One of my experiences with most destination hotels is that they have a lot to offer for the kids, but not so much for curious pre-teens and easily-bored teenagers. Indoor games and in-house entertainment can only do so much; what really helps is a setting that allows them to step out of their rooms and discover great opportunities for learning and immersion. Here are a few options that are perfect, and provide a conducive setting for the kids to learn and evolve.

Kipling Camp, Kanha

Photo source: Kipling Camp

Photo source: Kipling Camp

One of the earliest Lodges in central India, Kipling Camp is a vintage set-up which provides access to one of the most diverse forests in the country {it’s also home to the royal Bengal Tiger}. Close to one of the main entry gates into the Kanha Jungles, Kipling Camp is set amidst 25 acres of lush forest. The cottages have a charm of their own, and activities like walking with Tara {the elephant} to the Banjar river for her ritual daily bath and swim, art workshops with Gond artists, and volunteering for conservation work with WPSI {Wildlife Protection Society of India} provide children with interesting things to experience besides the ubiquitous ‘jungle safaris’.

Best Time To Visit: Oct – Mar

Jehanuma Retreat, Bhopal

Photo source: Jehannuma

Photo source: Jehannuma

Set on the fringes of the city in Bhopal and close to India’s only urban national park, Jehanuma Retreat can be a base for children to explore anthropology, art, history and tribal culture. The Retreat is set in an organic farm which spans across 11 acres and provides access to two UNESCO world heritage sites; Bhimbhetka and Sanchi. Museums in Bhopal, like the Museum of Man and Tribal Art Museum, offer great learning and visually-enriching experiences.

Best Time To Visit: All year round

Beda Safari Lodge, Jawai

Photo source: Bera Safari Lodge

Photo source: Bera Safari Lodge

Jawai Dam is touted to be the largest dam in western Rajasthan, and is responsible for bringing water to a large part of the desert-state. The landscape of Jawai is a natural and thriving forest with large granite boulders spread across the area {it is also home to one of the largest population of leopards}. The well being of the leopards and their thriving population is all because of the people’s efforts, and they largely live in harmony with each other. Visits to the Rabari tribals, excursions to see the leopards atop the boulders and listening to the conservation efforts of the owners of Bera serve as wonderful learning opportunities for children.

Best Time to Visit: Sep – May

Featured photo source: Hans via Pixabay [CC0 1.0]