A paradise in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a popular vacation spot for international tourists and expatriates. Every year, around 10 million tourists go to Indonesia to explore the beaches, rainforests, temples, and festivities. With its more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia promises countless activities for every type of traveler. If you take children with you in Indonesia, there are a lot of family-friendly and kid-friendly adventures you can do. From simple art lessons to physical adventures discovering caves and forests, Indonesia has something to make your kids excited every second of your trip. In this article, we will focus on two of the main locations popular with excursionists in Indonesia, Bali and Sumatra. Hop in, as we enumerate the things to do in Indonesia with kids.
Having a dip in a pool is a nice way to start a day filled with activities. In Indonesia, hot springs are the more common resorts, since there are a lot of volcanoes in the country. The hot springs are sulfurous pools which can relax your whole mind and body before taking on a day of adventures. There are a lot of places in Indonesia which offer hot spring breakfasts, but we recommend the Tabanan Regency and the Buleleng Regency in Bali. Most families head to the hot springs after a sunrise hike to the top of Mount Sibayak. On a hot spring breakfast, you can enjoy a hot plate of Indonesian cuisine and the famous Sumatran coffee while in the pool. Such a relaxing way to start the day, isn’t it?
Cost: $5 to $30
Indonesia is popular for its distinct art, crafts, and culture. So, an activity you can’t miss taking your kids to is learning some of these artistic ventures, particularly painting, ceramic making, jewelry making and silversmithing, and wood carving. There are various studios which provide workshops for the kids. You can find majority of these places in Bali.
Balinese painting follows an altogether different philosophy. Although your child can’t possibly learn all of it in a few hours or in a day of workshop, he will be able to get the principle of it and enjoy creating his own masterpiece. We recommend taking painting lessons in Ubud. Meanwhile, if you want to have your kids try their hand at ceramics making, you can take them to Sari Api studios located north of Bali. They have ceramics classes every Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12nn. You will just need to pay $5 for each child, which includes the fee for the workshop, a complimentary cup of hibiscus lemonade, a mound of clay for working, and a one-on-one instruction on how to operate a potter’s wheel. What’s nice about this activity is the fact that you are free to join your kids while they learn about the craft. On another note, you can take the kids to the Pondok Pekak Library in Ubud for wood carving lessons. If it’s too far from the other stops in your itinerary, you can try other places, since Indonesia has countless studios offering wood carving workshops for the kids. On such workshops, kids will be taught the basics of carving on wood, which is a popular adornment on Indonesian buildings and households. Lastly, you can enlist your little ones for a jewelry making and silversmithing workshop in Ubud. Each workshop costs approximately $30 and runs for three hours. It already includes the trainer fee as well as five grams of silver, which the kids can make into a ring or a pendant of their own design. We guarantee your kids will enjoy every one of these workshops, especially when they see the fruits of their hard work.
Indonesia is an archipelago of many islands. But this doesn’t mean that the country lacks greens. Indonesia has vast rainforests, which you can trek with the kids. Our recommendation is the Gunung Leuser National Park, which boasts of one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. In order to commence this activity, you should hire a guide in town to take you through the forest. The guide will also determine what types of activities are suitable for your children. The kids will surely get exhausted from the long walk, but they will definitely enjoy the rainforest and its wonders. After the trek, we suggest asking your guide to do tubing, which is a popular activity in Indonesia involving riding a floating tube on the rushing water and entering a cave before returning to the starting point. Take note though that the kids will crave a delicious dinner and a good night’s rest after all these activities.
If your kids are the active types who are always on the go for a fun adventure, take them to hike to the volcano and watch the sunrise together. A reminder though, this will require you and the kids to wake very early in the morning as it will be a lengthy hike. Despite the physical requirement, all the exhaustion and sleepiness will be erased once you witness the lovely sunrise peeking over the clouds. We recommend hiking up Mount Sibayak, which is an active volcano in Indonesia.
Cost: $5 to $10
One unforgettable adventure you can let your kids experience in Indonesia is exploring a cave. Of course, you will have to choose a cave which is suited for the kids’ age and physical capability, although majority of the caves in Indonesia are not that deep. Thus, kids can see the inside of the cave to guide them in climbing up and down. Exploring a cave will take at least two hours, and the kids will be climbing over tree roots, jumping over spears of volcanic rock, and squeezing through narrow paths. We recommend doing this activity in Bukit Lawang, as the town has some of the best bat caves for children explorers. The fee ranges from $8 to $10 depending on the guide you come across with. Usually, guides are very friendly with kids and very informative.
Cost: $4 to $10
Bali is one of the most popular spots in Indonesia, especially for its beaches. Without a doubt, Bali will take your breath away with its natural beauty. In order to absorb the picturesque surroundings in Bali, you can take your kids on an adventure around the area. You’ll do this riding on scooters, which are famous transport vehicles in Indonesia. Scooters in Bali may be rented from various establishments and agencies. This is a great way to go around Bali with yourselves, as you can stop whenever you want or go to anywhere you like. Plus, it’s cheaper compared to paying for a whole Bali tour. The Balinese are friendly people, anyway, and you can ask them directions.
If you are in Indonesia and want to explore Jakarta or Bali, try going to Sumatra (Indonesia’s largest island), particularly in Northern Sumatra. This is a kid-friendly island where your whole family can enjoy various activities together. In Sumatra, you can treat your kids to witness the wonders of nature. You should take the kids here when you want them to breathe fresh air, look at real flowers and trees, and encounter animals in their natural habitat. Sumatra is a paradise your whole family can enjoy if you want to escape from the city life, for once. Sumatra is home to many volcanoes and rainforests, many of which are available for hiking and trekking activities. The island also boasts of a diverse and rich flora and fauna. Truly, the kids will have a great time trying adventures in Sumatra.
Indonesia boasts of a rich biological diversity. Within its many islands, you can find the most unique animal and plant species. When in Indonesia, you should not miss the chance to take your kids to see the wildlife in the country. We bet that they haven’t yet seen what they are about to see in the Tanjung Puting National Park, which is home to bearded pigs, rhinoceros, bears, Sumatran tigers, and some of the most beautiful species of orangutans. All these and more can be seen by your kids as they explore the national park. You can also take them to the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Center if they want to extend their animal sighting experience.
Cost: $24 to $35
With 17 exciting slides and water games fit for both kids and adults, Waterbom Bali is Indonesia’s premier water park. This aqua park covers 3.8 hectares and is composed of gardens and pools for a relaxing family experience. Kids can enjoy the slides and other water rides inside the facility. Of course, they can splash in the pools, too. The Waterbom Bali is open daily.
Surfing is a sport which is both easy and challenging. Learning the basic skills of this water sport can be done at the Rip Curl School of Surf in Bali. Kids can grab a board and head to the waves on their own or with the guidance of an instructor. Take your kids here, and watch them have the most fun riding the waves.
Indonesia is such a huge country that we’re sure you’ll find a lot more activities to add to this list. We hope you’ll enjoy every adventure in Indonesia with the kids!
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