People come to Lombok for the natural beauty and the wildlife. The beautiful beaches, the stunning mountains and the fact that it is so far, not too overdeveloped. Most of the activities for children recommended here reflect that. If you’re thinking of bringing the family to this exciting island, these are the best things to do in Lombok with kids.
Take a surf lesson at Selong Belanak
Tourism developed in Lombok as surfers came in search of better and quieter waves than in neighbouring Bali. Lombok is a surfer’s haven, with some of the most famous waves in the world. For our children though, Selong Belanak offers gentle beginner waves on a sandy beach. Even very young children can take a lesson here. You can either get to the beach and bargain there with one of the many surf guides or you can book an inclusive package which includes transportation from your Kuta Hotel. Sasak Soul is a reputable company in Kuta and charges Rp450k per person which includes car, land based training, and two hours in the water. It is exhilarating for both child and parents when you see them catch their very first wave!
Snokel around the Secret Gilis
At Gili Nanggu, the water is perfect for those embarking on their first ever snorkel trip. Children enter the water from the beach from a sandy slope. Even the most nervous child, who fears venturing far, can see lots of fish and wildlife within only a few meters from shore.
For children who cannot swim, life jackets are provided and either the parent or a guide can stay with them and show them the wonders right underneath. Mimpi Manis Snorkel trips are highly rated and provide all inclusive trips including pick up from your mainland hotel. Prices start from Rp500k per person for a full day trip.
Get to know the Gili Horses
Make a donation to The Horses of Gili charity on Gili Trawangan and your child can spend an hour having a ‘horse experience’. It could be a beach walk and swim, grooming and feeding, riding or exercising the horses. Your donation will go towards feeding and caring for the many rescued horses that the charity has taken on in recent years.
Swim with turtles
While you are on the Gilis, for older children or fearless little ones, take a snorkel trip to turtle point off Gili Meno. You are almost guaranteed to see turtles and there is no better feeling than swimming alongside these gentle creatures. It is an experience your child will treasure for a long time. If you don’t have an underwater camera to catch the moment, many businesses on the islands rent GoPros for snorkelers and divers.
Go beachcombing at low tide
If you’re staying seaside, a great activity with kids is beach combing along the shallows at low tide. You can find all sorts of creatures in the tidal pools, starfish, anemones, sea snails, sea cucumbers, urchins and more. Be careful not to touch anything, though. Even if the creature may not be harmful to you, you touching can be harmful to the creature. Photograph and enjoy.
Explore Kerandangan National Park
For families staying in Senggigi, just a few kms to the north is Kerandangan National Park where you can spend a few hours exploring the lower trails with children. Higher trails can be steep and only suited to older children used to hiking. This is a protected area and home to lots of local wildlife including monkeys, civets, snakes, butterflies and a myriad of birds. Entrance fee is Rp100k or Rp150k on holidays.
Hang around with monkeys
There are a few areas where the monkeys have gotten used to people and gather to be fed by domestic and local tourists. One such spot is the Pusak Pass in North Lombok. If you are travelling to or from the Gilis/Bangsal to anywhere other than Senggigi, ask your driver to take the pass rather than the coastal road. You will drive on winding roads through lush forest. Along the way there are several viewing points where you can stop and hang out with the congregated monkeys.
You can also find a troupe of monkeys to watch at the far western end of Kuta beach, known colloquially as Monkey Beach. The monkeys live in the big hill but in the coolness of early morning or late afternoon, they come down to the beach to play and hunt for crabs in the sand. The monkeys on Lombok have not yet developed the skills of their Balinese cousins for stealing hats and glasses in return for rewards, but they will try and steal food and water if given the opportunity. Keep a safe distance from the monkeys and do not tease them,
Browse around Epicentrum Mall
if your child has had enough of the natural wonders of Lombok and wants a bit of air conditioning, spend a few hours at Lombok’s biggest and most popular mall. It is home to a multi screen cinema, where VIP seats with recliner chairs, blankets and waiter service are RP50,000 midweek. Kids will also find an amusement arcade, ball play for toddlers, virtual reality rides, archery and a small train ride for infants. There are the usual fast food outlets like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King as well as many international and local cuisines.
Kura Kura Water Park
Kura kura means turtle in Indonesian and this water park is themed around turtles. There are adult and kids pools, a current pool, slides, a bucket spill ride and when you have enough in the water there are some dry activities like trampoline, billiards, a gym, gift shop and restaurants. This is a popular local attraction and can get very busy at weekends and on holidays so is best visited midweek, in school time.
No matter what their ages are, kids are bound to have a great time on Lombok.