Sri Lanka's south coast with children
Holidaying in Sri Lanka with children? Here's how to keep them happy.
Of course, children are very happy splashing around in the villa pool or building sandcastles on the nearby beach. But even for them there will come a time when they want to try something different. When that time comes, we recommend trying out some of the below:
It’s one of life’s simple pleasures, and one that Sri Lankan’s seem to enjoy more than most. Most towns tend to have their designated ‘kite-flying’ spots, but send one sky-bound almost anywhere to give the kids a taste of one of Sri Lanka’s favourite past times. In Galle you’ll often find people flying them from the ramparts - for a couple of hundred Sri Lankan rupees spent on a colourful kite, you can join in and entertain the kids for hours.
Sri Lanka is famed for having some of the best wildlife in the world, including the Asian elephant, and the leopard. Indeed, Sri Lanka is known as leopard country as it has a higher density of this beautiful cat than anywhere else in the world. From the south coast, head out to Udawalawa or Yala National Park to get your wild on. Other animals you might see include the buffalo, sloth bear, mongoose and more.
Ride a tuk tuk
For children, their first ride in a tuk tuk will be one to remember; bumping along the roads, zipping in and out of people and other tuks, fresh air blasting in your face. Hail one down and take it to your next location and even if it’s just a few minutes ride, it will be one holiday memory your children will love. If you’re concerned about the roads, we suggest taking one along the quiet back-streets or beach roads.
Keen to expend some of your little one’s extra energy? A bike tour of the nearby paddy fields is just the ticket. The kids will enjoy setting off on a cycle ride to explore the great outdoors, likely spotting peacocks and buffalo as they ride. Idle Bikes are based in Dalawella and offer bespoke tours on children’s bikes, plus helmets, bells and water for all riders. They also have a support tuk tuk on call if needed - though it’s more likely you’ll struggle to get the children off the bikes at the end of the tour!
Depending on the age of your children (not recommended for toddlers!) some of Sri Lanka’s beaches offer fantastic conditions for beginner surf lessons. Some of the better beaches for newbies are Welligama and Devata, though do expect a few tumbles and splashes as they learn. There are loads of surf places. If you are close to Devata we recommend asking the guys at The Shack who know the best teachers. A great parent-child bonding activity.
- By Katie Silcox
This article was first written for Eden Villas in Sri Lanka