Jordan is a massively underrated destination for family travel, especially for more adventurous and outdoorsy groups. The country has no shortage of open spaces to run, hike, or cycle, alongside fully accessible ancient ruins to explore.
As a bonus, Arab tradition usually calls for big families and lots of dedicated family time, so there’s no lack of activities for children of all ages. People are accustomed to dealing with kids and are often very friendly, so don’t be surprised if someone offers your child a sweet or a trinket.
Is Jordan good for kids?
Family is extremely important to Jordanians, and people are often open and relaxed with children. Respect, space and help are routinely offered to pregnant women and families.
While the Jordanian people are very friendly towards children, traveling to Jordan can present unique challenges for families, including lack of public transportation and sidewalks, variable road safety and indoor smoking. That said, restaurants all have non-smoking areas by law and many have outdoor seating to complement the beautiful weather. It’s also good to note that public breastfeeding is strongly discouraged and the country is generally not stroller friendly due to uneven roads.
Nevertheless, places will make every effort to accommodate your family and make your stay as comfortable as possible, so don’t be shy and ask for whatever you need. Also, many attractions have free entry or discounts for children and most restaurants have a kids menu for pickier eaters.
Where is best in Jordan for kids
The capital city of Amman boasts a few fun museums and ruins, but the most fun activities are a little off the beaten path. From snorkeling and scuba diving to cable-car rides and stargazing in an indescribably massive sandbox, Jordan has a lot to offer just beneath the surface.
Best things to do in Jordan with kids
Check out Amman’s fun museums
Right next to each other in Amman’s Al-Hussein public parks are the Children’s Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum. The Children’s Museum is a favorite of local families and is a safe, fun and stimulating spot for younger kids, while the Royal Automobile Museum is loved by kids and adults alike for its collection of oddities, classics and sports cars.
Relax like a Roman at the amphitheater
The Roman Theater is a must-see. This millennia-old, 6000-seat theater is fully accessible and free to enter and explore. The Al-Hussein Plaza, which houses the theater, is one of the largest open spaces in the city and an optimal place for a game of soccer or a picnic, an idea shared by many Ammanis.
Connect with nature in Ajloun
The northern city of Ajloun is largely dominated by the beautiful and serene Ajloun Forest Reserve, which boasts some of the greatest biodiversity in the country. It harbors cycling and hiking trails, as well as a cable-car ride through the forest. From March to November, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature operates forest lodges that serve as great bases for exploring, nature watching and relaxing.
Best things to do in Jordan with teens and tweens
Try a cycling safari in Al-Shaumari
Located in the eastern desert, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is one of the very few places in the world where one can still see the Arabian oryx, and very likely the only place on Earth where you can cycle among them as they graze and saunter around the area. You can rent the bikes here and the rides are unique, safe and not too strenuous.
Stargaze in Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a staple for travelers to Jordan for good reason. There is a variety of different camps to choose from, ranging from glam bubble tents to the full Bedouin experience, and no shortage of fun if you make camp yourself. There are rock climbing tours, alongside smaller boulders that need no guides or invitation, as well as sand dunes to roll down and even options for a (pricey if unforgettable) hot air balloon ride.
See the Red Sea
Make the trip to Aqaba and stay at the Ayla or Tala Bay compounds for the complete Jordanian vacation. Opt for one of the area’s luxurious resorts or rent an apartment for a more down-to-earth stay – either way, you’ll be able to experience the beauty of the Red Sea. Few places can boast the beauty of Aqaba’s reefs, water clarity and concentration of wildlife, making it a perfect place for snorkeling and scuba diving, whether from a boat or off the beach. For more high-octane fun, families can try a whole host of water sports, ranging from pedalos to paragliding.
The Jordan Pass, which includes the on-arrival visa and most historical attractions, is worthwhile only if your children are above the ages of 12. Younger kids enter the major attractions for free. That said, it is absolutely a worthwhile investment for parents and teenagers.
If you are planning to visit Petra, keep in mind that it is a relatively demanding walk, and the route is not stroller friendly and usually very hot. While club cars and donkeys are available for rides, these are often exploitatively priced. Consider waiting until the kids are older and skipping the heat by doing the Petra by Night tour, which isn’t covered by the Jordan Pass.
The Dead Sea, another must-see Jordanian destination, is not optimal for younger kids as getting the water into your eyes is excruciatingly painful and quite dangerous.
In general, bring your own water and snacks, as they’re not always available and if they are, they are sometimes unreasonably priced.
Driving in Jordan can be challenging, but it opens up many possibilities – consider booking a personal driver if you plan to go off the beaten path. If you’re planning a shorter stay, Jett Bus is a comfortable, economic mode of transport that goes to many of the major locations. Within Amman, the ridesharing apps Uber and Careem are the way to go.