It’s hard enough to keep yourself happy on a holiday; how much more difficult is it to satisfy your spouse, hyperactive children, and a wailing baby?
Travelling in a large group (with people of differing ages) can also lead to problems in terms of deciding where to go and more.
It’s even more so when it comes to places like Bali – there are just too many choices! So many places to go! Just how do you plan a holiday that won’t result in a grouchy family member?
O you poor sacrificial lamb of the family who has been tasked to do the holiday planning this year! We feel your distress, which is why we’re going to do most of your work for you.
Gone are the long hours spent sitting hunchbacked in front of your laptop – simply spend ten minutes on this guide that we’ve compiled, and you’re well on your way to the most satisfying family vacation ever.
One important thing to know about Bali, is that different places in Bali suit different kinds of people.
You wouldn’t want to stay in Kuta if you’re looking for a more traditional experience – outside of partying like a single out to mingle. (Hur hur)
In our opinion, the best places to stay in Bali for families would be:
1. Seminyak / Legian (Central location great for shopping and cafe hopping – Legian is also slightly more laidback!)
2. Kuta (Another central location that’s great for beach life, and beach bars!)
3. Nusa Dua (A luxurious locale with plenty of aquatic activities like glass bottomed boat rides, kite-surfing, snorkeling and more.)
4. Sanur (Quieter with more traditional vibes and some really great beaches. Suitable for a peaceful family getaway.)
5. Ubud / Gianyar (Ubud is great for culture, shopping and cafe hopping, and has lots of lush forest greenery for a quick city escape.)
6. Candidasa / Amed (Has the culture and peace of Ubud and Sanur, but also has plenty of activities like diving and more.)
Check out our guide to Bali accommodation, and find out which part of this island paradise is perfect for you!
It’s ever so important to choose a proper accommodation that fits your needs.
Do you have tiny toddlers that require nannies? Are you looking for privacy or abundant facilities? Ask yourself those questions and find your answers here right now!
1-1. Stay at a great beach resort with kids’ pools and slides – Hard Rock Hotel Bali
If you’re looking for a great kid-friendly place that satisfies both kids and adults alike, there’s no better destination than Hard Rock Hotel Bali.
Armed with a large variety of room styles, Hard Rock has something for everyone – enjoy a good night’s sleep in the Kids Suite and Luxury Kids Suite, where you’ll have your private space away from the children.
And your kids will be able to have all the fun they ever imagined with the Playstation 4 and toys provided, as well as the Lil’ Rock Club, where your kids will be able to enjoy fun activities such as dance, rock wall climbing and kids’ kitchen classes. They’ll also get their own swimming pool, affixed with thrilling slides!
Photo via bart van dun
Or, if you have older children, indulge their celebrity dreams with the Rockstar Suite, and enjoy some family bonding time in the King Suite, where there’s a home theatre ready for all your late night movie needs.
Parents are not getting the short end of the stick, however. You’ll get to lounge in the largest foam-free pool in Bali, along with your very own Sand Island, and maybe even record your own CD in the hotel’s Boom Box Recording Studio.
And if that’s not enough to get you feeling like a rockstar, sign up for the Rock Royalty Program for the ultimate celebrity treatment. Otherwise, feel free to pamper yourself with massage at the in-house Rock Spa!
Who knew that the most fun you can have in Bali, is in the hotel that you’re staying in?
1-2. Stay at a family-friendly resort with a great kids’ club – Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali
Looking for a place that can give you some private time with your husband/wife, but yet allow you the opportunity to bond with your children as well?
Check out Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali, which features an amazing kids club, along with a myriad of fun and educational activities for your kids: paper lantern-making, kids’ yoga, leaf printing… you name it, they have it.
You’ll also be happy to know that Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali has a specially tailored family package that caters to everyone. With free meals for the kids at Nyala Beach Club & Grill, and complimentary access to the Kid’s Club, your little loves will enjoy days filled with endless fun and yummy food.
1-3. Stay at your own private villa – Rumah Tamu
Sometimes, we just want to have our own peace and quiet – which is what private villas, and Rumah Tamu, are for.
This dreamy property consists of three huts that look exactly like what would come out of a fairytale. With windows on all sides, the huts embrace an open-concept that allow you to fully drink in the scenic greenery that surrounds the villa.
You’ll even have your very own patio, where you can sit out on starry nights and share a heart-to-heart talk with your family while looking out towards the rice fields.
1-4. For bigger families, bond in a private entertainment complex – Villa Adenium
Racking your brains over what to do with your way too large extended family? Well, never let it be said that Bali is short on choices.
It’s never-ending family fun at the 3-bedroom Villa Adenium, where you and your children will have access to large, open rooms and an abundance of entertainment choices – including an Xbox, TV, DVD player, and even a games room with a cinema lounge!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?
Before you really go into the details and start thinking about a trip… First, get inspired by all the excitement Bali has to offer!
You might be pleasantly surprised at just how family-friendly Bali can get, with some incredibly fun activities to please everyone from Mom and Dad, to the kids.
2-1) Attend a fun workshop in Bali – Studio Perak
Bali has tons of kid-friendly activities available, but we think that a family’s haven would definitely be Studio Perak – where both you and the kids can learn how to craft Balinese-style jewellery with silver and semi-precious stones.
Photo via An Epic Education
You can even choose one to take home with you – and the kids will definitely be proud of the dainty little treasures they made while in Bali, along with the unforgettable experience they had!
And if you’re interested, there are many other workshops ready to be explored in Bali.
2-2) Playlands are always fun – Bali Fun World
When you go on a holiday as a family, it’s always hard to find something that both children and adults would like to do. However, at Bali Fun World, that’s really all they offer – fun for both adults and children alike.
Photo via ayuutrisnaa, winda bali
This huge indoor entertainment centre offers an exciting range of facilities – watch your kids climb up the mini posts, zoom past in a car coaster, leap happily in a gigantic bouncy castle – or get down and loosen your hair with some football and gladiator fights!
And with the Playstation 2 and 3 available in the Game room, it’ll surely be ten times harder not to enjoy yourself in this funhouse.
2-3) Bonding through a thrilling game of Room Escape? – Totem Room Escape
If you’re up for a thrilling challenge that will require the family to work together to solve puzzles and find clues in order to escape (or win) – Totem Room Escape is the first and biggest reality room escape game in Indonesia, and is a great place to go!
We suggest families with younger kids start with the easier challenges like Alice in Wonderland, since the tougher challenges are meant for bigger/older groups (with more brain juice!).
2-4) Have a fun-filled day at a park
2-4-i. Have a splashin’ good time – Waterbom
It’s the #1 waterpark in Asia – there’s no way you’re going to miss going to Waterbom Bali if you’re a fan of water, and in Bali’s sweltering heat, who wouldn’t be?
Enjoy the best type of family bonding at this exhilarating attraction, where you have 22 fun rides to choose from. From steep, open-top slides and a surfing pool to a relaxing lazy river, there’s a little something for everyone here.
2-4-ii. For the younger water babies – New Kuta Green Park
If you have younger kids and don’t think Waterbom’s extreme rides would be suitable for them – don’t worry, for New Kuta Green Park is about to solve all your worries.
This large waterpark is located at the Dreamland area, and features 5 hectares filled with fun water slides and playgrounds that are suitable even for younger kids (they even have a kiddy pool)!
Although the facilities are showing some signs of age, and extra charges are implemented on lockers and rides like the lazy river (USD $2), New Kuta Green Park still manages to offer an affordable and value-for-money experience.
With more than 17 slides available, it’s hard not to imagine your little ones having a ball of a time at this place.
2-4-iii. Sleep, eat and drink with the lions – Mara River Safari Lodge, Gianyar
If you think your rowdy kid can match up to the fiercest wild animals in Africa, it’s time to take him home to Mara River Safari Lodge.
Photo via lisacowcher
This one-of-a-kind accommodation allows you to live right within a safari itself – we’re not kidding, you can even toss carrots at unsuspecting zebras from your perch on the balcony.
Not only that, there are also safari rides where you’ll get close (only physically, sorry) to animals like the tiger and lion, and you’ll enjoy breakfast with only a glass wall standing between you and the king of the jungle.
We still can’t decide whether that’s cool or scary.
Read our fun-filled experience at Bali Marine and Safari Park here!
2-5) Go on an adrenaline-filled family outing – Bali Treetop Adventure
Tired of having to run after your kids all the time? Well, it’s time to squeeze those hyperactive juices out of them at Bali Treetop Adventure – which offers fun and challenging obstacle courses for all ages.
Photo via duiduidam, cathelijnex
Choose between courses with up to 7 different difficulty levels (there’s even one that’s 20m high!), and test your courage by whooshing down the hill on a 160m long zipline.
We know it all sounds nerve-wracking, but both you and your children will be able to enjoy the activities under the constant protection of a safety wire – it’s an adventure that’s also completely safe.
2-6) Go on a shopping spree together – Bungalow Living
Who says shopping isn’t for everyone? Drop by Bungalow Living for a wide selection of homeware and accessories that will spice up your home.
Photo via redmelimelo
You’ll find classy vintage and hip home decor here, and not only are there interesting and quirky knick-knacks to keep your children occupied while you shop to your heart’s content – there’s a cafe too! Is this what they call best of both worlds?
2-7) Explore a hidden farm
2-7-i. More than just beautiful fabric – Sari Segara Silkworm Farm
Introduce your children to the wondrous world of nature – and satisfy your love for fashion – at Sari Segara Silkworm Farm.
Photo via Harry Sutama Nina S and Gladys R
Here, you can witness and learn about the process behind the making of silk, the most luxurious fabric in the world. You can even try your hand at weaving a batik pattern onto the silk yourself, and bring your proud handiwork home!
Even if you’re no artist, there’s no need to worry – gorgeous finished products are available for sale at the in-house Sutera Sari Segara Art Shop.
2-7-ii) The legend in making – Big Tree Farms
You’re in Bali – of course you should stop by one of the traditional villages to witness the true beauty of this island paradise. When you go off the beaten path, good things happen.
Photo via life in travels
There’s not a child in this world who doesn’t love chocolate, and at Big Tree Farms, your family will get to experience the sweet world of chocolate in a unique way.
Sign up for a tour and explore the fully bamboo, eco-friendly grounds; you can even sample delicious organic cacao and snap some insta-worthy pictures at the farm’s bamboo cathedral.
2-8) Walk on the seabed – Bali Seawalker
Once upon a time, if someone asked you to “take a walk on the seabed”, you’d probably have told them to go for a checkup.
But, with Bali Seawalker, exploring the ocean on foot is now entirely possible. Put on your astronaut-style helmet and get up and close with the myriad of marine life that’s available around Bali’s shores.
Anyone from the age of nine to 70 can do it, so yes, whether you’re with your children or your parents, this sport is one for the family to enjoy.
2-9) Visit a magnificent sea temple – Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Bali is home to many sea temples, all of them gorgeous places of heritage in their own right. But the one temple that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Bali is definitely Pura Luhur Uluwatu (Uluwatu Temple).
Photo via Suphakaln Wongcompune
The Uluwatu Temple is beloved for being an amazing spot to watch the sunset from, and not only that – the temple also hosts a special Kecak Fire Dance performance every evening.
If you’re interested in exploring the beauty of Bali and its fascinating culture (and watch the expressions of awe on your kids’ faces), this is the place to do it.
2-10) Splash it up at surf camp – Pro Surf School
Sporty families will have a great time at Pro Surf School, where even absolute beginners can learn how to surf.
No need to worry about letting your children surf out in open waters – beginner classes are held at the camp’s in-house swimming pool, while intermediate sessions are held at sea.
All the instructors at the camp are qualified and trained lifeguards, so you can rest assured knowing that your family is in good hands!
2-11) Frolic down a hidden beach – Geger Beach
A trip to the beach is a must for any vacation to Bali, but with what seems like the whole world gathering at those beaches, it can get a little frustrating.
Photo via catviva
At Geger Beach, however, things are different. Hidden in a corner of Nusa Dua, this lovely beach with clear blue water is significantly less crowded than its more well-known counterparts.
Here is where you’ll get to swim and snorkel, lie down for a tan, and even watch local seaweed farmers doing the fascinating job of harvesting seaweed. Better yet, you’ll have this slice of heaven all to yourself.
Now that you know the best places to stay, and great things to do during your trip – it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty details you might be looking out for.
For tips to prevent sudden epidemics and World War III… (We’re serious! Family holidays are a serious business.)
All kinds of things can pop up during a hectic family vacation, and instead of dealing with them one by one and spoiling your holiday mood, we say prevention is better than cure.
Just take note of the following issues before planning your trip, and you’ll be more than fine.
We’re down with the big things, but don’t underestimate the power small details have in making or breaking your holiday.
Just to be 100% sure that there will be no sudden kinks in your holiday plans, check out The “Better Safe than Sorry” List of Must-Knows.
Make sure to check off these things on your list of things to note!
Honestly, getting around in Bali with your kids in tow is not the hardest thing in the world with great transportation options available!
3-b-i. Hiring a car
If you’re planning on travelling around Bali instead of just staying in one place, hiring a car will be your best choice. Especially if you’re travelling with a large family or young kids – hiring multiple taxis can be a pain, and surely you aren’t planning on stuffing your spouse into the taxi boot?
With hired cars come new woes, so here are two things that you’ll have to take note of if you want to go with this option.
3-b-ii. Public transportation
If you’re a family of homebodies and are planning to slack your days away in a particular region or resort, then you probably won’t need your own car (unless you want to feel rich, of course).
Taxis are the obvious choice here, though we would recommend that you stick to reputable taxi companies – such as Bluebird – that go by the meter.
BUT!!! Don’t let your guard down even when you see that the meter is turned on. Some drivers have been known to squeeze extra money out of tourists by capitalising on their ignorance about road conditions in Bali.
In these cases, your best bet is navigation/Google Maps. Whip out those orienteering skills!
Note: Google Maps may not always be 100% accurate; there may be roads undergoing construction or blocked off due to weather conditions. If you are able to, check with a local.
If you’re done looking through everything else, let’s not forget the food in Bali! There are options for everyone – from those with an adventurous taste for just about anything, to those on gluten-free diets and more.
These are the places where you’ll get the bang for your buck and the yum for your tum.
4-1. Go to a restaurant with amazing kid facilities – Warung Rekreasi Bedugul
Stunning views, great food and plenty of activities on the premises (they have an orchid garden, farm coffee plantation and a bamboo forest!) – what else could make Warung Rekreasi Bedugul even more perfect?
Photo via Chanseptiari, ero nick,Prayustika,Dannikrisnawan,Hemagr
Well, the fact that they have all the things you need to keep your kids in their place while you enjoy your meal in peace.
Watch your young’uns scamper around the playground’s climbing tower and bounce happily on the see-saws – the children’s happiness and the chance to swallow their food properly will no doubt make any parent’s day.
4-2. Dine at a unique themed restaurant – La Laguna
Step into the colourful and free-spirited world of the gypsies at La Laguna, the coolest new kid on the block of unique cafes.
Photo via ruslandxb sakinaintanp onank magagapoda
This beachfront cafe features sweeping views of the ocean, and is characterised by the numerous, bright caravans that sit around the premises. Sit back with their signature La Laguna Breezy Cocktail and watch your kids have fun in the sun – you might even have an encounter with a peacock or two!
4-3. Beachfront brunch bliss – La Lucciola
Fancy having brunch on one of Seminyak’s most beautiful stretches of beach? La Lucciola offers unique Mediterranean-Asian fusion fare in a breezy, open-aired setting
Photo via helga herawati, riamiranda, mesh7720
Begin the day with prawn and avocado frittata or baked eggs with chorizo, tomato sugo and rocket. Wash it down with freshly squeezed juices and fine Italian espresso.
And what happens if you get food coma after such a delicious meal? The owners of La Lucciola have already thought it all out – there’s comfy bamboo chairs for you to lounge in, before you head to the nearby Seminyak beaches for an afternoon of sun, sand and surf.
4-4. Tasty high tea treats and fun tarot reading – Biku Bali
Cute and sophisticated all at once, there’s a variety of high tea packages here – from Asian high tea (delicious masala chai and fusion treats such as date scones with mango jam), to breakfast high tea (3 tiers of sausages and eggs).
While you enjoy your high tea, live acoustic music will keep you entertained and relaxed. And if your little ones are driving you crazy – the children’s tasty high tea treats will keep them happy and give you a little peace.
While you are relaxed and nibbling on a pastry, why not treat yourself to a 15-minute tarot reading ($11). If you are lucky the future will have plenty more high teas in it!
4-5. Bite into a smurf ice cream – Massimo Il Ristorante
This Italian restaurant in Sanur serves up some really mean pizza, but it’s also well known for its gelato, all of which have zero flavouring and additives!
Which is why we get a little jittery when it comes to the smurf-flavoured ice cream… but so far, we haven’t heard any news about smurfs mysteriously upping and dying, so it’s probably safe.
Besides, it tastes so good… but you probably shouldn’t tell your children that they are eating an ice cream version of their favourite cartoon characters.
4-6. Indulge in gluttony at an all-you-can-eat buffet – Golden Lotus Chinese Restaurant, Bali Dynasty (USD $14.52 tax inclusive)
Families who love food will love Bali Dynasty’s Golden Lotus Chinese Restaurant.
Bali Dynasty serves up a great all-you-can-eat buffet and ala carte that is exactly that – the Saturday Ala carte and Sunday Dim Sum Buffet.
This delicious buffet is held in the in-house Golden Lotus Chinese Restaurant, and features an extensive menu with 50 traditional Hong Kong dim sum dishes to choose from. Fried or steamed, feel free to dig in, while washing it all down with a steaming cup of Chinese Tea.
Using original recipes, the dim sum is known for its consistent quality and deliciousness, so you can be sure to enjoy this dim sum feast!
And with its classically Chinese decor – think paper lanterns, rich red and gold colours matched with elegant dark wood furnishings – you might just feel like you’ve been transported back to old Shanghai.
Apart from the all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet every Sunday, all-you-can-eat ala carte dim sum is also available for lunch on Saturday (where you can just order from the menu), so you do not even need to get up from the table!
Also read: Our Bali Dynasty Resort Review: 13 Exciting all-inclusive family activities you can enjoy on your beach holiday!
4-7. For families/kids with dietary restrictions…
Worried about your kids’ sensitive stomachs? You don’t have to miss out on good food just because of a few allergies!
4-7-i. Enjoy Halal food with a scenic view – Bale Udang Mang Engking
Even if you’re not looking for Halal food, the serene atmosphere at this lakeside restaurant is enough to attract you there.
Photo via may86028
Of course, other than the peaceful, floating gazebos, the restaurant also serves some of the best seafood you can find in Kuta. Their specialisation is in shrimp – you’ll never know that there are so many ways to eat shrimp until you set foot here.
You’ll even get to watch beautiful dancers perform a cultural dance as you munch away in your gazebo and dip your feet in the cooling lake water – how does dinner get any better than this?
4-7-ii. Indulge in healthy vegetarian desserts – Alchemy
We didn’t believe it when we first saw it, but it’s true: desserts can be healthy too!
Photo via faimfatale sergeydudin
And they’re both healthy and yummy at Alchemy, a vegan cafe in Ubud specialising in charming the socks off your taste buds. The pastries here are completely free of refined sugar, wheat, flour and preservatives, so eat to your heart’s content!
If you find yourself there and don’t know what to eat, we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with the raw chocolate and savoury cheesecake.
4-7-iii. Go healthy and gluten-free – The Cashew Tree
Want to give your kids a workout and a healthy meal at the same time?