As much as we love Bali for its rich culture and traditions, sometimes a visit to the zoo or an elephant park is what’s called for to keep your little ones pleased. And fortunately, Bali is home to a variety of exciting attractions fit for a fun family day out, making it an easy task to entertain the little troops – and yourself.
GET TO KNOW THE WILDLIFE
In keeping with its leading role as a conservator of wildlife, Bali Safari and Marine Park welcomes everyone to come and experience the riches of wildlife at the park’s beautifully landscaped natural habitat setting that is home to many magnificent animals. Both kids and the parents have the opportunity to watch and observe the different animals living and interacting here. Through the park’s Safari Journey, you will be taken on a winding jungle track through the vast lands of Indonesia, India and Africa, seeing animals from the friendly zebras to the majestic lions – all from the comfort and safety of an air-conditioned safari tram, with your own personal guide. There are plenty of talks and demonstrations from the guide so that the little ones can learn all about feeding habits, care, and conservation. In addition, if you’ve been dreaming of cuddling an orangutan, or even posing with a lion, then dream no more! At the park, opportunities to interact with these animals abound – the kids are sure to have a fascinating day out.
As part of a continuing commitment to educate, propagate, and conserve endangered members of the animal kingdom, the park also holds its daily animal shows to demonstrate the compelling story of animals, especially those on the verge of extinction such as the Bengal tigers. Bali Safari’s “From Predator to Prey” show, as an example, tells the audience about the vanishing tiger population in the world. Starring the endangered Bengal tigers, the show opens with a grand pageant relating the role of tigers in the Balinese history and mythology. The show reveals the native skills of these big cats at playing, hunting, climbing, and swimming. To finish off your day, the kids will surely need a bite to eat, and where better than the park’s award-winning Tsavo Lion Restaurant, where you can dine face-to-face with the lions!
Bali Safari and Marine Park
Jalan Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19.8, Gianyar
+62 361 751 300
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE ELEPHANTS
Taro Elephant Park, located in the village of Taro in Gianyar Regency, is a five-star lodging from elephants rescued from Way Kambas in Sumatra. Some of the activities offered at the park include elephant tours, elephant creativity shows, and a chance to feed and bathe the elephants – along with taking photos with them, of course. In addition, you can get to see some of the best-trained elephants paint on a canvas, calculate simple sums, play basketball, hoola-hoop, and more. The paintings made by the elephants are on display in the park’s store, and the money from the purchase goes to the elephant conservation in Waikambas, Lampung province.
To beat the heat of the sun, MASON Gelato is situated at the heart of the park amidst the green setting of palm groove and next to the artificial lake where the elephants come to bath, swim, duck and dunk. Several wooden benches are available under the palm trees and other greens where the kids can unwind while enjoying a scoop of gelato. The park is also home to Elephant Art Gallery at Elephant Safari Park & Lodge, where both the little ones and parents can view the elephant artefacts and dig for more knowledge about these fascinating creatures through the displays of valuable texts, paintings, statues, carvings, and more that showcase about the lives of elephants in different parts of the world. The gallery makes an excellent introduction before you go on to meet the real giants.
Daily shows at Taro Elephant Park are on at 11am, 1pm, and 3.30pm. Spend a back-to-nature night at the park’s lodge, so you don’t have to leave really early to observe and join the elephants bathing session when the park opens at 8am.
Taro Elephant Park
Jalan Elephant Park, Taro, Ubud
+62 361 721 480
CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH FURRY FRIENDS
Bali Bird Park is home to the largest display of Indonesian exotic birds such as the endangered Bali Starling and the Birds of Paradise, along with thousands of other birds from 250 different species. That’s right, the park’s lush two-hectare tropical garden is also the playground of an array of colourful birds from parrots, peacocks, hornbills, cranes, pelicans, flamingos, and many others exhibited in their recreated natural habitats, complete with indigenous plant life.
Kids will be amazed by how near they can be with many of the park’s feathered residents that soar through the garden such as the graceful African Crowned Cranes, often with their chicks in tow – one example of Bali Bird Park’s successful breeding programs.
As a family venue, the park offers a variety of interactive activities that kids can enjoy with the parents; all these activities are designed as educative experiences to inspire children to value and conserve their furry friends. Kids can have an encounter with the true stars of Bali Bird Park – they are the park’s cheeky entertainers who adore the limelight. The stars include Anna-Maria – the park’s Black Palm Cockatoo – and the park’s impressive Wreathed Hornbills. A number of the bird stars have been hand-reared in captivity, which means they are completely at ease with human contact. In addition to the bird shows and bird feedings, the adjoining Reptile Park also hosts the Komodo Experience, a very educational experience where you can observe the park’s trained keeper feed the Komodo dragon. Listen to the keeper talk about this amazing creature and find out why this reptile is so special. The Komodo Experience is held twice a week, on Tuesday at 11am and Friday at 2.30pm.
Bali Bird & Reptile Park
Jalan Serma Cok Ngurah Gambir, Singapadu, Batubulan
+62 361 299352
GO SURF AND TURF
The long stretches of white sand in Nusa Dua makes for a perfect spot for kids to have a safe swim, and for parents to tan. But if this kind of casual kick back isn’t doing it for you, then just a stone-throw away from the water is The Bay, a beach club and entertainment complex where both the kids and parents can play and lounge around. The beach club is a confined outdoor area so it is safe for children to wander around, while parents can lounge on the daybeds by the large pool, or take a seat in the sheltered restaurant. For family members over the age of 5, water slides await inside the complex. The best slide is the ‘Space Bowl’; a slide that leads down into a giant bowl where you’re flushed round and round before plunging down into the pool below – a bit like a toilet really, but the children will no doubt love it.
The most highlighted activity in the club is the Surf Rider, a favourite for kids, but also hugely popular amongst adults especially those into water or board sports. Surf Rider offers an experience of riding a surfboard on a continuously flowing, man-made wave or current. For those without surfing experience, Surf Rider can be a challenging activity; even to stay balanced on the board will take some time to master. Experienced guides are available to assist the riders and train them to find their balance while standing on board as well as show the riders how to attempt some tricks.
Other beach activities include canoeing and cycling, relaxing sun loungers by a lovely swimming pool overlooking the picturesque Nusa Dua Beach.
Surf & Turf Nusa Dua Beach
The Bay Bali, ITDC LOT C-O, Nusa Dua
+62 361 894 8200
ESCAPE THE ROOM
Now this is seriously a fun yet challenging activity for the whole family. Originally founded in Jakarta, Totem Room Escape is the first and the biggest reality room escape game in Indonesia. Here, puzzles are mixed with high tech gadgets, enclosed in themed decorated rooms to provide you with an unexpected experience. This is an exciting indoor adventure which requires participants to stretch their imagination beyond the usual level and use their problem solving skills to escape a series of rooms, while the clock ticks away. Children and parents both will be put to the test, and only the best will survive. It is a total family entertainer.
Totem Room Escape offers four challenge rooms to choose from. Though equally intriguing and stimulating, the difficulty level of each room is different. The four challenge rooms are “Locked in Darkland”, “Egyptian Secret”, “Mission Impossible”, and “Kidnapped” in ascending order of difficulty level. It is recommended that you do not play these games if you suffer from Nyctophobia or Claustrophobia. The “Egyptian Secret” room is particularly famous among the kids and appropriate for them. But, by all means continue to the higher level once you have crossed this one.
Totem Room Escape Bali
Jalan Kayu Aya No.27, Seminyak
+62 815 58222222
VISIT THE SUMATRAN VILLAGE
In keeping with its mission to deliver unique, memorable experience on the island, Bali zoo has unveiled a magnificent new exhibit, Kampung Sumatra. Inspired by the nature and culture of Indonesia’s largest island Sumatra, Kampung Sumatra presents a grand wildlife exhibit that houses a variety of exotic Sumatran animals including elephants, tigers, orangutans, sunbears and more. Spacious walking paths, garden plazas, showcase areas, water features, and a restaurant encircles the exhibit interior. A striking feature of Kampung Sumatra is the elephant pool, the largest in Indonesia measuring 1000m2 fenced by a limestone elephant relief wall inspired by the ruins of Angkor Wat. The central pool is a site to view thirteen Sumatran pachyderms bathing, swimming, feeding and lazing about.
Incorporating architectural design, the new embarkation area for elephant trek is in the shape of Batak Toba, a traditional Sumatran buffalo house. This new route of the thirty minute elephant safari takes you along a 400 meter trail crossing the Olympic sized pool and Wos River, snakes along a lush jungle route and along animal exhibits that include indigenous Sumatran species such as cassowary, tapir, sun bear, Sumatran tiger, leopard, and singing birds. Manicured gardens accentuated with varieties of colossal shady trees such as kapok, cannonball, Bodhi, desert rose, sausage and ancient krosia look spectacular from the vantage point of a birds eye view of the hot air balloon available at the village. The hot air balloon tethered to the ground by safety ropes can hold up to eight pax and floats 100 meter above the village.
Jalan Raya Singapadu, Sukawati
+62 361 294 357