Rice Paddys, Healers and Kale Tonic
Ubud is the "cultural heart" of Bali. It's famous for its verdant green rice paddies, lush ravenous landscapes, Balinese arts and traditional crafts and more recently, "Eat, Pray, Love" with Julia Roberts which draws travellers seeking Balinese healers, yoga, "organic" food & natural spa treatments!
But Ubud isn’t just for adults – it's also great for families. There's lots on offer for kids and Ubud is a place we keep on returning to again and again with our family.
Ok, so these days the centre of Ubud can be hectic and the traffic can be full, but Ubud still has its charm. In the surrounding villages the pace is way slower which is where we choose to base ourselves.
These are some of the places we love to go with our kids in Ubud.
By Libby Larsen
PS. You might be interested in my reviews of my favourite villas and guesthouses in Ubud - Umajati Retreat, The Stone House and my article on 6 Gorgeous Places to Stay with Kids in Ubud.
Eat - munch munch!
You are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in Ubud.
Taco Casa has delectable and really fresh and scummy Mexican food that all of our family totally loves. The restaurant is on a fairly busy road, and there isn't heaps of space for kids to run around the restaurant, but we love this understandably popular place.
The ever popular Sari Organic has great food, views and to get there you'll need to walk along a path in the rice paddies. These days there are more mopeds on the path, but venture on! You can also mingle with local, independent organic growers at the
Photo Credit: Sari Organik
Pizza Bagus has great pizza, plates of pasta and more. We often get their pizzas home-delivered when we are in Ubud. But if you dine in, they have things to keep kids entertained. Clear Cafe seems to be the favourite place for a few of our friends who head to Ubud regularly with their kids. Bali Buda is a good choice as well, with scummy healthy and tasty food and a small kids play area. Watercress is newer on the scene - it's cool, the food is fresh and they have baskets of little kids toys and colouring in menus.
Photo Credit: Chuza Living
Most families don’t know that it's pretty easy and cheap to order home delivery in Ubud and lots of places deliver. So if the kids are frazzled you can stay put. We love Kafe for take away (and PIZZA BAGUS). If you want to stock up on supplies, Bintang Supermarket is not too far away and its pretty well stocked.
Play & Frolic
Balinese arts, crafts and music classes
There are heaps of Balinese arts and crafts classes – kite making, dance classes, silversmith jewellery making, Balinese offering making, wood carving, gamelan music and more. Check the schedule at the lovely Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre for what’s on offer. Sari Api also run brilliant ceramic courses for kids, and Studio Perak is awesome for silversmith classes. Another little gem is Yellow Coco – a delightful open arts space for kids designed to nurture creativity and understanding between the Balinese and non-Balinese community. Check out their Facebook Page to see what’s on.
Photo Credit: Pondok Library
Burn some energy
The Tamanak Playground is worth checking out and a place where local and expats kids mingle. The last time we went it was a tad run down - but our kids still loved the cool bamboo fort and all the other stuff there. The famed Moksa is a stroll from the playground if you want to chow down on gourmet organic delights fresh from their gardens.
The picturesque Ceking Rice Terraces in Tegallalang, north of Ubud are perfect for active kids and parents will enjoy the sublime vistas. The circuit walk is steep and pretty much down, up, down up.
Kids World, 10 minutes north of Ubud (depending on traffic!) is a bit cheesy, but it's a safe space for kids to bounce out some of their excess energy while you have a coffee and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.
Honestly it's overwhelming trying to decide what dance performance is best for kids because the options are many. But I think that for Balinese dance and music performances you can’t beat the Arma Museum and the Ubud Palace for location and magical atmosphere.
If you need a kid-friendly outing, the Bali Bird Park is fantastic for toddlers and young kids. There are lots of close encounters and photo opportunities with macaws, toucans and local tropical birds, and the restaurant has a little kids play section.
For something a bit different take a tour of one of the world’s leading environmental schools, Green School, where students practice ‘bio-intensive farming’ as well as producing their own renewable energy.
Pod Chocolate is a lovely day or morning trip. It’s a boutique chocolate factory where you can enjoy watching chocolate being made from bean to bar. Sopa also has some kids classes it’s worth checking out their notice board.
Another place which is kind of cool, and the place to be for the hip and groovy is Jungle Fish. We descended on Jungle Fish with 9 kids under 7, and it was actually a great way to spend an afternoon. The service is great, they have kid-friendly meals and the cocktails are fab. There are ample lounging areas next to the gorgeous infinity pool.
For slightly older kids you can try a bike tour with a locally-owned outfit - UbudCycling.Bike whose philosophy is the empowerment of future generations of local children. Looking forward to experiencing it!
Just for parents
Ubud has to be one of the best places in Bali to have a massage or any type of spa treatment, so make the most of it. It is the "wellness" hub of Bali without a doubt. There are literally thousands of places to get a massage from the budget basic option to the most decadent "wellness" treatments in simple sublime Ubud-esque surroundings.
A standard favourite for me is Karsa Spa. It's by no means the fanciest place, but I think the prices are reasonable and it's lovely. It's a bit out of town so you'll need to get transport there. Its popularity has grown over the last few years as the word has spread so book ahead.
Ubud Traditional Spa is a place that friends recommend, but I have yet to try it!
For a date night try my new favourite, Hujan Locale, for divine Indonesian food with a modern twist. Make sure you have a cocktail downstairs first. I love the stylish Scandi styled Locavore - and so does everyone else it seems. I'd even recommend booking before you jump on the plane, which is kind of crazy. Pica - an intimate little South American joint is another favourite of ours.
Buy a book for local Balinese kids from Ganesha Bookshop in Ubud and it will end up somewhere where it's really needed and appreciated. The Books for Bali Project donates kids books to local schools, libraries, learning centres and orphanages in Bali.
KOPERNIK Wonder Women - TECH Kiosk
Kopernik is a a non-profit organisation connecting simple technologies with remote communities across Indonesia. Tech Kiosk in Ubud sells simple, eco-friendly technology like low-cost water filters and solar lanterns.
The Bumo Sehat Foundation in Ubud helps with mothers' and children's’ health. They have a wishlist on their website of simple supplies that they need and you can contact them before you head over.
Photo Credit: Books for Bali Project
For ideas on where to stay in Bali - check out my posts on cool kid friendly accommodation in Bali!
Updated March 2018
If you have any other suggestions on great places to play and eat with kids around Ubud I'd love to hear from you. I want all the info on Growing up Troppo to be as accurate as possible so please let me know if things change.
You may also be interested in:
Eat & Play with Kids in Sanur
Eat & Play with Kids on the Bukit Peninsula
Eat & Play with Kids in Canggu
Eat & Play with Kids Gili Trawangan
Eat & Play with Kids around Seminyak