Kandy is a beautiful city, the second largest in Sri Lanka, after the capital Colombo. If Kandy is not on your family travel radar, you are surely missing out on this magnificent destination. It is located in the hill country, where the air is fresh, surrounded by unspoiled nature. The city has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as it is one of the most sacred places of worship for the Buddhists. So, not sure what to do with kids in Kandy? Don’t worry, this city promises a great mind-opening trip for the kids. Here are 5 things to do in Kandy.
1. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
At this sacred Buddhist temple, you can admire the actual left upper canine tooth of the one and only Lord Buddha himself. The legend says the tooth was taken from Buddha as he was lying on his funeral prey and then smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313 AD. Whether true or not, this temple is just beautiful to see and it is a very important pilgrimage site.
The temple features stunning interiors, ruled by traditional carvings, paintings, and decorations of bronze and ivory. You get to see the tooth box behind a glass window in the temple’s shrine. Do note that the room can be very crowded as many want to see the Sacred Tooth. So, when you can’t think of things to do in Kandy, a trip to the temple is a great way to trigger little ones’ curiosity about religions. They will be able to learn about Buddhism as well as enjoy this beautiful temple.
2. Stroll around Kandy Lake
The lake of Kandy is a man-made lake located right in the heart of this sprawling city in the highlands of Sri Lanka, it was built by the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy in 1807. It is stunning, truly like a green oasis in the city. You can enjoy a scenic walk around the lake or a picnic to share with loved ones. There are many places where you can sit and observe ducks and fish. Children will love feeding these little creatures, and you can easily buy food for them from one of the vendors. Moreover, at the southwest corner of the lake there is a playground, so your kids will definitely have a great time there.
3. Learn about Elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO) is home to 93 elephants. PEO takes care of abandoned baby elephants as well as those that are injured and maimed in the jungle. Currently, it’s one of the most popular tourist activities in Sri Lanka. If your kids love animals, they will definitely enjoy a trip to PEO. One of the amazing things to do in Kandy is to see the elephants bathing in the river or being milk-fed – an interesting experience for the young minds!
4. Wander around in the Botanical Gardens
Located 5 km outside of the city center, the impressive Botanical Gardens of Kandy await. The gardens have more than 4000 species of plants including medicinal plants, a spice garden, beautiful orchids and an ancient Banyan Tree. It is a wonderfully peaceful place where you can wander around for an hour or two, feeling one with nature.
5. Go See a Traditional Kandyan Dance
Sniff up some culture in the evening, watching a traditional dancing and drum show in the city center of Kandy. The ritual Kandyan dance is truly spectacular, bursting with colors and energy. The show ends outside with some of the dancers walking on fire as if by magic. Astonishing! Kids and adults alike will be able to enjoy the show. Moreover, it’s a great way to brush up your cultural knowledge and keep the kids entertained.
Accommodation in Kandy
Since Kandy is a popular tourist destination, you don’t have to worry about finding an accommodation in this city. There are plenty of hotels and vacation rentals to cater to all budget. And if you want to experience a luxury stay, consider a private villa in Kandy where anything can be arranged at your fingertips. Finally, there’s something for everyone in this city, and there are a lot of things to do in Kandy with the kids.