Bali is one of the most beautiful places in the world and you’ve probably heard a lot about people going there on vacation or to party. But the question remains for many families: why should I take my children to visit Bali? What is there for them?
Of course, our young children can’t go to bars and parties and we aren’t in that part of our lives anymore.
However, there is a hidden part of Bali that doesn’t make the travel guides that makes it a perfect location to take your children to give them the best of all worlds. They will see amazing things, interact with animals, meet people from all over, and have a greater appreciation for travel.
Here are just a few reasons to visit Bali with your family:
Reasons to Visit Bali
Some of the geological wonders here are absolutely amazing. Of course the beaches are amazing and the water is clear and you can actually see fish swimming about. But even more, there are beautiful canyons in Sekuawit, the Bukit Teletubbies on the beaches, amazing waterfalls, huge trees, and plenty of wildlife to keep you snapping photos and looking around.
The beaches themselves are pristine and there are hidden ones that you will never know about unless you do some research before you go. If you want to try some of the underused beaches, be reminded that you may not want to let your children swim there as some of these beaches don’t have a lifeguard during all parts of the year.
For those that like things that are new and unique, there are many island near Bali that are almost completely untouched by humans. You can take a boat ride to them and walk along pristine shores and clear water. Once again, you have to be careful and make sure not to go into the water where it is too deep because there are very few, if any, people on some of the islands that could help you.
Some of the hotels that are best for families have the most amazing features that you won’t find anywhere else. You can live in a giant treehouse, stay in a safari lodge, or even sleep on the edge of a cliff. The possibilities are endless and really unique – you won’t find some of these anywhere else. Even better, the amenities at the hotels themselves are great. You can swim in an infinity pool that looks like it spills right into the ocean, stay in a villa that delivers fresh fruit to your room, or even stay amidst the animals in the jungle.
If you have enough people or you want to spend the money, there are some absolutely amazing villas that will have you living like royalty.
Simply put, you won’t be able to find fresh fruit and seafood like this anywhere else. The Balinese have a very particular way of preparing food that is tasty and will make you rethink your favorite meals.
Restaurants range in price from ultra cheap to ultra luxurious, so you are able to find your happy medium and go from there. Even if you do have the money to spend, you must get some of the street food.
If food doesn’t really make you all that happy, some of the dining options will. You can drink on a platform in the middle of the ocean, dine with lions, or even bring your kids onto a pirate ship where they will eat just like the pirates did.
Family friend restaurants are in no short number here, even if the adults want to try something a little out of the ordinary. Some restaurants even have childcare centers where they can meet and enjoy children from all over the world instead of coloring on their placemat with crayons.
Some of the dishes you absolutely must try include Babi Guling, Balinese Pork Ribs, Nasi Campur, and Balinese Lawar.
There is art everywhere in Bali. From beautiful murals that are made out of paint to one-of-a-kind pieces carved out of wood at the markets to amazing bamboo structures, art is everywhere and everywhere is art.
You can take in art just by walking down the street, looking at the different people, and even when eating food.
One of the coolest things to do in Bali, especially if you have teenagers, is to go ghost hunting at one of the haunted places. There is an eerie village where bodies are hung from trees so that people an pay respect, there’s a massive hotel that was abandoned that people explore, and many other stories rooted deeply in Balinese culture.
If you love adrenaline, then there is a lot here for you as well. You can go flyboarding, hiking, canyoning, diving, surfing, cliff-jumping, ziplining, and more. This is also the place to try out new sports or things to push your body so that you can learn and grow as a human. If there is a new sport, chances are that Bali will be one of the first places to have it.
Looking great and feeling great after eating all of that Balinese food is difficult, which is why so many people who visit turn to Yoga. Yoga in Bali is an almost religious experience that will allow you to stretch your body and feel better about what you eat. There is Cliffside yoga, beach yoga, hotel yoga, hot yoga, cold yoga, family yoga, and so much more.
You can’t find a Balinese festival anywhere outside of Bali. There is so much culture and sweetness here that you will see the love the people have for their culture as soon as you step onto the streets. From huge parades that last hours to a mass kissing festival, it surely feels like every day is a holiday in Bali. Make sure to be appropriate for some of the religious holidays, but feel free to celebrate along with everyone else.
While you can find retail therapy just about anywhere, you won’t find it like you do in Bali. This is a paradise for people who love fashion, furniture, and home goods. You’ll find unique artisan pieces from boutique shops to fun mass-produced items that you’ll never be able to fit into your luggage. Luckily, most places will have international shipping. For the ladies, the fashion here is unique and out of this world.
When you ask people who have been to Bali what they love most about the area, they will tell you that the people are the most amazing part. They are helpful, they know where you should go to have a good time, they love to laugh, they perform, and they enjoy children.
Best Attractions for Your Family in Bali
Before you had children and a family to worry about when you travelled, it was easy to just get up and go. You didn’t need to plan ahead or try to get discount tickets really – you were just ready to explore and go along for the ride.
Now that you have a family, you have to be a little more responsible for the actions of everyone in your life. You have to check on the safety of places before you go, whether or not you can get a stroller there, or whether they even allow children. When traveling with your family to Bali, these are all things that you need to consider. Don’t relegate your days to just sitting on the beach or by the pool – there is a lot for you to do out there!
Here are some great family attractions in Bali:
1. Pondok Pekak Library
While most kids won’t get excited about a trip to the library when they are on vacation, if you can manage to get your children here, it will be well worth the hassle. Instead of just having books, the Pondok Pekak Library offers many different cultural activities that will have your child learning and playing.
If you have a short day when you arrive, this is a great place to start with your children because it is a crash course in all of the traditions of the Balinese people. They will learn about offerings, fruit carving, history, games, and even dance. Parents will learn something too! The arts and crafts programs are particularly popular.
The teachers at Pondok Pekak Library will go out of their way to make everyone comfortable and feel included. This isn’t a tour guide or a scholar – these are people who live in this culture every day here, so they can give you first hand experiences.
2. Rumah Pohon Desa Batu Dawa Tulamben Karangasem
One of the most amazing things you’ll see in Bali is the Tree House at Batudawa Karangasem. This is a feat of nature and engineering that children will absolutely love. It is a tree that has its branches wrapped around a little house so that it looks like the tree pushed the house up from off of its foundation.
This is a very active stop, your children will be able to climb and jump around on many different structures apart from the Tree House. Of course there are walkways so that the parents don’t have to run and jump – but it is certainly welcomed.
This is a place that you won’t find advertised, it’s a little quieter and off the beaten path, but it is a great memory for children.
3. The Pirate’s Bay
If you are still looking for something that is unique and great for your kids to do in Bali, the Pirate’s Bay attraction is a once in a lifetime experience where they get to actually be a pirate for a day. They will run around, work together, eat, and climb trees.
Located just off of Nusa Bua Beach, the Pirate’s Bay hosts an authentic looking (but safe) pirate ship and treehouses where you children will be able to play for hours. In fact, you can even leave them there to get some alone time in if you wish.
While they are playing pirate games, swinging from ropes, and making friends from around the world, you can have a quick bite at the restaurant nearby where you can get some of the best fried bananas in the world.
4. Finding Nemo – The Ultimate Seawalker Experience
Even if you aren’t the best swimmer in the world, Finding Nemo – The Ultimate Seawalker Experience is one of the best options to enjoy the water and beauty that nature has to offer in Bali. You won’t be actually walking on water, instead you’ll be walking under it.
You get to get up close and personal with the firs without actually getting into their homes. In just a short trip from the Grand Mirage Resort, you will go down the to the dive site. You will put on special helmets and walk down the steps into the aquatic world. You will be able to feed the fish and watch as they swim around.
The best part? This is one of those events that makes for really great pictures.
5. Segway By The Beach – Bali Green Connection
If you want to enjoy the ocean but don’t actually want to get into it, there are a few Segway tours that you can take. Even better, you can take it on the beach.
Note that Segways do take a little bit of time to get use to, so you will have to allow for practice time.
Still, wheeling along the beautiful beach is a great way to take in the coastline quickly and without eating up all of your day. Certain tours will even take you to a traditional coastal temple and others will have a picnic lunch option.
Make sure to see whether or not the location offers a guided tour, as they can be more entertaining.
6. Cirque du Soleil meets culture of Indonesia – Devdan Show
One of the great things about Cirque du Soleil is that you can go see it anywhere in the world and you will “get” it. The same goes for Bali. Cirque also likes to interject some of the traditional culture of an area into their shows, seamlessly blending in the history and culture of the world without saying a thing.
You will see everything from flames bursting on stage to rain falling in the 90-minute show. There are acrobatic events, dancing, and amazing aerial acts that will leave everyone stunned.
Devvdan is a perfect show for people of any age because there is signage when there needs to be and overarching themes that are touching but still easy to understand. Learning about the different Indonesian regions has truly never been easier.
7. Walking on the Dark Side – A Safari with a Difference (Gianyar)
This is an adventure that you likely won’t be able to find anywhere else and your children will remember it always. It combines some of the things children love: adventure, animals, and getting to stay up late.
The Bali Safari and Marine Park has over 60 species of animals that are on display late into the night. Even some of the activities, like feeding animals and watching them play, is actually easier and more fun at night. Sometimes you’ll even be able to eat your own dinner with some of the animals!
Many animals are actually more active at night, so you will be able to watch them interact in ways you haven’t before. The Komodo dragons, elephants, tigers, and even the monkeys tend to be more active as the sun goes down and it gets cooler.
But the best part is the 30 minute African safari where you get to be the one in the cage and you can see all of the animals doing whatever it is they want.
At the end, you’ll see traditional fire-dancing and enjoy some food.
8. Mud, mud, glorious mud – Mepantigan (Ubud)
On vacation, you spend a lot of time getting your child to look and smell good so that you can make a good impression. However, there are a few places in Bali where you don’t have to worry about that.
Mepantigan is a local activity that your children will love because it allows them to get really messy. Mepantigan is a traditional game where people play in the rice fields as a tribute to the rice goddess, Dewi Sri.
You will be able to join people for tug of war, mud horse racing, wrestling, and even frog catching in an experience you will never forget.
Even better, your kids will get out a lot of energy while you can go and have a mud massage or take a breather.
Don’t plan anything for right after however, as you will need to do some thorough cleaning.
9. Bali Treetop Adventure
If you haven’t noticed by now, trees are a big part of the culture in Bali. At Bali Treetop Adventure, your children will be able to swing, jump, run, and play amidst the trees. It is a play course that will fit anyone, from those who aren’t that physically fit to those who are up for a challenge.
There are seven circuits and you get to device where to start. With over seventy-two options for obstacles, you will definitely get a workout in. Heights start at just 2 meters and go all the way up to a nerve-wracking 20 meters.
Of course, no matter where you start, you’ll be tethered with a safety line.
10. Eco Tour (Denpasar)
If you are looking to do some good while on vacation, you can easily earn some karma points and great memories by participating in the marine conservation and eco tour.
You go throughout the center with a host that knows everything about the life here and the worst around them. They work directly with local fisherman to rehabilitate young sharks and then release them back into the wild. The hope is to take away some of the stigma about the sharks. These sharks are so well trained that you can even swim with them!
If you prefer smaller animals or if sharks really aren’t your thing, the highlight of the entire tour is probably the smaller sea horses. It is extremely cute to watch them sway and interact with each other – tails winding together as they swim. Of course, there is also the always popular Turtle Conservation and Education Center as well.
All of these animals will eventually be released back into the wild. If you get extremely lucky, you might even be able to see them going back for yourself, as they hold special ceremonies.
Where to Stay in Bali
When you are staying in Bali with children, there are a few different areas that will serve you better than other areas. These are the places that have a lot to do for children, many hotels with great amenities, and a lot of different food options so that even the pickiest children will be satisfied.
These areas are split up so that you can track where you want to stay. Bali is a huge place and it can get confusing when you need to pick a place to stay. Make sure to do more thorough research about the different parts of it so that you can see which one is best for you.
Legian / Kuta
Kuta may be a little crazy and loud for younger families, but there is also a lot there for people of all ages to do. The action of Bali takes place in Kuta, from celebrations to some of the best things to eat. However, the reason that you might want to choose it as the place your stay with your family in Bali is because it has a lot of cheaper options that will keep your trip on budget.
If you want something that is quiet but still close to the action – and still on the cheaper side – Legian is your best bet.
Seminyak is an area on Bali that has seen a lot of growth in the last few years because it is so close to Legian. It is a bit more expensive than that area, but you do get more luxury for that money. The beaches here are amazing. There are many, many family villas here so that you can have room to spread out. It isn’t quite as loud as the other areas of Bali either, and there is certainly less hassle.
If you want food that is incredibly well prepared, you will find better value here as well. You will certainly find a lot of fresh fruit.
If you aren’t interested all of the craziness, Nusa Dua is another place to consider. It is just south of the airport and has a pretty great beach setting. There are two different parts of Nusa Dua, a gated resort that has all of the amenities for a calming beachside vacation. You will also have access to the local shops and restaurants.
Tanjung Benoa offers you freedom if you don’t want to be gated into your hotel.
If you have a younger family or you want something that is a little slow, you should consider taking your family to Sanur. This is slower but it is still closer to the action for day trips. For families that want to spend a lot of time in the water and at the beach, this is also a calmer part of the ocean and it is far more shallow than some parts.
If you have younger kids who don’t have much experience swimming, Sanur is the best bet.
If you aren’t looking to go to the beach, consider going inland to Ubud, which is the cultural heart of Bali. This is an absolutely gorgeous part of town that has some of the best attractions, food, and photo opportunities. It is a favorite for many families that return each and every year, so you will find a lot of people who can help you to find the best things to do.
Lovine is a beach area on the North coast of Bali and it is another part where you can get a more low key experience. It isn’t quite as busy, nor is it as expensive. The beaches here are nice, though there are some dirty areas. Some people are turned off because the sand is black, but that is natural. If you want to do some more physical activities, this is the place to go. You will be able to snorkel, dive, and even go dolphin watching. It is also close to the mountains so there are a lot of hiking trails.
Do note that it takes longer to get to Lovina than it does other areas of the island.
No matter where you want to go or stay with your family in Bali, you will have a fantastic time.