Dubbed as British India’s summer capital, Shimla is a cool haven, and the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. It is a popular summer holiday destination in India as it provides visitors with some much-needed respite from the heat. Located amidst lush oak and pine forests, Shimla has rightly been nicknamed as ‘the queen of hills’.
While travelling, a well-planned itinerary is important to ensure that your kids have fun and don’t end up getting bored. If your kids aren’t enjoying themselves, there’s no way you’ll be enjoying your vacation either! Take into account the interests of your kids and plan your Shimla holiday accordingly. Here are 12 kid-friendly places in Shimla to start with:
For the Little Adventurers
River Rafting on Sutlej
The Sutlej River in Shimla offers you plenty of river rafting opportunities. Your kids are sure to enjoy this two-hour journey over Grade I to Grade III rapids that stretch for 12 kilometres. It’s important to remember that the river is strictly off limits during the winters and monsoons.
Sledging at the Kufri Ski Resort
The Kufri Ski Resort is renowned for its slopes, and attracts people who are passionate about skiing from all over the world. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) also offers you skiing lessons in case your kids are interested in learning. If not, they can always opt for sledging instead, which is just as much fun. If you are travelling during the winter months, your kids can enjoy a unique ice skating experience at the open-air ice rink.
Hip Hip Hurray Theme Park in Kufri
Once a school park, the Hip Hip Hurray Theme Park has brilliant rides and activities on offer for your little ones. Plan your trip so that your children can spend at least half a day here. The little adrenalin junkies will definitely have a good time rock climbing, riding ponies, playing indoor golf, and climbing commando nets!
For the Nature Lovers
Ride a Toy Train
If your kids love nature, then they are definitely in for a treat when you ride a toy train from Kalka to Shimla. This route is well-known for the picturesque sceneries that it offers travellers. On this journey, you will be riding through 102 tunnels and over 864 bridges.
The Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri
Spanning over 222 acres, the Himalayan Nature Park must be included on your itinerary. Kids can spot some amazing animals such as the sambar, snow leopards, bears, barking deer, and yak here.
Stroll through a Forest at Annadale
If your kids are nature crazy, then a forest walk at Annadale isn’t something you’d want to miss. The feeling of being totally lost in nature, surrounded by lush, green trees and the sound of the winged creatures of the forest is an experience to cherish for life. Give your kids the chance to experience tranquillity by taking them for a walk here.
Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary
Take your kids to the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary if they are wildlife enthusiasts. Apart from offering you spectacular views of the surrounding areas, this sanctuary gives your kids a chance to see animals like leopards and jackals, as well as birds such as the Himalayan eagle and partridge. You will also find a wide range of trees at this sanctuary, including silver oak, horse chestnut, and pine.
For the History Geeks
Rashtrapati Niwas on the Observatory Hill
Dating back to the 1800s, the Rashtrapati Niwas was the former residence of the British Viceroy of India. Today, this lodge serves as the home of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Take a guided tour of this building to learn more about its history and architecture.
Himachal State Museum on Mall Road
The Himachal State Museum can be found in a colonial house that sits atop a hill. Although you will have to hike for about 1,500 metres to get here, the impressive collection makes your trip worthwhile. You will find numerous historic items like 19th century Pahari paintings, bronze idols, oil paintings, as well as deity masks on display here.
The Army Heritage Museum in Annadale
If your kids want to learn more about the history of the Indian Army, pay a visit to the Army Heritage Museum in Annadale. At this museum, there are weapons, ammunitions, uniforms, and flags on display. You can also learn more about the life of some of the greatest Indian warriors.
For the Architecture Buffs
Christ Church on Mall Road
For budding architects, the neo-Gothic architecture of Christ Church in Shimla is a must-visit. Known to be the second oldest church in North India, Christ Church looks spectacular at night when it is all lit up.
The Town Hall
Located in the city centre, Town Hall is one of the buildings in Shimla that displays the splendour of British architecture. Take a look at this well-preserved example of British architecture.
With so many kid-friendly attractions on offer, your entire family is sure to have a lot of fun in Shimla.
Location: Located in the Himalayan foothills in Himachal Pradesh
How to Reach: Shimla Airport – approximately 23 kilometres from the city, National Highways connect this city to all the major Indian cities.
Official Language: Hindi
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Subtropical highland climate
Food & Drink: Authentic Himachali food like a traditional thali, chaa ghosht, and murgh anardana are popular here.
Interested to holiday in Shimla with your kids?