Your free what's on guide to the top end

Growing Up Troppo - March

Reviews, tips and advice  for travelling the world with kids.

By Libby Larsen

I love the fact that it’s quicker and cheaper to fly to from Darwin to Bali, than it is to fly to Sydney. We have a few favourite spots, but Ubud seems to be a place we visit over and over again. 

Known as the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud is famous for its verdant green rice paddies, lush landscape, Balinese arts and traditional crafts.

More recently, Eat, Pray, Love has put Ubud on the map for globetrotters seeking spiritual healers, raw food cafes and yoga retreats.

Sure, the centre of Ubud is pretty hectic these days, but in the surrounding villages the pace is slower and much more chilled. 

Ubud isn’t just for adults – there’s a mind-boggling array of activities for kids.

For starters, there’re heaps of Balinese arts and crafts classes – kite making, dance classes, silversmith jewellery making, Balinese offering making, wood carving, gamelan music and more.

Check the schedule at the lovely Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre for what’s on offer.

Sari Api also run brilliant ceramic courses for kids, and Studio Perak is awesome for silversmith classes. Another little gem is Yellow Coco – a delightful open arts space for kids designed to nurture creativity and understanding between the Balinese and non-Balinese community. Check out their Facebook Page to see what’s on.

For Balinese dance and music performances you can’t beat the Arma Museum and the Ubud Palace for location and magical atmosphere. 

If you have a kid that needs to burn off lots of energy, head to the picturesque Ceking Rice Terraces in Tegallalang, north of Ubud. The circuit walk is pretty much up and down, but our kids love scrambling over the rice paddies and the views are sublime.

We are big fans of the Bali Bird Park, just outside Ubud. It’s set in beautiful and expansive tropical gardens. There are heaps of different species of birds to see and lots of close encounters and photo opportunities with macaws, toucans and local tropical birds. 

When I think of Bali and food, I don’t necessarily think of chocolate. But on our 'Bali Bucket List' is a visit to the Pod Chocolate Factory outside of Ubud, where kids can watch the stuff being made from bean to bar, with tasting opportunities of course. 

But what about parents! For a date night try my new favourite, Hujan Locale, for divine Indonesian food with a modern twist. Make sure you have a cocktail downstairs first. 

And if you’re tearing your hair out trying to work out where to stay in Ubud, take a look at my blog for some reviews on places we love.

Enjoy your holiday! 

Follow Libby: | @growinguptroppo

Travel is, and has always been, Libby’s passion and she believes that this shouldn’t stop when you have kids. Libby knows that the best travel advice and tips come from other parents and so she started Growing up Troppo. It has loads of inspiration about hip places to stay, play and eat with kids that, importantly, parents love too. 

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