Whether it's a short weekend trip or a long vacation, Goa has something to offer every one. And, if you are travelling with kids, here are some things you could do that are sure to thrill your child.
By Leena Ghosh
Goa is just not another beach destination – it’s a memory that stays with you forever. For Goa is more than its golden beaches and spell-binding architecture. It’s about the delectable food infused with the locals’ warm hospitality, it’s about the tranquil backwaters and the historical churches that make you go back in time.
If you want a beach therapy, retail therapy or just an adrenalin rush – Goa is the place to go. Its beautiful beaches, vibrant night life and amazing local shopping joints promise entertainment for everyone, irrespective of their age.
If you’ve decided to give your kids a taste of Goa, we recommend to you these places that are a must visit for families. Make a choice and have fun at one of the best family holiday destinations of India.
Spice up your Goa vacation by giving your family a guided tour of Sahakari Spice Farm located in Ponda. The 130 acres of lush green plantation houses various spices, fruits, medicinal herbs and trees. Let the aroma of the spices take over as you walk through rows of ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and turmeric. End the tour with a sumptuous meal at their rustic restaurant situated in the farm.
What kids can look forward to: An elephant ride and cultural performances at the venue
Nestled in the Western Ghats, The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary lies in Mollem and is also known as the Mollem National Park. Spread over 240 sq kms, this sanctuary is home to Sambar, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Slender Toris, Jungle Cats, Elephants, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Pythons and Cobras. The famous Dudhsagar falls are also located within the sanctuary. The Directorate of Tourism provides comfortable cottages for tourists looking forward to exploring the National Park.
What kids can look forward to: A jeep ride into the forest, spotting wild animals
While Goa is full of beaches, you can also take your child to one of the famous water parks that promise fun and entertainment for you and her as well. The popular water parks in Goa are Splashdown in Arpora and Blue Whale Water Park near the Royal Goan Beach Club. Try the various water slides, pools or the dance floor if you want to.
What kids can look forward to: A go-karting track at Splashdown water park and innumerable fun rides
When people think of Goa, they imagine the sun, sand and the sea. What people often don’t realise is that the place is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts as well as birdwatchers. If you are one of them, make sure to visit one of the several birding spots in Goa. Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Chorao Island, Carambolim Lake and Soccorro Plateau – North Goa are some of the more popular birding sites.
What kids can look forward to: Spotting a variety of birds and some amazing photography
You’ll find many agents organising snorkelling tours. Go with a registered one, that’ll provide you training on how to navigate under water. There is a minimum age for children allowed to participate in the activity, so check with your organiser before you go for that. Recommended age is 12 years and above for diving and 8 years and above for snorkelling.
What kids can look forward to: Unique opportunity to explore marine life
If you are someone who’d rather stay above water than go under it, then you must go on one of the more popular river cruises on the Mandovi river. The cruises start in the evening and are a great place for a family to spend some quality time together.
What kids can look forward to: On board entertainment, cultural performances and some yummy snacks
You can’t go to Goa and not shop. Whether you are looking for fashionable beachwear and shoes or spices and dried fruits, Goa offers the shopper an eclectic collection at affordable prices.
What kids can look forward to: Exploring local markets, sampling local wares
You think backwaters and Kerala comes to mind. But Goa has equally scenic backwaters that promise to be a lot of fun when you are travelling with the family. Since they are still relatively unknown you can have some quiet time on the boat.
What kids can look forward to: A Goa backwaters cruise to watch the sunset
Dolphin spotting is a genuine sport in Goa and is sure to be a hit with kids. Catch a boat with Dolphin spotters and give your children a visual treat they will never forget. Many tour operators offer this service for a fee.
What kids can look forward to: Dolphins, of course; and if you are lucky, a beautiful sunrise
Coming to the last but the most important tourist attraction of all, are the popular Goa beaches. Building countless sand castles, running after the tiny crabs, collecting sea shells and playing in the water – every kid loves the beach. Outside the popular Goa beaches like Baga and Calangute, try to visit some other secret beaches in Goa like Agonda beach, Palolem beach, Cola beach, Sinquerim beach and Morjim beach to give your child a real taste of the visual treat Goa is.
What kids can look forward to: A day of endless fun and food at the beach
So, if you haven't already packed your bags, make a plan and head to the most memorable family vacation of your lives.
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