground for the Indian National Team as well as well as the
IPL team Kings XI Punjab. It is also home to the 14th Dalai Lama as well as other attractions like Bhagasu,
Dharamkot, Bhagsunag Falls and Indrahar Pass. With plenty of monasteries and a holistic Buddhist vibe,
Dharamshala is an excellent place for the family to experience a different culture.

Kapil Taragi
Butter lamps, a common sight in Dharamsala
Butter lamps, a common sight in Dharamsala

Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar’s proximity to the Arabian Sea, along with its high altitude, makes sure that the climate
there is always cool and pleasant. However, the real charm of this hill station lies in the abundance of its
scenic greenery, besides the forts and the 25 sunset and sunrise points that tourists flock to. In addition
to enjoying a number of delicious regional delicacies, spoil your kids with multiple options: horse-riding,
boating at Lake Venna, and picking strawberry at countless farms dotting the town.

Punit Paranjpe
Forested hills and deep valleys around Mahabaleshwar
Forested hills and deep valleys around Mahabaleshwar

Chikmagalur

Located at the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range in Karnataka, Chikmagalur is renowned for its enchanting coffee plantations, the rich aroma instantly welcoming all who step foot into the city.
Replete with picturesque waterfalls, historical temples and lush forests, Chikmagalur offers plenty to
kick-start a child’s imagination. The Bababudan Giri ranges, Kalhatti Falls, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, and
the Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple are some of the many must visit attractions of this magical city.

Satish Kumar
The pretty Hebbe Falls, Chikmagalur
The pretty Hebbe Falls, Chikmagalur

Gangtok

Ditch the cities and head to the Land of Monasteries- Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Located in the
Shivalik Hills, the Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre in the city is a top favourite of travellers from all over the
country. However, the rich history of the place, along with the plethora of monasteries, cable car rides,
and mouth-watering Sikkimese cuisine make it a lovely place for a trip with the family. You can also experience the mesmerising views of the Himalayan ranges by planning a day trip to Darjeeling in the
famous ‘Toy Train’ that runs from New Jalpaiguri station.

Sanjoy Ghosh
Mist and mountains form the backdrop for Gangtok’s Main Bazaar
Mist and mountains form the backdrop for Gangtok’s Main Bazaar

Manali

Manali is one of the most sought-after hill-stations for people looking for things to do! It is one the most
picturesque and awe-inspiring hill stations in India, boasting of adventurous snow-covered roads,
beautiful flowering apple orchards and more. Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley, the popular tourist
attractions, offer a multitude of options for your kids and you to enjoy. Skiing, horse-riding, hot air
ballooning, paragliding, white water rafting and many more activities promise a fun time in Manali. If
your kids aren’t into adventure sports, you can head to the famous Club House. Situated by the river and
inspired by British-architecture, it is an entertainment zone popular for a variety of indoor and outdoor
children friendly activities.

Wikimedia Commons
Solang Valley is a popular tourist attraction near Manali
Solang Valley is a popular tourist attraction near Manali

Goa

A list of tourist destinations in India would be incomplete without the mention of Goa, India’s world-
renowned beach paradise. It’s known far and wide for its Portuguese inspired architecture, imposing
churches, and gorgeous spice gardens. However, despite being popular as a social destination, Goa is
excellent for family trips with kids as well, owing to the plethora of scenic villages, beautiful beaches,
shacks, activities, museums, art galleries, and libraries. The city is also home to several wild life
sanctuaries, full of majestic elephants, sambar (deer), gaur (bison), and wild boar among others.

Tribhuvan Tiwari
The coconut palm-lined Vagator Beach, as seen from Chapora Fort
The coconut palm-lined Vagator Beach, as seen from Chapora Fort

Vagamon

This quiet and offbeat hill station, located in Kerala, is a slice of untouched land. Vagamon is renowned
for its deep valleys, widely-stretching green meadows, dense pine forests, tea estates, and waterfalls. It
is also home to a plethora of pine forests and lush green hills, besides offering many adventure activities
like trekking, paragliding, mountaineering, and rock climbing. The Kurisumala Ashram, Thangal Para, and
the beautiful Vagamon Falls, are amongst many of its charming attractions.

Kerala Tourism
The sun rises over mist-covered hills in Vagamon
The sun rises over mist-covered hills in Vagamon

Travelling offers immense amount of learnings- getting to know a new city and culture and inculcating
social skills. Trust me, it’s the best holiday gift ever to give to your kids.

The author is co-founder, Treebo Hotels