Known for its sprawling business districts and glitzy shopping centres, South Jakarta is a favourite destination among locals and expats alike. It’s one of the best places for a holiday with the children in Indonesia, too; this progressive administrative city is home to many middle-to-upper-class families and is fast becoming the most integrated mixed-use area in the country. There are numerous educational and entertaining attractions made specifically with kids in mind; keep reading for some of our top picks:
1. Get Up Close and Personal with the Animals at Ragunan Zoo
Indonesia’s most famous zoo is packed with activities for young animal lovers, as well as the young at heart. Ragunan Zoo is over a hundred and fifty years old and occupies 140 hectares of land, where a staff of 450 cares for over 3,000 animals, including birds. In the process of meeting their favourite creatures, your children can also learn more about the environment, as well as how to protect these animals’ natural habitats. Animal shows are performed during the weekends, and you can also enjoy pony cart rides, let the kids run wild at the playground, or board boats to explore Ragunan Lake.
2. Visit Kota Kasablanka Mall
Known to locals as KoKas, this upscale mall combines shopping with leisure, dining, and entertainment facilities to create an experience that’s well worth the jaunt out to Tebet. Middle-to-high class boutiques occupy its 6 floors; anchor tenants include Japanese department store chain Sogo and French hypermarket chain Carrefour. There is a dedicated Japanese food and beverage area called Little Tokyo; a multitude of other dining choices are available at The Food Society food court. Kota Kasablanka Mall also houses a variety of attractions for kids, including a rooftop swimming pool, an indoor soft play area called Chipmunks Playland, a video game arcade, and a cineplex. The complex also houses a convention and exhibition centre called The Kasablanka where mainstream acts such as BTS, Fifth Harmony, and The Script have performed.
3. Ride the Duck Boats at Setu Babakan Betawi Cultural Village
The Betawi people are an Austronesian ethnic group native to Jakarta, and their vibrant culture depicts influences from the Portuguese, Chinese, Sundanese and Javanese. It is largely recognized and promoted by the municipal government as an identity for the city, and the Betawi dialect is the common vernacular used in dramas and local television shows. Learn more about these fascinating people and their way of life at the Setu Babakan Betawi Cultural Village, a 289-hectare complex maintained by the local government to showcase and preserve this indigenous culture.
Visit the Betawi Museum to learn about traditional Betawi arts, costumes, and tools, and take in a cultural performance or learn about the traditional martial art called silat beksi. For a small fee, you can also ride duck boats at Setu Babakan lake, an activity that children will surely enjoy. This is also a fantastic place to try out traditional Betawi dishes and delicacies such as Soto Betawi, a thick soup made with beef, coconut milk, herbs and spices, and Ketupat Sayur, a rice cake and vegetable dish commonly had for breakfast.
4. Let Them Live Their Dreams at Kidzania Jakarta
Located on the 6th floor of the Pacific Place Mall, Kidzania is an indoor theme park for children between 1 and 14 years old. Fashioned as a miniaturized version of a city, kids can independently explore and learn through roleplay activities inspired by jobs in real-world industries. With over 60 available roles to try, your child is sure to find an industry that attracts them. At Kidzania, your child can live out his dream of becoming a firefighter, TV director, police officer, or chef—or all of them, in a single day! Sessions typically last between 20 to 30 minutes, but we guarantee this place will keep them occupied for hours.
5. Splash Around at Pondok Indah Water Park
Visiting this 1,200-hectare water park is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. There’s a wet play area for kids called Aqua Play, featuring a 600-liter giant bucket that dumps its contents in a cascade once full, as well as water guns and slides for the little ones. Meanwhile, the rest of the family will surely enjoy the assortment of slides, water rides, and attractions available, including a dedicated surfing zone called FlowRider, a Wave Pool and Lazy River, and the thrilling Whizzard Slide. It’s conveniently located within the Pondok Indah Mall complex.
Kids—and kids at heart—won’t have a difficult time finding child-friendly activities during their stay in South Jakarta. No matter the season, families can rest assured that they’ll always have something that they can do and learn together while on a holiday in the city.