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Sri Lanka in Feb with a 10-year-old

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Hi Everyone,

I have been reading all of the trip reports and comments for Sri Lanka and they have been extremely helpful in planning my upcoming trip with my son. We have a total of 10 days in Sri Lanka (arriving February 19), and I'm trying to figure out how to maximize our time without exhausting my son. He of course wants to do EVERYTHING, but I feel that we need to edit. I have our flights and a driver. Here is the proposed itinerary:

2/19 arrive & drive to Habarana
2/20 AM Polonnaruwa, evening safari Minneriya
2/21 Sigiriya
2/22 drive to Gampola via Dambulla, evening Kandy tour
2/23 Pinnawala elephant orphanage, spice gardens
2/24 go to Nuwara Eliya by train
2/25 Horton Plains & World's End
2/26 drive to Yala via Budhuruwagala (6 hours?)
2/27 AM safari
2/28 drive to Hikkaduwa
2/29 beach day
3/1 drive to airport for late evening flight

My son will like all of this - he's into animals, nature, anything outdoors but he also loves different cultures and is excited about all of the temples. My main concern/question is whether or not to go to Yala. It's far, and maybe our time would be better served by some relaxation at the end of our trip. Initially I had wanted to spend 3 nights in the Maldives at the end, to give us a chance to unwind and snorkel etc. What do you all think? Is Yala un-missable? Or is there anything else that may be redundant and/or not appropriate for a 10-year-old which could be eliminated in favor of a rest at the end? I know that there is no right answer of course, but if anyone has some specific insight with regard to kids, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

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