PART 2 - Bali fun for kids, places to eat and day spas.
You've survived the flight from Melbourne to Bali (high-five Mama). Now what? You've got to entertain the kiddies so they'll sleep through the night. Thankfully, Bali has become a holiday mecca that caters well for Aussie families. Plus, the Bali dining scene gives Melbourne foodies a run for their money.
In PART 2 of travelling with kids in Bali, I'll take you through the kids activities we tried, each restaurant we ate at and the day spas where we got our bliss on. This review is based on my personal experience. There's tips and also advice on whether or not a place is suitable for kids.
For some context, we travelled to Bali in July 2019 with our 2 kids (18 month old and 4 year old). We stayed and played for 10 nights in Seminyak with friends. Our group consisted of 6 adults and 6 kids aged 4 and under.
Have you read PART 1? It includes info such as Bali accommodation review, getting around, money, hiring nannies and what essential baby items you need to bring or hire.
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FUN FOR KIDS
Firstly, you cannot take your own food and drinks inside. Bags are checked by security. Baby food/drinks are fine. Secondly, arrive early (we got there at 9am) and score yourself some day beds in front of the kids pool. This place is quite small for a waterpark but perfect if you have young kids. We spent a good 5 hours there. There aren’t many slide options for adults (or kids over 1 metre). The Superbowl is crazy-fun if you enjoy feeling like you’re being spit out of a washing machine. And the speed slides are likely to give you both a front and back wedgies (you’ve been warned). We loved to laze about with the fam, floating in the Crazy Creek.
Costs - Family of 4 (with baby free) was $115 for entry. Lunch and Pina Coladas was about $100.
Finally a park and playground that’s also pretty darn cool place for adults to chill and eat. There’s an indoor slide, climbing tower, ball pit and inflatable area. Then there’s an outdoor playground with a jumping castle and inflatable in-ground trampoline. Plus, an undercover area with creative play props. At the back there’s many beanbags to sink into as you enjoy the view of rice fields. And lastly, there’s a cafe that’ll revival Melbourne’s hip kid-friendly cafe scene.
This park only opened recently so it’s not too packed (yet), but it will be. It’s in Canggu (loving this area) and well worth the visit. We took the kids twice! Open from 7am - 9pm, with great organised activities offered throughout the day. The cafe has a great kids menu and is priced well.
Pre-register before you go to save time when you get there. The kids will be keen to get inside.
If you have more than one kid that are different ages, it might be worth bringing along a Bali Nanny. I had one that wanted to be inside and the other outside so it was hard to keep them in the same area together.
There’s a Kids Club where you can drop-off your child and they will be entertained and minded by the friendly staff. This is for kids aged 3 and above. I would even stay and enjoy the cafe and beanbags while someone else hears “watch meeee” as they go down the slide for the 100th time.
Costs - $15 AUD per child. Kids under 1 are free. 2 adults per child are free. The cafe was reasonably priced - For example, I order two kid’s meals, a smoothie and babycino for approx $16 AUD. Kids Club is $5.50 AUD per hour (min 2 hours).
Bali Safari and Marine Park
Prior to visiting, we found mixed reports about this place. The park claims to be involved in wildlife conservation initiatives, however, we chose not to participate in riding, feeding, touching or taking photos with animals.
To be honest, we spent most of the day in the water area swimming in the pools. If you visit, bring your swimming gear. It’s highly underused so we often had slides and pools to ourselves.
There’s also a Fun Zone (theme-park style rides) but it’s currently under renovation so only 3 rides were operational when we visited. We didn’t watch the Agung Show (Balinese Performance) as the babies wouldn’t have sat through it. However, from my last trip (pre-kids) it was the highlight of the park.
Costs - $242 AUD for 2 adults, 1 child (4 yrs) and baby was free. It was a very expensive outing and besides the great water play area, I’m not sure if it was worth the time to travel to (over an hour from Seminyak) nor the cost of entry. Save your money and go to the beach or back to Parklife for the day.
You can’t go wrong with $2 mini-golf games. There’s also lots of FREE entertainment to enjoy like giant-size old school games like Jenga and Connect Four. Plus, table tennis, foosball and I did spy a vintage Nintendo set. The menu serves up carnival classics like hotdogs and fries. We didn’t actually take the kids here because it was our adults-night-out. However, this would be great for kids aged 4 and up. If you have teenagers (and can get them off their phones) this would be a perfect family activity.
PLACES TO EAT
The Junction House | Seminyak
We tried to get into Sisterfields but there was a line (and Mama don’t do lines), so we stumbled across this. Happy that we did as the decor is pretty spesh. Has a chic Parisian vibe about it. Go upstairs if you want to eat on the balcony or sit in an oversized cane throne chair. I’m not going to lie, we enjoyed Mimosas here at about 10am. And they were pretty darn good. I highly rate the food and the service was exceptional.
Kid-friendly? We enjoyed a kid-free brunch here (Mums Day Out) but you could bring kids here. There’s lots of familiar dishes on the menu for picky eaters. You just have to carry small kids up a flight of stairs or dine downstairs instead. It’s on a busy intersection so I’d say best to start climbing.
Neon Palms | Seminyak
With some time to kill before a spa date, we slipped into this boutique/bar. Shop for clothes downstairs (it’s swanky) and drink upstairs. It’s a pretty and pink as the pics on Insta. We had some dessert and drinks and they were AHH-MAZ-ING. Slip into the funky bathroom and get a cringeworthy selfie.
Kid-friendly? I wouldn’t take my kids here. Firstly, I’d be worried about their grubby hands touching the expensive clothes. I don’t think the hip crowd upstairs would be welcoming of loud kids. However, they did have some super cute Mummy-daughter matchy matchy outfits.
Botanica | Seminyak
Who can resist the call of 2-for-1 Frosé? The heart wants, what the heart wants. This place is like an outdoor oasis that’s lit up with strings of festoon lights. We ordered a seafood platter to share and I’ve got no complaints. There is a wine store next door if you’re keen to pay for overpriced wine and it’s conveniently located opposite the popular Bodyworks Day Spa.
Kid-friendly? I don’t think they’re trying to attract the family crowd but there weren't many people when we went there and I think it would have been a great space for kids. The menu might be a little fancy and pricey though.
W Bali - Sunday Brunch at Starfish Bloo | Seminyak
When I asked around about somewhere nice to go for a kid-free date with hubby, errrbody said the Sunday Brunch at the W. And now I know why. Yes it’s pricey AF, so definitely something you’ll want to do as a treat. It’s a buffet and although it says brunch, it’s more of lunch (12pm-3:30pm). We went with the food and alcoholic beverages option ($160 AUD per person). But my hubby pretty much “won” it all back (ya’see, he treats buffets like a competitive sport. And yes, he’s the skinny guy sitting next to me). There’s seafood, Asian, Indian, BBQ and a sweet section that challenged my dessert stomach. I’m not sure how, but we scored the fancy cage booth. There’s only 6 and the rest of the plebs (yeah, the special seating got to our heads) sat on regular tables looking at the ocean. The wait staff were exceptional. And you must go see the fancy bathroom.
Kid-friendly? There’s no firggen way I would take my kids to a place like this. Not that it felt fancy (I mean a lot of people were in casual clothes and thongs) but the price wouldn’t be worth it. Also, you’ll want to stay for the 3.5 hours and I don’t know about you but we’re in and out of restaurants within 45 mins with our kids.
Ona | Canggu
This restaurant opened recently and I’m glad we got to try it before everyone flocks there. It’s nice on the eyes and has a calming vibe about it. You’ll feel like you’re in paradise (well, you’re in Bali so you kind of are). Nothing but good words to say about the drinks, food and service.
Kid-friendly? There’s beautiful outdoor ponds and a rail-free staircase that looks gorgeous and dangerous. If you have little kids that don’t sit still, it might make you a bit nervous to dine here. But if your kids are the ‘listening and actually follow instructions’ type, then absolutely. It is mainly outdoor dining, so find a nice shady spot if you burn easily.
Motel Mexicola | Seminyak
If you don’t visit this iconic place, then you haven’t done Bali right. This Mexican restaurant is festive and fun. Go ahead with the banquet - it’s $25 AUD p.p and you’ll be stuffed by the end. The cocktails are expensive here and but you’re in Bali (live a little). Best to make a reservation but note that evening dining has first and second seatings. We booked in at 6pm and felt really rushed to eat. Also, when your time is up, you have to move to the bar area and by then, there’s no room.
Kid-friendly? Go here for lunch or an early dinner with young kids. In the evening it’s really loud in there, so a noisy kid wouldn’t be noticed. But it gets super busy from 8pm onwards. You’ll want to be out before the selfie sticks poke your eyes out.
Biku | Seminyak
A rustic gem that allows you to taste the most exotic teas from all over the world. This tea lounge/homewear store also serves your favourite cakes. The delicious cakes are on display so go up and see what the cake of the day is. Warning - it’ll be hard to choose so definitely go halvies. High tea is served daily and I’m bummed we didn’t get to do this.
Kid-friendly? We didn’t visit with kids but it would be totally fine. There are a lot of knick knacks so if you’re child gets restless and likes to “touch things”, then perhaps not.
Barbacoa | Seminyak
We saved this fancy-schmancy Latin dining for our adults-only night. Wear your stretchy pants and get ready for the meat sweats. It’s a big place and has that 5-star feel. It’s very dark and moody in there. They even give you a reading light to see the menu. If it’s still on the list, give the Co Co Ho cocktail a whirl.
Kid-friendly? I saw people here with kids in high-chairs, so technically yes. However, I would go for an early dinner as it’s super dark in there in the evening. I personally wouldn’t dine with my “can we have chippies pleeease?” kids in a place like this.
Da Maria | Seminyak
You’re not in Kansas (or Bali) anymore. This Italian eatery has the wow-factor. We only planned on going in for drinks but couldn’t resist tasting the pizza. Well worth the bloating. Apparently it becomes a bit of a nightclub, but we visited on a Tuesday, so not sure what type of crowd it pulls.
Kid-friendly? Yep. It was spacious and has pizza. Win-win. It is a bit fancy but had a warm friendly vibe about it.
Sisterfields | Seminyak
Finally got to visit here on the last day. It is packed. The place to be (apparently). But I don’t really get what all the hype is about. The coffee wasn’t great and my friend’s cocktail was disappointing. Polenta chips were good. Because it’s so busy, you’re sitting quite close to the next table (felt like I was almost giving the guy a lap dance). However, I will say that I was impressed that when we filled out the little table survey about our experience, the manager came over to kindly speak with us about our feedback. He seemed genuinely interested in improving the experience.
Kid-friendly? It’s very popular and same-same as a Melbourne-cafe that just went viral. I wouldn’t take my ‘throws food everywhere’ 18-month old here as I know he would be within flinging distance to the next customer. Older kids (that don’t throw food) would be completely fine.
Bodyworks | Seminyak
This spa is great value for a decent (but not 5-star) experience. I had a 75 min aromatherapy massage, flower bath and 30 min soothing foot treatment for $69 AUD. Due to the location, it’s a popular place. So definitely book ahead as we tried to walk-in on another day and had no luck.
The Cottage Beauty House | Seminyak
This light-filled spa has a lovely luxe look & feel. I had the BEST shellac mani/pedi here. I was super happy with it. They also have kids mani/pedis, which would be a cute activity to do together. I probably wouldn’t have a massage here as massage rooms are divided by curtains. I had ear candling and a head massage and having the noise (although quiet) of other therapists and clients, was a bit off-putting.
Random street day spa
Not the actual name. There are just so many and they’re kind of all the same. But I have to say that finishing a long day with a cheap 1 hour foot massage, is pretty close to being in heaven. Yes, they use crappy lotion but just close your eyes and enjoy it while you can.
Hope this has helped you explore Bali with your family. If you visit any of these places based on my review, give us a shoutout on socials @motherhoodmelbourne. Of course I’ll be totally jelly that you’re there and I’m here. But, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Bali.
Enjoy your holiday!
Did you miss Travelling to Bali with kids - Part 1?