Photo credit: @saltybaliguide
Family Travel Destinations - Bali.
Ready for some hot tips on the best family travel destinations? Here we go!
I feel like the tween years have ABSOLUTELY crept up on my husband and I. Our little Missy went from loving princesses on her bedspread and pretty pink dresses with bows in her hair to adding waaaaaaaaay to many “like(s)” to her vocabulary.
She obviously has something medically wrong with her hip because she seems to be poking it out a lot more these days and puts her hands on them a lot and also has this funny problem with her eyes where they roll back into her head whilst a simultaneous “ugggggghhhhh” is let out!! Anyone feelin’ me?
Along with all these new added nuances, one of the best things about hitting the “In Between Years” 100% has to be travel (...in particular to BALI, BABY!!!) They say every stage is different and I definitely have loved every bit of baby, toddler and through until now… but travel does get easier as they get older.
There’s no more chicken nuggets being thrown across a restaurant, we’re not having to push prams around, and my once suitcase sized nappy bag has slowly turned back into a handbag again. My bag has got smaller but our adventures much bigger!! Back to Bali... there are sooooo many places for you to explore with your tween in Bali.
Looking for family travel destinations? Bali you say? NO WAY HOZAYYYY!!!
Bali??? NO WAY! It’s just not for us!
We swore that we would NEVER step foot in Bali for as long as we live and breathe. You know why; Schapelle Corby, the Bali bombings, and isn’t it just full of Aussie bogans?
Well I’m guessing that’s what the majority of you feel hey? I’m not judging… we were you once… fearful of going to a country that seems to be in the media spotlight every second day for something.
The thing is, Bali is beautiful. It is absolute heaven in fact. And it’s only those that have not been that make up in their own minds how it is. The rest of us that have been may or may not let you in on the secret of just how luxurious it is because we want Bali to remain how it is. Our Surga. Our heaven.
But I’m letting you in on the secret today…
It wasn’t until pretty much EVERRRRRRRYONE around us started to holiday in Bali, some had been doing so for years and some their first time, that we started to listen. Whoever had been, all came home with the same sparkle in their eyes and a skip in their step… as they give you that wrist grabbing stern “YOU MUST GO TO BALI!!!” *cough* "umm… can you please let go of my arm? You’re hurting me. Fine! We’ll go to see what all this fuss is about then!" And now we’ve been, we can’t stop going back.
You must go to Bali!
So now I’m going to grab your wrist as you look at that Bali twinkle in my eye... I’m telling you, “you MUST go to Bali!” And here’s why...
Parents. How many of you get home from a holiday and need another holiday to get over it? Tell me if you’re busy making BBQ chicken bread rolls at lunch, buttering toast, lathering sunscreen on. Making sure everyone is watered, walking kids back and forth to the loo, getting people dressed, getting them undressed. Setting them up at the table for their spaghetti and entertaining them? Does this sound like you? (Because this doesn’t sound like a holiday to me!)
What if I told you, in Bali you don’t have to do any of that stuff and you can sit on your sun lounger at a luxury pool club and sip your damn cocktail in peace while the little ones are entertained?
If you do decide to go I can guarantee you that you will not only come away falling in love with this island but will think at least a thousand times how you could possibly move there or at least bring all the beautiful Balinese you meet along the way home with you to live!
First things first - Babysitting
First things first. Engage the services of a Nanny from Bali’s Best Babysitting. I know, you’re thinking my kids are starting to get to that in-between age where they’re too old for a Nanny. No. They’re not.
I can PROMISE you that even your big burly teenage boy is going to have an absolute blast with these girls because they’re like the cool older kid on the block. The one that loves to play table tennis with your kids for hours on end, or Marco Polo in the pool for the billionth time or Uno (and will even play your family rules and be sweet).
Hiring a Nanny sets EVERYONE up for an awesome holiday from young to old. We take our beautiful Nanny wherever we go and by the time you have finished your morning coffee these gorgeous girls will have your in-betweeners dressed, shoes on, hair combed, teeth brushed AND your bag packed for you ready to head out your villa door. Now THAT sounds like a holiday to me!!
Now that we’ve got that sorted… where oh where do you take your tweens in Bali? I’m excited to share with you my Top 20 Tween Bali Adventures!
Photo credit: @saltybaliguide
20 TWEEN BALI ADVENTURES!
1. DTUKAD RIVER CLUB
Loads to do all in the one place
This place is great! You get to combine a whole lot of everything into one day! Trip up to Ubud (tick). Amazing pool club that hangs on the edge of the Tegenungan Waterfall (tick). Have a turn on one of the famous Bali swings out over the waterfall (tick) and then walk down to the waterfall for a swim (tick).
2. SKATE PARK AT KOMUNE
Kick, push and coast at Komune skate bowl
If you’re prone to being a surf widow and looking for a great place to stay that will not only accommodate your loved ones needs (of a good right hand break) but yours (a great pool overlooking the beach with delicious cocktails and awesome kid facilities) then Komune resort has it all.
After your little ones have had enough of swimming, cruising some shories on their softies, then Komune also has a pretty damn sweet skate bowl that will entertain your budding little groms for hours (while daddy is MIA because the surf is so rad!)
There are a few skate bowls in Bali, but this one is oh so cool. Painted like a gigantic brightly coloured fruit bowl. Grab your frozen margarita, grab a patch of grass on the lush gardens that surround and enjoy watching the kids flip and kick to their hearts delight! If this sounds like a great way to get over your loss of a partner due to the surf then you can book your stay via www.komuneresorts.com
Photo credit: @marc_and_brittni
3. DREAM MUSEUM ZONE (DMZ) - TRICK ART GALLERY
Have some indoor fun at the dream museum - one of the most fun family travel destinations
Besides the fact that this place is literally an interactive work of genius art, it’s also a super duper fun couple of hours to spend with the kiddies if you’re in the Kuta area. It is a 3D gallery of murals painted to create the illusion that you are literally falling off a cliff, diving into sharks or balancing over a canyon!
It’ll guarantee you and yours some harmless fun (even though it’ll look like you’ve just climbed the pyramids in Egypt) while you snap away some photos to send to your family and friends! There are over 100 artworks to discover over three levels and with entry being about AUD$10pp then you’ve got some change in your pocket for a big cocktail after! For more information and location check out their Facebook page.
Photo credit: DMZ Bali Facebook page
4. EQUESTRIAN CENTRE
Take a ride on the wild side!
Ever dreamt of being in pony club when you were younger after watching too many episodes of The Saddle Club? Well the Bali Equestrian Club can make that dream come true.
If you’re little cherubs love the five minute pony ride at the local fair in Australia, yet you don’t feel like pulling out your wallet to fund a lifetime of equestrian club lessons, then send them here.
The awesome staff will let your little ones ride as they please all with a strict professional attitude to ensure their safety! You can enrol them in pony camp for the week or just go for the day and head down to the beach for a romp on the sand! There are many adventures to choose from that can accommodate your family.
Once you’ve finished playing with the horses, have some lunch onsite next to the pool for a refreshing swim and kiddie’s playground! For more information check their website on www.baliequestriancentre.com
5. FRANKENSTEINS LABORATORY
Get spooky for a dinner at a gruesomely themed cabaret restaurant
If your favourite holiday of the year is not Christmas but Halloween and you like to get a fright out of life then ya gonna love this place. They have a family friendly seating from 4:30pm in their scaaaaary restaurant that is all things gross and will give you goosebumps!
Zombie face painting for your kids, menus that cater for their sometimes fussy hearts and the best bit is that you will be entertained all evening for FRREEEEEE!
That’s right folks, just pay for your meals and drinks that come in test tubes, IV drips and syringes and have some eerie fun in this monster jammed restaurant! Check out their deets at www.frankensteins-laboratory.com
6. ISLAND AVT
Go quad biking on the beach
(Yeh Gangga Beach)
After my shocking and most uncoordinated experience on a scooter in Bali, I think I will leave this one to those that have a bit more hand/eye/brain coordination than me! But if you’d like to have an adventurous day out and cruise the beaches, villages or sacred temples on a quad bike then Island AVT has you covered!
Select which tour you’d like to attend, throw on your helmet and go tandem with your little explorers on an exhilarating ride! (No thanks, I’ll be waiting beside the resort pool for you to return!!) If you’re not as goofy as me on a motorbike, then you can book a tour via www.quadbikingbali.com
7. JET PACK
Jetset. Ready. Go. Watersport fun!
I don’t know if being propelled 30ft high by a water jet is my idea of a fun day out but I know my boys would love it (if they could manage to jet my 100kg husband out of the water???)
And if you too would like to be thrust through the air over the Benoa harbour then Benoa Water Sports can pick you up from the comfort of your hotel or villa (in the major metro areas) and offer you an adrenaline action packed day out.
While you’re there, you too can organise to have a turn on the other range of water activities they offer such as banana boat rides, fishing charters, jet skis or parasailing!
I’ll come, but I’ll give the jet pack a miss and opt for something a little less adventurous like a ride on their glass bottom boat to look at some fish! Book your adventure via www.benoawatersports.com
8. KERAMAS AERO PARK
Have a first class dinner in a plane
Do you always hear of friends, or friends of friends, that scenario of when they check into their flight at the airport that they’ve been told they’ve been upgraded to business or first class?? How does that happen?! Why hasn’t that ever happened to me?!!
Although I’ve never had a bad experience in the cattle class. I’ve always wondered what goes on behind those closed curtains. The subtle hints of Moet being poured when you board and walk through, sitting in their recliner lounge chairs and chef prepared meals!
Well, if you’re like me and have never been given the opportunity to see whats on the other side of those curtains. That pretty much is a punch in the face to say, you’re not worthy enough to be in here. Then you can pretend to be a “fancy pants” for the day at Keramas.
This restaurant and bar is created in a transformed Boeing 737 suspended high above lush rice paddies!!
You can enjoy an in-flight meal in the plane and be treated like a first class passenger, grab a drink from the bar below while the kids join in the activities in the playground! To book your first class tickets visit the website on www.keramasaeropark.com they will guarantee you a smooth flight!
9. KRISNA FUNTASTIC LAND
Be amused at Funtastic Land amusement park
Planning to visit north Bali? Hot Springs to energise you first up in the morning, relax in a birds nest overlooking the jungle, refresh in the nearby waterfalls… then finish off with a bang at Krisna Funtastic Land!
This amusement park, marked by a gigantic Boeing at the gates, may not be Disneyland but I can guarantee that the kids will be full of smiles! Visit at night to see this venue light up like a Christmas tree while you get dragged between the 16 amusement park rides on offer!
There’s rides there for all ages, from mini train rides to bumper cars, a star tour on a coaster track to inflatable castles. There’ll be happy hearts all around. For more information and opening times check out their website www.krisnafuntasticland.com
10. MONKEY FOREST
Take your little monkeys to visit the monkeys
Well it goes without saying that visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest is definitely a “must do” when you are in the Ubud area!!
It is relatively cheap entry, around AUD$5 and the forest is literally abundant with monkeys from little babies to king kongs! You can feed the monkeys at the various little banana outlet stalls. These are located around the forest for a small penny and have the monkeys sit on your shoulders while you have your photo taken!
Apart from the kids getting to hang with the monkeys all day, my better half and I absolutely loved the lush tropical jungle setting it’s located in. Meandering paths take you over sculpted bridges, statues and streams… it’s really beautiful!
We sat at their outdoor amphitheatre for a bit and simply enjoyed watching all of the monkeys antics. It definitely is one place you can let your little ones “monkey around” (sorry for the dad joke) check out their website for further info via www.monkeyforestubud.com
Photo credit: @foubear
11. MINI GOLF LOUNGE
Competition is on at mini putt putt
If you’re a keen golfer but just can’t seem to escape to get a few putts in during your Bali holiday, then maybe heading for a round of mini golf with the family may just be a “small” compromise!
Located about 10 minutes west of Canggu, this venue is one of the best family travel destinations in Bali. It is a great activity to challenge the whole family! Will dad let the kids win? Or will the competitive side come out? Come along and find out for yourself! No wonder Bali is one of the best family travel destinations! www.bali-minigolf.com visit their website for more information.
12. PAINTBALL ARENA BALI
Shoot your worries away!
Ready. Aim. Fire! Enjoy a battle with your friends and family at the paintball arena in Kutuh! There are three battlefields spread out over two hectares of land to strategise your way to a win.
Maybe not the best idea to bring your toddlers, but definitely worth bringing the teenagers to shoot them for their rotten attitudes, hands on their hips and slammed doors! Visit www.balipaintballarena.com to book your game!
13. PIRATES BAY
Be a pirate for the day and hunt for treasure
Arrrrrrrrrrrr… bring your little mateys to Pirate Bay for the day. Set on the sandy shores of Nusa Dua this themed adventure land has it all! A HUGE pirates ship to play on, cubby houses set in amongst the trees to have lunch in. Treasure hunts, swings, flying foxes and rope bridges!!
The best part of this pirate venue is that the kids can book in for the day package and the staff will take your little people to dress them up, don an eye patch and try and find the hidden treasure chest and more!
While they are out exploring, why don’t you grab a good book (maybe Pirates of the Caribbean) and sit yourself down on the beach or in one of the hanging chairs and enjoy some down time. You deserve it for being the Captain of your ship back home!! For further enquiries visit their website at www.thepiratesbaybali.com
14. RIVER RAFTING ON AYUNG
Race down the river on a raft
Head down the Ayung River in the Ubud area on a river rafting adventure!!! Choose from multiple adventures from a leisurely sail to rapids that will put your heart in your throat! See the lush tropical jungle from your raft while spotting some of the wildlife.
Combine your adventure with a tour of the Pod Chocolate Origin while you’re there to reward yourself for being so brave on your rafting adventure! Book via www.baliraftingadventure.com
15. SAFARI AND MARINE PARK
Lions, tigers, waterslides and more
If you’re only in Bali for a short period of time and you’ve promised the kids to take them on an adventurous day out, then head to Bali Safari and Marine Park for an action packed day. Travel through the park in your safari bus while the animals curiously come to your window to check you out.
Try the safari at night for an enhanced experience visiting the 60 something species of animals awaiting your arrival. Spot a tiger, get close to a hippo and when you’re done hanging with the animals enjoy a lunch at Uma that you can include in your package.
Once you’ve got your energy back, head over to the Funzone and Waterpark to spend the afternoon on the various waterslides and amusement park rides to keep the little ones entertained and if you STILL want more, you can finish off by dining with the Lion’s at Tsavo restaurant.
Your kids will be thanking you for such an amazing day out and you’ll be able to leave with a big head that you made the right decision to come. For prices, packages and opening times, at these family travel destinations head to www.balisafarimarinepark.com
Photo credit: @balisafari
16. TREETOP ADVENTURE PARK
You Tarzan. Me Jane. Swing
Swing, climb, jump and fly through Bali Treetops Adventure! A park that offers 72 challenges for varying levels! Geez, I’d love to see my husband suspended from a rope in a tree attempting to jump… it’d definitely give me a laugh!
If you and yours would love a good laugh too then this park it a great day out for the whole family. There are zip lines, Tarzan jumps, tightrope courses and suspended bridges to delight all and get your adrenaline pumping!!!
Located in the Bedugul area about an hour or so from Seminyak up north (more great family travel destinations in Bali!), it’s well worth the drive for a high impact day! For more info and pricing head to www.balitreetop.com
Photo credit: @balitreetop
17. TRAMPOLINE CENTRE (BOUNCE)
Bounce into action!
Might as well JUMP! JUMP!! Go ahead, JUMP!!! Bounce trampoline park is an indoor centre located at Finns Recreation Centre. The first of its kind in Bali. It offers a fun way to bounce all the beans out of your kids (you too if you’re keen!!!).
Opt to get a Super Pass that includes the trampoline park, Splash Waterpark, Bowling and entry to Finns Beach Club while you’re in Bali and you’ll have seven days from the date of your purchase to “JUMP” through all these activities!
When you see the array of trampolines to bounce away on, you’re going to 'flip out'! Grab your Super Fun Pass or simply just rock up. Open from 10am to 10pm daily - www.bouncebali.com
18. WATERBOM PARK
Best waterpark in South East Asia!
If you’re heading to Bali with kids and you’ve never been before, then you’re going to want to put Waterbom at the top of your “must do” list. It is definitely one of the “kid things” you just have to do when visiting.
Almost like coming to Bali and having to try at least one Bintang! This place is honestly an awesome day out. We dedicated a whole day to Waterbom knowing our little cherubs would be pooped out after going on the endless rides available.
From the death defying drops to a seriously cool kids pool, the WHOLE family is going to enjoy their day here!
If you bring your nanny along, you and your partner may be able to escape for a few minutes to try out some of the thrill seekers rides. Line ups are never too long and our four and six year (olds at the time) were able to come with us on a lot of the bigger rides.
They laughed as they shot down steep tunnels. I screamed in sheer terror. They laughed again at me when they saw the photos of my eyes tightly closed. My mouth open, tongue hanging out, white knuckled holding onto the floaty inflatable thing I was riding on as if it were my life raft. This was all with a natural face lift from the speed we were getting on some of the dips.
Waterbom boasts that it is the number one waterpark in Asia, and I can see why. It’s an absolute water wonderland! For more information on of the best family travel destinations, book your tickets online or just show up and have fun! www.waterbom-bali.com
Photo credit: @saltybaliguide
19. WAKE PARK
Waking on a man made lake
If you’re into water sports and looking for an action packed day out with the kids, ya gonna love this place!
Bali Wake Park is spread out over five hectares of a man-made lake using a state of the art cable system to drag you around, get airs of jumps, and speed you over obstacles!
If you’re not into getting your heart racing and prefer to take a more relaxed approach to life, then you can grab yourself a bite to eat and settle into the infinity pool that overlooks the waterpark and be a poolside critic of all the riders!
For information and pricing head to www.baliwakepark.com
Photo credit: @baliwakepark
20. ALING-ALING WATERFALL
Discover a hidden waterfall
Out of all the family travel destinations we have mentioned here, this one is for the adventures and thrill seekers! If you're not much into scaling through the jungle and weaving down uneven stairs and jumping over makeshift bamboo bridges then don't go chasing waterfalls!
Aling-Aling is located about 2.5 hours out of Seminyak, so you'll need to book a private driver and get an early start to the day. It is in the region of Buleleng and definitely worth a visit if you want to find a little hidden gem.
Unlike the waterfalls in Ubud, you may be the only adventurers there and will feel like you've literally been lost in paradise! Maybe best to invest in a tour guide from one of the little local stalls as you get closer... they know the area well and will also provide lifejackets for the family to ensure everyone has a safe day.
Once you're there, enjoy multiple cliff jumps into the cool pools below or try your hand at going down the waterfall slide that has been created from the natural flow of the freshwater through the rocks!
Film your adventures... but don't tell anyone where it is! (Even though I feel like I've let the cat out of the bag!) Tip: ask to be taken to the Secret Garden!
Photo credit: @thebaliguru
There you have it… a tiny snapshot into the myriad of fun you can have in Bali with not only your young ones, the young at heart but for our folk that are Somewhere Between. Bali is truly one of the best family travel destinations and we can't wait to head back again!
Visit us on Instagram (@saltybaliguide) or our website www.saltysurga.com for some more salty ideas to do with your people in our Salty Surga. Surga: it’s Balinese for HEAVEN. Once you visit these amazing family travel destinations, I KNOW it’ll become your Surga too.
With love & salty kisses, Salty Surga x