Jordan is a perennial favourite at Stubborn Mule. This fascinating destination is safe, just a five-hour flight from the UK and is packed with more than its fair share of world-heritage sites and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ scenery.

We’ve selected our top ten things to do in Jordan with kids to give you a taster. Alternatively if you want to get cracking on planning a trip straight away, jump to our Jordan family holidays section.

1 – Watch a Gladiator show in Jerash

Every child will have studied ‘The Romans’ at some point in their school education. Now bring the lessons to life, with a recreation of a chariot race, in a genuine setting. The stunning ruins of Jerash are beautifully preserved and just an easy hour’s drive north of Amman, Jordan’s capital. They are also the backdrop to regular chariot ‘races’, complete with actors dressed in Roman clothing and traditional horse-drawn chariots. It’s a real step back in time when travelling to Jordan with children.

Chariot racing at Jerash - Jordan with kids

Explore the ruins at Jerash and catch the gladiator show, complete with chariot racing

2 – Follow a secret tunnel in Shobak castle

If you’re claustrophobic, look away now. Shobak castle, built by Crusader King Baldwin I in 1115, is an imposing sight. Perched on a dramatic hill-top it offers amazing views of the surrounding desert – and plenty of opportunity to spot invaders. It’s an impressive ruin to walk around and has a fascinating history as its inhabitants repelled several attacks by Saladin. However, it’s the 375 steps down a secret passageway that lead to a ladder and ‘escape hatch’ which are the most exciting part of the visit for kids. Bring a torch and your imagination.

Shobak Castle tunnel - Jordan with kids

With fabulous views and secret passageways, Shobak Castle has something for everyone

3 – Float in the Dead Sea

It’s one of Jordan’s most iconic images. People floating, starfish like, on the hypersaline waters of the Dead Sea. No matter what your age, when travelling to Jordan with kids you’ll love the other-worldly experience. And, if you cover yourself in the therapeutic mud beforehand, you might emerge looking twenty years younger. Both our exmaple tailr-made Jordan itineraries include time at the Rec Sea.

Jordan with kids trip - dad and son floating in the Dead Sea

Float in the hypersaline waters of the Dead Sea

4 – Be wowed by the ‘Lost City’ of Petra

It’s the most famous of Jordan’s highlights, a vast city carved out of the sandstone more than 2,000 years ago. The kids may not have heard of the Nabateans, who painstakingly carved tombs, facades and temples out of the rose-pink rock. However they will probably be familiar with the image of the Treasury, immortalised in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Wandering around the 800 individual monuments that include buildings, tombs, baths, funeral halls, temples, arched gateways and colonnaded streets, you’ll be amazed by both its beauty and scale.  And if anyone gets tired, you can hitch a lift on a horse, donkey, camel or horse-drawn cart. See our itinerary Highlights of Jordan to start planning, or click here for 40 historical facts about Petra.

Petra - Jordan with kids itinerary

Iconic Petra is a must on any holiday to Jordan with children

5 – Hike Wadi Feynan

For active families, a day hike down Wadi Feynan will be one of the most memorable days of your trip to Jordan with the kids. The hike is around 15km in length and you’ll be accompanied by a guide and mule (which can be used for tired children, just in case). The route takes you downhill, through an extraordinary and dramatically beautiful desert valley, flanked by sheer rock cliffs. Your Bedouin guide will cook flatbread and warm mint tea on a fire for lunch as you stop in the shade of a tree. The hike ends at one the best eco-resorts in the world, described by Forbes magazine as, ‘a shining star among the green lodges worldwide’. For other examples of what to do with teens, take a look at our Active Jordan for Teens sample itinerary.

Jordan with kids holiday - Wadi Feynan hike near Dana

The Wadi Feynan hike near Dana is popular with older active kids

6 – Make like Lawrence of Arabia in Wadi Rum

Anyone researching a trip to Jordan with kids will know that Wadi Rum (aka ‘The Valley of the Moon’) is a country highlight. A jewel in the desert crown. There’s many ways to soak up the landscape, whether on the back of a camel, on your own two feet or bouncing around in the back of a 4WD. The kids will love clambering over the dramatic, red-sand-and-rock scenery, imagining themselves as modern day Lawrences of Arabia. And you can top the experience off with a night in a transparent ‘bubble tent’ under the stars. Bliss.

Child playing in Wadi Rum, a Stubborn Mule favourite on a Jordan with kids itinerary

Kids of all ages (and adults) enjoy clambering over the rocks in Jordan’s Wadi Rum

7 – Experience one of the best bike rides on earth

Amongst cycling aficionados, the bike ride from Madaba to the Dead Sea is renowned. It’s an all-down-hill bike ride which entails endless dramatic switch backs as you whizz down a seemingly endless hill, surrounded by desert and dramatic views of the Dead Sea. The Telegraph were bowled over by the experience and so are we. It’s not for the faint-hearted; those just learning to ride on two wheels, need not apply! But for older children and accomplished mountain bikers, it’s a highlight. (For more family bike rides see our cycling blog.)

Cycling in Jordan with kids

Whiz downhill all the way to the Dead Sea, perfect for active teenagers

8 – Visit Little Petra

It may be smaller than its larger namesake but ‘Little Petra’, (Siq al-Barid in Arabic) makes up for its smaller size with its exclusivity. The coachloads of tourists that understandably traipse through the main ruins at Petra are wonderfully absent here. Go early, and you will probably have the beautifully carved sandstone canyons completely to yourselves. It’s north of ‘the real’ Petra but still part of the Petra Archaeological Park and you can marvel at its majesty in peace and quiet. Travelling to Jordan with kids (particularly younger ones)? Do go!

Exploring Little Petra when holidaying in Jordan with kids

Beat the crowds at Little Petra and let the kids explore the cave rooms, carved into the sandstone

9 – Take a camel trek into the desert

As you may have gathered, a family trip to Jordan with kids is an action-packed adventure. With just 27km of coastline, though, desert is its big selling point. And what better way to experience it than taking a camel trek amongst the towering sandstone cliffs of Wadi Rum There’s a reason why these almost comical beasts are known as ships of the desert. We’ll let you find out for yourselves. #nospoilers

Camel riding in Wadi Rum - Jordan with kids

This is one of the best places for the kids to try out their camel riding skills

10 – Haggle for souvenirs in a Jordanian souq

A trip to any Middle Eastern country should always include a visit to the local souq. This is the name for the local market where your senses will thrill at the sights, sounds, tastes and smells. You can shop for souvenirs or simply soak up the unique atmosphere. Whilst the capital, Amman, has the most souqs, every one is a little different, depending on what you want. Al Balad in downtown Amman is the city’s oldest, whilst souq Jara is known for its crafts and food. Here’s a handy article on the capital’s ten best markets and souqs.

Jordan with kids - at the Souk

For souvenirs head to the markets and souqs in Amman

Jordan with kids – next steps

For more ideas on holidaying in Jordan with kids, see our example Jordan itineraries and check out our Jordan family holidays section. For further inspiration you might enjoy this National Geographic Photo Gallery. Ring us on 01728 752751 if you’d like to start planning a trip or you can get in touch with us via our website contact page.

And if you like the sound of the gladiator show at Jerash, check out this video taken by Stubborn Mule’s Claire Gray.

Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
We always love to hear from our customers so do email us with your experiences of travelling in Jordan with kids. Thank you – [email protected].