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Colombo Experiences with the Family

There are many remote locations worth exploring in Sri Lanka, from the Balangoda caves to secret beaches along the southern coast. But sometimes, you just don’t have the time to plan such a taxing excursion, which is why we’ve compiled a list of fun things you could do with the family right here in the city of Colombo.

1. Visit the Dehiwala Zoo

An Orangutan in the Dehiwala Zoo Sri Lanka

The Dehiwala Zoo doesn’t resemble a lot of the foreign zoos in terms of size, or the variety of species in its enclosures. The moment you walk in, you get to see flamingos just chilling in their ponds. It’s a very open zoo which allows you to fearlessly explore both local flora and fauna as well as foreign. Here you could spot over 30 species of reptiles, nearly 90 species of fish, dozens of mammals, and more. Little bridges take you over moats that run through the zoo, and pop-up stalls selling drinks, popcorn, and other snacks. The gardens are wide and lush, and are perfect for a picnic.

2. Drop by the Mount Lavinia Beach

Mount Lavinia Beach is, perhaps, Colombo’s best beach. Along the coastline, you can find a variety of restaurants serving anything from high-end Italian cuisine to Chinese, and local seafood. It’s not the best beach for a swim but it’s relatively safe, and there’s always a lifeguard on duty to keep an eye out. On certain nights, Mt. Lavinia comes alive with baila as live musicians perform classics along the sandy stretch. Barbeques pop up outside some restaurants, so can grab something to eat while you dance along to the music.

3. A Day at Viharamahadevi Park

A view of the Viharamahadevi Park in Sri Lanka with the Colombo Municipal Council

Nestled in Cinnamon Gardens, Viharamahadevi Park is Sri Lanka’s largest park. Adjacent to it is the Public Library and the Colombo National Museum. This is a well-sheltered park, with massive trees and seating areas with overhead roofs, that are perfect for a picnic or a break mid-stroll. Snack carts go around the park throughout the day selling ice cream, whereas stalls along the roadside provide tons of other food options.

The children’s play area is quite large and contains many fun items, such as slides, swings, and even a fountain in which many children often play. You could even take pony rides for just Rs.100, and the Rock Aquarium hosts numerous little tropical fish.

4. Take a Train Ride

Trains are the cheapest mode of transport in Sri Lanka. Yes, they are cheaper than the buses, and for this reason, they’re extremely packed during office hours. You could catch a train ride from Colombo Fort to your destination, where it is on the island! Though ‘first-class’ tickets are available for some trains, economy class is where the fun and experience thrives. With a brilliant, often-unseen view of the city, it provides you with unhindered scenery as the train chugs away.

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