Bali is safe
First of all, Bali is a really safe place. Unlike some tropical destinations, you don’t need to stay in the resort to feel safe, and to really feel welcomed by the locals. When you walk or drive around, you will certainly experience the lovely, helpful and fair nature of the Balinese. They really appreciate visitors and they want to ensure you have a fabulous experience. It is very easy to find English speaking drivers, and travelling with a child almost guarantees extra help and interaction with the locals. The island is diverse and rich in nature, different landscapes and things to do, so there is plenty to offer if you are seeking a variety of adventures or excursions.
Facilities - Bali has all you need
In case of medical emergencies or more general treatment, Bali has a good range of international medical clinics. And in terms of groceries, you will find both international supermarkets and well-equipped local shops. There is a laundry service on every corner and pretty much any other service you may need.
Good weather conditions all year-round
Bali is famous for amazing, stable tropical weather. With only one rain season from November to February, the island offers amazing climate for your baby to enjoy playing naked, and floating in a pool all day. Depending on the area you stay you even might find rain season very sunny and with hardly several days of rain in a row.
Balinese Culture and children
Balinese people love children, and they are treated as one of the biggest blessings in life. Your child will be constantly adorned with waves and smiles. It is not uncommon to have waiters offering to hold your child while you enjoy your meal, taking them on a tour of the restaurant. You will meet eager nannies amongst staff in most restaurants and spas, while you can enjoy some downtime. Balinese women make lovely babysitters and their rates are affordable, especially compared to prices you would expect to pay back home. Babies and breastfeeding are welcome in most places. Find out more about Balinese Family Traditions here.
Enjoy great food
Bali climate offers constant access to amazing fresh fruits, young coconut water and a huge variety of great food. You do not need to take baby food as it’s easy to find healthy food restaurants and ask for baby-friendly simple meals. Read more about healthy eating in Bali here.
Bali’s natural playgrounds
Bali amazes with lush nature and beauty. There is so much to explore for your child, in freedom. You will find that all the natural smells, colours and tastes will be a great sensory stimulation for your little one. They might not remember it later but their bodies will. And for the bigger ones Bali is a great adventure outdoor playground with so many animals and plants to explore.
What is different about travelling in Bali with a baby
There are a few things to consider in order to avoid unnecessary stress while holidaying in Bali.
Driving in Bali
Roads in Bali are narrow, with little room for sidewalks in most places, and intense traffic. Make sure you are prepared for longer rides, and have enough water and snacks with you. Car seats are not standard equipment. It is not a big issue, as most drivers drive at a reasonable speed, but if you feel this may trigger your stress, plan ahead by renting a car seat or arrange a driver in advance with a car seat. If you are planning to hire a scooter for greater mobility, make sure you bring a baby carrier; you can buy a helmet for your little one in Bali, or bring your own from home.
When ordering fresh juices anywhere, make sure you mention “no sugar”, as sugar tends to be the default. Given the heat and humidity, make sure you and your child stay hydrated. Try fresh coconut water. It is a great source of electrolytes. Or get the tropical taste by drinking one of Bali’s amazing fresh juices.
Bali streets are not very stroller-friendly, there is often no sidewalk, or sidewalks are potholed and generally hard work. It may be easier to carry your baby in a baby carrier rather than fighting with a stroller, however, the stroller is helpful for napping of course.
What to do when travelling around Bali with a baby and kids?
Bali is a very diverse island, offering all kinds of activities and sceneries. When travelling with a small child, you mostly look for friendly, peaceful, safe and joyful places and experiences so both your kids and yourself can relax and enjoy your time.
There are plenty of child and family-friendly resorts, hotels and guesthouses around the entire island. South of the island is generally more developed and therefore busy. The further East or North you go, to towns like Candidasa, Amed or Lovina, the more peaceful the surrounding gets, but at the same time more places are simple and less equipped.
Here are three towns that we particularly recommend to hang out with a small child: Ubud, Canggu area and Sanur. Each of them has several child and family-friendly locations and facilities.
In Ubud, make sure you check out:
Holistic Parenting Mama & Child and Family Retreats
These special retreats have been designed to combine the best aspects of Bali experience with acquiring practical tools related to mindful living and holistic parenting. They are based on five pillars: Relaxing, Nurturing, Learning, Connecting and Contributing. Imagine staying at an amazing boutique hotel in Ubud, surrounded with lush nature. Nourishing your body through great food, rest, yoga and massage. Nourishing your mind through meditation and acquiring practical knowledge applicable in your daily life in holistic parenting, natural living, child’s health and development. Nourishing your heart by bonding with your child, through amazing Bali experiences and adventures together and connecting with other like-minded parents. If that feels like a “YES” for you, contact them to inquire more. The program is both adapted for private and group setting and welcomes both moms with small kids under 5 years old as well as families.
Other places we recommend in and around Ubud:
Blue Bear: A great combo of a skate-park with a trampoline, kids playroom and Italian food with live music.
Yellow Coco Nest: A creative space for children’s activities. Check out their schedule on Facebook.
Nyuh Kuning: A lovely family-friendly neighborhood of Ubud, ideal for sunset walks and socializing with other families.
Ubud Yoga Centre: This yoga place has a kids’ playroom (but no supervision).
Eco Swasti Cottages: An eco boutique hotel with a big herb garden, farm animals to watch and good vegetarian food.
In Sanur, make sure you check out:
Sanur beach: Lovely white sand beach and good swimming conditions during high tide.
Centre: Good playroom when you need to cool down in AC.
Soul in Bowl: A beach front restaurant with a great kids menu.
Power of Now Oasis: A lovely beach front yoga place.
Oasis café: A beach front restaurant with a great kids menu.
Bali Bird Park: The best place to watch from close birds from all around Indonesia. They have a kids corner at the restaurant. Located between Sanur and Ubud.
In Canggu or Seminyak, make sure you check out:
A child’s mind contains more magic than we can imagine. Parklife has been created for children and families to explore their imagination through uninhibited play. It is a beautiful, green and most importantly safe park, playground and restaurant that all the family will enjoy.
Within parklife there is an indoor play yard housing a “monster” climbing structure, a bouncing zone with inflatables, ride on toys and games creating energy burning activities, a toddler zone, a studio with different classes as well as a restaurant.
The carefully designed park includes shade and water features, a mini beach for sand play, a jumping pillow and lots of grass giving children the freedom and safety to roam throughout. The main emphasis in the park is on the magic of nature itself. Included is a beautiful picnic area overlooking the magical terraced rice paddies of Canggu.
Parklife provides a safe and magical experience for children to play, learn and explore with each other, and it also creates a space for families to meet as a community.
Get more information about the packages and program here.
Address: Jln Uma Buluh 15, Canggu Bali
SANTAI SURF SCHOOL BALI
Enjoy life one wave at a time, get salty & join family run business Santai Surf for an unforgettable local surf experience.
Founded in 2012 by dedicated duo local family man Gede & his English wife Henney, they established a reputation for passionate professional teaching and gained international recognition for excellence, safety and customer service. Gede, Henney and their friendly team deliver personalised surf lessons & guiding to beginner and intermediate surfers from age 4 at Double Six beach in Seminyak which is a safe beach break perfect for all levels, abilities and ages. Santai Surf offers guests quality equipment, rash vests, free sunscreen, sand toys and a refillable drinking water station to reduce their plastic consumption.
With 2 bali babies of their own, they understand that entertaining families and choosing safely supervised activities for kids big and small can be a mine field. Niluh Jessica, their eldest, started surfing at 3 years of age and along with Kadek Emmy, the salty sisters can often be found at their sandy playground.
A lot of schools talk the talk but Santai Surf is the island's only accredited institute by the universally recognised whales of the surf industry, the Academy of Surfing Instructors. They are serious about fun and safety and follow guidelines, surf standards and boast an impressive team of fully qualified instructors complete with surf rescue, lifesaving & first aid certifications that they update on a yearly basis. They are incredibly grateful for each & every guest that surfs with them & takes the time to learn from their little business in paradise.
Other places we recommend in Canggu:
The Jogglo: A fabulous place with a restaurant, playground, pilates and more
Desa Seni: A boutique yoga centre with kids yoga and a restaurant.
Milk and Madu: A lovely restaurant with a great kids menu.
If you are planning a day trip and look for the perfect child-friendly destination we recommend the following:
Bali Safari & Marine Park
Bali Safari & Marine Park is the home to lots of exotic Indonesian animals such as the Komodo Dragon, Orang Utan and Bali Mynah Bird. It guarantees a fun and educative day out for your family. In addition to all the animals, there also is a small amusement and water park that your children will love!
If you have the budget, get the VIP tickets which give you the front row seat at all of the animal shows, lunch buffet in the restaurant, a 30-minute elephant ride and a free photo with your favourite animals.
Bali Zoo offers an alternative experience (to Bali Safari & Marine Park), where your kids can get close to see animals such as deers and kangaroos that roam freely on the zoo.Get up early and use the chance to eat breakfast next to adorable Orang Utans at their playground. Or… enjoy your family dinner with the Great Elephant performance which is followed by two beautiful Balinese cultural shows.
Don’t forget to bring a swimwear for you and the little ones. There is a water park as well in Bali Zoo.
Bali Bird Park
If your kids are birds-enthusiasts, they will love a chance to get close, touch and feed hundreds of exotic birds in Bali Bird Park.
At the Hatchling Area, kids can learn the development stages of several rare species. They will even be able to interact with baby birds! This is part of the park’s breeding programs to preserve some species from extinction.
Don’t miss out on the Bali Reptile Park that is located inside the area as well. It displays various reptiles such as the Komodo Dragon, Pythons, Lizards, Frogs, Turtle, Crocodiles and more.
Bali Equestrian Centre
Bali Equestrian Center is a world-class facility offering horse-riding lessons. For smaller children, there is an adorable Pony Ride service where your kids can interact and ride a pony. Kids will also learn to develop empathy for the ponies, treating them respectfully as a living animal not merely something to ride only.
There is a little cafe inside Bali Equestrian Center where families could hang out during their session here.
There are two butterfly parks in Bali. The first one is in Tabanan called Bali Butterfly Park (Taman Kupu Kupu Bali) and the newer addition is Kemenuh Butterfly Park in Gianyar.
Both Butterfly Parks showcase hundreds of beautiful and colourful butterflies. This proves to be an educational experience for the young ones as they learn the many stages of metamorphoses of different species, from egg until it morph into a grown life-size butterfly.
Monkey Forest Ubud
The Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary is home to thousands of grey long-tailed macaques. The monkeys are not caged but instead roam freely inside the forest.
The Sanctuary is also surrounded by temples and lush gigantic Banyan trees, which is nice for the whole family to stroll around.
Note: Be extra careful with your belongings as the monkeys love to steal small objects from the tourists.
Take part in a Green School Tour
Green School is a unique learning facility which focuses on sustainability education. Their mission is to empower children to become green leaders.
An interesting one day tour around the school will give you and the kids a sneak peek into the daily curriculum of the students. If you get the Extended Tours you might get a chance to learn about the daily ceremony and prayers of a Balinese; or learn to create upcycle products for recycled materials. Check their website for the Extended Tour schedule (the activities are different everyday.)
Pondok Pekak Library
Opened in 1995, the Pondok Pekak Library has become the only independent library in Ubud that boasts over 30,000 interesting books in different languages; which can be rented or bought.
On top of that, the Pondok Pekak also provides a chance for both adults and children to learn many basic Balinese skills, such as Balinese Dance, Fruit and Vegetable Carving, How to play Gamelan and how to make Canang Sari (which is the Balinese offering for their daily prayers.)
Bali Chocolate Factory
Who doesn’t like chocolate? We bet your kids would love a chance to visit one of the place which demonstrates step-by-step how they make their chocolate.
The Bali Chocolate Factory is located on the seaside and there is a huge swing for older kids to play with. Definitely a must if you are ever on a road trip to the Eastern part of Bali.
Call the Factory to ask about their demo schedules so that you will not be disappointed if there are no shows on your visit day. Oh.. and buy the soaps here.. They are fantastic!
Rated as the best Water Park in Asia by Tripadvisor.com, your family is guaranteed a full day of fun water activities at Waterbom.
Waterbom Bali boasts 16 attractions including adrenaline-pumping slides, super fun flow rider (artificial surfing), and calming lazy river where the family can lounge on floaties around the waterpark.
We recommend to come in early as there are just so many attractions to try! And avoid coming during school break and Bali Peak Season (Christmas, New Year and Eid Mubarak) as there are big lines at all the attractions.
Bali Treetop Adventure Park
The Bali Treetop Adventure Park is an outdoor park with a series of rope walking courses that are designed in many stages. This park is accessible for everyone above 4 years old and you will find many suitable tracks that are appropriate for your level of agility and experience.
It is located inside the Kebun Raya Bedugul, which is also the largest botanical garden in Bali. In addition of the fun quality time, you can enjoy the cold fresh air and learn a lot about the many species of plants that exist here. The air might get really cold during the rainy season, so do bring jackets if you plan to visit Bali Treetop. Also, start your day trip early as it takes 2,5 hours from Kuta, Seminyak area to Bedugul.
Bike Tour Around Bali
Cycling around Bali is a great alternative activity for the family. There are two tracks we recommend.
One is downhill track from Mount Batur, passing through villages, temples and ricefields. Not much paddling is involved as the roads are mainly sloping down.
The other one is cycling around Ubud area, passing through lush rice panorama, hills and local villages.
Dolphin watching in Lovina
A trip to Lovina in North Bali is a treat in itself, adding a Dolphin Watching tour can make it a real highlight for your little one(s). Head out on a traditional outrigger (before the sun has risen is best) and spot playful dolphins leaping out of the crystal clear waters. A great experience for both, you and the kids.
Take a ceramics class at Sari Api
Take part in these fun and creative ceramics classes for kids aged 4 – 14 years. They’ll learn how to prepare the clay and place it on the wheel, before throwing it and moulding it into shape. The creations take three weeks to set and to become ready to take home, so this one is best for families living on the island, or visiting for a longer period of time. Materials and hibiscus lemonade are included.
Travelling with young kids is an amazing adventure and investment in their development. At the same time it is usually related to lots of pre-planning, consideration and even worries. Bali makes it simple to experience an unforgettable family holiday. Many moms from all around the world choose it even as their maternity break destination. Thanks to amazing and affordable nannies, even single moms can consider that as a great option.
We hope our guide was helpful in clearing any hesitation you might have had about bringing your baby to Bali and you are ready to start booking your trip. Enjoy!