From the wonders of Petra to the blue waters of the Red Sea, here is everything you need to know about visiting Jordan with kids!
Jordan isn’t a place that is often associated with family travel. But my family isn’t one that looks at destinations based on their popularity.
What drew us to Jordan was the rich history, incredible food, warm and welcoming locals, and a wealth of incredible attractions that would soon put Jordan among our absolute favorite places to visit. Visiting Jordan with kids was an experience that opened up our eyes to the incredible potential of adventurous family travel and set us on a course that has, so far, led us to over 25 countries around the world.
This oasis of calm in the Middle East is a hotbed of family-friendly activities. There are many amazing experiences for kids in Jordan! Whether it’s a beach vacation by the Red Sea or sandboarding down the red sand dunes of Wadi Rum, Jordan has something for everyone.
Is It Safe To Travel In Jordan With Children?
Jordan boasts a local crime rate that is lower than that of Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. As well as being a very safe country to travel to, many Jordanians take great pleasure in doting on children.
Be prepared to have your children’s heads touched almost constantly by strangers hoping to elicit a smile from young faces. If you are an active father, be prepared to be complemented by local men for your parenting prowess. Jordan is a country where changing a diaper as it’s generally considered “women’s work,” yet I was regularly approached by men complimenting me for my involvement in the care of my children
Jordan has a very stable political environment that is relatively unaffected by the political unrest that has affected nearby countries such as Syria and Iraq. The government, in response to unreset nearby, was quick to implement security precautions to protect its citizens and those who travel to Jordan.
If you’re worried about whether visiting Jordan with kids is safe, I can assure you, that my family, and many of those who have talked to me after reading my guides, have loved every minute of their travels within the country.
What To Do With Kids In Jordan
Here is our list of the top amazing experiences for kids in Jordan.
To ensure you are visiting Jordan during ideal weather, we recommend going in April, May, or between September-November. Visiting Jordan with your kids during these dates allows for higher chances of warm weather with crystal blue skies all while avoiding the summer heat and wet winter weather.
Explore the Citadel in Amman
Pro-Tip: If you are a breastfeeding mother, breastfeeding in public is culturally acceptable in Jordan, but it is best to use a shawl or sheet to cover up in order to deter any unwanted attention.
The Citadel is an ancient fort and ruin located right in the center of Jordan’s capital, Amman. Sitting high above the city, it offers stunning views of the surrounding city including the roman forum and the Amman Palace.
Kids will love exploring the ruins which are open for climbing and adventure, getting up close to the massive pillars near the temple of Hercules, and picking fresh figs from the trees near the old Palace.
Discover The Castles Of Jordan
Jordan is rich in history and its place during the Crusades is chronicled in the ruined castles that line the King’s Highway. These ancient castles are fantastic for kids to explore. Throughout the many castles in Jordan, you’ll find secret tunnels, epic scenery, and windows into thousands of years of history.
Among our favorite castles in Jordan was Kerak Castle, a massive fortress in the town of Al-Karak in southern Jordan. It was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century and had incredible underground tunnels and secret passages.
Aljoun Castle near Amman is among the most accessible castles. It has amazing views of the surrounding countryside. While Qasr Amra, which is actually more of a palace than a castle features the oldest known map of the night sky.
You can read all about the coolest castles in Jordan here.
Enjoy The Beaches Of The Red Sea
Much of Jordan might be desert, but not all the sand is dunes. If you’re looking for a relaxing seaside breeze, head to Aqaba on the shores of the Red Sea for some sun and fun.
Aqaba has a wealth of family-friendly resorts offering a variety of facilities and activities for all ages, such as swimming pools, water parks, kids’ clubs, and organized activities. These resorts provide a comfortable and fun-filled stay for families. It’s a popular destination for both locals and visitors from nearby Israel and Egypt.
It’s hard to beat the Red Sea for its beauty and clear blue waters. The temperate sea makes swimming for hours a breeze and the incredible diversity of the marine life makes for perfect sightseeing when snorkeling. Kids will love splashing in the water in Aqaba! You can read about when Christina and I went SCUBA diving in the Red Sea here.
If you’re looking for great family resorts in Aqaba, consider the Al Manara Luxury Resort or the Kempinski Aqaba. Both are amazing for families. We stayed at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar on the Dead Sea and it was magical.
Sip Tea With Locals
Tea is a cultural past-time in Jordan and if a local offers you tea it’s considered rude to turn them down. The local Bedouin mint tea is absolutely delicious and caffeine-free, so kids can enjoy it as well (although it is very high in sugar).
Sitting down with locals and enjoying tea is a great way to get to learn and understand local culture and make new friends along the way. Throughout our 8 days in Jordan, we were invited to local houses in Petra, Amman, and Wadi Rum. Each invitation gave us an incredible opportunity to learn about local customs, and culture, and make unforgettable memories.
Hike The Dana Biosphere Reserve
Just 1 hour north of Wadi Musa, Dana Biosphere Reserve boasts some of Jordan’s most spectacular natural beauty and great hiking. My family only had a brief chance to take in the gorgeous surroundings of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, but we’re dying to get back and see more.
In hiking Dana, you will be treated to sites such as copper mines dating back to biblical times, streams lined with grasses and flowers, and some of the best wildlife viewing in Jordan.
The Dead Sea is one of the world’s most spectacular places. People travel from around the world to float, weightlessly, in the salt-rich waters and bathe in the mineral-rich mud. The water is so salinated that you can float, reading a book above your head, and not sink.
Kids, however, may find the salty water too painful on exposed cuts and scratches. I went in with a scratch on my side and it was very painful. D, who suffers from eczema, was also not a fan of the water, as it was just too uncomfortable.
But that doesn’t mean that kids can’t enjoy themselves at one of the many Dead Sea resorts in Jordan. Kids can treat themselves to a mud bath with the mineral-rich gunky stuff that people pay so much money for everywhere else in the world and wash themselves off in a freshwater shower. After all, what kid doesn’t like getting muddy?
The Dead Sea sits at the lowest elevation on the surface of the Earth, simply being in such a unique place is worthy on its own. And it makes for a wonderful night if you’ve got the time to spare. I highly recommend spending the night at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea. To this day, it’s one of my kids’ favorite resorts.
Camp Under The Stars In Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum offers some of the most incredible landscapes that you can possibly imagine. There’s a reason that Wadi Rum has been used as a set for movies like Star Wars, The Martian, and The Red Planet. With its red sand and rosy cliffs, it truly looks like it could be on Mars.
Staying in a Bedouin camp is one of the best ways to unwind in this incredible desert landscape. It’s no surprise as to why this is one of our favorite places to visit in Jordan. Kids will love running up and down the towering sand dunes, eating food that was cooked in traditional Berber style under the ground, trying to count the millions of stars, and sleeping in a Bedouin tent.
You can read all about our adventures Bedouin camping in Wadi Rum here. The Bedouin food was so incredible that it inspired me to put together this collection of my favorite Jordanian recipes. IF you love this kind of experience, you can also do a similar experience in Morocco where we went glamping in a Berber camp in the Sahara desert.
Ride Camels Through The Desert
You can’t visit the Middle East without taking the time to ride camels through the desert. This was our oldest son’s biggest ask when we came to Jordan and he made sure to ask every day if that was the day we would be riding camels in Jordan.
Camels are huge animals and your kids might be intimidated at first when they see them, but riding them is a truly serene experience (once you get up). Being carried through Wadi Rum on these magnificent beasts was the only time that our kids were quiet during the entire trip!
Since Jordan we’ve enjoyed camel treks through the Sahara Desert in Merzouga, Morocco, and past the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
Explore Petra On Horseback
Petra is one of the 7 wonders of the world and is without a doubt the most epic experience in all of Jordan. Petra is an ancient city built within the cliff walls of the Petra mountains. It’s a city that was lost to the modern world for centuries. Kids will love exploring the caves and ruins of the city.
The ruins of Petra cover a huge area, so one of the best ways to get into the lesser-explored areas is to hire a local with a horse to show you around. Only local Bedouin guides are allowed to give tours of Petra. These are people who once lived in the ruins before it was taken over as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Do ask around about the different guides as some treat their animals better than others. We were shown around by Mohammed with the Gold Tooth (Many local Bedouins only go by a single name, so often they use descriptors to tell them apart) and we highly recommend him.
Mohammed even lived in Petra before the local village was built and can show you the cave which he used to call home. You can read our complete guide to visiting Petra with kids here.
Jordan Children’s Museum
If you’ve got some extra time to spend in Jordan with your family, you might want to check out the Children’s Museum. This museum is geared towards children under the age of 12 and is a great place for kids to freely explore exhibits and come to their own conclusions after analyzing and learning from their experiences.
This 8,500 sqm museum has over 185 exhibits and offers programs, activities, and celebrations all year round. The kids can also enjoy other educational facilities such as the Art Studio, a Secret Garden, Library, and a TinkerLab.
How To Get Around Jordan As A Family
There is far more than just Amman to explore in Jordan. Seeing the most amazing places to visit in Jordan means traveling throughout the country. Luckily, Jordan is quite small, allowing your family to reach all your desired destinations while staying on budget and maintaining your itinerary.
One option to venture through Jordan with kids is via guided tours. Choosing a guided tour definitely has its perks. Guided tours have the availability of pick up/ drop off, have a live tour guide, allow entry fee to be waived, accommodations (on multiple day tours) and sometimes even meals are included.
During my family’s time in Jordan, we used a company called Jordan Select. They were excellent at getting us around safely and with enthusiasm. If you’re looking to combine a little DIY travel with some day tours, you can book shorter excursions from major cities using Get Your Guide or Viator.
They both have up to 130 activities in Jordan that kids and adults alike would enjoy. Booking reservations in advance to ensure your family gets a spot is highly recommended.
Driving in Jordan is quite safe. I won’t lie, the busy streets of Amman can be a little overwhelming if you haven’t experienced that kind of driving before, but once you’ve left the capital, things get much easier.
An incredible Jordan itinerary can be completed easily as a self-drive trip. Renting a car will allow your family the opportunity to go where you want when you want. Jordan covers a large area and there are many incredible things to see in between each of the major attractions.
As you travel through Jordan with your kids, going at your own pace is a great way to keep morale high. You can hire a rental through sites like Expedia and have your car ready for pickup once you’ve arrived at the airport.
Jordan has a decent public transportation system, at least in the major cities. Taking public transportation in the country makes for an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to get around.
When you are traveling with children in Jordan, keep in mind that public buses can be crowded and less comfortable than other modes of transportation. Also, outside the main cities, buses operate less frequently and are more limited in the distance they cover.
Tips For Visiting Jordan With Kids:
- September to October is the best time to visit Jordan if you’re looking for great temperatures. During this time it is typically hot in the daytime, but not unbearable, and pleasant during the evenings.
- Carry plenty of water. Jordan is located in the desert, and you may need more water than you are used to in other environments. Carry more water than you need to ensure that the kids are hydrated at all times
- Try to hike earlier or later in the day. The heat in the middle of the day is at its peak and could cause the kids to lose energy fast or get irritated.
- Cover up. The Jordan sun can be harsh on the skin, so consider wearing lightweight long sleeves and pants for sun protection.
- Make sure to sunscreen yourself and the kids. Wearing sunscreen helps prevent sunburn. Sunburn can quickly put a damper on your vacation.
- If you are a breastfeeding mother, breastfeeding in public is culturally acceptable in Jordan, but it is advisable to use a shawl or sheet to cover up.
- Children under 12 years can enter tourist sites for free when accompanied by their parents.
- Carry a first aid kit. Having a first aid kit handy can help prevent an injury from getting worse.
Places to Stay When You Arrive In Jordan
I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite hotels and resorts in Jordan for families. But if you’re on the move, these hotels will provide some great family-friendly accommodations around Amman to help you get your journey started.
Toledo Amman Hotel
On top of having a fantastic location, Toledo Amman Hotel has clean and spacious rooms and helpful staff. Its features include an indoor pool, spa, and gym, and is a short 20-minute walk to downtown Amman.
Seville restaurant and Andalusia Coffee shop are open 24/7 and serve both Arabic and continental cuisine. The parking is free at the Toledo Amman Hotel, and so is the Wifi. You can find their rates and availability here.
Just 16 km from Mount Nebo, Tala Villa’s main feature is beachfront accommodation with a terrace accompanied by a private pool and garden. T
ala Villa has the home away from home feel as the chalets consist of 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, and four bathrooms. It is also located only 30 miles away from Queen Alia International Airport. Parking is free in Tela Villa, and so is the Wifi.
You can find their rates and availability here.
The House Boutique Suites
26 KM from Queen Alia International Airport, The House Boutique Suites is central to many sites. Rainbow Street is just 500 meters down the road, while the Jordan Museum is a quick 1.1 km away.
Some rooms have their own seating area and every room has its own private washroom. The House Boutique Suites also has an outdoor pool and a fitness center. Parking is free in The House Boutique Suites, and so is the Wifi.
You can find their rates and availability here.
Are You Ready To Travel Through Jordan With Kids?
Jordan is an explorer’s paradise, and children are the world’s greatest explorers! In fact, it was our first trip to Jordan that inspired me to create our Wandering Wagars website in 2015 as a passion project. It’s now my full-time job to inspire families to travel and to give them the tools they need to do it safely.
Visit Jordan, you won’t regret it! If you are considering visiting Jordan with kids head over to our Family Travel Support Group on Facebook which is full of adventurous parents who are full of amazing tips on traveling with kids.
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Tuesday 6th of June 2017
Currently planning a trip to Jordan for October 2017 with three children. Your blogs are super helpful in deciding what to do. Thanks for sharing.
Tuesday 6th of June 2017
That's fantastic, thank you so much! Have an incredible trip!
Sunday 18th of September 2016
Thanks for sharing. You brought Jordan back on my list to places to visit. I can imagine the fun the kids can have at Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead sea. Your pictures of places are drool worthy !
Friday 9th of September 2016
Lovely list. I grew up there!!! AND we loved to organise group trips to some of the ruins. I hope you had the chance to visit Mount Nebo and the Mosaics in Madaba. --- Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing
Monday 12th of September 2016
We did! And we loved every second. The views from Mount Nebo are amazing and the mosaics in Madaba are so incredible to witness.
Thursday 8th of September 2016
Amazing place with amazing photography and amazing family ...
Thursday 8th of September 2016
Thanks so much!
Wednesday 22nd of June 2016
I'm glad this article exists! I went to Jordan years ago on my own, but now that I have kids, I never thought about how good it could be for kids!
Wednesday 22nd of June 2016
We are so glad that we took our kids there!