Bali is a great place for a family vacation, plenty of fun activities for the kids and enough beaches and cocktail bars to give the grownups some much-needed R & R too.
Sanur, to the east of Denpasar airport, has a great reputation as one of the best parts of the island for a family holiday, with a great range of family-sized villas. It’s much more laidback back than the party zones of Kuta and Legian, but still close enough to the action to have some life.
There are plenty of shops, restaurants and of course the amazing golden sand beaches and places to stay in Sanur. If you need a little help narrowing down what to do whilst you are staying in Sanur, then keep reading.
This guest post is part of our Discover Asia series. You can learn more about our favourite places and hidden gems of Bali here.
Go for a ride
Sanur has a 7km path running the length of its coastline, which is just perfect for a family bike ride. Bike hire is cheap, costing as little as Rp 20,000 per day and there are plenty of rental companies around. Don’t worry if you have very small children as there are several places that rent bikes with baby seats.
If you fancy something a bit more comprehensive, then places like Bali Bike Hire, run regular cycle tours of all the best spots in town or even take you out into the surrounding countryside.
Peek A Boo Kid’s Play Cafe
If the kids need a break from all the beaches and temples and just need a good bit of old fashioned playtime why not take them to Peek A Boos? They have indoor and outdoor play areas, with plenty of fun things to do like ball pits, slides, play kitchens, a jungle gym, trampoline and merry-go-round. For the grownups, there is a cafe where you can relax over a latte whilst still keeping an eye on the kids.
Peek A Boos caters for children under the age of ten (older kids are allowed to play as well but they have to pay an adult entry fee), including toddlers and babies and they also do birthday parties. Entry fees cost Rp. 95,000 per child and one adult is allowed to accompany them for free.
Location: Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai no. 17, Sanur Bali Learn more: http://www.peekaboofun.com/
Yoga for kids
Help your kids find their inner peace by taking them to a yoga lesson. Once a week the Power of Now Oasis studio runs a special class for the children living at the Jodie O’Shea orphanage – the class is open to the public so your children can join in the fun.
Not only will they get the chance to learn a few basic poses (its nothing too strenuous) but they will also get to spend some time getting to know the local children. As an added bonus you get to enjoy the pleasant feeling of doing something good for the community.
Location: Jl. Merta Sari, Sanur, Bali 80224, Indonesia Learn more: https://powerofnowoasis.com/
Take a trip to the Le Mayeur Museum
This one may not be suitable for really young children, but, if your kids are a little bit older, and especially if they have an interest in art or history, then this museum can make for an interesting visit. Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres was a Belgian artist who first came to Bali in 1932 on what supposed to be a short visit. Instead, he fell in love, married a local woman, Ni Pollok and spent the rest of his life living and working in Sanur.
After he passed away, the home he had built was turned into the museum. The peaceful compound is fairly small and does not take long to go round, but it does provide a fascinating insight into what life was like in Bali in the first half of the 20th century, as well as a chance to see some beautiful works of art. It’s super easy to find as it is right on the beachfront, just along from the art market.
Location: Jl. Hang Tuah, Sanur Kaja, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia Learn more: http://www.bali-indonesia.com/sanur/museum-le-mayeur.htm
Some of the most beautiful parts of Bali can only be seen if you are willing to get under the water. If you want your kids to be able to experience the wonder of Bali’s coral reef and sea-life but are worried that they may not able to cope with scuba diving or even snorkelling then Bali Seawalker may be the answer.
You get picked up by a boat and taken out to the dive spot, shown how to use the equipment (basically a giant helmet that will make you look like an astronaut!) and then taken on a guided walk along the ocean floor. You can get some strong currents out there, so Bali Seawalker tours are only available for those over the age of ten.
Visit Turtle Island
Home to Bali’s turtle centre, Turtle Island (officially it’s Serangan Island, but everyone calls it Turtle Island), is not actually in Sanur itself but is only a 20-minute drive away. If you want to understand some of the threats facing these amazing animals and experience a bit of conservation in action, this is the place to go.
You will get the chance to get up close to the animals and even have the opportunity to release a hatchling into the wild. Entry is free, but donations are much appreciated and all the money raised goes straight back into the conservation programme.
Location: Jl Tukad Punggawa Lingkungan Ponjok, Serangan 80229, Denpasar, Bali , Indonesia Learn more: https://tcecserangan.jimdo.com/
Go swimming with sharks
Sadly, the overfishing of sharks in the waters off Bali is still a problem. Bali Sharks takes in rescue sharks that were either tangled in fishing nets or intended for the island’s fish markets, nurses them back to health and releases them back into the ocean. A tour of the facility gives you a chance to, not only feed the animals but also get in the water and have a quick dip with them!
Location: Jl. Tukad Punggawa No.25, Serangan, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80229, Indonesia.
Go paddle boarding
Although the surf here is too gentle to make it great for surfing, paddle boarding is another matter entirely. Just stroll along the beach and you will find plenty of places renting out boards (including body boards) and offering lessons if necessary. Good fun for adults and the perfect way to get kids used to riding the waves.
Head to the beach
Unlike many other places in Bali, Sanur is not known for its big waves – bad for surfers but great for parents who want to be able to relax a little whilst their kids are in the water. Probably the best beach in the area is Pantai Indah (translates as ‘Beautiful Beach’), a wide stretch of golden sand with turquoise water and a small cafe serving Bintangs and fresh coconuts.
This is a guest post contributed by Bali Villas. With extensive experience in servicing Australian clients, Bali Villas know exactly what families are looking for in terms of location, style and pricing. Each of their family-friendly villas situated on the beautiful island of Bali have been hand-picked by their ‘family expert’ – someone with children who knows exactly what families are looking for.
Contact Bali Villas (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a short consultation, and they will be able to find you the perfect villa. Bali Villas aims to take the stress out of planning your holiday, so you can concentrate on creating lasting memories with your family.