A Goan Summer for Kids

Psychologist Shobhika Jaju puts together your guide to spending quality summertime with kids in Goa!

Goa has something on offer for every kind of traveller and during every season. So, how can it not be the perfect fit for children, especially during the fun summer months? Yes, summer in goa can be merciless at times with the horrid temperatures. But which kid ever complained of the summer heat, when schools are closed and there is so much to do before schools reopen with the start of the monsoons.

It wouldn’t be an understatement if I say that there is just a lot to keep the little spirits occupied throughout the summer months. In this article, you can find a round-up of a varied range of activities for children of all ages. While some may be available during other parts of the year too, some are exclusive to the summer months. Whether you are visiting Goa with your kids or you live here, save this list and start ticking off the items with your children in tow.

All things nature

Summer is the ideal time to head to the many wildlife sanctuaries across the state. It will help to beat the heat during those hot days and also satisfy curious minds with knowledge about the many treasures of natural life. Goa is blessed with 6 of these wildlife sanctuaries, located in the different parts of the state, so there is no end to the exploration. Further, you can head out for some bird watching at the famous Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and explore the pristine Divar Island while at it.  

Childhood is the best age to soak the seeds for nature preservation and what better place than Goa to do it? Once you have had your fill of the wildlife sanctuaries, take your kids for an exploration of the mangroves of Goa. An ideal place to do this would be the mangrove walk at Patto, Panjim. There are no fees or entry formalities required. You can just walk right in, (the entry is from behind the central library at Patto), and take a respite from the heat, all while walking around the mangroves. Throughout the walk, there are informative boards, providing an enriching educational experience about not just the mangroves you are walking through, but also about all the prominent locations in India where mangroves are found. You can also catch sight of, as well as read about the rich fauna life which inhabits the mangroves.

Goa is also the land of spice plantations. Head over to the Ponda taluka, where the bulk of them are located and visit any of these spice plantations for a fun & educational trip about the rich traditional life of Goa, & its people. Your kids can experience elephant rides, taste different regional fruits and spices, and even relish a deliciously cooked meal at the end of the tours. And while you are at it, you may want to visit the Butterfly Conservatory there as well. It would be advisable, however, to call up & check about the opening hours and visitor slot availability, beforehand.

Tap into that love for water!

Children love anything to do with water, don’t they? Well, once again, which better place than Goa to satisfy that never-ending desire to be in the water.

Summer evenings are the best time to be at the beach. With soft winds blowing away the heat of the day, but monsoons still far away from the shore, kids can really throw all caution to the wind and enjoy themselves without any ado. It’s also healthy to be in the seawater right before monsoons, as the salt content is high, and that has several healing properties.

If your child gets bored of just frolicking around in the water & playing with sand (which rarely occurs), you can expose your child to age-appropriate water sports. Goa has all kinds of watersport facilities at most of the popular beaches.

Moving away from the beach, you can take your children to explore some of the major waterfalls across the state, which don’t dry up during the summers. The majestic Dudhsagar waterfalls is a fun train ride from Margao and is easily accessible by road too. A must visit place is the Selaulim Dam in South Goa. The entire structure of the dam is worth a visit & during summers, parts of the submerged Kurdi village also surface, since the dam waters run low. So, if you are looking for an experience which can both be entertaining, & educational, take your kids here. Pack a picnic basket, and sit around at the many nooks & corners designed for a little sit-down moment.

In recent years, Goa has also added water parks, snow parks, aquariums and the like. So, on days when you want to just try out some simple activities, you can head there too. Oh, & how can we forget the Dolphin sighting cruises & boat rides? Available most commonly from the Sinquerim & Palolem beaches, this is a must-do for kids of all ages.

Heritage Tours

If your kids are slightly older & love to explore, bring history alive for them by taking them around the many historical sites around Goa. Not just the popular Se Cathedral complex, but the many other church & temple complexes across the state, offer more than just photo ops. Goa is a hotbed for a mix of architectural styles and has a very rich cultural & historical value. Climb atop old lighthouses, or run across the fort walls, there is just so much to do. Walk, cycle or drive around with your kids, but just keep exploring.

Step indoors!

And when you need to take a break from being outdoors, head indoors with your children. Visit one of the many museums in the state. Some fabulous options include the Naval Aviation Museum at Vasco, Goa Science Centre & Planetarium at Panaji, Big Foot at Loutolim, and many more. If your child loves to read and explore the world through books, then Goa is one of the few states in the country, with a library in every village & taluka. The Central Library at Panjim & the South Goa State library at Navelim, are a treasure trove of books. Just buy some quiet time for yourself and let your child explore the rich section of books. If you are missing city life while in Goa, then head to Mall de Goa at Porvorim & the Caculo mall at Panjim, for fun game zones for children. Goa is slowly catching up with the whole summer camp trend for kids, so if you are here for a long stay, then just look for some summer camp options in your area.

With so much to do, don’t let your kids complain that they are getting bored. Explore Goa this time from the lens of your children & perhaps, you will discover something new for yourself too.

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