Where to spend family holidays besides Bali

Where to spend family holidays besides Bali

Those planning for a fun family holiday would probably consider Bali as their first option.

But if you are looking for a new and different kind of experience, these four places located throughout the country might offer the same or even more excitement than the popular island.

Batu

Located on the outskirts of Malang's highlands in East Java, this small city is my personal favourite for a perfect family holiday.

It's also ideal for an economical family vacation because accommodation, food and all the attractions are very affordable.

Another plus is the cool and fresh weather; the city is clean and nice despite its small size and modest ambiance.

Batu Secret Zoo, Museum Satwa (Animal Museum), Jatim Eco Park, Museum Angkot (Transportation Museum) and the Batu Night Carnival are the highlights of this city, where admission tickets mostly are less than Rp 150,000 (S$15.93) per adult for well-built and cared-for themed parks.

In addition to that, its central park, which is open to the public for free until nighttime, offers a free playground, lanterns as well as an affordable Ferris wheel ride.

During my last trip, I visited the city for only one day; the time felt too short and I wished I had arranged at least a two-day trip so that my family and I could enjoy all the attractions with ease.

Bogor

Located only two hours' drive away from Jakarta - without traffic congestion - Bogor offers many spots for an affordable family holiday or getaway.

You can visit the famous Taman Safari and Taman Wisata Matahari in the Puncak area, the renowned Kebun Raya Bogor (Bogor Botanical Gardens) and Istana Bogor (Bogor Presidential Palace) in the city, or the latest crazes of The Jungle Waterpark and Marcopolo Water Adventure.

For a holiday in nature, Bogor's Situ Gede Lake and agrotourism park Taman Wisata Mekarsari can be reached from Bogor quite easily too.

However, to avoid traffic congestion, which happens quite regularly, it is preferable to explore Bogor on weekdays or during low season.

Bandung

The city has opened so many thematic public parks that it would be very easy for you to plan an on-a-budget holiday in Bandung while still keeping the fun going for your children.

Taman Film, Taman Skate, Taman Superhero and Taman Tongkeng, as well as the recently opened Taman Alun-Alun (Town Square Park) are really fun to visit with children.

In central Bandung, Trans Studio offers the biggest indoor theme park in Indonesia for the whole family.

You can also head to Lembang, Bandung's highland area, for endless recreational places. Kampung Gajah, De Ranch and Floating Market Lembang are among the places famous for spending exciting family holidays.

Note that most of Lembang's attractions are closed on Mondays and, on long weekends, bad traffic is to be expected.

Jakarta

Jakarta actually offers plenty of interesting spots to spend a family holiday, such as the everlasting Dunia Fantasi theme park in Ancol, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah cultural park and the Taman Ismail Marzuki arts centre's Planetarium.

Indoor playgrounds in malls are also another option for spending time with your children. Some of the famous and fun indoor playgrounds in Jakarta are Miniapolis in Plaza Indonesia, Chipmunks in Kota Kasablanka and Kidzania in Pacific Place.

Though this may not be your first option to spend some quality time with your children, it is a cheaper option compared to the likes of mall playgrounds in Singapore, where entry prices can be around S$20 per child.

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