Have you ever been to Bali? Bali must be one of the most magical places I have been to and I can imagine it must be paradise for kids. It is so exciting that Jemma, a fellow blogger, offered to put together a post about Bali. Granted, not really a weekend away for most of us (except our South-East Asian readers, lucky you!) but it is a great holiday destination!
Jemma’s love affair with the Island of the Gods began 15 years ago when she first travelled to Bali as a teenager. Fast forward a decade and a half and many trips and adventures later, Bali is now her home away from home for her and her hubby and their two little girls aged 3 and 2. Some people head down the coast for their summer breaks, but this family jet off to Bali for some fun in the sun, new experiences, nasi goreng and quality family time. After dishing out email after email to fellow travelling families on where to stay, where to eat and other tidbits about the island, Jemma decided to launch Little Bali Love which now provides families all over the world with advice and tips on all the best places to eat, play, shop, stay, see, experience and explore when holidaying in Bali.
Please note, the below guide has a strong Seminyak focus. For more tips and ideas on other places to eat, play, shop and stay visit Little Bali Love.
Cubbyhouse Kids Club (Petitenget, Seminyak): Located at the Semara Resort, Cubbyhouse is arguably the best kids club on the island, and open to all too, not just guests. Check the little ones in for 2 hours as part of the “Pampering and Playdate” package while you enjoy a relaxing massage, or even for the whole day where they can play, read, paint, draw and dress-up till their little hearts content.
El Parque (Seminyak): The new kid on the block, and a fun spot for the whole family to chill together and eat, play and swim. Seek out this spot in the backstreets of Seminyak, sample the Spanish inspired menu, and kick back and relax in the sunshine for a few fun hours together. We especially love the “no nanny” policiy – this place is all about rockin quality family time.
Waterbom Park (Kuta): An oldie but a goodie. What child doesn’t love to splish splash around and some serious waterslide action. With over 17 waterslides, water cannons, rides, rafts, boogie boards and more, this place is sure to delight all from toddlers to teens.
Beachside fun (From Sanur to Seminyak, Canggu to Candidasa…): Paddling, swimming, sandcastles, shell-collecting, surfing, boogie-boarding, horseriding, hair braiding, BBQ’ed corn on the cob, manicures, pedicures, massages, buckets and spades, sunsets, fresh tropical juices… life’s a beach, and life on the beach in Bali will provide hours of entertainment, new experiences, fun times and magical memories for visiting families.
KU DE TA (Oberoi, Seminyak): It’s glam, it’s hot, it’s luxe, and this beachside institution is THE place to see and be seen in Seminyak. If you are a Bali first-timer then a sunset cocktail (for the same price as your dinner elsewhere) is a must. Crowds flock to this venue to watch the golden sun dip down into the Indian Ocean at the days end, whilst sipping drinks, people watching and generally looking (or trying to look) cool. Never fear, kids are always welcome here, and there is always plenty of them (looking tanned and cute) frolicking on the sand in front, running amock around the large grass lawn area or even splashing in the pool. But Sunday is the day when little people really rule, as it’s “Family Dayze” at Ku De Ta. Brunch is served up alongside all kinds of fun kiddie-cool activities from face-painting, to jumping castles to balloons.
Biku (Petitenget, Seminyak): This unique tea-house/cafe/restaurant/book-shop is located in a beautiful old Javanese teak joglo, and offers up everything from breakfast to dinner and everything in between, or as they call it “tropical comfort food”. Also famous for the most amazing afternoon teas and high teas, with bubbles for the Mamma’s and a special high tea menu for the tiny diners with fruit tea, mini cupcakes and peanut-butter finger sandwiches. Little ones are made very welcome here and can sit comfortably in highchairs, play with the big wicker basket full of toys, or draw with the coloured pencils and tea party inspired colouring-in sheets they thoughtfully provide. And to munch on they will be treated to everything from fairy bread for morning tea to mini serves of nasi goreng for lunch or bangers and mash for dinner. Beautiful food, beautiful atmosphere, beautiful service – a truly relaxed spot and hidden gem in bustling Seminyak.
Tuck Shop at The Cornerstore: (Seminyak) Yep it’s got the cool-factor, but it’s also got the kid factor too. Owned by an Aussie ex-pat parent of three, the Tuck Shop understands what kids want and need, and if that means Coco Pops or Vegemite toast for brekkie or a milkshake, sanga and choccie chip biscuit for lunch then that is what they’ll get. Highchairs are available for the littlest of patrons, and cool toys, books and lego are there to be played with and enjoyed. Parents will enjoy the superb coffee, international newspapers and latest mags, free water and free wifi. And shop-aholics will enjoy parting with their cash in the adjoining shop where you’ll find art, accessories and cool threads for both adults and kids including some of our fave brands such as Littlehorn, Coco and Ginger and Deus Ex Machina. If you are here over the festive season, then keep an eye out for Santa who always makes a visit to the corner-store for some ho, ho, ho action and xmas photos.
Desa Seni: (Berawa, Canggu) This eco-friendly village resort offers yoga classes, a spa, accommodation and a restaurant. With a relaxed, bohemian, hippie-chic vibe (ie: take your shoes off and leave them along with your ego and worries at the door) this is the kind of place for a family to hang out together, just be and while away a few hours eating, relaxing and enjoying your time together. You can choose to dine poolside, and are welcome to stay on and have a dip in the pool, and then wander back through the stunning garden setting and organic veggie patches, of which a lot of the menu ingredients come from. Kids have their very own menu here with Indonesian favourites including sate and nasi goreng, as well as more familiar dishes of pasta, pizza and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on the healthier option of brown bread of course)! But the polenta chippies served along with a fresh banana and mango juice are our little ones fave snack to munch on. Children’s traditional Balinese dance classes (taught in Bahasa Indonesian) are also offered and are complimentary to all members of the community, and kids yoga classes are held every Sunday. A Little Bali Love favourite – not just for the food and setting, but also for the thought behind it and the strong community focus.
Sea Circus (Oberoi, Seminyak): It ain’t by the sea and no circus can be found here, but it is one of the funkiest looking venues around, with coloured louvred windows “just like a rainbow” that will inspire and delight young and old alike. It’s all colour, life, love, sweet touches and quirky objects. Australians ears will perk up when they hear the coffee is Five Senses and made on a fancy pants coffee machine. And the single origin roasted on the island blend really is the perfect drop to accompany your corn fritters, ricotta pancakes or pink fruit salad for breakfast. The kidlets can enjoy sourdough toast with home made jams, Vegemite or peanut butter, or even a1/2 serve of eggs on toast along with a babycino made with love and highchairs are available for the littlest ones. No happy meals for the tiny diners here, just one for the big-kids – a hangover happy meal! Also lots of kid-pleasing items for lunch and tea too including tacos or fish n chippies, finished off with a colourful scoop or two of gelato or sorbet.
For the little ones:
Clara Mia (Seminyak): Sweet Frenchie chic for the mini fashionistas. We hear a range for the Mamma’s is coming soon too!
Coco & Ginger (Available at Cornerstore, Seminyak): Beautiful, colourful, girlie and bohemian, and the epitome of hippie-chic Bali style made with love on the island of the Gods – a Little Bali Love fave!
Dandelion (Seminyak & Ubud): Fresh, classy, simple and stylish threads for little boys, girls and bubbas too.
Indigo Kids (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua):
For nearly 20 years, babies, little boys and girls have been decked out in the wearable and on-trend Bali based Indigo Kids brand,
Jellyfish Kidz (Seminyak): Fun and funky outfits for the little princess – colour, sequins, emboridery and tu-tu’s.
Crisp and colourful stylish resort wear, accessories and toys using great colours, fabrics and prints.
And a few for Mamma too:
Horn Emporium (Petitenget, Seminyak): Eclectic, unique, bohemian, feminine, punk, boudoir… it all comes together here at this amazing over the top emporium stocking everything from fashion to accessories to trinkets for the home.
Mist (Seminyak): Kaftans and dresses galore that are relaxed, fresh, feminine and easy to wear – oh so perfect to swan around in whilst holidaying in Bali.
Mister Zimi (Seminyak): Australian design mixed with made to order Balinese tailoring creates clothes, leather goods & accessories suitable for city, country or beach.
Namu (Petitenget, Seminyak): This chic boutique, housed in a beautiful Javanese Joglo, stocks amazing fashion from European designer/owner as well as other designer goodies from all over the globe.
Quarzia (Seminyak): Two Italian designers create the most stunning hand painted silk dresses, kimonos, sarongs, skirts and more using the charming traditional technique of Batik.
Uma & Leopold (Legian, Petitenget & Seminyak): Luxe designs, textures and embellishments create artistic, stunning, sexy pieces… treat yourself to a hot new frock and head out for some sunset cocktails sans enfants.
And let’s not forget Pappa:
Deus (Seminyak & Canggu): Art, surfboards, custom made motorbikes (Orlando Bloom owns one!), t.shirts, boardies and other cool threads.
Drifter (Seminyak): Surfs up at Drifter! It’s all surfie stylee here – tees, boardies, wax, mags, books and boards.
Skin (Legian & Seminyak): Simple, well made threads using natural fabrics – for street, summer, skate or surf.
Hotel or villa? Budget or luxe? Beach or rice-paddies? Kids club or not? Package deal resort or boutique hotel? Touristy or authentic? Seminyak or Sanur? Bali or Lombok? One room or a family suite? Breakfast or no breakfast? The list of options goes on!
There are so many different choices and options when it comes to picking out the right accommodation in Bali for you and your family. Here is a small taste to get you started:
Living it up in Legian: Padma Resort
Seminyak Stylin: The Semara Resort & Spa
Luxury on the Bukit Peninsula: Karma Kandara
Beachfront Resort at Nusa Dua: The Westin Resort Nusa Dua
Five stars all the way in Jimbaran Bay: Intercontinental Bali
An experience to treasure forever in the hills: Elephant Safari Park Lodge
And to find boutique family friendly villas, I recommend Bali Soul Villas