Jordan is a perennial favourite at Stubborn Mule. This fascinating Middle East 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.

Whilst too hot to visit comfortably in the peak summer months, and too cold in some places at Christmas, Jordan is an ideal destination to visit during the Easter holidays, May and October half terms.

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, go to our Jordan family holidays section.

Our top ten activities to do in Jordan with kids

1. Visit Little Petra

Teenager and brother exploring Little Petra Caves, Jordan holiday with kids

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

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. Thinking about travelling to Jordan with kids (particularly younger ones)? Do go!

2. Float in the Dead Sea

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

Float in the hypersaline waters of 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 example tailor-made Jordan itineraries include time at the Dead Sea.

3. Stay cool by hiking a hidden Wadi 

Climbing up ladder in a hidden wadi, Jordan

Hiking through a deep canyon of the hidden wadi is a magical experience for all ages

Want to know a secret? On a recent recce to Jordan we discovered a wadi which is known only to locals – and now, to Stubborn Mule families. Located down a remote track and following the river downstream into a deep canyon where water comes up to knee height, you’ll not see another person whilst exploring this magical oasis hidden between dramatic canyon walls. Older children and teens will love clambering on rocks and scaling ladders, keeping cool in the shade as they do so. The gradient of the wadi is gently sloping rather than steep.

4. Make like Lawrence of Arabia in Wadi Rum

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

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 are 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.

5. Overnight camp in Dana Nature Reserve

Dana Nature Reserve - Jordan - mother and son

Wake up to find yourselves surrounded by stunning scenery in the Dana Nature Reserve

Is this the most beautiful location in Jordan? Surrounded by dramatic scenery, in Dana, the country’s largest nature reserve, you can camp overnight in an open Bedouin bell tent. Arguably this is one of the most memorable things you can do on a family trip to Jordan. Whilst you can join one of the many walking trails, from 30 mins to 4 hours in the daytime, it’s sitting by the campfire watching the stars appear with no one else for miles around which is the highlight.

6. Visit the iconic Lost City of Petra – by the back road

Petra - Jordan with kids itinerary

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

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, funeral halls, baths facades, arched gateways and colonnaded streets 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.

As with any world-renowned archaeological site, things can get busy in peak season. Rather than follow the crowd, we (and when we visited, three other people) access the site from the back road, taking about an hour through stunning desert scenery and seeing the monastery first. This way, you avoid the bottleneck and have the place pretty much to yourself before those coming from the main entrance reach the monastery.

See our itinerary Highlights of Jordan to start planning, or check out these 40 historical facts about Petra.

7. Follow a secret tunnel in Shobak castle

Shobak Castle tunnel - Jordan with kids

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

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 hilltop it offers amazing views of the surrounding desert – and plenty of opportunities 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 leads to a ladder and ‘escape hatch’ which are the most exciting part of the visit for kids. Bring a torch and your imagination.

8. Take a camel trek into the desert

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

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

9. Hike Wadi Feynan

Jordan with kids holiday - Wadi Feynan hike near Dana

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

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 of 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 and energetic younger children, take a look at our Active Jordan sample itinerary.

10. Haggle for souvenirs in a Jordanian souq

Jordan with kids - at the Souk

For souvenirs head to the markets and souqs in Amman

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. On a Jordan with kids’ family adventure, you can shop for souvenirs or simply soak up the unique atmosphere. Whilst the capital, Amman, has the most souqs, everyone 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 – 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.

Snorkelling in the Red Sea - Family holidays in Jordan

We couldn’t resist including a photo of family fun snorkelling at the Red Sea

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].