Family holidays in Sri Lanka are guaranteed to be chocked full of unforgettable experiences and memorable snaps for your photo albums. With exotic wildlife, mouth-watering cuisine and incredible scenery, there are an incredible variety of fabulous experiences to be had.
We know that kids are always up for an adventure, but in Sri Lanka you can rest assured that they’ll never have a boring day. Check out this list of our favorite family-friendly activities and start planning your trip!
A Trip to the West Coast Beaches
Many of the sun-kissed beaches provide the perfect opportunity for family activities in Sri Lanka. Popular destinations like Unawatuna have become busier and more polluted in recent years, however Bentota Beach is a perfect alternative.
Here, you will have space for the kids to paddle in the clear, shallow waters and play amongst the golden sand without having to worry. It’s also the perfect place to chill out, unwind and watch a breath-taking sunset.
Although there aren’t loads of options for grabbing a quick snack, it will be worth packing a picnic for the chance to have the place to yourself!
Location: Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka.
The Chance to See Elephants
Jumping in a jeep to see some elephants at Udawalawe National Park will be one of the most memorable things to do with kids in Sri Lanka.
As well as seeing large groups of elephants, the knowledgeable tour guides will be able to tell you all about the various wildlife you will find here – including crocodiles, monkeys, water buffalo and various exotic birds.
The tour is an authentic yet exciting experience which children are guaranteed to love. Seeing their favorite animals in their natural habitat is sure to impress!
Location: 7th Mile Post, Uva Province, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 473 475 892
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island provides a fabulous opportunity for kids to see some unspoiled marine life. Here, exotic fish and vibrant coral reefs still thrive among the crystal clear waters – a safe place for the whole family to have a dip.
Plenty of crabs, lobsters, octopuses and even a few turtles are among the creatures which will keep the kids interested for at least a few hours. As well as plenty of exciting underwater wonders to explore, there are interesting nature trails nearby.
The one kilometer boat journey will only cost around 15$, which is well worth it. Remember to bring sunscreen and snacks, as you’ll struggle to find shops on this dreamy island!
Location: Pigeon Island National Park, Nilaveli, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 77 703 4373
Finding Baby Turtles at their Hatcheries.
There are plenty of Turtle Hatcheries which are a great activity for family holidays in Sri Lanka – it’s both exciting and educational.
Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project is a great place to spend an hour, as it is genuinely conservation focused instead of money grabbing. Here you can learn about the life-cycles of these fascinating sea creatures, and kids will love the chance to hold baby turtles or release them into the ocean.
What makes the KSTCP unique is the passion and friendliness of the staff. For a small amount of money, this is a captivating way to give back to nature.
Location: A2, Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 912 264 567
Looking for holiday accomodation in Sri Lanka? Opt for staying in a holiday villa!
Taking the Train
Traveling by train is a fun alternative for family holidays in Sri Lanka. The kids will delight in hanging their faces out of the window, against your better instincts!
The train journeys towards the east of Sri Lanka are famed to be among the most scenic in the world, and are a fabulously authentic way to travel. Be sure to pack your camera, as well as preparing your little ones for the best game of eye-spy they’ve ever had.
The classic trip is between Ella and Kandy, through the heart of Sri Lankan tea country. There will be plenty of snacks and room for the kids to wander round on board whilst you gave upon the lush pine forests and rolling mountains.
Location: Train Tours, Wellawaya Road, T-Sips Tealisious, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 77 842 8833
Embarking on Their First Trek
Sri Lanka is an incredible place to introduce your kids to adventure and there is no better way than trekking.
Climbing Little Adam’s Peak is an ideal trek for little legs. Whilst the “big” Adam’s Peak is the highest summit on the island, it’s smaller brother offers spectacular 360 degree views and the 4km hike will be a great adventure for the whole family.
Here, you can embark on a trip through tea plantations and exotic flora and fauna – there are numerous steps and the walk is completely safe. Grabbing a refreshing coconut for 100Rs on the way back will be a great way to motivate them!
Location: Ella Tours, Passara Road, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 71 514 3987
Trying Some Local Delicacies
Family holidays in Sri Lanka offer an opportunity for even the fussiest of kids to try some mouth-watering delicacies, which will surely go down a treat.
Whilst the famous mud-crab curry and other exotic dishes may be too spicy for their tastes, there will be more than enough for younger ones to fall in love with. Take hoppers – the Sri Lankan answer to the pancake. Made with coconut milk and often enjoyed for breakfast, they are sure to be a hit!
Or why not try Sri Lankan samosas – available pretty much everywhere, you can opt for either meat-filled or vegetarian. Deep fried chicken fried rice is also sure to be a hit – just make sure you specify that you want to go easy on the chili’s to avoid upset stomachs!
Exploring by Hot Air Balloon
The chance to glide through the skies by hot air balloon will be one of the most unforgettable family activities in Sri Lanka. If you’re looking for a novel way to help your kids appreciate the incredible views of this exotic terrain, look no further!
The exciting prospect of gliding effortlessly among the clouds will surely be enough to have them jumping out of bed early enough that you can catch the sunrise view of the mountains and forests surrounding Dambulla. Seeing the beautiful scenery from up high will be a crowd-pleaser for all ages. We recommend booking a tour with Sun Rise Ballooning – you won’t be disappointed!
Location: Sun Rise Ballooning, Sisirawatta, Kandalama Road, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: + 94 773522013
Meeting some Ocean Giants
Between November and April/ May is whale-watching season in Sri Lanka – and every kid out there is sure to be thrilled by the chance to see the largest creature on our planet in the flesh!
The waters around Mirissa (a small town on Sri Lanka’s south coast) are supposedly rich in plankton which blue whales feed on, which is why the area has become so notorious. You are also likely to catch some cute Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins leaping among the waves.
Check out Raja and the Whales in Mirissa for an awesome family adventure – the company focus on sustainable whale-watching and research, meaning their guides are also super-informative!
Location: Raja and the Whales, Harbour Road, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 71 333 1811
Exploring an Ancient City
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has a fascinating history, and exploring it will be one of the most worthwhile family activities in Sri Lanka. Plus there is plenty of room among the ancient ruins for kids to run themselves silly!
Included in the ruins of Polonnaruwa are the spectacular Royal Palace, the beautifully preserved Audience Hall with it’s stone-carved elephants, and the King’s Swimming Pool. Many of the buildings and statues here are almost a thousand years old and provide a fascinating way to entertain the whole family for a day!
Book a one day tour with Sri Lanka Vacation Tours to learn more about this fascinating place.
Location: Sri Lanka Vacation Tours, No.103/A, Singhapitiya, Gampola, Sri Lanka.
Contact Number: +94 714 171 956
Feeling inspired? Then it’s time to take a look at some of our fabulous beachfront villas – the perfect accommodation for family holidays in Sri Lanka!