We had not planned any exotic family vacation this summer and so we had ample time to spend together over the summer holidays. Initially, it was fun and amusing to just relax, try our hands at some art and craft projects, plan fun themed activities and visit the same old amusement areas and of course, our all-time favourite Dolmen City Mall!
But soon, as the novelty of summer break wore off, my daughter (and I!) started getting bored and as agitation and frustration set in, I realised that I spent most of my own childhood summers outside…aur ab tou theme parks bhi indoor hotey hain!
So, I got on a mission to look for interesting activities and places to hang out at over the weekend or maybe even join a club with my daughter. And to my surprise there was an endless list of desi tafreeh, not just in Karachi but all over Pakistan! There was something for everyone – from adventure to fun to educational and historical. There were places I could visit with my daughter during the week and destinations we as a family could plan to visit outside Karachi over the weekend.
Here are some of the things I found interesting and worth sharing…
1. Karachi Gliding Club
At the Airmen Golf Club at PAF Base in Karachi, you can register children aged six to 16 years for paragliding with training and supervision.
Teach your child to fly…literally!
2. Charoo Khuzdar
Charoo Khuzdar in Balochistan is laden with natural beauty – fountains, caves and breath-taking landscapes! Why plan “forrain” trips when you have all this right here at home, just waiting for your nazr-e-karam?
3. Margalla Hills
Speaking of natural beauty, nothing can beat the hiking experience at Margalla Hills in Islamabad…and you can visit the zoo or Faisal Mosque on your return
Like I said, something for everyone!
4. Lahore Museum
We plan visits to museums in Europe and yearn to see the Taj Mahal in India but how many times have you thought of visiting the Lahore Museum to get your fill of Mughal history? Not often, I’m sure. Visit the museum and give your children an enchanting lesson in history!
5. Quaid-e-Azam’s Residences
Whether you are a resident of Karachi or have planned a trip to Ziarat this summer, you can spend some time going back in history with your family, looking at the well-kept residences and artefacts of our Quaid himself! Visit the Quaid-e-Azam Museum in Karachi or the Ziarat Residency in Ziarat where Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent his final days and bring him alive for your children; help them find love for the founder of their nation and pride in who they are!
6. Bala Hisar Fort
Peshawar has more to offer than just Namkeen Karhai and Chapli Kababs it seems. Visit the Peshawar Museum for a much-needed history lesson – especially, Gandharan history – and the Bala Hisar Fort to delve into the history of the Durrani Empire!
7. Fresh Water Boat Cruise and Fish
But yes, since our minds and hearts don’t stray too far from food, when visiting Peshawar, you must indulge in a fresh water boating cruise in the Great Kabul River.
And while you are at it, enjoy watching some fresh water fish being cooked (and eat it of course!)
8. The Ultimate Adventure Club of Pakistan
The name says it all, doesn’t it? If you are in Islamabad or visiting, plan an outing to this club where you and your kids can enjoy paragliding, mountain biking, paint gun shooting, archery and rafting.
Sound awesome, right?
9. PC Gwadar
Yes, Pearl Continental is operating in Gwadar, Balochistan. So, gather your family or ‘friends like family’, enjoy the scenic drive and of course, the raw beauty of the beaches!
It’s the perfect weekend getaway!
10. Charna Islands
It’s summer and summer equals sun, sand and water, right? If you want more than just a day lazing at the beach, then a visit to Charna Islands in Karachi is a must. Nothing like scuba diving and snorkelling in clear water where you can be one with the marine life, surrounded by clean sand as far as the eye can see!
If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?
11. Kund Malir Beach
Our very own Hawaii just four hours away from Karachi!
Book a hut and plan a beach party!
What are YOUR favourite outings in the summer holidays? Tell us in comments!