By Grace Koelma | Dare List Mama
In this post:
- Pondok Pekak library
- Ubud Yoga Centre
- Tamanak Playground
- Campuhan ridge walk
- Bali Fun World
- Kemenuh Butterfly Park
- Ricefields walk on Jalan Kajeng
- Bale Udang
- Bias Tugel Beach
- Batu Bolong Beach, Canggu
I'm not going to sugar-coat this. There is a dismal lack of parks and playgrounds. It makes life in Ubud with a toddler or young kids quite difficult. Especially if you've got a super active kid! There are fun parks, water parks, and indoor play centres, but they are all ticketed and sometimes attached to resorts. Sadly, those outdoor, free range, council-maintained parks we're used to in Australia, Europe and America don't exist in Bali.
When we got to Ubud, I started hunting straight away for places to take Leo, places for us to stop and let him stretch his legs. Being almost 2, he's at the (delightful!) age where he quite enjoys testing my nerves and sanity, and running for the busy road as soon as we set him down, so running freely around Ubud wasn't an option either.
We found a few good toddler-friendly cafes in Ubud, and a bunch of free and cheap activities in and around Ubud as well.
We've added locations to the interactive map below. Click the icon in the top left to learn more about where to play in Ubud with a toddler.
Things to do with a toddler in Ubud
1. Pondok Pekak Library
Jl. Monkey Forest, on the opposite side of the football field
The Ubud library is a fantastic, quiet place to read, eat and hang out, nestled in a secret place right in the heart of the main centre of Ubud. We thoroughly recommend a visit and lunch! Read our whole review here.
2. Ubud Yoga Centre
Jl. Raya Singakerta No.108, Singakerta, Ubud
A lady with kids I met in a restaurant recommended Ubud Yoga Centre to me. This kids' room is set up for parent's who come for yoga classes, but even if you're not into yoga, you can come to the centre for a cup of coffee and utilise the kids' room. It's air-conditioned, completely enclosed and has a glass window, so if your child is happy to explore and play on their own, you can order a coffee and watch them in peace and quiet from the couches outside. The bathrooms are clean and cheerful (love the bright red doors!)
How to get there: Ubud Yoga Centre is located south of the main CBD of Ubud, about a 15 minute bike ride from Jalan Raya. There's free parking onsite.
Tip: the centre has a 100,000 IDR ($10 AUD) minimum on food + drink purchases in order to be able to access the kids' room. So that's a coffee, dessert and smoothie, or a drink and basic Balinese lunch, depending on what you feel like.
3. Tamanak playground
Jalan Raya Sayan, Sayan, Ubud
Tamanak playground is a relatively new addition to Ubud (built in 2014, according to the internet) and is a simple yet fairly safe playground for kids. It's the only one in Ubud, and while there's no actual address since it's down a little backstreet in Sayan, typing the name into Google Maps will guide you there easily.
How to get there: If you don't have a car or motorbike, Tamanak is probably too far to walk to from the centre of Ubud, but it's a 15 minute ride from The Palace. The equipment is in dire need of cleaning, and it's all a little rundown, but it's fenced and on a really quiet street. It was deserted when we were there, and other blog reviews tell me this is the norm.
There are a few little warungs and a highly-reviewed restaurant called Moksa nearby.
4. Campuhan ridge walk
Jalan Raya Campuan, Sayan, Ubud
The first thing to know about Campuhan is that it's a little tricky to find, and it's pronounced
"Champ-u-hayn". You'll need to know how to pronounce it properly so if you ask for directions, locals know what you mean! 😉
The Campuhan ridge walk is a paved path that starts beside the east wall of the Pura Gunung Lebah temple, and climbs up the ridge, continuing for a kilometre or so along the top towards Jl. Bangkiang Sidam. There are fantastic views across the whole valley from both sides, and it's most beautiful in the early morning and late afternoon, for sunrise and sunset.
It's an easy walk - your toddler could walk beside you most of the way, and tall grass deters them from venturing off the path too much. Once you're up on the ridge there isn't much shade though, and during the middle of the day it can get incredibly hot. Always take a water bottle (per person), just in case.
How to get there: There are no directions or obvious signposts to the Campuhan ridge walk, and for first time visitors it can be tricky to find. The entrance to the walk is down a little street off Jalan Raya. Google the location of the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villa, which is well-signposted, and when you're facing the Warwick Ibah, take the street down the hill to the left from there. You'll pass a high school on your way down the steep laneway, and then a set of stairs that veers off to the right over the river.
You'll see the walls of the Pura Gunung Lebah temple on the other side, head for that and follow the path along the wall to the right, which then becomes the Campuhan ridge walk. The start of the path is a staircase through vegetation, and then it opens out onto the ridge.
Tip: If you plan to walk the ridge at sunrise, take a quick trip to familiarise yourself with the entrance around mid-morning or afternoon the day before, when most of the tourists go. There will be more people around to ask if you get lost. 🙂
5. Bali Fun World
Jl. Lettu I Wayan Sutha II Banjar Paninjoan Batuan Sukawati
Bali Fun World is an indoor play centre about 25 minutes south by car or bike from Ubud. It's in a huge warehouse and fitted out with several large jumping castles and slides, a multi-level play area and a fenced section with toys for little ones. It's on the pricey side ($10 AUD per person, including adults) but worth it for a few hours. You can read our full review here.
6. Kemenuh Butterfly Park
Jl. Raya Kemenuh, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kabupaten
Many people visit Bali Butterfly Park, but our driver took us to the lesser-known Kemenuh Butterfly Park, which we really enjoyed. Leo loved running along the paths in the lush tropical garden, and watching the butterflies flutter past. There's a lot of butterflies in a small-ish space, so you can't miss them!
There's a pupa room where you can see the pupas hanging in the darkened space, and you can hold the biggest butterfly you'll ever see!
7. Magical ricefields walk
At the end of Jalan Kajeng in Ubud
This isn't a place you'd usually think to take a kid for a run, but we stumbled on it by accident on our last night in Bali (isn't that always the way?) and fell in love. It's totally out of the way, and one of Ubud's best kept secrets.
How to get there: If you walk or ride to the end of Jalan Kajeng (a little street off Jl. Raya, right next to The Palace) the already narrow little road becomes a pathway just wide enough to ride a bike on. The path continues up a steep hill and then along a ridge for about a kilometre. It's a great place to let your little one run free (just keep an eye out the occasional motorbikes, you can hear them before you see them).
The pathway leads to a resort, and is dotted with little warungs, coconut vendors and traditional art stalls, so if you walked up there in the late afternoon (when the light is prettiest!) you could finish with a delicious dinner overlooking sunset on the rice fields.
8. Bale Udang
Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Ubud
Bale Udang attracts people because of its unique dining experience. Customers can choose to sit in private bamboo structures out over a lake.
The lake is teeming with thousands of Koi, and the staff give you food to feed them, so for a wriggly toddler who hates waiting for food to arrive, this is the perfect distraction! 5 out of 5 for entertainment value! Their selection of mocktails and juices is great, too.
Day trips with a toddler in Bali
Bali is a small island - you can drive across it in a few hours. When you've explored all Ubud has to offer, venture further afield for more kid-friendly action. We recommend hiring a driver to take you, and make a day of it - they cost around 500,000 ($50 AUD) for 8 hours.
8. Bias Tugel (White Sand) beach
Padangbai, Manggis, Bali
Bias Tugel is the perfect beach to visit for the day. It's located near the fishing village of Padang Bai, where the ferry to nearby Lombok Island leaves from.
The beach itself is hard to find, down a complex route of small streets behind a hill overlooking Padang Bai, so find a driver who knows how to get you there.
Like many of Bali's natural attractions, there's a small fee to enter (2000 IDR per person). Once you're in though, find your spot on the sand and relax! There's a warung on the beach, coconut sellers, sarong vendors and you can even get a massage!
The water is warm and an incredible turquoise on a sunny day, the sand is white and there's shade at the top of the beach under the palm trees.
We arrived mid-afternoon (after a morning spent at Bali Fun World and the Butterfly Park) and the two delightful hours we spent here weren't long enough. Bias Tugel, we'll most certainly be back next time we're in Bali!
9. Batu Bolong beach, Canggu
The end of Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu
We visited Canggu for the weekend with our relatives - it's about 90 minutes drive from Ubud (quicker if you go early in the morning, when there's no traffic!)
Our accommodation was 2 minutes walk to Batu Bolong beach, so we spent a few hours here both afternoons, and swam and ate as we watched the sun set.
The vibe at Batu Bolong beach is pretty magical - it really captures the essence of a tropical island, where everything feels like a holiday. Reggae music drifts across the beach, and children frolic in the shallow water. There are bars and restaurants on the sand, people relax in deck chairs and surfers amble along with their boards silhouetted in the golden rays of the setting sun.
Leo loved floating in his blow-up car boat, and because the water was so warm, we could swim until sunset. Then we stood on the beach, rugged in towels and watched darkness fall. Absolute perfection.
Have you been to Ubud with a toddler? I'd love to know your favourite spots! Comment below.
Grace is a writer, designer, digital nomad, mum (otherwise known as toddler chaser), slow traveller, wild things appreciator, culture immerser, coffee opportunist... She frequently uses big words (some of which are definitely made up), likes long walks and even longer books, and her focus on wellness in 2017 means she is learning to obey her FitBit. Except when she's glued to her computer!