Family holidays To Mongolia – when are the best times to travel?

Experience the real Mongolia on our small group tours
May 8, 2018
Mongolia's Middle Gobi
Discover Mongolia’s Middle Gobi
May 11, 2018
Touchton Family Gobi Desert Mongolia family tour

Family Holidays To Mongolia

If you’re searching for a family adventure, look no further than our Family Holidays to Mongolia. While it may not be the typical holiday choice, it promises an adventure that will forge lasting memories.

Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience Mongolia’s wide-open spaces and varied culture with our family-oriented holidays. Enjoy the freedom of traveling with your own vehicle and the support of a dedicated Eternal Landscapes trip assistant. Plus, children under 15 travel for free—yes, for free!

We tailor your trip to fit your budget, needs, and preferred dates, ensuring that everyone in the family gets the most out of the experience. Our itineraries are crafted with children in mind and are packed with interactive experiences, from local train journeys and cooking lessons to wild camping.

Excited yet? All you need to do is pick the best time of year for your family to explore Mongolia! We’ve provided some tips on what Mongolia has to offer throughout the seasons. The images accompanying this post were captured by the Touchton family during their travels with us.

The Touchton family on one of our family holidays to Mongolia

The Touchton Family

A Quick Overview

Between May and late September are generally considered the best months to visit Mongolia to avoid the strong spring winds and the bitter winter cold. However, visitors should be aware of a few seasonal considerations:

  • The Gobi Desert can experience extremely high temperatures during the summer months.
  • Recent years have seen an increase in rainfall during these months. If you’re planning on visiting Mongolia during this time, it’s wise to pack appropriate rain gear and be prepared for potential changes in your itinerary due to weather conditions.
  • July is the peak tourist season in Mongolia, largely due to the Naadam Festival, a major cultural event featuring traditional Mongolian sports like wrestling, horse racing, and archery. This period sees a significant increase in travel and accommodation costs, and availability can become scarce.

 

  • February Half Term

Choosing to visit Mongolia during the February Half Term can offer your family a unique and enriching experience by coinciding with the Mongolian Lunar New Year, known as Tsagaan Sar. This significant festival is a vibrant celebration of family and tradition, providing an insightful cultural experience for visitors of all ages.

During the winter months, while domestic flights are limited, there are still plenty of accessible and engaging options near Ulaanbaatar. Consider a ger homestay in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park for a firsthand look at the herding way of life. Alternatively, you might visit Khustain Nuruu National Park, ideal for short hikes and wildlife viewing, including the chance to see the Mongolian Takhi, the native wild horse. The scenic Orkhon River Valley or Khogno Khan Nature Reserve also offers a picturesque backdrop for winter activities. Or, perhaps take a trip to the Gobi Desert and the Thousand Camel Festival which falls in early February.

Accommodation Options: Stay in traditional ger accommodations provided by rural families for an authentic experience, or opt for local hotels that offer a comfortable base from which to explore.

  • Easter Holidays | May Half Term

Timing your family holiday to Mongolia around spring in Mongolia can offer a range of culturally immersive experiences, especially if it coincides with significant local festivals. This time of year is still considered off-season, so you’ll avoid the typical tourist crowds, allowing for a more personal and intimate experience of the country. Howevever early spring (March and April) is famous for its spring winds.

If your visit aligns with the Spring Festival of Nauryz, celebrated on March 21st and 22nd, you can travel to western Mongolia to meet the renowned Kazakh eagle hunters. This festival marks the Central Asian celebration of spring and features a vibrant display of traditional music, dance, and eagle hunting demonstrations—a spectacular experience for the whole family.

You can also explore the traditional herding lifestyle as this is a busy time for local herders, providing an authentic glimpse into the daily life of Mongolia’s herders and a unique opportunity for your children to learn about and participate in day-to-day herding activities.

Accommodation Options: Stay in traditional ger accommodations provided by rural families for an authentic experience, or opt for local hotels that offer a comfortable base from which to explore. Or, available from mid-May onwards, tent camping is an excellent option for those looking to connect with nature and enjoy clear, starry nights.

 Family experience Mongolia

  • Summer Holidays

Summer in Mongolia is a dynamic season filled with activities and festivals that provide families with both fun and educational experiences, making it an excellent time for a memorable holiday.

During the summer Naadam, which is Mongolia’s traditional sporting festival, takes place in Ulaanbaatar and throughout rural communities – a must-see.

This is the peak season for the county’s tourism industry, and it’s also the busiest time for the herding families, limiting some interaction opportunities. However, you can still immerse yourself in Mongolian culture through camping and active homestays. These experiences allow you to explore Mongolia’s diverse landscapes, whether on foot or by embarking on horse or camel treks.

Additional Festivals to Consider

  • Yak Festival: Held on July 23rd in the Orkhon River Valley, this festival celebrates the indispensable role of yaks in Mongolian culture with various activities and shows.
  • Danshig Naadam Festival: Around August 4th – 6th, the Danshig Naadam Festival is a Buddhist religious festival organised in cooperation with Mongolias’s Gandan Monastery. Danshig Naadam is a celebration of the history and practice of Buddhism in Mongolia including the life and teachings of Zanabazar, the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia. Danshig also helps to preserve Mongolia’s culture and heritage and as well as the traditional Naadam sports of horse racing, archery, and wrestling, it also features the traditional Buddhist mask dance known as Tsam. 

Accommodation Options:  Stay in traditional ger accommodations provided by rural families for an authentic experience, or opt for local hotels that offer a comfortable base from which to explore. Or, tent camping is an excellent option for those looking to connect with nature and enjoy clear, starry nights. Alternatively, for those looking for a little extra comfort, choose one of Mongolia’s smaller, more rustic tourist ger camps that provide a unique, comfortable option closer to nature.

Family holiday Mongolia

  • October Half Term

For families with adventurous kids who enjoy hiking, riding, and don’t mind embracing a bit of rustic living, consider a trip to Western Mongolia during the October half-term. This season marks the beginning of the hunting period for the Mongol Kazakh eagle hunters, who skillfully use their magnificent golden eagles to hunt. Staying with these families offers a unique and authentic glimpse into their fascinating traditions and lifestyle, providing an unforgettable cultural immersion and a chance to witness the impressive bond between the hunters and their eagles.

Accommodation Options: Stay in traditional ger accommodations provided by rural families for an authentic experience, or opt for local hotels that offer a comfortable base from which to explore.

Touchton Family

Christmas Holiday

Visiting Mongolia during Christmas offers a unique opportunity for families accustomed to colder climates, despite Christmas not being a widely celebrated or public holiday in the country.

  • Just outside of Ulaanbaatar, the Sky Resort provides a cozy winter escape. While it may not rival the slopes of Vermont or the Alps, Mongolia’s only ski resort offers a few beginner ski runs and a 140-meter-long sledging slope, both of which are illuminated at night to extend the fun past early winter sunsets. Equipment rental is available on-site, making it convenient for everyone to join in the winter sports.
  • During the Christmas season, Ulaanbaatar hosts a variety of concerts in its stadiums, showcasing both local and international music, which can be a warm way to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
  • As we suggest for February half term, for a more immersive experience, consider a ger homestay in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where you can observe the herding way of life up close. Alternatively, visit Khustain Nuruu National Park for short hikes and a chance to see the Mongolian Takhi, or wild horse. The Orkhon River Valley and Khogno Khan Nature Reserve also offer stunning settings for winter activities. Or, for a different cultural experience, spend time with the Mongol Kazakhs known for their rich traditions, including eagle hunting.
  • A journey on the Trans Mongolian train during this season can be a great experience, offering spectacular landscapes and a cozy way to travel across the country.

Accommodation Options: Stay in traditional ger accommodations provided by rural families for an authentic experience, or opt for local hotels that offer a comfortable base from which to explore.

Everyone has unique preferences for what they want their children to experience, but whether it’s educational opportunities or adventurous exploration, hiking or camel trekking, horse riding or simply relaxing, Mongolia offers it all. Plus, you’ll be pleased to find a reliable 4G network with affordable data available across much of the country—perfect for those moments when a quick connection or iPad time is necessary! This combination ensures that a family trip to Mongolia can be as versatile and fulfilling as you wish, catering to all interests and needs.

For further ideas, check the Mongolia family holidays page on our website as well as our overview of the experiences and activities that we can offer on our family tours in Mongolia. We look forward to hearing from you!

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I'm Jess Brooks, the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia and the voice behind EL's blog posts. For more than a decade, since 2006, I've been based in Mongolia, working closely with my beloved Mongolian team to advocate for a tourism approach that brings about positive change.. What sets our blog apart is our deep understanding of Mongolia—our home. Unlike content from influencers or creators, our posts prioritise authenticity and firsthand knowledge as guiding principles.
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