Today we are excited to be launching our ‘Visitors’ Series’. This is a Lifestyle Series based on some recent first hand experiences of hosting guests in Jakarta and was inspired by A list of little things we do for house guests visiting Jakarta post.
’Family Visiting With Young Children’ is the first post in the series.
What will be included in the Visitor Series?
- Tips for preparing for guests visiting you in Jakarta
- Suggested Itineraries
- A range of useful web links
Welcoming two gorgeous boys aged 18 months and 5 years and their parents to Jakarta
My sister, her husband and their two gorgeous boys visited us in Jakarta at Easter time this year. Their visit consisted of 5 days in Jakarta and then an island hop to Lombok. This is what we did to prepare for their stay and what we got up to!
Arrival and Transport
- Have some familiar, easy to eat foods available in the car when you pick up your visitors at the airport. Some suggestions include: water, apple juice, simple sandwiches, crackers, small muffins and bananas. Pack some straws. They make drinking from bottles in the car much easier. Remember your trip home could take between 30 mins (early in the morning) to 2 hours ( in peak hour).
Do you need to use a car seat? Absolutely! Yes!
- There are no car seat laws in Indonesia. The majority of children in Jakarta travel with their parents on motor bikes, a minority travel by car and many do not travel in a car seat. That doesn’t mean you can’t transport the children staying with you safely. You can.
- Your options are to borrow a car seat from an expat friend who may have one they are not using, or to hire one.
- We hired a baby car seat for our 18 month old delightful guest, from Sewa Main Baby which translates as ‘rent play equipment for babies.’ Their website is written in English. Main Baby delivered and fitted the car seat at our house. The car seat included a 5 point harness which is the standard we would expect, and it was fitted correctly into our car.
Making your guests feel at home
Entertainment in and around the house
- You will need toys! A gorgeous friend delivered large plastic containers filled with duplos, leggo, blocks, cars and car ramps for the children to play with while staying with us. These toys provided hours of entertainment; especially in those first hours, and days when the children were still settling in, and the jet lag was wearing off.
- Pool time (for all ages). Drag out your kick boards, and blow up your pool toys. Your home swimming pool will provide hours of fun, particularly if your visitors are coming from cold climates.
- Take a walk out on your street. Children will be interested in the food carts, the man selling balloons, fish, brooms, and buckets.
Entertainment in the car
- No screens needed. Older kids will be mesmerised by the motor bikes, and food carts whizzing by, and all the action out on the street.
Enjoy sweet tropical fruit and snacks using local ingredients
- Why not provide a fruit platter each day, with delicious tropical fruit. See Jo’s post on Tropical fruits of Indonesia and Hummus using local ingredients.
Baby supplies stocked in supermarkets
- It’s important for your visitors to know that supermarkets in Jakarta are quite well stocked with international named brands; carrying many imported brands from all over the world.
- Your guests will be able to buy nappies, baby wipes, baby formulae, baby cereals and baby food.
- Swimming nappies however, are not easily found in Jakarta.
- I would normally add a stack of empty plastic containers or cups in the bath for bathtime play, but it’s not possible in Jakarta because the tap water is not safe for drinking, and we all know little ones love to drink the bath water.
- Borrow or hire a portable cot.
- We hired a portable cot from Sewa Main Baby. They provided an excellent service and the product was of excellent quality.
Places to eat and play
I can’t think of any restaurant I’ve been to in Jakarta that wasn’t child friendly. In fact most restaurants in the malls and reputable places are very accommodating of children. It is very common to take children out to eat in Jakarta.
Here’s two child friendly places to eat and play in South Jakarta
- Plataran restaurant is set inside a Joglo house ( traditional house of the Javanese people) in the leafy Dharmawangsa precinct. They serve Indonesian cuisine.
- They provide high chairs.
- In the garden are birds, a lawn to run and play on while Mum and Dad finish their lunch on the verandah.
- The beautiful Javanese architecture inside the restaurant and the verandah are also perfect for family photos together.
Twin House Cipete
- Twin House is located on Jl. Cipete Raya. It has a fresh modern cafe space inside and a great space for children to play outside.
- This is a nice spot to stop for morning or afternoon tea; or if the traffic is horrendous and everyone needs to get out of the car and stretch their legs.
- The cafe will provide picnic mats and bean bags, if you wish to sit outside.
Other activities and destinations you might like for all ages
- In PIM 2, kids can take a ride with a parent on a train that winds its way around the ground floor. After that, why not go for coffee or lunch at Monolog Coffee PIM 3 or Union.
- If your guests are visiting in the holiday season many good hotels hold special brunch events which will include activities for the kids. We took our family to the Hotel Mulia for Easter brunch this year, and the food and the kids activities were a hit for everyone. The Hotel Dharmawangsa also does an excellent special occasion brunch with activities for children.
- AMPED Trampoline Park
- Bremgra Indoor Climbing Gym
- Taman Safari
- Waterbom Jakarta
- Pondok Indah Water Park (see below)
For your visitors to take home
- Have costumes for kids made whilst here, ready for Halloween and parties when they return home.
- Ask your guests to bring pictures of their costume to show the seamstress. Ibu Yana is a skilled seamstress. We recommend her services.
- Some pre-planning in advance will be needed.
- Buy fabric before your guests arrive to have the job completed before the visit is over. Pasar mayestik is the perfect place to buy very reasonably priced fabric.
- Indonesian expat houses can provide some physical challenges for small children, but nothing that can’t be managed with some pre-planning. Some challenges include: hard floors, swimming pools that are not fenced, stairs, sometimes deep stairwells, balconies, ponds and water features. So it’s a good idea to spend some time assessing and managing for potential safety risks in your home, before your precious family arrive.
Avoiding mosquito bites
- You don’t want any of your visitors being infected by dengue fever while they are visiting you.So reducing the risk of being bitten by mosquitos particularly the Aedes mosquito is also an extremely important consideration. Read more about dengue fever here.
Suggestions to protect yourself and your guests against mosquito bites include:
- Avoid outdoor activity, particularly around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear light clothing such as long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
- Wear mosquito repellent that contains the active constituents DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin. Reapply regularly and make sure you follow directions for safe use on the label.
- Apply a product, such as permethrin, to your clothes or bedding
Have we missed anything under any of the areas we covered in today’s post?
Let us know in the comments below.
Words Liz Photography a journey bespoke