How to create an attractive kids Bali Itinerary and our 6 top Activities

There’s a lot of options for travelling Bali – narrow them down with our Bali itinerary for families. I’d describe Bali as a bit of a hot mess – both literally and figuratively! It has some of the nicest people you will ever meet, all friendly and eager to help you out.

It’s crammed with shops, scooters, temples and religious statues, beaches, and fun activities to choose from. And it really is hot – if you’re not used to the heat, consider how you’ll navigate this before you go, have a look at our travel tips below.

The food is diverse – you can find just about anything – especially in Ubud which was by far our favorite place in Bali. It’s also dirty and dusty (in the dry season) and busy.

But it really is an island that caters well to tourists, the language barrier wasn’t an issue as most have at least a basic grasp on the English language. You can make your trip as busy or relaxing as you like and 2 weeks in Bali is 2 week of your life you will undoubtedly enjoy! You can also read about our celiac / gluten free travel experience in Bali here.

How much to budget for your Family Bali itinerary?

For our family of 6 over 21 nights we budgeted (in USD):

  • Food $50/day. We spent $60/day and that’s with the savings of not buying water (we used a water filter, see tips below) and free breakfasts at all of our accommodation. This was the biggest thing we underestimated – the food is cheap ($4 for a main meal), but it was the snacks/treats/ice cream/drinks in between meals that added up.
  • Transport $20/day. We spent $14/day. Gojeck for the win! They happily crammed 6 of us in a 5-seater car, safety was secondary, but you don’t go that fast in heavy traffic.
  • Activities $30/day. We spent $31/day – bang on. Some days we just beached so that offset the bigger costs like Waterbom Bali
  • Extras $10/day. We spent $12/day – this was things like pharmacy, laundry, more insect spray and sunscreen. We use Airalo for our eSIM and set it up before we go, easier than buying a sim card when you get there and similar cost.
  • Accommodation $60/night. You could do this a lot cheaper for a smaller family. Remember – pool and aircon is a must, see our tips below.

Overall, for 21 nights, we overran the budget by $200, spending $3,770. Not bad at all and if we were to do it again, I’d allocate a bit more for food as that would be hard to trim back on without impacting on the overall experience. However, if you don’t have to cater to gluten free diets or your kids are a bit more open to diverse foods you could easily do this a bit cheaper (unlike some of ours).

Our 2-week Bali Itinerary

Bali Itinerary on a map
Our Bali Itinerary map

Bali Itinerary Week 1:

  • Arrive Denpasar airport and head to Sanur or Nusa Dua for 5-7 nights.
  • Both are family friendly with shallow waters and little to no waves (if its surf you are after head to the west coast). We chose Sanur and stayed at the Bali Bubble Villas. It’s a gorgeous beach as the resorts keep it pretty clean (although nothing beats a New Zealand beach!). Sanur has a wide, well shaded footpath stretching its entire length, great for a family walk or cycle, it is a bit over 5km with plenty of spots to stop for food, refreshments or a beach dip. Just be aware that the food cost more beach side and you will need to pay for the shade of a beach lounger – there are very few spots where trees provide shade over the sand which is what we did.
  • If you are looking for adventure and need a break from the pool or beach, grab a Gojek / Grab to Waterbom Bali which caters to people of all ages! They have a swim up bar for cocktails, a massive kids play area and over 17 waterslides to choose from.
  • Hire a driver and do a day tour to Uluwatu Temple and GWK Cultural Park to see the magnificent Garuda Wisnu Statue. We paid approx. USD $40 – $60 for a day tour. Your Gojeck / Grab driver will often give you their business card and if you like them, you can use their services as a driver for a day (they all use WhatsApp). Make sure you bargain down the price like with all things in Bali – see our top tips below.
  • A day trip to Nusa Pendia to explore the island or for excellent snorkeling, including with Manta rays. We spent 1 week on Nusa Lembongan and organised our snorkeling trip from there – see our 3-week itinerary. This would be a long day trip to better suited to older children.

Bali Itinerary Week 2:

  • Head to Ubud its a must for families! We stayed in Ubud for 8 nights at Kiskenda Cottages and could have stayed longer. We all enjoyed the slower pace, shade of the jungle, rice terraces and local wildlife. It is centrally located so makes a great base for exploring Bali. It is easier to navigate than Sanur and the likes of Seminyak or Kuta, you can walk most of the town on foot (if you can hack the heat) or just get a Gojek (a little more expensive than in Sanur but still reasonable).
  • While here we visited the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, did a Sunrise Jeep tour up Mount Batur, a day tour around Tegallalang waterfalls and rice terraces and went to a Kecack fire show!
  • Kiskenda Cottages were a 5min walk from the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and had an excellent restaurant across the road called Lucky Family which we frequented often (so often in fact that we had big goodbye hugs on our last visit!). We also loved Taco Fiesta which was a 7 min walk up the road.

Bali Itinerary – extending to 3 weeks

Add in Nusa Lembongan or the Gilli islands into your Bali itinerary (we didn’t have time but will be top of the list next time we visit!). You could also consider going north to Lovina if you prefer the quieter life.

Bali Mt Batur sunrise tour

Our top 6 kid’s activities in Bali (as rated by our 4 children!)

  1. Waterbom Bali – easily the favorite and a must do for your Bali Itinerary. We spend a full day here and could have don’t it all over again the next day. Lots of fun for all ages and given we travelled in the shoulder season (November) there were no queues at all!
  2. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – a very close first equal with Waterbom! It’s sheltered from the sun and just a really nice walk in a forest with monkey’s everywhere – a really fun experience. Just be careful of the monkeys, they will pinch your gear/food if they get a chance. We watched one take the sunglasses off an unfortunate tourist’s head and she never got them back!
  3. 4WD Drive up Mount Batur to watch the sunrise. This one’s an early start, we got up at 4am but that became part of the adventure. Coffee, breakfast and watching the sunrise on Mt Batur was a real highlight, as was the drive over the lava fields.
  4. Waterfall tour – a private driver took us around the 3 top waterfalls in the area – all had a short walk from the drop off point, with plenty of shops to buy food, drink and trinkets along the way. All 3 were beautiful, unique and enjoyable (Tukad Capung, Timbumana, and Kanto Lampo waterfalls). We saw some interesting wildlife along the way also – frogs, fish, giant spiders – good times all around. We finished the day with a swim in a pool in Tegallalang overlooking the rice fields. Such a fantastic day!
  5. Snorkeling – Our experienced guide picked out the best spots for the kids – calm waters and good visibility. All the snorkeling gear was provided (although variable quality), we just brought snacks, water and towels (we also snorkeled in t-shirts to beat the sun burn). We arranged the guide though our hotel with was easy and well-priced. Our guide also took us for a loop around the island for a bonus!
  6. Go to the movies! We went to ‘The Marvels’ movie – a welcome break from the heat and also from reality as we got lost in the story of Carol Danvers and her battle with the Kree – it was just so worth it. We splashed out on the VIP seats for the full experience although it still didn’t cost that much.
Snorkeling in Bali

Our top 6 travel tips for your family Bali itinerary

  1. The weather is a mixture of hot and wet or hot and dry, but always hot. Make sure your accommodation has a pool – this is a lifesaver for down time, a day off or the end of a long day. The pool water is always very warm so great for swimmers and non-swimmers alike.
  2. Always make sure you have good aircon – check the recent reviews of the place you are booking, that will help gauge if the aircon is as good as they are saying it is. We learnt the hard way that having aircon and aircon that works are 2 different things!
  3. Gojeck is the way to go for travel, so make sure you download the app and set up your account before you land so you know what you are doing. It’s easy to use, they’re honest and reliable and you don’t get ripped off – the price is set like calling an Uber. Bali also has Grab.
  4. Insect repellant and sunscreen are a must. They do have Dengue fever at present so that’s a risk to consider, but the stealthy mozzies can be annoying at times and prevention is better than cure when it comes to annoying, itchy bug bites for kids.
  5. Factor in plenty of downtime. It can all be a bit much for the kids if it’s too full on – the weather in itself is quite a change of pace depending on where you’re from. We often did activities in the morning to beat the heat and then the kids got the afternoon by the pool and some device time in the evening which worked a treat. I hit a wall from the heat early on without realizing it – daily headaches from dehydration. It took a dose of Hydralyte to bring me back to life – a real win on the packing list!
  6. Bring a water filter. You can’t drink the tap water in Bali (hence the term Bali belly!) and it’s a bit 50/50 as to whether your accommodation will provide filtered water. Our water filter saved us a lot of money and plastic bottle waste – not to mention the hassle of buying water all the time when it’s hot. We used this one.
Waterfall tour in Bali


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