Written by Beverley Lennon
You know what sounds fun until you do it? A non-beach summer vacation with the kids!
Traveling with kids to places that are permanently scorching hot can easily turn into a nightmare – not only will they be drenched in perspiration just moments after stepping out (so you’ll need to pack spare clothes to change), but they’ll more likely feel tired very easily, turn red as a lobster, become easily grumpy, and whining for you to go back to your hotel after some time outside!
The solution? Bring them to somewhere with cooler temperature! With our tropical climate, anywhere relatively chilly will put everyone into a good mood.
Known as the Paris of Java, Bandung is not going to be your magic white winter adventure, but it has cooler highlands and will give you that pre-taste winter feels that both you and the kids will love!
You know the shopping in Bandung is awesome, but what about when you’re travelling with kids?
If you’re travelling there for the first time, with our itinerary, you’ll make your kids’ eyes glow with fun and exciting activities while experiencing the cooler weather of the highlands, shopping and cafe-hopping – in just 4 days!
This itinerary is comfortably planned and is not over-ambitious – no crammed schedule, with potential family-friendly restaurants and dedicated cool-off and playtime while ensuring no missed meals, disrupted schedules, interrupted sleep, nor missing home comforts!
Getting to Bandung
Make your kids’ eyes glow with a fun picnic and animal encounters!
Welcome to Husein Sastranegara International Airport – it’s about 20-30 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
If you haven’t arranged for an airport transfer or car rental, you will find many drivers at the arrival hall ready to take you to your accommodation; these drivers set their own prices based on the number of passengers and the distance. You’ll need to negotiate for a fair price! A taxi ride to the city center should cost around Rp.80,000 for a 20-minute drive (USD$5.65).
We strongly recommend you to arrange local transport for airport pickups, and be very careful around taxi drivers there, as the experience can be awful with potential scammers charging more than the standard prices. Do refer to the airport customer service counter for help regarding taxi drivers (legitimate ones should issue you a voucher with the price on it).
So now that you are ready, let’s start having fun!
At this cafe, you will enjoy a picnic lunch set on grass with a garden patch (synthetic grass so don’t worry about kids getting dirty), beautified with actual picnic props (the traditional checkered picnic cloth as well as the ultimate picnic basket filled with bakery options)!
On the menu, you’ll find many child-friendly options, such as kids’ favourite pasta, French fries, chicken wings and ice-cream – comfort food poshed up and done well!
And your kids can be kept happily busy after meals with a swing and many fun-filled activities!
You’ll hear the kids say, “Lunch without sitting at the table?! Mom, can we come back tomorrow?!”
Photo Via Indahjuliana_lie
There’s nothing more educational and intriguing than visiting magical natural wonders in unknown lands!
Both kids and parents will be in awe to discover this milky-blue crater lake that hides a mystical history – birds that flew near the area would die, which has made people reluctant to visit it in the past.
By the 19th Century, a German decided to risk it and explore further – he then discovered the beautiful blue crater lake covered with thick layers of mist; a scene that’s out of this world!
The kids would love it. And they would go, “It looks so magical, just like in my cartoon movies!”
Photo Via Akarifqulmaula
Feed the deer at Ranca Upas (2 hours)
Most kids love animals, and not too far from the blue crater lake, your little ones will be able to have fun with animals friends, or more precisely – deer!
A stone’s throw away from Bandung city, you can find yourself in the countryside, surrounded by nature and deer. For just Rp. 5,000 (approximately USD 0.35), get your hands on some vegetables (you need to buy them from the on-site counter) and feed the deer in their natural habitat!
Other than just the deer, kids will be overjoyed to be able to ride horses, play at the outdoor adventure park that comes with a treehouse while parents can relax in the hot springs!
They also have a camping ground so if the kids are not ready to leave, you know what to do!
Don’t smack them if they share this secretly with you, “I shared my snacks with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer when no one was watching!”
Photo Via Play.see_.run, Rizal.fathurahman, Fannyfalencia84
Although your kids always wish for this at dinnertime, ask yourself, don’t you also sometimes secretly want to be transported back to the time when peg-legged bandits roamed the high seas!
Your GPS might freak out a little on the way to this restaurant but you won’t fail to miss it, trust us!
Right by the lake you will find a huge boat-shaped restaurant where you can choose to dine indoors or out on the wooden deck, overlooking the beautiful lake and plantation covered with mist…
Aye, aye captain! Finally a place where no one will stare at you when your kids run around pretending to be pirates!
You’ll hear the kids say, “I was a pirate at dinner and did not get scolded!”
Photo Via Pilotlieur
Stick to your bedtime routine while on vacation; don’t forget to pack your kids’ favourite books and tuck them in bed with some snuggles! These comfortable hotel stays promise tight sleeps and sweet dreams!
You’ll hear the kids say, “Good night Mommy, it was so much fun today!”
Your kids get to play little adults and let’s pick strawberries together in the highlands!
After breakfast at your hotel, get ready with warm clothes on for a day in the highlands of Bandung!
We’ve warned you; you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to have the feels of it! Head to Kota Mini and get to experience a quaint little town with flamboyant cottages while your kids roam around in Holland-inspired dresses, play with cats and giant teddy bears!
If their dream is to visit KidZania someday, they’ll be happy to know that Kota Mini offers similar experiences in an outdoor concept. Let them get their hands on adulting with fun role plays – they can be firefighters, cooks, police officers and more!
Don’t miss out on the train ride to discover the little town’s ins and outs! It’s a whole lot of fun out there! You’ll think this is all for the kids but you yourself might not even want to leave!
We won’t be surprised if you hear the kids go, “I got my dream job – a masterchef for the day!”
Photo Via Lukman.agus_
Come to Rumah Stroberi for lunch, but know that this place is more than just a restaurant! With an expansive plot of land, the real deal here is the strawberry picking! Give the kids some baskets and let them pick and eat their own!
At lunchtime, don’t miss the restaurant’s specialty – the Nasi Liwet (to share between 4 people). You may choose to dine like the locals and opt for the indoor “lesehan” seating (sitting on the floor on mats and cushions) or simply sit at the outdoor tables in the fresh air of the highlands!
Not only is this fun for the kids, it also teaches them where their fruits come from! (And might even develop their interest in healthy food!)
Don’t scold the little ones even if you hear them say, “Mommy wasn’t looking so I plucked a strawberry and ate it without washing!”
Photo Via Lucygooseylove
You are not done with Europe yet – Dago Bakery brings you back to medieval time with its castle-like entrance gate, ambience and decor props. You’d almost think you’re taking a trip to Disneyland!
Though not accessible for the elderly (no elevator available and with a series of stairs to take), this restaurant is an ultimate playground for the kids.
Want to keep them seated at the table for a while? Order some Pisang Goreng (banana fritters), these come covered in chocolate sauce and will get all of you licking fingers!
And guess what, this cafe doesn’t only limit itself to just bakeries but has a full menu with heavier meals if you’re feeling hungry!
Your little princes and princesses will surely go, “I love having tea in a castle!”
Photo Via Warmanwardhani
Beanbags and city views: Lereng Anteng (1-2 hours)
Time to please your eyes and stomach while the kids run free!
Come here to enjoy spectacular views of Bandung and fresh mountain air while you indulge in a heart-warming dinner at the end of a fun family day out.
All kids love snuggling on cushy beanbags, so you don’t have to worry that your little ones are having too much fun (yes there’s an outdoor play area too)! They will be happy to jump onto the seats to finish dinner. And don’t miss coffee, they have the Vietnamese Drip coffee too!
If you come here after sunset, you’ll get to relish in the dazzling city lights…
So we bet your little ones will say, “I love having dinner outdoors!”
Photo Via Dwirika12
And you’re back to the city! Get a good night’s sleep with your little ones (yes, you can even choose a family room where the entire family can bunk in together)!
Won’t you be proud when you hear the kids exclaim, “This is one of our best holidays, ever!”
Shopping and cafe-hopping (family-friendly cafes with playtime)!
Have you ever questioned or even looked through the internet on “how to make your family shopping trip fun with the kids?” We bet you did! The best answer is – lots of rest, plenty of playtime and good food so everyone is happy!
That Instagrammable playground: Kapulaga (1-2 hours)
This homey family restaurant comes with a spacious backyard and an outdoor playground, so your little ones will love roaming around and you can keep an eye on them directly from your table!
The second level of the restaurant comes with a gold thatched canopy and a long transparent glass roof, a twist to that hipster glasshouse-cafe look!
Don’t miss their traditional fare such as Nasi Liwet and Nasi Bakar (rice wrapped in banana leaves paired with other dishes and sambal), and signature drinks such as Es Cendol and Es Teler.
If you are on the lookout for trendy clothes of all styles, price ranges, and for different age brackets, don’t miss out on this popular shopping spot.
Rumah Factory Outlet is known for its branded stuff that you can grab at cheap prices – so be prepared to shop till you drop! Most of their products are said to be original ones that didn’t pass the brand’s quality test, thus they are passed over to be sold in the factory outlet at reduced prices (it’s a good chance to get your hands on some winter clothing too)!
You’ll also find various food options if the kids start to get bored and grumpy while you spend time and money shopping for unique houseware and traditional Indonesian decorations. Plus, the Koi fish pond is a savior during tantrums too!
Don’t be surprised if the kids ask, “Do fishes eat the coins we throw into the pond?!”
Photo Via Echasuardika, Ntannonagata
This hipster family-friendly restaurant has the greatest idea to ensure that parents can enjoy peace and happiness as they dine. At One Eighty Coffee, you can dine in the pool while the kids splash about!
Yes, your table and chair are set in a shallow pool – completely a kids’ dream lunch stop!
There’s Indonesian and Western cuisine on the menu such as Iga Garang Assam, and familiar favourites like Aglio Olio and English Breakfast – and they are as good as they look!
You’ll hear your little kiddos say, “ Splashes and sprinkles are my favorite!”
Some tips for parents: The water in the shallow pool goes a little above the ankles. Do wear slippers and shorts if you intend to dine in the pool, and bring a spare set of clothes for the kids if necessary!
Photo Via Foodinlove.id_
Look out for trendy shops options to keep up with fashion – House of Donatello, Formen Factory Outlet (2 hours)
a) Everything leather at incredibly low prices – House of Donatello Factory Outlet
If simplicity is the ultimate fashion sophistication in your opinion, you shouldn’t miss a stop at House of Donatello Factory Outlet, as you will be able to find the most versatile leather items to match your every occasion!
The factory outlet specialises in local leather fashion for both men and women who fall hard for simple yet trendy products like shoes, bags, accessories and many more.
You’ll feel so warm and fuzzy once you hear this, “I was not bored, because Mommy and Daddy are happy!”
Photo Via Arthur-saladin, Sutranta(googlemap)
b) Men’s shopping therapy – Formen Factory Outlet
Of course, it’s a generalization to say, “Women like shopping but men don’t”, and whoever said that shopping in Bandung was only for women got it all wrong – there’s great shopping for men too and they will love it!
If you are on the lookout for the latest arrivals in men’s clothing, accessories and shoes, do drop by Formen Factory Outlet! Men too deserve retail therapy away from women and kids!
The kids will be surprised too, “Wow, Daddy can shop too!”
Photo Via Zyahkudho, Tzeza_leathermade
Indonesians love their coffee and if a local recommends a cafe and raves about its coffee, you know it’s got to be good – in fact, this is another reason to live in Bandung!
Try out their bomb chicken and waffle, and treat the kids with some french toast – it’s got to be pure deliciousness but beware the sugar rush!
And you’ll be heartened to hear the little ones say, “Mom didn’t have to eat the leftovers this time!”
Photo Via Jermsluvfood, Ellenoey_
This is every kids’ ideal playground. Right on the rooftop of this mall, you’ll find a mini zoo with goats, cows, rabbits and more, where you can play and feed the animals! You’ll be equipped with aprons, vegetables and a bottle of milk for feeding the animals.
The farm is well-maintained and clean, so you don’t have to worry about the hygiene impact on the kids. Visit in total comfort!
You might even catch them squeal, “I shared a carrot with a bunny! It was mine but I shared!”
Photo Via Ruriendj, Sadiahbudiman
What better way to make the kids happy at dinnertime than offering them a cheat meal? Skip the veggies and greens for today and gather around giant burgers and fries at this colourful fast food truck!
The quirky truck is set in an expansive yard where every child can run free; but rest assured, they won’t move one bit when their burgers are served – that classic bun filled with saucy patties, fresh crunchy vegetables, cheese and sunny side up… you’ll hear that stomach growling!
And Moms, you might want to keep an eye on the boys. You might even hear, “Dad ate all of my french fries!!”
Photo Via Brother_jonn
Relax, rejuvenate and shop for edible souvenirs!
Every cafe or restaurant can be child-friendly if you are prepared. But Madame Sari Restaurant hits that nail on the head.
From enough room for prams to an on-site playground, this is the perfect spot for those mornings where your kids are packed full of energy while you wish you were still under the blanket.
Don’t miss their Nasi Penyet and Nasi Capcay or the famous Mie Kocok (a legendary Bandung noodle soup)! Prices are also reasonable for the good food quality you get and the overall ambience; plus they have an area to keep the kids busy!
Make sure the kids finish their meals first before play! You’ll almost hear them say, “Playtime and good food are what I live for!”
Photo Via Ivanasania, Furrywindie
We know that many debate whether you should bring kids to a spa, but children can enjoy massages too!
At ZEN Family Spa & Reflexology, everyone gets to be pampered, and yes it truly is zen! Just make sure your kids are quiet enough and don’t disturb other guests!
Many have raved about their foot massages – very heavenly for your tired feet after running after the kids!
We can just imagine your happy kids confiding this in you, “Is this what adulting is like? I can’t wait to grow up!”
When’s the best time for a soupy meal? Well whenever you’re in a cooler climate or temperature, and that’s ideal in Bandung!
Dig into the famous oxtail soup at Dapur Dahapati, a hidden gem mostly only known by locals, and people rave about its flavourful broth with meat literally falling off the bone as it is so tender! We all need comfort food when vacation comes to an end!
The portion is big enough for two people and the price is super reasonable for the quantity you get, but what’s even more surprising is that it holds the title of “the best oxtail soup in town” among local foodies!
This might even be a new experience for your youngest ones. They’ll ask, “Oxtail? Whose tail is it again?”
Photo Via Aditya-Djatmika
Brownies, cakes, cookies and local snacks make waaaaaay better souvenirs than keychains and fridge magnets! Pack some of these delicious pastries and secure them safely (as they might be gone by the time you reach home!). Seriously, they are so fresh and rich in taste!
They come in sharing portions so you can pack some for your families, friends and colleagues (yes, you still have a job, remember? Vacation is over…).
And you might just catch your kids whisper to one another, “Mom said she thought she bought 3 boxes. Only 2 were left. Guess what happened to the other one?!”
Photo Via NBA2013
This might be the only time the kids will cry!
Now what’s the best way to get to all these unique sights and fun activities in Bandung? We seriously DO NOT recommend public transport, it would take you twice the time compared to that if you drive, as most attractions are located far away from one another.
Especially since you are on a family trip with kids, it’s definitely much more convenient to either stick to the ever-reliable Bluebird taxis, as well as Grab and Go-Jek or simply opt for reliable car rental options with driver and/or guide!TRIPCANVAS TIP
Please be wary of potential scams when getting local drivers too!
Best options include:
1. Our recommendation: Renting a car with private driver/tour guide
Reviewed for their excellent service and reliability, Mulia Car Rental offers car rental services with various transportation options and ideal for 5 to 11 people! All their vehicles are insured and are in good condition.
Your car rental service comes with a driver and fuel. So all you need to do is to tell the driver your plan (you can even show him our itinerary and customise it accordingly)!
Please book at least 1 day in advance to ensure car availability.2. Travelers’ Pick: Pak Asep (Local personalised driver)
He knows the ins and outs of Bandung; name it to Pak Asep and he will bring you there! Travelers love his local touch to their daily tours around the city – he is loved for his warm hospitality and this is what you’ll appreciate when travelling to an unknown destination, especially with family!
If you are unfamiliar with Indonesia’s roads and traffic, we strongly recommend you to rent a car with driver instead, as the road conditions might be challenging to navigate, and fellow drivers might not be easy to deal with!