With schools about to be closed for the summer, it's time to take the kids out for some fun. And when we say out, we mean somewhere fun. Here are five Indian destinations which are perfect weather-wise and are a great source of edutainment. Who says you can't learn whilst having fun?
Let them start young, this is true for every good thing a young one should come in contact with. And with Bhimtal, it's all about natural beauty and butterflies, a lot of them. A little bit of hiking to calm the summer madness down and then a grand introduction to the world of butterflies. Not too far away from the Bhimtal Lake is the Butterfly Research Centre, home to the fourth largest butterfly and moth reference collection in India. Bhimtal is blessed with around 240 species of butterfly. The research centre is originally a 150-year-old colonial bungalow. You can stay at the bungalow if that's heritage and nature are what you are looking for. While you are here, you can have a look at local species like oak butterflies or the rare ones like owl butterfly, peacock butterfly and snake butterfly. Better still, take the children out to look for some butterflies and let them identify.
The tiny state of Sikkim is a treasure, for those who know what to look for. Weather-wise it is perfect for a summer break and kids will definitely love a refreshing view of the mighty Kanchenjunga. Sikkim state is hundred percent organic. Sounds healthy already, right? Add to that clean mountain air, panoramic view of Kanchenjunga from Tashi Viewpoint and Ganesh Tok, a visit to Nathu La, Botanical Garden, Tsomgo Lake, Rumtek Monastery, Enchey and Pemayangtse monasteries (have a look at their priceless antiques). From Gangtok, it's easy to travel to the rest of the state. A visit to Ravangla is a must. Sikkim is also a very neat and tiny state, traffic is not a hassle, in short, a safe and perfect place to take little children around. Want to know more? How about an award-winning bookstore, and the best local organic produce places? Check out our guide to secret Gangtok here.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
For young ones, Ooty can be all about chocolates and toy train rides. Both are a big hit with tourists of all ages. During the summer break no one will want to stay indoors in a cool location, a hike up the Doddabetta Peak sounds just the right thing to do. The view of the green valley below is rewarding. If with older children, a visit to the Pykara Falls could be fun for your family. When in Ooty, there isn't much to do other than be cool, relax and repeat.
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Shillong is a destination you should have in your travel bucket list as a family. Perfect and kid-friendly, this small city is full of life. While it can get a bit monotonous after you are done with the usual around Shillong such as a visit to the Golf Link (a natural golfcourse), Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls, one always have the option to visit the Mawlynnong Village for the root bridges, Cherrapunjee for it's natural beauty and some cave adventure or do the lesser-known--drive upto Jowai and back and have a picnic outdoors. The undisturbed green rolling hillocks with a smattering of pine trees here and there are often ignored by tourists who visits Shillong just for the usual and the most popular, not knowing the fact that these locations are perfect for a memorable picnic. Keeping Shillong as your base, you can even explore Barapani Lake. That's a beauty right there.
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If cool climes aren't what you are looking for, then maybe some fun with sea, sand and sun? Goa is perfect for kids, for they are sure to love some fun in the sand. The shallow waters of Arambol and Palolem are safe for kids, Baga and Calangute perfect for some fun watersports. If you are done with beaches, you can even head out to the Spice Village in Ponda.
READ: Goa Through My Lens