Written by Cisca Lim
Co-written by Martin Firas Harahap and Geninna Ariton
Assisted by Imron Ramadhan, Matt Ho, and Shasya Pashatama
As the second largest city in East Java after Surabaya and prized for its mild highland climate, all eyes are now on Malang, the relatively-new darling of Indonesia. This is all due to its rapid growth in family friendly locations and fancy accommodation.
Malang is now one of the best faces in the country that promises a mix of modern urban lifestyle with a natural and agricultural heartbeat. So any traveling brood will get a taste of entertainment that befits the entire family.
From colourful amusement parks to unique museums and restaurants to natural attractions, let’s explore some of the best family activities here that would definitely entertain you and your little ones!
1. Enjoy a splashing Hawaiian family fun time at Hawai Waterpark Malang
No need to travel thousands miles away to experience a slice of Hawaii – Malang bids your family a warm aloha as you enter the spacious Hawai Waterpark.
You can slide on the Hula-hula or Wailele slide, get cozy at Waikiki Beach, enjoy a drink right by Akaolu pool…
…Or have a taste of giant waves at the Tsunami pool (don’t worry, there are lifeguards on standby).
If you want to take a break from the adrenaline-pumping activities, take a stroll at the nearby apple and orange farm to let the breeze cool you down.
Don’t be quick to judge Predator Fun Park as too scary and unsuitable for your little ones! It’s a good learning experience for your kids and they may even be excited for more.
You will be able to check out a fauna gallery, a gigantic outdoor water park, and a cultural museum of Angklung (a traditional musical instrument made from bamboo).
And here comes the highlight – the crocodile farm. Here, you’ll learn all about the reptile right at their breeding pond. While the crocodile feeding is only done by the experts, you can definitely get up close and feed the other types of predatory fish present.
The colorful fun park also boasts of many attractions such as The Croco Train, The Predator Playground, The Labyrinth Maze and more.
Bring your swimsuits along as your kids will definitely want to play at the large water park!
3. Explore the exquisite botanic gardens of Selecta Recreation Park
Located in Batu city which was once part of Malang Regency, Selecta Recreation Park boasts of 18 hectares of greenery.
This includes a dedicated theme park with a 4D cinema and exciting rides, a lively water park, a freshwater swimming pool, and an endless stretch of beautiful garden dotted with decor and statues. If you want to do a weekend staycation, you can even spend the night here with your family at the hotel.
This gorgeous place actually dates back to the Dutch colonial era, when it originally belonged to a Dutchman named Sir Wildt. Taken in by the beauty of its scenery, he decided to build the place as the prestigious weekend destination for the rich and selected few, thus the name “Selecta”.
The good news: you don’t have to be of certain social status to enjoy this recreation park now, but it doesn’t mean that your family won’t feel extra special if you choose to bring them here!
4. Soak in soul-soothing water in the springs of Malang
Imagine being surrounded by the verdant jungle, accompanied only by the peaceful sounds of nature while soaking in the blissful spring water that soothes every inch of your body.
Yup, you can enjoy all these in the springs of Malang. We have 4 recommendations:
4-a. Soak in more-than-a-century old beauty of Taman Spring, Pagelaran District
The striking beauty of Taman Spring lies in the surrounding large trees that are said to be more than hundreds of years old. With cool shades above your head and even cooler water as you dip in, take in the scenery while listening to the laughter of children enjoying the area.
4-b. Witness the jewel of turquoise waters and a fossil tree at Jenon Spring, Tajinan District
Jenon is a must-visit if you fancy an exotic dip in the fresh water from the foot of Mount Ronggo.
Not only is it invigorating, but the turquoise clear water also allows you to peep underneath at the swimming fish and the legendary roots of Jenu the fossil tree.
4-c. A slice of underwater paradise at Sirah Spring, Gondanglegi District
Sirah is popular for its extra gorgeous waterbed of algae and other water plantations.
You’ll be treated to an endless stretch of green with crystal clear visibility.
The cool breeze and lush jungle will only enhance your experience soaking in these waters with your family.
4-d. Refreshing bath at the mini waterfall of Kalireco Spring – Lawang District
Passing through the hills of Sumber Waras is the cool stream from the foot of Mount Arjuna.
As it ends in the Spring of Kalireco, several mini waterfalls are formed, making it an ideal relaxation spot with your family.
5. Every Family’s Favorite: Ride in Ancient Vehicles at Museum Angkut
A staple of Malang tourism’s hottest spots and every family’s favorite, Museum Angkut will capture the hearts of boys and girls of all ages with a collection of over 300 vehicles, all from different eras and countries.
Photo via ferdy if
At 3.8ha in size, Museum Angkut is the biggest museum in Southeast Asia.
Make your way through eight exhibition zones, from the main hall where legendary vehicles are displayed, to the educational hall where the the history of transportation is visualized, and even the Euro Zone where cars from their respective countries are displayed – including a range rover once used by the Queen of England!
Photo via tangguhwisanto
Just outside the building is ‘Pasar Apung’, a replica of a traditional floating market where an assortment of delicacies are sold.
Photo via salju
Take a ride on a miniature gondola while you munch on some fritters, or visit the Museum D’Topeng Kingdom and admire a collection of traditional masks from different parts of Indonesia!
6. Try your own version of maze runner in the labyrinth of Coban Rondo Maze
A gigantic labyrinth in the garden simply squeals fun and excitement for your little ones. You can let them run freely and happily here – the maze at Coban Rondo Leisure Park.
Challenge your friends and family to a race – by figuring out how to reach the fountain garden in the middle of the labyrinth first. Don’t underestimate the size of the maze!
Of course, there is always the option of having a friend stand on the watchtower to guide you through, while looking from the perfect vantage point with a bird’s eye view from above.
The symmetric hedge walls are 2 metres tall, and will surely bring out the enthusiasm of any Instagrammer. Do keep in mind that the park can get quite crowded, especially during weekends – to the point where it is difficult to get a decent picture without being photobombed! (Get there before 10am to avoid the crowd.)
Apart from the maze, the park is also home to Coban Rondo Waterfall which stands at almost 90 meters. Regular outbound activities are also available in the premises, including ziplines and even a 3 on 3 paintball arena!
7. East Java’s #1 Family Destination – Jawa Timur Park
Dubbed as East Java’s most iconic amusement park, and possibly one of the best in the country as of now – Jawa Timur Park, or ‘Jatim Park’ for short ranks up to international standards in attractions and maintenance.
With so much to show, this amusement park has to be split in two to contain all there is to offer! And with so many things to do, you might need more than a day to really enjoy the Jawa Timur Parks. Just a short walk from the Jawa Timur Park 2, the Pohon Inn offers guests a view of surrounding mountains.
You can even dine with a herd of leopards!
Photo via oliviara168
PS: Swarming with families from all across the country, you might want to avoid come here on a weekend.
7-a. Enjoy the endless attractions and hop in the giant pool at Jawa Timur Park 1
First of the many destinations under the Jawa Timur Park Group, Jawa Timur Park 1 offers 55 attractions ranging from the usual stomach-churning amusement parks, to science and history exhibitions that are fully interactive.
Photo via miraanggra,oky erik
Educative recreation is what the Jawa Timur Park 1 promotes. The attractions in the premises are often linked to either culture, the sciences, or history. An extensive exhibition room called the ‘Galeri Nusantara’ is dedicated to showcasing Indonesia’s variety of ethnicities from Sabang to Merauke. Even its biggest attraction – a gigantic swimming pool is in the theme of the cunning Ken Arok, the king of Singosari (present day Malang)
Stretching over 11 hectares on the hill of Malang, you might need a whole day just to try out all the Jawa Timur Park 1’s attractions. You won’t have to worry about not getting enough energy to burn, there are various eateries to choose from spread all over the park.
7-b. Delve into the world of wildlife: Jawa Timur Park 2
For even more educational amusements, Jawa Timur Park 2 dedicates itself to increasing the public’s awareness on ecology and protecting its inhabitants. If you aren’t so much into running around a theme park swarming with screaming children, the Jawa Timur Park 2 would suit you.
Photo via Fakhri
Most visitors would start from the Museum Satwa, displaying various exhibitions of preserved wildlife in their native environments. There is even a life size model of tyrannosaurus rex and other prehistoric creatures, providing visitors plenty of spots for one-of-a-kind photographs.
Photo via Stel,ady muchran
Next, watch the animals come to life at the Batu Secret Zoo home to several hundred species of birds from all over the world – visitors have a chance to interact with some of the world’s rarest, and even endangered birds. get up close and personal with a collection of big cats, such as different types of lions, tigers, and leopards. A variety of snakes can also be found in the park, behind the safety of thick glass panels of course!
7-c. Interactive Educational Playground: Eco Green Park
Seeing animals in a zoo is one thing, walking amongst them in their habitats is on a different level. The Eco Green Park aims to preserve the nature it was built on, which was once an orange plantation. Many of the surrounding trees and bushes were left intact in the building of the venue.
Photo via rtwlndr, raatnasafitri
Besides its extensive collection of birds, ranging from flamingos to eagles, the eco green park educates visitors on sustainable living, starting with farming or herding animals, as well as hydroponics to farm at home. Many of the park’s ornaments are even made out of recycled material.
One of the park’s latest attractions, the Rumah Terbalik has gained a lot of buzz in the airwaves lately. A pink upside-down house with furniture on the ceiling makes for one of a kind family vacation photos!
Photo via davidodol, endahpurwan,masjayoed, mrriko11
8. Picnic and roam among the tea leaves at Wonosari Tea Plantations, Singosari
Situated on the slopes of Mount Arjuna and half an hour north of Malang, lies the peaceful hills where tea plantations sprawl, owned and run by PT Perkebunan Nusantara. Having opened to the public as an ‘Agrotourism Park’, the Wonosari Tea Plantation is not only where world-renowned beverages are produced, but is also a great place to take the family to for some private quality time.
Activities available range from outbound obstacle courses, including wall climbing,ziplines (flying fox) and paintball.
And if you’re looking for something that’s both entertaining and educational at the same time, you can bring the kids to a complete tour of tea production – from leaf selection at the plantation, to the process of turning them into dry packaged tea at the factories! The city-bred kids will definitely learn something new and different!
Not ready to leave the serenity of the mountains yet? Why not stay at the recently renovated accommodation at the Wonosari Tea Plantations? Choose from Rollaas Hotel, or the many choices of cottages (from $16) per night.
After spending the day roaming around tea plantations, another spot from which you can enjoy the panorama of Malang’s countryside is Sumber Krabyakan lagoon.
This natural swimming pool offers the best ‘seat’ to view Mount Arjuno and Arjuna from a distance. Truly a splendid way to end your day.
9. Learn to be a farmer for a day at Oro Oro Ombo
Ever wondered if a quieter lifestyle would suit you and the family? Here is your chance to give it a try!
Roughly translating to ‘a vast grassland’, the Oro Oro Ombo (not to be mistaken with Oro Oro Ombo in Mount Semeru) started out as a garden city during the colonial era. With a variety of plants and flowers cultivated in the area, it soon became a landmark of the city.
At 700 meters above sea level, the view and temperature, as well as the sight of a colourful collection of flowers of all shapes and sizes, is the perfect place to get lost!
Get hands-on experience at milking a cow or grooming a horse before trotting along the hillside, or if you’re into it, you can even partake in the breeding of mealworms as bird food!
You will never run out of things to do at Oro Oro Ombo Village, even after the sun goes down. The Batu Night Spectacular opens as late as 11pm, and the list goes on!
Oro Oro Ombo Village is also home to Jawa Timur Park 2, along with Museum Satwa, as well as the Eco Green Park.
Since day trips won’t be enough to fully enjoy Oro Oro Ombo Village, you might want to find a place to spend the night. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem (unless it is during the peak holiday season).
Hotels and guest houses start from $21 – but for a truly authentic experience, do a homestay at a local villager’s home and get a chance to follow them as they go about their daily routine.
10. Indulge in culinary feast in family-friendly restaurants
For the travelling family, food is a major issue. But Malang will put all your worries to rest with its variety of food that are readily accessible anywhere you go.
There are also choices of themed restaurants that will satiate your need for great food and adventure at the same time. Here are 2 of our picks:
10-a. Have a sensational meal in a museum: Rumah Makan Inggil
This is literally a dining experience in a museum, complete with artifacts, antique displays, old weapons, traditional masks, vintage utensils and black & white photography, while your meal is being served.
Photo via nicolashalim
On the menu is traditional Indonesian cuisine that is as tasty as it is authentic.
Photo via Sandy Suryadinata
Photo via novianarh,ingsiau,estiyagita,sitihardyati333
To enhance your dining pleasure, there is also an art performance by Javanese dancers that’s available during certain dining hours. This is definitely one meal that your family will remember for a long time!
Photo Via Agnes-Sulistiya
10-b. Set sail for an unforgettable culinary voyage: Festival Dermaga Kuliner
How about having a little picnic on the harbour by the sea, but without all the hassle of going outdoors? This is what the nautical-themed restaurant offers for every family.
Photo Via Irwantan
Photo Via Fideliaclarinda, Dwi Benny
Complete with detailed decor such as fishnets, wooden fish, and other interior features that resemble a ship, you’ll feel that you are in an exclusive yacht heading to somewhere exotic with your family!
Enjoy some seafood while being served by waiters decked in different uniforms. So don’t be surprised if Popeye takes your order, a navy captain serves your meal, while a US sailor presents you the bill for your delicious meal.
Photo Via Irwantan
11. Relax in magnificent paddy views in an all-in family facility: BeSS Resort & Waterpark
Take a quick road trip just 20 km from the centre of Malang to the Lawang area, and you’ll soon find yourself in another breezy family destination – BeSS Resort & Waterpark.
This place comes with a hotel, swimming pool, outbound area, a fishing pond, a jogging track and kids playground – perfect for families.
You can also get magnificent views of verdant paddy fields with a flowing river and a glorious mountain in the background. So if you plan to spend a night or two here, be sure to pick the family room with a balcony view – you won’t bear to check out anytime soon!
12. Your one-stop shop in Batu – Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel (From USD $35)
Though not located in the center of Malang, Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel has a lot of things to offer.
And by a lot, we really mean, a lot. In fact, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay longer in the resort, rather than venturing outside.
Horseback riding, a huge swimming pool, riding in a quad, playing soccer on a real field, tennis courts, a big playground with carnival rides for the kids and kids at heart – these are just some of the few outdoor activities that you can do while staying here.
Photo via ayyip adimas, astridbunga, ichacindy, moch arif12
Photo via yunlest, keisyakimora
Tired of running and laughing all day? Don’t fret, simply relax in their spa after a tiring day doing all of these activities. And in case you’re not the outdoor type, you can also enjoy a round of karaoke or two.
Photo via iki efriandi, muhammad edyrahman, savira mirienda
Apple picking is also available next door! You don’t need to go outside and rent a tour bus or use local transport. Instead, you can actually do apple, orange and even strawberry picking in the resort!