It's easy to see why Jordan is a popular family destination. The wedge of land surrounded by Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, with a small slice of coastline at the north-eastern tip of the Red Sea, is one big family playground. There are plenty of things to do in Jordan for kids, including riding camels in the desert and exploring Crusader castles.
Lawrence of Arabia's desert to Indiana Jones' Petra, Jordan is a natural playground. With plenty of fun in the sun, sand and mud, it's a great spot for a family vacation. Here are some things to do in Jordan for kids.
EXPLORE WADI RUM. The 4WD stops at the foot of the towering sand dune and a family alights. The landscape around them is stunning, with towering rocky monoliths that rise from the desert floor. Running down sand dunes is high on the list of must-do family activities at Wadi Rum but there are plenty more things to do in Jordan in the desert. The canyons and rock bridges are intriguing to explore. Lawrence's Spring was once a waterhole for Bedouin caravans and older children will have fun scrambling up the rocky hill. There's a Bedouin tent at the foot of the hill where the young ones can play in the shade. Adults can rest cross-legged on comfortable Arabian-style cushions sipping mint tea. Staying in a Bedouin camp is a family bonding experience and one of the more memorable things to do in Jordan.
FLOAT IN THE DEAD SEA. Staying at a Dead Sea resort is as much fun as sleeping under the stars. Despite its name, the Dead Sea is not a sea. It's actually a salt lake that lies 400m below sea level, bordering Jordan, Israel and Palestine's West Bank. It has the highest salt concentration in the world, contains 21 minerals (12 of which can be only found in these waters). Most international resorts on the lake that cater for families by offering babysitting services, kids' clubs and children's pools. There's fun in the mud for the whole family down by the lake, where everyone slathers mud over their arms, legs, bodies and faces. They look like commandoes in bikinis and board shorts, staring across the Dead Sea towards the West Bank, a territory that has been fought over by the Palestine and Israel for half of the last century. The buoyancy of the water makes it safe for non-swimmers and anyone who gets into the Dead Sea will bob up and down like a cork. Another amazing experience is drifting over the desert landscape in a hot air balloon over Wadi Rum.
DISCOVER PETRA. Depending on the children’s ages, a good thing to do before going to Jordan is to watch “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Ben Hur”. Of all Jordan’s treasures, Petra Archaeological Park is the jewel in the crown. What’s most amazing is that the intricate carvings in Petra Jordan were done more than two thousand years ago by the Nabataeans.Petra’s ruins have been World Heritage-listed since 1985 and voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Seeing Petra for the first time is a wondrous experience for most, no matter what age.