Hi, I’m Ratih from Jakarta, Indonesia. Some years ago my husband and I lived in The Netherlands and had a never ending love affair with Europe, but we decided to come home since the craving for Indonesian food is bigger than the affair. We started a family here in our hometown Jakarta and now i’m enjoying my time as a mother and wife. I’m also working in a private security company and struggling to draw out more time to keep doing road trips with my family of 4 for a balanced life. My husband and I have been doing road trips way back before the kids, in our babymoons and now with the kids. We did road trips in Indonesia, Europe, UK, and recently Thailand and still planning to do a lot more. My travel stories were published on some major media in Indonesia, now I’m finding ways for telling stories through my personal blog which is more focus on the family road trips (ratihjanis.com) and maintaining a community for Indonesian family with the passion of traveling, familygoers (familygoers.com).
On some weekends when we got nothing to do, exploring Jakarta is also fun for the family. Here’s what we do…
5:30 AM Wake up. Parents only! Do not wake the kids, just move them from bed to car seats and drive to Ragunan Zoo. Trust me it’s for the best 😀
6:00 AM Arrive at the oldest zoo in Indonesia, Ragunan Zoo (Jl. Harsono RM. no. 1, Ragunan, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia, +62 21 2884 7114). If the kids haven’t woken up just let them be and move them from car seats to strollers so you and your partner can have some quiet time together while strolling around the area. It is a perfect time to spend early Saturday morning before the sun gets too overwhelming and crowded. You will need hours to fully explore the 350 acre zoo, when the kids wake up you will possibly be stopping in some interesting spot for observing animals, horse carriage rides, playground activities, cycling, etc.
07:00 AM Breakfast. The most convenient way is to bring your own breakfast, the kids will enjoy having breakfast picnic in the greenery. You can also try the typical Indonesian breakfast such as Bubur Ayam (Chicken Rice Porridge) or Nasi Pecel (Javanese rice dish served with cooked vegetables and peanut sauce) which can be easily found in near the greenery area.
09:00 AM Head back home, take a shower and a quick nap to restore your energy and be ready for the next activities. The day will still be a long one…
11:30 AM Lunch. Easiest way to have lunch is going to the nearest mall with no hustle and bustle since most of the major malls in Jakarta provide adequate facilities for children including breastfeeding room which is a highlight for a breastfeeding mom like myself. My favourite nearby malls for taking the kids are Gandaria City (Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, Kebayoran Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia, +62 21 290 52 888). You can just go to the restaurant and cafe area and pick any kind of meal from local to western. If I’m in the mood for some Indonesian food then Remboelan or Kafe Betawi will be the best.
01:00 PM Cinema. Jakarta has a-okay cinemas such as XXI, CGV or Cinemaxx which mostly can be found inside the malls. My son loves cinema since it is associated with sweet treats and popcorn. Meanwhile my little girl will fell asleep through the movie. The regular cinema will be entertaining enough, if you have more time just take the kids to Cinemaxx Junior (Maxxbox Lippo Village Lantai 2, Jl. Boulevard Jend. Sudirman No. 1110, Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia, +62 21 2917 1871) near Jakarta where they can experience both movies and play (tube slides, flying fox, giant trampoline, climbing, etc)
04:00 PM Beach or Park.
The public parks are continually being expanded and fixed in Jakarta, it is a nice place to escape for awhile from the busy city. There are some child friendly open spaces, these places are the best spot to blend in and hang out with the locals. The most popular one is Kali Jodo (Jl. Bidara Raya No.18, Pejagalan, Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara, Indonesia), a place with long history way back from the colonial era up to recent year where it was once a red light district which had been rebuilt into a good quality skatepark and playground.
Meanwhile for visiting the beach, you can go to Ancol Dreamland (Jl. Lodan Timur No.7, RW.10, Ancol, Pademangan, Jakarta Utara, Indonesia) where there are some choices of beach area. The most recommended beach is the one with white sandy beach located behind the ABC Mall. Remember that swimming is prohibited since it’s too steep but surely the kids will have lots of fun playing sands. There are free fireworks show every month on the 22nd and you can also enjoy live music every saturday and sunday evening. It is the hippest family friendly beach in Jakarta
06:00 PM Dinner. Having fresh seafood for dinner in Bandar Jakarta (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol Pintu Timur, Jl. Kawasan Wisata Ancol, Ancol, Pademangan, Jakarta Utara, Indonesia, +62 21 64 55 472) will be a perfect choice to end the day.
08:00 PM Bed. Kids only! When other people need coffee to stay awake, I need coffee to sleep better. So after the kids off to bed then it’s movie time and enjoying my night coffee with some Martabak (a savoury which looks like a pile of pancakes but tasted much better, it is the king of Indonesian street food). You can get the best one from Martabak Favourite Rawamangun (Jl. Balai Pustaka No.27A, Rawamangun, Pulo Gadung, Jakarta Timur, Indonesia). Perfect way to end the day in Jakarta…
So that’s how my family enjoy the weekend in Jakarta. Since my kids are still 4yo and 1yo, I try to mix the activities which are fun for both age. I skip the theme parks which is more suitable for older children. You can spend a day in the beach area and doing some islands hopping, pay a visit to the old town where you can find unique museums, see miniature of Indonesia and its culture at a glance, explore the best malls in town, or just sit back and relax in the park…Jakarta has a lot to offer despite it’s unbelievable traffic.
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