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Growing Up Troppo - October

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

By Libby Larsen 

These days the hip crowd in Bali can be found a little bit further north of Seminyak, around the boho neighbourhood of Canggu – an eight kilometre coastal stretch consisting of Berawa, Batu Bolong and Echo Beach.

Once the haunt of avid surfers, it’s now also where the hipsters hang. You’ll still see verdant green rice paddies around Canggu – although who knows for how long – and the pace is less hectic than around Seminyak.

The beaches might be known for surfing – not calm, kid-friendly water, and the sand is dark grey – but Canggu has heaps on offer for everyone in the family.

I love the funky cafes and the groovy beachside haunts. Yogis are spoilt for choice, no matter what your style – Hatha, Iyengar or Ashtanga – and there are endless places to be pampered.

For kids there are heaps of cool things on offer – surfing, waterslides, horse riding and more. Canggu is a paradise for foodies – vegans, veggies rejoice. But it’s not all turmeric lattes and raw superfood energy balls, there’s delectable Indo food, mouth-watering burgers, Mexican, homemade pasta and wood fired pizzas.

My top pick is La Laguna with its whimsical, colourful, gipsy-inspired eclectic decor and tropical gardens overlooking a lagoon. And it’s not hard to fall in love with the charming Dandelion, which is set in an old joglo – the cute resident rabbits are a hit with the kids.

Highly recommended for a family breakfast, lunch or dinner is Milk and Madu, and The Joglo – look out for the movie nights and special kid’s activities – which both have yummy nosh, a great vibe and play areas.

Canggu has nailed the sassy beachside haunt, and there are some great options. Try The Lawn or Finns Beach Club, which have pools, great views, cool tunes and sophisticated cocktail menus. Whether you want to chill or be active, you are spoilt for choice.

For a culture fix take the kids to watch a traditional Balinese dance performance at the Hotel Tugu, which oozes the Balinese aesthetic that I love. There are surf lessons for aspiring little wave riders, and for families with littlies, the lovely Gardens Kids Club has a casual drop in centre.

Splash Waterpark, Strike Bowling and Bounce Bali will hit the mark for active kids that need to burn some energy.

Horsy types will be enamored by the Bali Equestrian Centre, which has to be seen to be believed.

It’s worth getting one of the free Canggu maps when you arrive – pick one up from cafes or shops – as it can be a bit confusing to work out the layout of the area, and the roads are narrow and windy.  Enjoy the Gu – as locals call it! 

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.

FOLLOW growinguptroppo.com | @growinguptroppo 

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