The Best Things to Do in Bali with Kids: Top Activities List!

Bali is the most incredible place to holiday with kids.

The locals are pure joy, it's affordable and it's only a short flight from Australia so you can (mostly) avoid jetlag with little ones. But with so many options for families, it's easy to fall victim to the overpriced tourist traps.

As a seasoned traveler and former trip planner who has experienced Bali through the eyes of toddlers, teenagers, groups, and relatives aged 60+, I'm often asked for insider tips on the best kid-friendly things to see and do to experience authentic Balinese culture on a budget, while still being interesting for the entire extended family if you plan to holiday in Bali as a group. 

Here are my top recommendations: 

Uluwatu Temple & Kecak Dance Show: 

Perched on the cliff's edge, overlooking the ocean, this sunset show is an unmissable cultural event featuring music, dancing and a romantic love story.

Worried the kids will be bored sitting through a performance? Don't be: there's a playful giant monkey that works the crowd, and the fire show will keep them on the edge of their seat.

Pro Tips: Arrive early to see real monkeys up close and take a handheld fan. If the kids aren't too tired, you can also head to Jimbaran Beach after the show for BBQed corn or a seafood feast. We like Made Bagus Café! 

Bali Kids Activities: Uluwatu Temple

The infamous giant white monkey at Uluwatu Temple

Batik Painting:

If your kids love Tie-Dyeing but you hate the mess (and avoid crafts at home), go Batik painting. Wax and fabric dye - what more would kids want?

Pro Tips: No Picasso? Don't worry - the Balinese are incredibly hands-on (and patient) with kids. And if creations don't go as planned, you can always purchase a souvenir sarong from one of the local artists on the way out.

Jewellery Making (For adults & kids aged 10+):

Level up your friendship bracelet game and dive into the world of traditional Balinese jewellery making while doing your bit to support the island's rural community.

In these silver-making classes, not only will you get to play with a fire torch, but you'll also leave accessorised to the max.

Classes at Ganeca Silver start at $45.

Pool/Beach Time:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Bali, the best things to do with kids are often the simplest pleasures. Don't feel pressured to book resorts with extravagant kids' clubs and activities; in my experience, kids are just as content with a pool or beach day.

For us, pool time holds a special place in our hearts - it's where our son, and extended family all learned to swim. Spending every day in the water built their confidence in ways we never would have imagined.

Pro Tips: Pack dive sticks and goggles; these can be hard to find in Bali.

Bali Kids Activities: Pool Time with Nanny - Truntum Hotel in Kuta

Family pool time with Nanny Eka at Truntum Kuta

Massages & Hair Braiding:

Balinese massages can be found for as little as $8 per hour (plus tip), offering an affordable treat for the whole family. From exfoliating scrubs to rejuvenating massages and flower petal baths - the menus are extensive and aim to connect the mind, body, and soul. Pure zen!

Pro Tips: Book hair braiding for the first day of your holiday to avoid knots from swimming, and schedule massages for the last day to promote sleep on the flight home from Bali. 

GWK Cultural & Sculpture Park:

Experience the awe of seeing Bali's most iconic landmark, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue, up close. Towering at 120 meters and visible from most of the island, it is spectacular to see up close, and kids always enjoy playing hide and seek in the acres of lush green grounds.

Pro Tips: 

Get your hotel to pack you up a picnic or grab some food from a local warung or bakery - there are plenty of shaded picnic spots amongst the sculptures, and this also provides a peaceful respite from the tropical sun.

Best Activities for Kids in Bali: GWK Cultural Park

GWK Cultural Park, and Uluwatu Cliffs

Market Visits & Cooking Classes:

Fussy eater? Encourage kids to explore more exotic flavours with a market visit and cooking class. Most Balinese cooking schools also provide a recipe book to take home so your culinary adventures can continue long after your trip ends!

Best Activities for Kids in Bali: Bamboo Shoots Cooking School

Bamboo Shoots Cooking School, Sanur, Bali

Canang Sari Making:
Dive into the rich Balinese tradition of gratitude with a Canang Sari session for your kids. Let them live like locals as they learn to craft their own offerings, expressing gratitude by handpicking vibrant flowers and aromatic incense to adorn their woven baskets. They'll also enjoy dressing up in traditional costumes and selecting food to appease the 'evil spirits'.
Best Activities for Kids in Bali: Canang Sari Making Wanderlust Bali Tours

Canang Sari making with Wanderlust Bali

Surf Lessons:

People flock from all over the world to surf in Bali, so why not give it a go too? There are some excellent surf schools on the island, including Rip Curl and Santai. It's a great way to have some fun, get some exercise and go home with a new skill. 

Rice Field Walks: 

When you think of Bali, rice fields immediately come to mind, right? In addition to being immediately calming, exploring these areas by foot or bicycle can also be a lovely way to learn about agriculture and traditional Balinese life.

Pro Tips: For a quieter and less commercialised experience, opt for a tour in Sidemen over Ubud. Here, you'll witness locals ploughing paddocks with cows and boiling water over open fires inside their mud huts - a true immersion in authentic Bali.

Best Activities for Kids in Bali: Sidemen Ricefields

P.S. If you're lucky enough you might even find yourself invited into a local's house, just like my mother-in-law was on our 2023 Sidemen trip.

Organise Family Photos:

Bali is a great place to get some professional family photos taken. It's such a special way to capture memories of your visit, and everyone always tends to be happier and more relaxed on holiday, so the photos always turn out better than when trying to at home.

Best Activities for Kids in Bali: Family Photographs in Bali

Prices for a family photographer in Bali start at $130 including edited photos. We have used CocoArt Photography on our last two trips and have been very happy! 

Elevate your Bali Experience with 'My Big Adventure' Bali Travel Diary & Activity Books:

These books not only keep kids entertained but also educate them about the rich local culture and language through fun facts, Bali-themed activities, and interactive video content.

They're perfect for the plane, or restaurants and are a great way for kids to document their holiday to Bali!

Best Activities for Kids in Bali: Bali Travel Diary & Activity Book for Kids.
Different versions of the Bali Travel Diary are available to suit different aged kids.

Waterbom Park:

Waterbom is the quintessential Bali classic that promises fun for visitors of all ages - if you are going to do one touristy/splurge activity, make it this!

With 26 slides and multiple lagoon areas, there's truly something for everybody here. Plus, with plans underway to expand the kids' area further, it's about to become even more epic.

Pro Tips: Break down the ticket cost by the time you will spend there $5-$7 per hour is a small price for endless laughs and memories. Also, prebook your Waterbom tickets online, bring towels from your hotel, and one bottle of water per person to save extra cash!

Enjoying the lazy river at Waterbom Park, Bali

Spend 3-4 Days in East Bali:

If you're seeking respite from the bustling development of South Bali, I highly recommend visiting Candidasa and Sidemen on Bali's East Coast. Both destinations offer a glimpse into Bali's past and authentic village charm.

With local fishermen casting their rods right off the gorgeous white sand beaches and water lilies galore, Candidasa unveils a more tranquil scene (it's also not unusual to see chickens and monkeys strolling along the side of the road - which toddlers love).

Meanwhile, in Sidemen, you'll be surrounded by lush tropical jungle, rice fields, rivers, and waterfalls, and you'll be lulled to sleep by the sound of frogs and crickets!

For parents who like to play it safe, rest assured that while you'll feel like you're in a different universe in both areas, a major hospital is only 50 minutes away if needed.

Pro Tips: You can enjoy many of the activities mentioned earlier, such as a cooking, batik painting, jewellery making, and rice field walks in Sidemen, and there are many waterfalls in close proximity if your kids are into climbing.

For some extra adventure, embark on a half-day trip to Tirta Gangga and Ujung Water Palace.
Kids will enjoy feeding the giant Koi fish and playing 'the floor is lava' on the giant stepping stones, and afterwards, you can all enjoy a late lunch at Bali Asli, where stunning panoramic views of the volcano - Mount Agung accompany an authentic Indonesian spread. 


Kirstin - Travel Writer & Founder of My Big Adventure Kids Travel Diaries. This article was originally published as a guest feature on Mamamia