Like a good rice and curry, Sri Lanka offers a dazzling array of choices. This is obviously not a first-world country, so the child who expects a packaged Disneyland experience won’t be happy, but the love of Sri Lankans for children helps compensate for bumps along the way.
It’s beaches all along this sandy coast. There are all manner of child-friendly resorts where you can relax and maybe build a castle or two. Overall, this is probably the most child-friendly area.
More beaches, lots of water-based activities and in the east there are elephants.
Many of the attractions here are more adult orientated, but the mild temperatures are a good respite from the heat elsewhere. Tea plantations and trains are an unbeatable day out.
Ancient temples, forts, ruins, jungles and elephants. Hello, Indiana Jones!
Outside of surfing high season (May to October), the surf on these beautiful beaches can be mild. Kids love the snorkelling at Pigeon Island National Park.
Sri Lankans have a special affinity for children, and visitors travelling with children will find the young ones are sure-fire icebreakers.
Sri Lanka is an easy-going place for children, even if it lacks kid-targeted sights such as amusement parks and similar attractions. The beaches, historical sites, national parks with elephants can all fascinate and entertain kids. However, the lack of special facilities means that kids will benefit from the same sense of adventure in exploring the country that serves adults well.
With preparation and mindfulness of a few things while in country, travel with children in Sri Lanka can be great fun.
There aren’t many attractions dedicated solely to children in Sri Lanka, but there are a lot of sights they’ll love.
Uda Walawe One of the best national parks for wildlife-spotting safaris.
Elephant Transit Home Not far from Uda Walawe, this is a well-regarded halfway house for injured and orphaned elephants.
Minneriya A national park renowned for its herds of elephants.
Pigeon Island National Park Off beautiful Nilaveli beach, this island has great snorkeling that kids love.
Turtle hatcheries On the west coast, these are popular.
Unawatuna Fringing reefs mean the beach here is safe and shallow for little ones.
Polonnaruwa Kids can run themselves silly at the vast and car-free ancient heritage sites such as this one, with its very cool ruins.
Three-wheelers Buzzing, blowing and completely unlike a ride anyplace else, these ubiquitous transport options are good for a thrill.
Hill Country Train Rides Kids will love hanging out the doors of chugging trains (and giving their parents heart attacks!).