Written by Junanto Xu
Edited by Beverley Lennon
Family vacation around the corner? Travelling with kids is never easy; there is always more to pack and more to plan! Holidays can become stressful with lots of research required before you find exciting things to do.
So to ease your trip planning, we’ve put together this 5D4N South Bali itinerary, specially tailored for families who love the beach!
The island is easily one of the most family-friendly destinations in Southeast Asia, with lots of exciting kid-friendly attractions, restaurants and stays! So come by and bask in the tropical beauty of Bali!
Unsure of what to do in Bali with the family? Read on and check out our carefully curated itinerary.
We have cherry-picked the best family-friendly restaurants and attractions so so you can experience the best of Bali – enjoy its best beaches, water activities, shopping hotspots, authentic local cuisines, Instagram-worthy cafes and more – all these at a comfortable pace so you’re safe from any whining and screaming!
Start with the best of Bali: Local cuisine, wildlife and beach!
Congrats, you’ve finally made it to the Land of the Gods! Experience the best of the island right from the start – think perfect ribs for lunch before releasing baby turtles into the sea and enjoying a private beach all to yourselves.
Wondering where to find good pork in Bali? Nowhere does juicy pork ribs like Waroeng Wahaha. Drop by and enjoy glistening and heavenly slow-cooked ribs!
Feel the tenderness, sauce-to-meat ratio, smokiness, and good charring; their meat emerges tender and pulls clean from the bone without falling off while you lick the sauce off your fingers – even the kids will ask for more!
Photo Via Mizz_promo, Mbrian87
Is releasing sea turtles on your bucket list? You are set for a magical memorable experience at the Turtle Conservation and Education Center.
Since you shouldn’t hold a baby sea turtle because it affects their imprinting process and can break their food sac, each of you will receive a bowl filled with water to transport the turtle from the nursery to the beach. Watch as their flippers hit the sand and they race for survival…
Releasing baby sea turtles is a moving and powerful experience that is enjoyed by many families, and it’s also educational for younger ones and adults alike!
Photo Via Jujuhaehnel, Tennasvane
Do your kids love airplanes more than turtles? Or are you missing the turtle release season (April to September) during your trip? How about bringing the family to one of the most magical sunset spots in Bali?
Here, you can witness dozens of planes (arriving and departing from the island) flying into the setting sun, which makes a perfect picture. If you reach just a little earlier before sunset, you will love strolling along the white-sand beach with the sea breeze in your hair. 🙂
Photo Via Linda_oktavianti
Quality family time at Hilton Bali Resort’s secluded beach (1.5 – 2 hours)
Check in to your tropical paradise at Hilton Bali Resort Nusa Dua and enjoy a gorgeous property set right on the beach. With stunning views and high standards of comfort, the resort makes for the most vibrant family holiday experience. This is your home for the next four nights!
After a short nap in your lovely Family Room, head to the resort’s secluded beach and enjoy the exclusivity of an expansive white-sand stretch, outlined by blue waters! There are tons of activities to choose from, and one that kids are generally fond of is their camel-riding experience – a short trip to Egypt while being right in Bali!
Photo Via Philip-L, Morinaga_family
With fun times at the beach comes… a growling stomach! Rest assured, you don’t have to leave your resort as a few steps will take you to the on-site restaurant – The Shore Restaurant & Bar. This beachfront restaurant offers striking views of the ocean and you get to dine with the relaxing symphony of the gentle waves.
While seafood is the best choice to go for, the menu includes other kid-friendly dishes like pizza, fried rice, sweet treats and more!
Photo Via TripCanvas, Sharonfricillia
Kids’ eyes will glow at Asia’s No.1 waterpark and you get rewarded with seafood!
This is a day your kids won’t forget, and neither will you! Come have fun at Asia’s No.1 waterpark, and treat your little princes and princesses to a family spa session!
The food line-up is equally great as you’ll taste some delicious artisan gelato, authentic suckling pig and experience the most anticipated seafood feast by the sea.
Bring a splash of colour to your breakfast – Neon Palms (1 – 2 hours)
Kick off the day with a splash of colour at this cute cafe.
Neon Palms is located above the famous Bali Boat Shed clothing store. With amazing offbeat interior decor, tropical wall art and outdoor funky look, the little cabana-feels cafe serves breakfast daily as early as 8am!
The cafe is a sure-fire bet for guaranteed morning good times – there is something very comforting about their breakfast menu. If you’re a breakfast lover, you’ll fall for their Eight Seed Toasts slathered with wild honey or other concoctions.
They serve a delightful Mango and Pineapple Chia Jar that does not go unnoticed either, but the biggest hit is their Berry Bowl with strawberries, granola and more. Even the kids will love it!
Photo Via Lee_reynand
What better way to bribe the kids in the morning than with delicious artisan gelato? Treat yourselves at Gaya Gelato; in here, don’t expect gelato that is factory-made, pumped full of chemicals, preservatives, and artificial colouring, as they are made daily from fresh natural ingredients – perfect to combat the heat in Bali!
There are over 30 flavours to choose from, so don’t worry, you’ll never run out of choices. But if you can’t decide which flavour to go for, we recommend settling for the Pistachio – it is creamy and has a rich nutty flavour that will make you upgrade from one to two gigantic scoops!
Photo Via Dearhanabon, Eka.dare, Fadlikasim, Nunik_septyadewi_nickmoche
Savour Bali’s most iconic dish – Babi Guling Sari Kembar (1 – 1.5 hours)
You must have heard that you can’t travel to Bali without gulping down a big plate of Babi Guling!
And rather than settling for an ordinary place, we highly recommend you to try Babi Guling Sari Kembar, which is a local best-kept secret when it comes to suckling pig. The crispy pork skin, savoury veggies, and tender juicy meat are a few reasons why they are known as the experts of Babi Guling!
A trip to this warung (a small local restaurant in Indonesia) is a cultural culinary experience on its own; you get to watch as the seller’s quick hands mix the plate of rice and decorate it with sausage, sweet meat, satay, lawar (a Balinese dish made up of vegetables, coconut and minced meat mixed with herbs and spices), cassava leaf, and tender old pork. The finishing touch is a few pieces of sweet crackling pig skin and a big cracker! This gets us drooling! 😛
Photo Via Godzillatummy, Ajakmakan, TripCanvas, Mhfw
Waterbom didn’t win the title of Asia’s Best Waterpark for nothing! This tropical playground is full of thrilling rides, amazing slides and fantastic attractions that guarantee the best of exciting times for you and your little ones!
A lazy river and surf lessons in the wave pool offer slightly more relaxing activities. One thing for sure is that it’s a whole lot of fun! You’ll think this is all for the kids but even the adults might not want to leave!
Photo Via Waterbombali
After all the swimming, sliding and splashing, you’ll probably feel worn out and need to recharge. And what better way to replenish your energy afterwards than with a Balinese tradition – a platter of perfectly marinated seafood?
Head to the famous Jimbaran Bay for a sea-to-table feast right by the ocean. Every meal here comes with complimentary sunset views! There are plenty of seafood restaurants along the beach but we recommend you to opt for Made Bagus (tried and tested!).
You get to pick your favourite seafood items and make a full platter out of them. I mean, just picture yourselves tearing into a glazed lobster with generous squeezes of lemon, topped with Balinese sambal. And all these to the groovy music from acoustic live bands!
Photo Via Fatboo.com_
If you’re not a fan of the touristy Jimbaran Bay, you can enjoy a laid-back seafood feast with equally amazing sunset views right at Warung Pantai!
Here, bask in the scent of local flavours and Balinese ambience in this charming eatery.
Of course, you’re here for the seafood platter – one of their bestsellers. Ordering it means you get to enjoy an authentic taste of Balinese cuisine with a mix of fish, squid, prawn, potatoes and mango salad!
P.S. The lobster served with vegetables and garlic bread is also a winner!
Photo Via TripCanvas, Jonowindred
Treat your kids like princes and princesses – Febri’s Spa (2 – 2.30 hours)
On family vacations, we sure can’t afford to leave the children at the hotel, but that does not mean we can’t enjoy as much! Why not book Febri’s Spa for an ultimate family pampering session (yes including one for the little princes and princesses)?
The affordable spa is family-focused and offers packages for kids and adults alike. Their value-for-money spa facility is a large cottage that can accommodate four people comfortably.
Before and after the treatments, you can even enjoy the complimentary outdoor Jacuzzi and steam room to the soothing sounds of a waterfall.
Come on, you can’t leave Bali without a soothing spa session!
Take a walk underwater before hunting for trendy souvenirs!
Shopping gets a tad harder when you travel with kids, but once they’ve gotten their tummies filled and had some fun, you sure will be able to enjoy a peaceful shop-till-you-drop session! Let’s do this!
Kill all your morning blues with sea views – Genius Cafe (1 – 2 hours)
Nothing beats the company of the Indian Ocean for breakfast, and at Genius Cafe you can make the most of it by enjoying your morning coffee with a side of sea views!
They have an eclectic menu, but many settle for their healthy falafel bowl. There are options for everyone, a magnificent view, chilled-out vibes and amazing staff.
Travelling with family can be a difficult task due to the various dietary restrictions (such as vegan, gluten-free, no seafood, no beef, oil-free, etc) but here you’ll find a menu with something for everyone, including the kids!
Photo Via Campuur, Ysebeauloontiens
Take a stroll among schools of fish – Bali Sea Walker (2 – 3 hours)
There’s no better way to keep the kids entertained and fight the heat than some exciting water activities! If you are not keen to try snorkelling sessions, you might want to consider the Bali Sea Walker.
This activity is ideal for those who would love to explore life under the sea but are neither confident swimmers nor keen divers. You’ll be equipped with a helmet with transparent visor. Air tanks are not necessary, so you’re lightweight and flexible.
Explore the stunning underwater life of Bali, where you can walk along the bottom of the sea and come face-to-face with sea life while breathing as you do on the surface!
Note: This activity is only available for children above 9 years old.
Photo Via Thefernwehgurl
Missing the hipster markets of Bangkok while in Bali? This is it – you’ve been transported to a shopping paradise!
Whether you are a self-proclaimed foodie, a fashionista or beauty-treatment-obsessed, the Sanur Sunday Market is bound to keep you busy every last Sunday of the month!
The Sunday market has lots to offer and even kids enjoy the large, grassy expanse, food stalls and groovy ambience. You’ll find unique stylish fashion, handmade crafts, jewellery, fresh produce, homeware and more.
Photo Via Hideandseek_babyshop, Patagoniaxpressbali
If you’ve missed the market as it only takes place on the last Sunday of the month, take some time to visit Kanda Restaurant – it’s almost as though you’re stepping into a mini zoo!
Kids will love it here as they will be able to see various animals like peacocks, parrots, turtles, and even exotic ones like pythons – seriously, where else can you find a mini zoo in a restaurant?
When the kids aren’t having fun with the animals, treat them to some delicious Indonesian or Western delights in this multi-themed dining venue. There’s even a swimming pool! Goodbye tantrums!
Photo Via Thiarinaiswara
Come and meet the superheroes – Le Sica & Kartel (1 – 2 hours)
Is becoming a princess your little girl’s biggest wish? And your little boy is surely a superhero fan! Guess what, you can make them both happy in this little wonderland.
At Le Sica & Kartel, you can find a classic European dining room dominated with pink hues, as well as a superhero section where hundreds of superhero miniatures are on display to accompany you while you devour their too-pretty-to-be-eaten desserts!
Photo Via Indahdewiprayatni, Bulan_and_river
With shops fully dedicated to selling rattan (wicker) bags, Kumbasari Market is one of the best places where you can stock up on these handmade treasures – they are stylish, adorable and super versatile!
While these bags are available everywhere in Bali, Kumbasari Market sells them at an affordable price as this place is mostly visited by locals. We’ve heard that prices can get as low as Rp.80,000 (approximately USD 5.56) if you know how to bargain!
Besides bags, you can also find an array of beachy home decor and wooden homeware – these make perfect gifts too!
Photo Via Beigebutton, Dewanggabalihandicraft
You might be here with the kids but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy some good groovy music – check out Tropicola Beach Club, the newest kid on the block (it opened in August 2018), right in the heart of Seminyak!
Besides very cool technicolour Instagrammable features that your kids will love and the funkiest cocktail creations, you’ll be wowed by Tropicola’s woodfire open kitchen, two swimming pools and two bars!
Photo Via Marlianelsa, Yossyherman
Catch some waves and a dramatic traditional performance atop a cliff!
Turn this day into a meaningful one. How about indulging in some authentic Balinese cuisine, signing the kids up for some exciting surf lessons, and relishing a mind-blowing performance atop a cliff during sunset? The end of the trip is coming, so make it memorable!
Savour legendary crispy duck – Bebek Bengil (2 – 3 hours)
Don’t miss the crispy duck, one of Bali’s most iconic dishes! This restaurant has been running since the 90s and is a pure culinary delight! It holds a special place in every local’s heart!
Opt for their beachfront seating and indulge in what they master – the crispy roasted duck! To ensure availability, call a day in advance to reserve your Bebek Betutu. You won’t regret it!
Photo Via Teddyw29, Marlineffendii, Hesa_zen99, Cendi
Without a doubt, surfing is one of the most fun water activities in Bali! Though it might take a few sessions with an instructor before you can head out to the open water yourselves, a good start is to sign up for a single-day lesson and have fun learning a new skill!
And who knows, you might even be able to stand on your first lesson!
Photo Via Burmistrova_valeriya
If you prefer to enjoy your second-last day among one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts, why not visit this family-friendly beach with beautiful white sand and shallow waters? Here’s where you can build sandcastles and splash around in the sea with your little ones.
You can also find cheap snacks, beverages and plenty of water sports to complement this moment!
Photo Via Diporw, Csefridie, Letiziawidjaja, Katrin_vladi
Introduce your kids to the exotic culture of Bali and catch the majestic show of the Kecak Dance (traditional dance) while being at the top of a sea cliff in the rugged area of Uluwatu.
The sunset here is simply magnificent while locals in traditional costumes exhibit dramatic moves in harmony.
P.S. The perfect time to arrive at Uluwatu Temple is at 4pm to give you ample time to get a good seat for the Kecak Dance!
Photo Via Juee_won
For your last dinner in Bali, head to the extraordinary Bumbu Bali. The restaurant serves only authentic Indonesian cuisine and sources all the ingredients from traditional local markets.
Bumbu Bali also has a cooking school, so if you have time, sign up and learn to make some of these lovely local dishes, and you can enjoy them even when you are home!
Photo Via Katcampbellsloan, Kurobuta_
Bid farewell and promise the kids another trip back!
Boy oh boy, here come the holiday blues! The kids will ask for more days in Bali and you probably will too!
Ease it all with a hearty breakfast in an artsy cafe. And before heading back, get your hands on some local pastries so you can bring back a taste of Bali!
Hidden in a traditional Sulawesi house (Tongkonan), this cafe goes unnoticed by most people. Those who have dined here claim that this place has the potential of becoming Jimbaran’s best cafe for breakfast and lunch!
Order a cup of coffee or smoothie bowl and you’ll get what we mean. We Are Human uses only good quality beans from all over Indonesia to brew their coffee and they also support responsible coffee trade. As the name suggests, the coffee house focuses on putting people first and providing top-notch coffee.
Photo Via Carissalareina, Lucianayap
Take back flavourful memories of Bali – Pia Legong (30 minutes)
Go queue up at Pia Legong for some unique edible souvenirs. Once here, you’ll see a crowd of people lining up impatiently to collect their pastry orders.
We don’t blame them, as these freshly baked goodies are a real explosion of flavours in the mouth. Besides, they’re so popular that you’re only allowed to buy five boxes at a time unless you place an order a day before, so plan carefully to avoid disappointment!
These pastries contain no additives and are best enjoyed on the day of purchase. Now you have an excuse if you end up eating most of them on your way home!
Best time to travel
Bali has a reliable, warm and tropical climate all year round.
Temperatures generally linger between 26°C and 28°C, except for places located on higher ground like Ubud and Bedugul, where it’s cooler.
The dry season is generally from May to September, and the wet season from October to April.
In May, June and September (non-peak seasons), you will find that accommodation prices are 30% to 50% cheaper than peak season rates. Plus, you still get great dry season weather most of the time.
April and October are great if you enjoy water sports, such as surfing, as the waves are good at this time of year. You might have some refreshing rain showers, but you will also see plenty of sunshine. These are also great months to travel with children as most theme parks and attractions are quieter, and getting around may be less stressful.
Peak season in Bali is during July and August, as well as Easter holidays, Christmas and New Year.