The Cashew Tree cafe and bar in Bingin gets a “thumbs up” as an awesome family-friendly restaurant and hang-out, day or night. It’s a kid-friendly place that adults will also like, perhaps love? (Well I do, anyway). It's not all lollipops and bouncy castles. In fact, there is none of that, but there is a large flat lawn, a mini fort and swings, and other cool stuff. If cheese quesadillas, satay and rice and pizzas are on your kids “will eat” list they will be sorted.
Soul Bowl: Photo Credit - The Cashew Tree
I love the selection of amazing juices and the "Soul Bowl" would have to be my pick on the menu, but it's all pretty good. If you are staying in Bingin with kids, my guess is that you will come here more than once. Check out their Facebook Page to find out about music and events there.
Cashew Tree Cafe
Another place to check out is Warung Cikgo, one of a handful of great local restaurants on the peninsula. It has a pleasant open-air Balinese-style setting, with a range of eating options for everyone in your tribe including BBQ ribs.
Dinner at Jimbaran Beach eating BBQ seafood at one of the many beach cafes right on the sand attracts hoards of people most nights. There is a buzz in the air, the smell of BBQ seafood lingers and sitting at your table on the beach is nice.. simple pleasures, kids love it.
Kellys Warung, down the steps at Bingin Beach has colourful fruity drinks to quench your thirst, a nice little deck and a range of other eating options. At Uluwatu Single Finn can get pumping at night, but if you head there earlier with kids, there are great views, ok food and cold Bintang.
Nirmala Supermarket at Ungusan is the place to stock up on food supplies, toys, and other bits and pieces, and it's rumoured they now have a delivery service.
Photo credit: Nalu Bowls
Best of the beaches
There are some incredible beaches in this part of the world, and they are deservedly rated as some of the best in Bali. Some are well-known like Uluwatu, Bingin, Balangan, Dreamland, etc., and some are still fairly well-kept secrets. Uluwatu is the most famous for its surf. Bingin has a laid-back ambience, and groovy surfer vibe – think “Jack Johnson”, simple warungs, shacks, surfers, and icy-cold Bintang beer. On top of the cliff at Bingin, there are more upmarket pads to stay (see my reviews).
If you want to explore the lesser-known hidden beaches which are harder to get to (and not advised with little kids) check out Travelfish.
Sundays Beach Club and Karma Beach Club are places that you should check out. Getting to these gorgeous beaches is half the fun. Kids and adults alike will delight in descending down the cliff face via an exhilarating inclinator ride where you will find yourself transported to a private white sand beach.
Photo credit: Karma Beach
At Sundays everything you need is there, music, kayaks, a beach bar and restaurant (with a kids menu) & paddle boards. At low tide, there are rock pools to explore and opportunities for snorkelling. It's about $25 to ride the inclinator but its redeemable when you eat and drink from the restaurant. They even have fun stuff at night like bonfires nights, live music and other activities.
The swept up chichi Karma Beach Bali (formerly Nammos Beach Bar) is part of the chichi Karma Kandara Resort. It will set you back a hefty $50 or so to ride the inclinator. But it’s way cheaper than staying at the resort, and a chunk of it is redeemable when you buy snacks and drinks. The upmarket Gilligan’s Island-style beach club is fun and funky and there are sunbeds, fresh juices, cocktails, massage opportunities and chilled tunes. They also have sea kayaks, stand up paddleboards etc.
Balangan Beach is one of my favourites, and there aren't as many stairs to navigate to get down to the beach. It’s a surf beach and there is no lifeguard. Little tykes will have to be content with making sandcastles and paddling. There are several thatched-roofed warungs to park at for a drink or nibble and to take it all in.
Balagnan Beach: Photo Credit - Aurora Villa
Padang Padang beach is a popular little beach that is generally pretty calm, and so you can swim here with kids. There are stairs to navigate down to the beach but its do-able with little kids.
Uluwatu is spectacular and even if you don’t surf there are plenty of little warungs and bars like Single Finn on the cliffs to have a drink and check out the scene. It’s a fair hike down the stairs for little ones so you may decide just to enjoy the view. If you do venture down to the beach you will be rewarded.
Cool Kiddy stuff
If there are young pirates in your brood, let their imaginations run wild at Pirate Bay in Nusa Dua. This is not your standard cheesy adventure playground i.e., no bright coloured plastic that hurts the eyes. They have used natural and recycled materials, like timber and bamboo to create a magical quirky play space. There are bamboo tree houses to play in, an enormous wooden pirate ship, swings, and a rope obstacle course.
Photo Credit: Pirates Bay
It's set just back from a lovely kid-friendly white sandy beach perfect for splashing about. There’s a restaurant with a kids-menu and tempting drinks for adults. If you really want to go "all out" you can book a package where your little tikes can dress up in pirate costumes, join a treasure hunt for loot, and master the flying fox with Pirates Bay team (which is an extra cost). This is not just a daytime venue. At night, the glowing campfires, beach torches and lanterns create a wonderful glowing ambience.
Photo Credit: Pirates Bay
If your kids need to burn off energy, try Kuta Green Water Park at Dreamland. Okay, so it’s a not my thing and there is lots of bright coloured plastic, but my kids love it.
Anak Atelier is a sweet little preschool/kindergarten on the Bukit Peninsula. It also has a drop-in playground with a sandpit, a stream, climbing stuff & lawn for playing chasings. It's not free, but there are some lovely shaded nooks for parents, and you can order food and drinks and watch the kids play.
Photo Credit: Anak Atelier
The Eco Learning Park and Cafe in Nusa Dua is run by the R.O.L.E (River, Ocean, Lands and Ecology) Foundation. There are lots of ways to help out and support their programs.
Markets & temples
If you want to experience a bit of authentic Bali, the Jimbaran Traditional Market is a great place to take the kids. It's bustling with life in the mornings and a great place to soak up the atmosphere and see another side of Bali away from the glam cafes and pool.
Uluwatu Temple is a site to be seen being perched on the cliff. The monkeys are much more ferocious than those in the Monkey Forest in Ubud. In the evenings, the incredibly popular Kecak Dance is performed against a dramatic backdrop of the Indian Ocean.
Just for Parents
Watch a sunset at the Rock Bar at Ayana Resort. It is one of the most dazzling bars in Bali to see the sunset. Access to the bar is via an inclinator and the bar juts out on a raised platform overlooking the ocean. Still with spectacular views, but more low-key is the Single Finn bar, which overlooks Uluwatu.
El Kabron is sensational. It’s the place to lounge poolside with a cocktail and look at the the sea from high above and watch the sunset. Book ahead if you want to be poolside. There is a hefty cover charge, but most is redeemable if you have enough cocktails and dive into their yummy paella.
Yogis should head to the gorgeous Mu or Temple Lodge
Photo Credit: El Kabron
If you have any other suggestions on great places to play and eat with kids around Jimbaran and the Bukit Peninsula 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 I have made any errors. There are constantly new places popping up and others can shut down, so let me know if things change. I haven't personally tried and tested all of the places in this post. I do my research via talking with friends, reading blogs, following Facebook and Instagram accounts, tourism websites, Trip Advisor etc. If you want to know more take a look at my FAQ page. The photos in this post aren't mine, but I have done my best to credit them properly. If there are any issues, just let me know.