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Travelling with children in Bali opens many doors and creates unique opportunities which cannot be purchased at a tour desk. Here are five Bali things to do with kids that offer value for money and enjoyment for everyone, not just your children.

Fly a kite in Bali

Sanur is famous throughout Bali for its kites which can be up to 10 metres long and weigh more than 400 kilograms. These take to the skies from May to September and make for spectacular viewing. Families can buy (much) smaller traditional kites from vendors throughout Bali and learn how to fly their own.

Fly a traditional kite in Bali

Do a Bali cooking class

A cooking class is a wonderful and surprisingly cost effective way for you and your tweens or teens to enjoy an excellent meal and learn about Balinese culture at the same time. Those new found cooking skills also make for a wonderful souvenir.

Do a cooking class
Do a cooking class

Visit a local market

Many areas in Bali have a traditional market however Jimbaran Bay offers two of the best: the Jimbaran fish market and a separate fresh food market where locals go to choose meat and vegetables for their evening meal. Even though your children probably won’t come home with a souvenir, they will receive plenty of warm smiles from the stallholders and leave with a new understanding of life in Bali.

Explore the Jimbaran Markets
Explore the Jimbaran Markets

Raft the Ayung River

Forget trekking in Bali’s tropical heat. Rafting the gentle Ayung River is a much more comfortable way to experience the lush landscape and natural beauty of ‘the island of the gods’. While there are plenty of small, fun rapids to keep older kids (and their parents) entertained, this is more of a relaxing float than a heart thumping adventure tour and is suitable for anyone aged 5 and up.

Rafting fun on the Ayung
Rafting fun on the Ayung

Experience a local festival in Bali

Authentic experiences are everywhere in Bali and many of them are free. Try to time your visit to coincide with a local festival like Melasti, a celebration accompanied by energetic gamelan music and loads of fun. Doing this provides a great introduction to the local culture without the cost (or contrivance) of a ‘tourist performance’. Don’t be surprised if you and your family are invited to join the celebrations after the ceremony.

Disclosure: The writer paid for any activities mentioned in this article that were not available at no cost.

We’ve got plenty of hints and tips for travelling in Bali and also some great hotel and resort suggestions. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve reviewed the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort, Peppers Seminyak Resort, Apurva Kempinski Bali, Bulgari Resort Bali, Aria Villas Ubud, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, The Mulia Bali, Merusaka Nusa Dua, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Anantara Seminyak Bali, the InterContinental Bali for couples and those travelling with kids. We’ve compared the Singaraja and Club rooms at the InterContinental Bali and found the best luxury family hotels in Bali and the best honeymoon hotels in Bali.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.