Holidaying in Bali with kids definitely ticks all the boxes for a successful family holiday. You can choose to take it easy or fill your time with adventure. The island is packed with beautiful, safe sandy beaches and stunning scenery. Its child-friendly temples have plenty of space to run around and the colourful handicraft markets offer endless shopping opportunities. You’ll find that pocket money goes further than usual here!
Another bonus is that Bali has arguably the most delicious food in the whole of South East Asia! Yes you might even get your fussy 7 year old eating spicy tofu wrapped in banana leaves. And don’t forget the constant aromas of incense and frangipani and the incredible warmth of the local people.
So rather than a one-centre fly and flop, take a look at our Top Ten Activities in Bali with kids. We can’t wait to design you a truly exciting and memorable holiday.
Top 10 activities when holidaying in Bali with kids
1 – Getting to the heart of Bali
Ubud is the heart and soul of Bali. It’s a wonderful jumble of upmarket restaurants, cool cafes and designer shops alongside traditional warungs (simple eating places) and craft markets. Sip on a dragonfruit juice (replete with bamboo straw) and watch the beautiful people go by. Join the locals in a footie match then let the kids hone haggling skills in the market. They will love spending their holiday money on sarongs, woodcarvings, shell jewellery or tie-dye clothes. And of course, every 8yr old boy needs a painted dagger…
2 – Hanging out with the birds
A visit to a Bird Park may seem a little on the tame side for a family holiday to Indonesia. However the Bali Bird Park really is the perfect introduction to the exotic array of native wildlife found here. It’s also the ideal way to acclimatise to the heat and humidity when you first arrive. Recover gently from jet lag as you feed parrots, pelicans and cormorants. Forget Hitchcock, even the most nervy of children will love having a macaw land on their shoulder.
3 – Temple-hopping
Bali’s many temples are not only exquisite but also beautifully child-friendly. Kids will love being wrapped in a sarong and then being able to roam freely around the open-air compounds. They can play hopscotch in the gardens of Ulun Danu and spot monitor lizards swim the moats at Taman Ayun. And if you like, perhaps join the pilgrims bathing in the holy waters of Tirta Empul. Who knows, some of the guide’s entertaining stories of legends and gods may even sink in?!
4 – Chop chop – get those taste buds watering
Indonesian food is utterly delicious and not necessarily as spicy as other Asian cuisine….just watch the sambal! Take the children on an eye-opening trip to a night market and gorge on simple but delicious nasi goreng, fresh seafood and the ubiquitous nasi campur. Our favourite market is Gianyar, just outside of Ubud.
You can also get the kids cooking their own meals at one of the many cookery schools. You may wonder if it’s possible to combine children, sharp knives and gas stoves in a safe way…but it is! Watch them create gado gado, chicken satay and banana leaf-wrapped steamed tuna. Ever thought you would see your children eat curried tempeh?!!
5 – Hit the beach
For many families travelling to Bali with kids, the beach will be a big feature of the trip. But how do you pick which beach is right for your family? There are so many options, which should you choose?!
The black sands of the north coast at Pemuteran are a low key base from which to head off on snorkelling trips in search of Nemo amongst the corals of Menjangan Island. On the south coast, you can ride the surf at Jimboran or enjoy legendary sunsets at Seminyak. Sanur is possibly the best location for families with its safe reef-protected waters, coconut palm-fringed white sandy beaches and café-lined boardwalk. Here you can hire a SUP, enjoy a sun lounger massage and get your hair braided.
Our travel experts will be delighted to share their knowledge and help you select the right choice for your family.
6 – Breakfast on the crater rim of Mount Batur
Coercing children out of bed at 3am to climb an active volcano in the dark may not be everyone’s idea of holiday fun. However, without doubt it will be a memorable addition when holidaying with kids in Bali! After a reasonably gentle 2hr ascent, you will find yourselves sitting on the crater rim of Mount Batur. Here you can eat your breakfast eggs, cooked by natural volcanic steam. Some rather over-enthusiastic monkeys will keep you company as you watch the sun rise over nearby Mount Agung. The dip in the hot springs afterwards will feel so good!
7 – Time to get wet
Take a hugely enjoyable white-water adventure on the Ayung River. The rapids offer enough excitement to garner squeals from the kids without turning parents’ hairs grey (er). The guides are excellent (“Watch out for those crocodiles…”) and with plenty of opportunities for swimming between the rapids this is the ideal way to beat the heat in a gloriously tropical setting. A fantastic family-bonding experience. Check out this YouTube video of rafting on the Ayung River.
8 – Getting Arty
Bali’s arts and craft scene is world famous. The best way to experience the genuine side of this is to visit artists in their family compounds. This is a true ‘off the beaten track’ encounter few travellers get to enjoy. Led by a hugely knowledgeable and passionate local guide, you can tailor the tour to your family’s interests. Budding drummers can learn local techniques (without annoying the neighbours). Blossoming artists can join an art class using oils with a bamboo stick. Or for the ultimate holiday souvenir, build your own kite and fly it with the local kids.
9 – Ready for the adrenaline rush
Get the adrenaline pumping on a full-on canyoning adventure at Gitgit. This activity is suitable for all those who like dangling off cliffs, free abseiling through 15m waterfalls, jumping into rock pools or sliding on a Tyrolean Traverse. Screams of terror mix with cackling laughter and loads of High Fives all round. But hey, there are hot springs at the end… If this sounds too much, then Sambangan’s Secret Garden might better suit. This offers a fun mix of pool swimming, gentler waterfall slides and increasingly high jump offs. These start at 2m and end with the ‘Go on Dad you can do it’ 15m big one… Chest-thumping stuff.
10 – On yer bike
Away from the traffic of Ubud there are some peaceful rural roads that are safe to enjoy on two wheels. Free wheel down from the volcanic highlands (no pedalling required) and stop at a coffee and cocoa plantation. Here you can watch the roasting and taste the infamous luwak product….kids – you won’t believe where it comes from! You can visit a local farmer to learn about bee-keeping and taste some of local fruits. And in between rides, take time to meander between the impossibly lush, green rice terraces.
Travelling in Bali with kids
Want to know more about travelling in Bali with kids? Check out our Indonesia & Bali family holiday section and take a look at our sample itineraries – our 15 day Relaxing Bali or our 15 day Active Bali & Komodo. Or call us on 01728 752751.
Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
We always love to hear about your experiences holidaying in Bali with the family, so please do send us your reviews and feedback. Thank you – [email protected].