The Sunday Six: Things to Do in Bali with Kids


Flying kites on Seminyak beach, Bali.

Go Waterbombing!

Whether you live in Bali, or are spending your holidays in Bali, a trip to Waterbom is one of the best things to do in Bali with kids. There’s seventeen different tall slides, including the rebounding Boomerang, the swirly Superbowl and the pulse-pounding 360-degree Aqualoop. Littlies will love the kiddie pool, with water cannons and mini slides, and boys will kill for the water bomb battle zone. Go on a weekday if you can.
Waterbom Bali


Make Like Tarzan

Bali Treetop is a woodland adventure park set in the cool of Bedugul botanical gardens. Tarzan swings, zipwires, aerial nets and balancing challenges make up six courses through the trees — the easiest is suitable for kids as young as four. Kids will love this, and adults do too. Go in the morning to beat the rain and the crowds.
Bali Treetop

Watermelon carving at Pondok Pekak in Ubud, Bali.

Learn A Craft


Ubud is Bali’s cultural capital and, when it comes to things to do with kids, it’s a great place to learn crafts.

Kids can learn skills from wood-carving through to silversmithing, by way of painting, batik, fruit-carving, dance and gamelan. Longstayers will love the children’s library at Pondok Pekak learning centre, too.

For more on arts and crafts in Ubud, click here.

Go On Safari

From elephant rides to rollercoasters to rare animals including a white tiger, Bali Safari Marine Park has a host of things to do with kids — and the education shows are great. There’s a small water park on site, too, if your kids get bored of the animals. Trained zoologists accompany you on your trundle through the different habitats, and there’s an aquarium in the works as well.
Bali Safari Marine Park


Ride The White Water

Depending on your adrenaline level, Bali has a great range of white water rafting. The Telaga Waja provides a relatively wild (class III) ride, slamming you into walls and racing below low bridges before it culminates with a 5-metre drop down a dam. The Ayung river (class II) is tame enough for even the littlest kids or nervous parents to enjoy.
Bali Sobek

Go Find Nemo

Kids as young as eight can begin to learn scuba with a PADI Bubblemaker course — and ten year olds can do the same course that adult divers do. The wrecks around Tulamben make this a rewarding place to learn to dive. Younger kids won’t be stuck for things to do: they can snorkel at the surface.
Eurodive Bali

Some ideas on where to stay in Bali. Or check Bali hotels here.


53 Responses

  1. uschi says:

    Hallo,
    I read that you stayed together with 2 kids in Bali. Now I would like to ask about your accomodation (I will also go there, but the houses, villas .. I found in the internet are quite expensive). Iยดm looking forward for aour answer. Thank you very much!!

    • Theodora says:

      Yes, the luxury villas advertise more heavily than the cheap ones. How long are you going to be there? If it’s months, and if it’s Ubud, I’d get a cheapish guesthouse while you find a rental locally. You can get one room simple houses for as little as 2,000,000 per month, but you need to hunt. More realistic is 4,000,000- 5,000,000 for a large 2-bedroom traditional house in the rice fields. You get those by looking at the small ads outside Bintang supermarket, Bali Buddha, in Pondok Pekak, in the tourist information and there are sometimes good deals in the local free mags (though rarely).

      Shorter term? T Houses Bali http://www.thousebali.com are lovely properties and good value over a couple of weeks, with a pool. Essentially: how long are you going for, and where do you want to stay, and what’s your approximate budget? Some stuff on guesthouses in this post here: http://travelswithanineyearold.com/2011/07/31/the-sunday-six-places-to-stay-in-bali-that-aren%E2%80%99t-kuta/

    • Pangko says:

      If you are staying in Kuta, you can try this apartment called Sunset Residence and Condotel. It is suitable for family traveller because they have units with two and three bedrooms. Each unit has their own family area and most importantly kitchen where you can cook (can save more!) Here is their web: http://www.sunsetresidencebali.com

  2. Kate says:

    I’m 25 and this is now my to do list for when I make it to Bali.

    • Theodora says:

      Hahahaha… Yep, I like all these things too. Though, by the end of Bali I was just the TEENSIEST bit over Waterbom.

  3. I am sooo ecstatic I landed on this site! I love your posts and I’m learning a lot about traveling with a kid (right now we have an infant in tow). And you’ve been to the Philippines! Yey!

    • Theodora says:

      We LOVE the Philippines, especially Palawan. We’re also some of very few Westerners to really like Manila. I’m glad you’re finding the blog helpful — and welcome aboard!

  4. Lisa Wood says:

    I never realised that there was so much to do in Bali with kids! Sounds amazing – our kids would so love the Safari and to ride the white water rafting! That would be a blast ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cheers
    Lisa

  5. Jason says:

    I would love to do all this things with my kids, sadly I am broke right now. The economy is not that well and I think I might have to postpone our trip next year.

    • Theodora says:

      Yeah, the economy is scary the world over, but especially, I think, in the US. It’s worth knowing, though, that travelling the developing world costs less than living in the developed world.

  6. oh… i should have seen this list before. my son only did the waterbom in bali ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. A great list of to do things when visiting Bali:) All I’ve got to do now is save up and get to Bali;)

    • Theodora says:

      Bear in mind it’s very cheap once you’re actually there. And you should do it. It’s a lovely island.

  8. Julie says:

    Hi I would like to take my 9 year old on a half day cooking class, can you recommend something with a bit of humour plus cultural info that would not be to hard to follow?

    • Theodora says:

      My son really enjoyed the one at Bumbu Bali in Ubud when he was that age, and it’s very good on cultural info, and you get to take a booklet away. I don’t think there are cooking classes specifically for kids, BUT fruit carving at Pondok Pekak is a lovely and vaguely food based activity that he’d probably enjoy if the Bumbu Bali one sounds too hardcore — this is a rather uninformative piece that Zac wrote about it at the time http://kidventurer.com/2011/02/07/cookery-indo/. The offerings classes, at ARMA museum, at least, also include making offerings from coloured dough, so that’s another cultural and fun option, but it is less culinary than the Bumbu Bali one — they’re on http://www.balifoods.com. Hope this helps!

  9. CHRIS says:

    need info on cheap 3-4 stars acc as we are going to bali for 4 weeks as we have 3 children 10′-13-15 years old want to land in kuta for 4 nights then travel around the coast and inland then return for 7 nights in kuta or nusa dua any idears would help

    regs

    chris

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Chris, Thanks for your comment. I’ve got one post on places that I like in Bali outside Kuta, which are all cheap – here – le Jardin de Marie in Lipah would be good for you guys as the bungalows should sleep five comfortably. Gayatri 2 is a good value family choice in Ubud, with a lovely pool.

      But… I’m not sure what you mean by 3-4 stars, and I’m not sure what you mean by cheap. There’s not a lot of the type of neutral block accommodation in Bali, at least outside Kuta, that there is in Oz – what’s your budget and what are you after?

      I’d also really caution against spending that much time in Kuta. It’s the worst part of the island by a long, long way and can really spoil your impression of Bali (there’s a bit about my impressions of it here).

  10. Sam says:

    Hi, we are taking our 4 kids (13,12,11,5) to Bali in a couple of weeks n staying at club med. any other ideas what we can do as a family. Would love them to learn about there culture. Thanks sam

  11. Hi we are traveling to Bali in June and I want our children to have experiences with animals. However I have mixed feelings about doing the elephant rides — I’ve seen some horrible images of the “guides” with sticks and some injured elephants (with holes in their skin!) We want to have some up close encounters with these beautiful creatures, but I don’t want to contribute to that kind of animal abuse.

    What advice do you have about this? Should we do it or not?

    • Theodora says:

      Hiya,

      My son doesn’t like to do elephant rides for precisely that reason. There are two ways of looking at it: one that it’s the traditional way of handling elephants and not significantly more cruel than what we do to horses with a bit, and secondly that as elephants are more intelligent than horses we should treat them better.

      Another way of thinking about it is that in countries, like, for example, Sri Lanka, where elephants have been retired from the logging industry and are now “working” with tourists rather than hauling logs, you’re contributing to their transition and in a way saving their lives, whereas in places like Bali, where elephants only exist for tourists, you’re contributing to an industry that’s unhelpful and exploitative.

      My personal view is that Bali isn’t a particularly natural place in which to have elephant encounters, and I’m not at all sure that there’s any place you can meet them where the other animals aren’t being ridden. By far the best way to experience elephants is in the wild, which we’ve done in Kenya and Sri Lanka, although Zac loved feeding a baby elephant at Pinnewala in Sri Lanka.

      Hope this helps!

      Theodora

      • Thanks for your feedback. I think we’ll probably pass on it, I would rather wait for an opportunity in a more natural setting like you’ve suggested.

        Also, I think I’ve worked out that you are of Greek heritage (I’m a new reader, sorry if it’s obvious to everyone else!). I’m married to a Cypriot (well, technically an English-Cypriot since he was born in England).

        I read one of your posts about going blank in Turkey and only recalling Greek words…that happens to me a lot! Although usually it’s when I’m trying to speak Greek, I go blank and only remember words in Spanish. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Theodora says:

          Hahaha. Ironically, I’m not of Greek heritage (or Russian, for that matter) — my parents chose the name as a more classical alternative to Alexandra. But I did study Latin and Ancient Greek at college: my heritage is Polish, French, Romany and English. Go figure!

          I’m not looking forward to seeing what comes out of my mouth when I try and speak Mongolian. I’m guessing it will be Chinese…

  12. michelle says:

    hi i am taking my 13year old son and my 9 year old daughter to bali in a week i have been before but not alone with my kids just wonderin if you have any ideas what to do in seminyak for them and legian thanks especially at night as well

    • Theodora says:

      Waterbom, surfing, possibly the Bali Safari and Marine Park… At night time there are some lovely restaurants in Seminyak, typically better Western than Indonesian cuisine — stay out of Kuta by night. It really depends on what the kids’ tastes are. There’s whitewater rafting in Bali, as well. And I really wouldn’t miss Bali Treetop, though it’s in the centre of the island and a bit of a schlep. And… pick a temple. See some dance at a temple, perhaps. There’s sunset dances at Ulu Watu, which are touristy but probably pretty fab — with a boy, I might want to go for the kecak, monkey dance, which is not the most authentic dance, but pretty dramatic.

  13. stephan says:

    Bali is an excellent choice for traveling with kids and you’ll be amazed how the Balinese love your kids and slather them in attention. ๐Ÿ™‚ great list btw

  14. Annie says:

    Hi Theodora! Thanks for maintaining such an informative site.

    We’re planning a trip to Bali in Oct/Nov for 15 nights a family of 4 with 4 & 7 yrs old.Do you think I should split the stay 6 & 9 nights in different location or just stay put in 1 resort?

    My kids are fairly active and i’m looking at resorts that got waterslides, any thoughts/recommendations? Thanks in advance.

    Annie

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Annie,

      For waterslides, you’re going to be limited to the south of the island — Kuta, Legian, Sanur, Nusa Dua or Jimbaran — so you’re not going to get a lot of geographical distance when moving resorts. That said, you could do a short stay in Kuta/Legian so that you can walk to Waterbom etc. and then move somewhere that’s less busy and more authentic. Bear in mind that Bali is a small island (although it takes a while to get around).

      The Bali Dynasty Resort has a waterslide and is close to Waterbom proper – http://www.agoda.com/bali-dynasty-resort/hotel/bali-id.html?cid=1559496. That’s in Kuta, though, and I really wouldn’t recommend spending much time in Kuta if you can help it. The Pan-Pacific Nirwana Bali looks very much nicer and more authentic, and has a waterslide as well as some stunning activities in the kids club, from tennis lessons to baby turtles, and it’s in a much quieter part of the south – http://www.agoda.com/bali-dynasty-resort/hotel/bali-id.html?cid=1559496.

      I’m not sure what your budget is, though… Let me know if you have more questions…

      Theodora

  15. Avi says:

    I’ll be going to Bali for the 4th time in 2014 – I’m Canadian – I will be taking my 2.5 year old daughter for the 2nd time. We went to the Phillipines last year (Swimming with Whale Sharks). For kids I’d add a few more options to your list. The Elephant park in Taro, Bajur hot springs, Monkey Forest to see the Komodo Dragon statues, The Bali Zoo is amazing also. Snorkel Nusa Pedina – very nice corals! Personally, I do my own research on the island and go to many non-tourist locations – I hire my own driver. This trip we will experience the Bird Park – GWK monument and a few new temples. I thin all tourists to Bali must experience the culture and religion. This will benefit your children as you have to respect everyone’s personal beliefs. Bali people love children – but do make a donation to the orphans if you go. The people make only $15 per week and a simple $10 donation goes a long way. Thanks for reading my post…. Great Blog

  16. Edward J.H Chung says:

    will stay in Bali from 23/01/14 to 27/01/14 with 3kids and my wife.. recommend us where to stay and to have fun with kids.. thanks.

  17. Tarun says:

    Hi Theodora,

    Very informative site – Thanks !

    We are visiting Bali for the first time with our 8 yr old daughter. We are there for 5 days in last week of December. Ideally want to stay 2 places – 3 days and 2 days – one with beach etc..one more foresty/wildlife. Can you suggest which areas do we stay in ? Have already made a to-do list from your listing anyway !

    Cheers
    Tarun

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Tarun,

      That’s a good question. Taking forest first, I’d choose between Ubud, which is in rice terraces and has lots of arts and crafts, and a lovely bird walk that you should do, as well as the Monkey Forest Temple with a tonne of monkeys, Bedugul, which is close to the zipline, and misty, and you can pick strawberries, or Munduk, which is high mountain forest and hiking territory. There’s much more going on in Ubud than the other two places, but they both have their own special qualities?

      Beachwise, that really depends on your budget. What price point are you looking at? I’ve got a few recommendations on this post – http://www.escapeartistes.com/2011/07/31/the-sunday-six-places-to-stay-in-bali-that-arent-kuta/ — but I can pull some more for you. You’ll probably want to stay in the south, which is more touristy and so closer to the kiddie attractions, but there are some nice beaches on the east coast and islands if you want to go remote.

      Let me know and I’ll ping you some recommendations…

      • Suresh says:

        Hi Theodora,

        great responses in your blogs thanks! I am also taking my 8yr old daughter some time next year for a 5-7 day trip and have similar requirements to Tarun. Could you please also ping me with some recommendations? Thanks in advance…Suresh

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Suresh — the best recommendations will vary widely according to your budget and your interests. First up, what’s a headline budget for accommodation? $30 a night? $50 a night? $100 a night? $200 a night? There’s accommodation at all price points in Bali — I’m actually going to get a guide out to it in the new year. And, secondly, what sort of things would you like to do with your daughter? Cheers, Theodora

  18. Sam says:

    Hi there, I am planning to go to Bali in next November with a 10 yrs old. I am totally confused which part of Bali to go to ? we do get so many promotions every day with special rates for Bali but not sure which area of Bali should we go to njoy the nature. We love all kind of water activites, specially scuba and snorkling. Can you pl. help and suggest a location. We are thinking of 9 days in total. ta. Sam

    • Theodora says:

      Hiya —

      Lipah is a lovely base for scuba and snorkelling, very quiet, very rural, and an easy hop from the USS Liberty, a wreck that’s shallow enough for juniors to scuba or snorkel it. http://www.escapeartistes.com/2011/07/31/the-sunday-six-places-to-stay-in-bali-that-arent-kuta/

      Up in the mountains, I’m a fan of Bedugul, which is a great base for the zipwire, and again feels kinda rural — Munduk is very countrysidey, while Ubud is busy, but you can still get out into the ricefields by walking 100m from the main road.

      I’d be inclined to just sweep through Kuta, which is where the main tourist action is, and head up to Lipah for deserted beaches, scuba and snorkelling, then do a few days in Ubud, where there’s great activities for kids and craft stuff — http://www.escapeartistes.com/2010/11/03/14-great-arts-courses-in-ubud-bali/.

      If you’re confident driving in Bali, you can cover a lot more ground, but the traffic will be a real shock after Oz, and, TBH, taxis are relatively inexpensive between towns anyway.

      Hope this helps!

  19. ve.arunachallam says:

    hi,we are a group of about 5 couples and 10 kids between 6 years to 16 years. we would like outdoor adventure and fine dining. could you help us in finding a suitable location with shopping and beach budget $ 200.00 a night a villa type is preferred thanks a ton.
    arun

  20. Julia Mills says:

    Hi, We will be going to Bali for the first time with our 2 year old son. We will only be there for 2 weeks and we were thinking of spending time in both Ubud and then was open to suggestions on where to stay in Bali. Was thinking Seminyak, Sanur or Nusa Dua? What would your suggestions be?

    We are looking for accommodation that incorporates a separate lounge/tv area to the bedroom, or a suite that has 2 bedrooms. As my son will need to have his midday nap still and go to bed earlier than us and we would like to still be able to have our own tv time and area to be able to enjoy. Do you have any suggestions on hotels/resorts?

    We were looking around the 3 star mark. Thank you for your time! Julia

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Julia — What’s your actual budget? That sort of accommodation is hard to find at the Balinese 3* mark — you’ll typically get a room (perhaps with multiple beds) with a balcony or outdoor sitting area (as well as an ensuite). BUT accommodation here can be relatively cheap, so you could probably go up a level or two. With a littlie, I’d go for Nusa Dua first, Sanur second and Seminyak third. But… give me a budget and I’ll look at some places… Theodora

  21. Ian says:

    I have to bring my nephews soon! Thanks for this post!

  22. TOHOTA says:

    Denpasar is the capital of the Bali province and the most populous city in the Indonesia.The main attractions of the city are The Bali Museum, Alun-Alun Puputan, Puputan Park, Palace of Satria, Royal Temples, Sidik Jari Museum, Jagatnata Temple, Maospahit Temple, Bali Art Center, Serangan Island, Sanur Beach, etc. The Kuta town in the city is the place where most of the malls, cafes, hotels, restaurants, marketplaces and the spas are located.

    • Theodora says:

      Ummmm…. I very much suspect Jakarta, with around 20 million population, is the most populous city in Indonesia: DPS is under 1 million, I believe. And most wouldn’t describe Serangan or Kuta or Sanur as being in Denpasar.

  23. Alex says:

    hi there
    We r planning a 5 day vacation at Bali with our 9yr old and 4 yr old boys.Please suggest places to stay and things to do.Our Budget will be arnd 1000 INR per night stay and about 30000 INR for the sight seeing.

  24. roger says:

    while i like this idea of traveling with your kids, i am little concerned about their safety. What steps should i take so that my children safety is not compromised. Thanks

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Roger,

      That depends on the children’s ages — but being sure that they know what to do if they get lost (ask a police officer, or a lady with children, for help) is pretty key. Depending where you’re from, they may well statistically be safer while travelling than they are in their home town or country… Theodora

  25. sumit says:

    hii..i m travelling to bali with 11yrs & 3 yrs kids for six nights in november..i ve booked in white rose kuta villas at KUTA area for 2 nights..can u recommend me any other area and villas for the rest of my trip..I WANT enjoyment for my kids as well as nightlife for me..my budget would be 100 usd per night..

    • Theodora says:

      What sort of nightlife are you after, Sumit? You might want to try the Gili islands, off Lombok: most of Bali’s nightlife is in Kuta and Seminyak, though there’s some in Canggu and Jimbaran.

  1. December 11, 2014

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