1. Ride a Toy Train in Darjeeling
Nestled between the Himalayas and the dense eastern forests lies Darjeeling, a breathtaking hill station of Bengal. Darjeeling is a kaleidoscope of the majestic Himalayas, roaring waterfalls, immaculate tea-gardens and Victorian villas. This summer may be, you can show your kids the bountiful tea gardens where the famous Darjeeling tea comes from. Bask them in the pious first rays of sun at Tiger Hills, feel the glory of seeing the sun rise behind the Kanchenjunga. They say few sunrises in the world are as beautiful as Tiger Hills in Darjeeling.
But, most importantly ride the famous toy train of Darjeeling that twirls through the thick forests and hills, tea gardens, and quaint little hilly homes. It will be a fairytale come alive for your child.
2. Enjoy Summer Snow in Kashmir
What could possibly be more fun than snow in summers! How about a houseboat ride in Srinagar, or a trip in the highest cable car of the world? Known as the Switzerland of India, a Kashmir tour guarantees you snow, lakes, mountains, and much more.
The Gondola Cable Car ride that takes you to the skiing paradise of Gulmarg is thrilling and mesmerizing at the same time. Golf, fishing, and myriad other adventure activities to keep your kids busy are abound in Kashmir. Let your kids ski, row, and smile, take selfies in the white cottony snow, and have the best summer vacation of their life in Kashmir.
3. Trek, Fly and Camp in Magical Himachal
Shimla, Manali, Rohtang, Leh, Himachal is quite the travellers delight. This summer, get your cement and mortar surrounded children out of their urban jungles, and breath fresh air, hear the sounds of the roaring rivers, grab an apple from the tree directly, and feel the purity of Himachal in your veins.
Manali is probably the most famous camping destination in India. Take your toddlers and teenagers, and camp along the mighty Beas. If you and your family are the more adventurous sort, ride to Leh.
Trek through the lush landscapes and mild waterfalls in summer. Do some nerve tickling paragliding over the Kumaon Hills. Have warm delicious Maggie at 4000 mts high in Rohtang, and go avocado picking in a local garden. You will have to befriend a local for that first of course. With your bustling, energetic kids around, that should not be too difficult.
Make a trip to Himachal and give your kids a plethora of stories of beauty and bravery.
4. Experience Water Sports, History, Corals and Stunning Beaches at Andaman
Summers are a perfect time to visit this archipelago that is known for its crystal clear waters, remnants of the colonial era, virgin beaches and relaxing atmosphere.
Wondering how this romantic vacation for two could double as a kids-friendly escapade? Havelock Island in Andaman has been voted the best beach in Asia by Time Magazine. It is a hot spot for the best water sports in India. You and your kids can indulge in snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and much more. Then come back, and rest amidst the pristine sands and water. Now thats what I call relaxation.
When in Andamans, you can also take a trip down history lane by visiting the multiple museums, home to remnants of British Raj, and recounting the horrific but historically important Kala Pani. Make it a point to enjoy the light and sound show at Port Blair in the evening that narrated the atrocities and sacrifices of Kala Pani.
Andaman is also known for its corals and marine life, something that you and your children should definitely take a dip into.
5. Live a New Culture in Shillong
What makes Shillong a perfect summer retreat is that, it really is away from the maddening crowds. Its still unexplored, untouched, not affected by rampant commercialism or excessive tourist influx. This summer take your family to experience Shillong and the Khasi life style in its authentic form.
There are multiple resorts on the outskirts of Shillong that give you a glimpse into Khasi cuisine, language, costume and lifestyle. Shillong is also a fashion-lovers paradise. So if your young boy or girl likes to stay abreast of trends, this is definitely a place to consider.
However, one thing that is an absolute must-do in Shillong is experiencing its enthralling music scene. Become young at heart again with your kids and visit one or more of the happening night clubs in Shillong. Lend an ear to the best domestic and international music bands. Who knows you could even run into an international celebrity in a club in Shillong! They frequent there often because of the vivid music scene.
Taking your kids to Shillong will definitely up your coolness quotient before the children too, especially the teenagers. Besides its wonderful for the family to bond over some amazing food and music.
So here are THE summer destinations to go to that will get the adrenaline pumping in your babies, and not burn a hole in your pocket. The best part will be, that your kids will have the funniest, cutest, and best travel stories to tell their friends when they return to school!