Best places near Mumbai for camping with kids, from kayaking to fishing, these camps pack in some terrific weekend experiences.
Big Red Tent, Karnala
A bird sanctuary, a fort and a waterfall—three child-friendly attractions await you within a 2hr ride from Mumbai. Expect basic, standard and waterproof tents that are fairly sturdy. Rules include no eating or drinking within tents, and the campsite turns into a silent zone after 11pm. You could also pick from Big Red Tent’s other sites: on the banks of Rivers Bhatsa and Kolad, and a lush jungle patch between the Mumbai–Pune highway and Konkan. All camps are pet-friendly. Website. From Rs1,800 per head, and from Rs1,000 per child under 8yrs, inclusive of all meals.
Stargaze when you’re at LetsCampOut, 8km from Lonavala town, high up in the Sahyadris. Using a powerful Celestron telescope, you can take your kids on a journey through the solar system. The best time to do this is just after the monsoon, when the skies are clean and clear. Depending on the age of your brood, you could also sign up for one of the company’s camping treks to forts such as Lohagad and Rajmachi, both near Mumbai. Website. From Rs2,999 per head, and from Rs1,499 per child under 10yrs, inclusive of all meals
Rusticville, Pawna Lake
As the name suggests, the idea is to keep the experience as close to the grassroots as possible. Sleep under plastic tents, or on a charpoy when the weather’s not too wet. Wake up to glorious views of the lake formed by the waters of the Pawna Dam. Trek up to Tikona Fort and return to cool down with a swim in the lake. Play a round of football and try your hand at archery. By night, sit around a bonfire and sing songs. It’s all about old-fashioned camping, and that’s what keeps the faithful coming. Website. From Rs1,900 per person, including breakfast and dinner
Bohemyan Blue Stay, Alibag
Located 10min from Kihim Beach, this spot is perfect for those who don’t quite like their stays rough around the edges. Bohemyan features plush campaign tents, with block-print furnishing, air-conditioning, attached bathrooms offering running hot water, free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, and an aromatherapy spa. The cafe menu’s just as dainty—think tabbouleh salads, pasta, and for that local touch, multigrain thaali peeth. While you lounge by the pool, the kids can go canoeing or cycling nearby. Website. From Rs4,560 per person, including breakfast.
Camp Della at Della Adventure & Resort, Lonavala
With 24hr room service, polished wooden flooring, aircon, heated Jacuzzis, patios offering Sahyadri valley views, and high-speed Internet, this camping option is your textbook definition of glamping. And it’s within driving distance from Mumbai. Plus, the resort the “camp” is part of has 160+ luxe rooms and five restaurants, a special pool for kids, a game room and a host of other child-friendly activities, including aqua-zorbing, swoop-swinging, ATVs, archery and rifle shooting. Website. Doubles from Rs10,000.