Summer Fun: Offbeat Experiences In Uttarakhand Kids Will Love

Do something different this summer by planning a trip with your kids to Uttarakhand. Live out an outdoor adventure that they will remember for a long time
The best way to spend summer vacations with children is outside
The best way to spend summer vacations with children is outsideHTWE/

The summer holidays are here which means it’s time to travel. As the plains swelter under the boiling heat, Uttarakhand’s cooler climate beckons families to spend a happy two months learning about its traditional customs, trekking its lush green forests, trying their hand at kayaking and paragliding, and just losing themselves in the beauty of the countryside. What greater gift to give your kids during their time off than by going outdoors into a living, breathing landscape?

Plan an unforgettable summer vacation to Uttarakhand with your kids by adding the following items to your itinerary.

Visit National Parks

A plum-headed parakeet at Rajaji National Park
A plum-headed parakeet at Rajaji National ParkAbhishekMittal/

This one is a no-brainer. Uttarakhand is blessed with an abundance of national parks thanks to its location in the Himalayas. Its fertile valleys, green meadows, lakes, and diversity of flora and fauna means kids can really soak in the beauty of the outdoors, a chance they seldom get.

Take them on a jungle safari at Jim Corbett National Park; encourage them to learn about the variety of birds at Rajaji National Park like the great hornbill and black-bellied tern; reduce their plant blindness by identifying the breadth of flowers available at the Valley of Flowers National Park like orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies, and rhododendron; let them gaze with wonder at the Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi National Park like Devistan I and II, Rishi Kot, Dunagiri, and Hanuman; and make a game of trying to spot the iconic bearded vulture at the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park.

Set Up Camp

Camping at the Valley of Flowers National Park
Camping at the Valley of Flowers National ParkVivek BR/

The summer vacations are the perfect opportunity to camp in open fields and meadows. While you can camp in national parks, places like Auli, Nainital, Rishikesh, Dhanaulti, Binsar, Dayara Bugyal, Pangot, the Tons Valley and Mussoorie feature several treks and hikes which pass through coniferous forests, rivers and meadows where you can also camp for a few nights. The campsites at most of these places typically have clean bathrooms and safe play areas for children. Stargaze and tell stories, roast marshmallows, put on plays and skits, make up catchy tunes to sing along with, learn basic wilderness skills, and encourage your kids to care for the environment.

Try Adventurous Activities

Children kayaking in Rishikesh
Children kayaking in RishikeshPeppy Graphics/

Allow your children to go on age-appropriate and safe excursions like ziplining, whitewater rafting, canoeing, rock climbing and paragliding under the supervision of a certified tour operator. Nainital, for instance, has a mini golf course; Mussoorie offers horseback riding activities for children; Rishikesh is best for whitewater rafting on rapids; Dhanaulti is great for ziplining; and Bhimtal is a good place for boat rides.

Furthermore, amusement parks like the Fun ‘n’ Food Kingdom and The Fun Valley in Dehradun and Crystal World in Haridwar are also a fun summer escape for children.

Meet The Locals

The Sukoon Homestay in Almora
The Sukoon Homestay in Almorasukoonhomestay/Facebook

The Pahari people of Uttarakhand pride themselves on their longstanding folkloric traditions, vibrant cultural festivals and language. Staying with local families in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions enables families to learn about the distinctiveness of Pahari culture and heritage. After all, the whole purpose of travelling is so that we can meet new people and learn about their customs and values.

The Sukoon Homestay in Almora, Himalayan Ark in Munsiyari and The Village Farmstay in Dwarahat offer comfortable stays with residents in picturesque surroundings.

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