7 family-friendly things to do in Ubud

Think Ubud is just for yogis and soul searchers? Think again. This Balinese town surrounded by serene rice terraces and lush forest is also an unforgettable family paradise.

Rice terraces in Ubud.
  • Sue White
  • November 2019

From skateboarding and forest hikes to puppet shows, Ubud could be an unexpected destination for your next family holiday. Here are seven activities the whole family can enjoy.

1. Take a walk and admire the views, Ages 4+

Campuhan Ridge.
There’s also a longer nine-kilometre loop, but it’s best avoided if you’re with young children.

Wake the kids early and hike Campuhan Ridge before the heat hits. The two-kilometre (one-way) stretch isn’t exactly undiscovered but it’s still very peaceful. Walkers starting near the bridge on Jalan Raya Ubud (near the entry to the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa opens in new window) pass a large temple before the well-marked trail snakes past jungle-like scenery on both sides of the ridge. It can take more than two hours with a pre-schooler in tow, but kids over six will handle this walk easily, especially if motivated by ice cream (there are plenty of cafés at the end).

2. Unwind by the pool (All ages)

Pool at Jungle Fish in Ubud.
Even the journey to get there is relaxing — the long, winding roads leading to the hotel from Ubud’s centre get quieter with every kilometre.

Parents who’ve spent much of the Campuhan Ridge walk lugging a small child will be feeling the heat. The cure? An afternoon at Jungle Fish opens in new window. At this urbane pool bar attached to the upmarket Chapung Sebali opens in new window resort, it’s impossible not to decompress. Kids are welcome and the entry fee includes a towel.

Address: Jl. Raya Sebali, Keliki, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561
Tel: +62 361 8989102
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READ MORE: Unwind at Bali’s best wellness retreats opens in new window

3. Cycle the back roads (Ages 2+)

Cyclists at GREENBIKE Cycling Tour.
You can opt for an electric bike for a more relaxing experience.

With younger kids nestled on the supplied child seat and guides taking up the front and rear, GREENBIKE Cycling Tour opens in new window takes small groups through quiet village streets, dense forests with narrow off-road tracks, and picturesque rice paddies. It’s hard to decide what’s most satisfying — the serenity of Bali’s back roads, the chance to spend an entire day surrounded by greenery or the fact that the whole route is downhill.

Address: Ubud, Jl. Pejengaji, Tegallalang, Kec. Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561
Tel: +62 851-0169-9692
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4. Work on your kickflips, (Ages 6+, 4-6 with supervision)

Young skaters posing for photo at Blue Bear Bali Skatepark.
Blue Bear Bali is big on eco-friendliness, rewarding those who donate 10 items of trash with a two-hour skate pass.

Families will have a blast at Blue Bear Bali Skatepark opens in new window, the first of its kind in Ubud that provides group and private skating lessons for both kids and adults. Parents can join in and skate (or if they prefer to take it easy, there’s great coffee on offer), while younger children frolic in the fully supervised play area. It’s even a good opportunity for a dance — there’s live music on Wednesdays and resident music days from 11am on Sundays.

Address: Jl. Puskesmas, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Tel: +62 813 3849 6674
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5. See shadow puppets (Ages 7+)

Shadow puppet show at Oka Kartini BnB.
Locals call the ancient artform Wayang Kulit — “wayang” means “shadow” in Javanese, while “kulit” means “leather”, the material the figures are carved from.

As Bali’s cultural centre, Ubud abounds with dance performances. But venture to Oka Kartini BnB opens in new window on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday night and it’s shadow puppets entertaining the audience. Be warned — this is a traditional show so it’ll be more rewarding for older children who can bear a slow start. The tiny performance area means you can stand to the side of the stage and watch the puppeteer and assistants at work — it’s incredibly interesting.

Address: Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud, Petulu, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Tel: +62 361 975193
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6. Tour a school with a difference (Age 4+)

Interior of Green School Ubud.
Green School was awarded the “Greenest School on Earth” in 2012 by the US Green Building Council.

Set amongst lush forest about a 30-minute drive out of Ubud, Green School’s opens in new window wall-free bamboo classrooms are world-renowned. There are daily guided tours and while it may seem a bit odd to spend the school holidays in, well, a school, the tour feels more like a nature walk. The school is designed to be rugged so be prepared for a hike with steps, steep inclines and meandering paths down to the Ayung River. You might actually have trouble getting the kids to leave, especially once they discover the joys of hiding among the large bamboo “chimes” in the central building.

Address: Jl. Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Sibang Kaja, Kec. Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352
Tel: +62 361 469875
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7. Do dinner and a movie (Ages 4+)

Interior of Cinema Paradiso Ubud.
Seating options include reclining lounge chairs, plush couches and cushioned platforms.

Like your cinema sustainable, thought-provoking and super comfortable? Ubud’s unique Cinema Paradiso opens in new window experience trumps Gold Class at home — not only can you have an organic, vegan meal delivered to your lounge during the show, but the price of your movie ticket comes off the price of any food you order. Paradiso screens plenty of children’s movies each week and this is a “shoes off” experience.

Address: Jl. Goutama Sel., Ubud, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Tel: +62 812 3931 5346
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READ MORE: Six more kid-friendly things to do in Bali opens in new window