Ever heard of Surabaya? This bustling city, located in East Java, Indonesia, offers the best of both worlds — a vibrant urban environment and breathtaking natural landscapes. Boasting a rich tapestry of history and culture, a vibrant food scene, and awe-inspiring natural beauty that caters to all ages, it's an unexpected gem for families seeking an exhilarating blend of city and outdoor adventures. 

But we hear you—planning family vacations can be both thrilling and challenging, especially when finding activities that cater to the boundless energy of little ones and the desire for a memorable experience among parents. 

There may already be a list of fun things to do in Surabaya, but what can you do with your kids in tow? Well, we've got you covered!

1. Surabaya Zoo: An exotic adventure awaits

Think of a day out where the wild thrills of nature meet the wonders of the animal world. That's Surabaya Zoo for you—a place buzzing with life and echoing with the calls of the wild. Home to over 2,179 animals across 230 species, this zoo is an animal sanctuary that showcases the beauty and diversity of Indonesia's wildlife, alongside species from around the world.

As you wander through its expansive grounds, you’ll find yourself embarking on a global safari. One moment you're in the dense Indonesian jungles, catching a glimpse of the elusive Sumatran tiger, and the next, you're in the African savannah, marvelling at the grace of Javanese bulls. 

Each turn is a new page in this living storybook, where playful primates swing from branches and mysterious marine creatures glide in watery worlds. Get your child to spot these animals when you walk around the zoo; perhaps, get them to spell out the names of these animals so they’re always engaged. 

You and your kids can also enjoy the zoo's immersive experiences that bring you face-to-face with nature's marvels—it's educational, it's interactive, and it's downright fun. 

Ticket prices: Rp.15,000 per person (S$1.30) (Children above the height of 0.85 metres will be charged the adult fee); Rp.13,000 per person for group tickets (S$1.15)
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Address: Jl. Setail No.1, Darmo, Kec. Wonokromo, Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60241, Indonesia

2. Surabaya Submarine Monument: Dive into naval history

Delve into a chapter of maritime history at the Surabaya Submarine Monument (Monumen Kapal Selam), locally known as Monkasel. Nestled near Plaza Surabaya, this unique attraction—the Soviet-built submarine, KRI Pasopati 410—is a testament to naval engineering and a portal into the captivating world of undersea exploration. It's Asia's largest submarine monument that stealthily cruised the ocean depths on various missions during the 1960s. Today, it’s an enthralling destination for families, history buffs, and the curious at heart.

The true experience unfolds as one steps inside the submarine which is now transformed into a museum. Here, the echoes of history resonate, capturing the essence of Indonesia's journey to independence and the remnants of Dutch colonial rule. 

Your kids will love the fascinating exhibits that reveal the daily lives of naval officers through its seven compact compartments. Each room, a capsule of history, offers a glimpse into the submariners' world, from their modest lodgings to the heart of the vessel. Why not film your child acting as a naval officer?

Within the complex of the monument, you can also watch cinematic movies featuring the submarine when it was on duty. These give a vivid sense of the vessel's storied past and the gripping adventures it once embarked upon.

While you’re here, take a stroll along the picturesque riverside of Kalimas located in the backdrop of this attraction. Better yet, check out the sunset!

Entrance fee: Rp.10,000 per ticket (S$0.90)
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00am – 9:00pm
Address: Jl. Pemuda No.39, Embong Kaliasin, Kec. Genteng, Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60271, Indonesia

3. al-Akbar National Mosque: a modern architectural marvel

Stepping into the Masjid al Akbar, or the al-Akbar National Mosque, is like entering a realm where spirituality meets modern architectural ingenuity. While a place for prayer, the mosque is a stunning symbol of Surabaya's commitment to blending religious devotion with contemporary design. While it’s not the first in mind when considering fun kid-friendly activities to do in Surabaya, we find that it offers a peaceful break from the city's hustle, inviting families to a space of cultural learning and serenity.

The first thing that captures the eye is the mosque's spectacular domes. Adorned in watery turquoise tiles, they shimmer under the sun, creating a mesmerising effect. It's an architectural wonder that leaves visitors spellbound. 

Walking through its vast halls, there's a sense of tranquillity that envelops you, further enhanced by the warm welcome from its friendly staff. They're eager to share the mosque's story, offering guided tours that enrich the experience.

But the true highlight is the journey up the Ottoman-style minaret. As the elevator ascends, anticipation builds, and upon reaching the top, Surabaya unfolds beneath you in a breathtaking panorama. It's a view that’s not just visually stunning but also spiritually uplifting, offering a moment of serene reflection above the bustling Indonesian city. 

Let your child experience the grandeur of this architectural marvel, instilling a sense of awe and appreciation for cultural and religious diversity.

Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Address: Jl. Masjid Al-AkbarTimur No.1, Pagesangan, Kec. Jambangan, Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60274, Indonesia

4. Chinatown: A cultural and culinary delight

Wandering through Surabaya's Chinatown is an adventure for the senses, especially for families with kids. This vibrant district marbles the city with its rich history and a tantalising culinary scene, perfect for little explorers eager for new experiences.

As you and your kids meander through the streets, you’ll find the Kong Co Kong Tik Cun Ong Temple standing as a majestic centrepiece. It's not just a sight to behold but also a chance for your little ones to learn about the spiritual heritage of one of Indonesia's largest Buddhist temples. Nearby, the bustling Pasar Pabean market is a sensory playground, offering a mix of goods and experiences that can spark curiosity in young minds.

Mornings in Chinatown are a delight, with the aroma of traditional Chinese breakfast delicacies enticing even the pickiest of eaters. As evening falls, the culinary adventure heightens. Here, you can introduce your child to a variety of foods, from authentic Chinese dishes to innovative fusion cuisine, turning dinner time into a fun, educational experience.

Adding to the allure is the "Kya-Kya" Chinatown attraction along Kembang Jepun Street, unveiled as part of the celebration of Indonesia's 77th Independence Anniversary. This 750-metre-long and 20-metre-wide vibrant street, lined with an array of food and beverage stalls, offers a lively atmosphere that's both enchanting and educational. It's a bustling hotspot that families must visit, offering a feast for the senses and a delightful glimpse into the local culture.

5. Pasar Atom: A family-friendly mall experience

Walking around the mall is always a fun activity for families with kids. Your best spot is the Pasar Atom Surabaya! A bustling hub that’s a feast for the senses and a paradise for food enthusiasts, the mall (or market, perhaps?) is a delightful maze of culinary treasures, offering an authentic taste of Indonesia’s rich gastronomic heritage.

As you navigate through the vibrant stalls, the aroma of time-honoured dishes fills the air, inviting you to sample a variety of Indonesian snacks and kueh. Not sure what to eat in Surabaya? For a unique treat, try the Bubur Madura. This sweet treat is a harmonious blend of coconut milk, rice flour, and sago, simmered to perfection until it reaches a sumptuously thick consistency. Or, have a taste of authentic Madurese sweet porridge at Mbak Nur. Their menu features a variety of local snacks, from marrow porridge to pearl porridge, all generously drizzled with rich coconut milk sauce and a luscious helping of liquid brown sugar sauce on top. 

But Pasar Atom isn’t just about tantalising your taste buds. It’s a family-friendly destination with a multitude of fun things to do, including shopping options, from souvenirs to kids’ essentials at stores like Pom Pom Kids. And for a dash of fun, KiDZiLLA offers the perfect indoor playground where children can dive into a pit of colourful balls, whoosh down slides, and let their imaginations run wild. 

Opening hours: Daily: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Address: Pasar Atom, Jl. Bunguran No.45, Bongkaran, Pabean Cantikan, Surabaya, East Java 60161, Indonesia

6. Indoor playgrounds: Where little adventures take flight

Of course, we couldn’t just stop at one indoor playground recommendation! If you think Singapore’s indoor playgrounds are enough to satisfy your kids, think again.

Surabaya has plenty and is perfect for little adventurers looking for big fun (trust us when we say they’ll want to go back). 

Kiddoland at Tunjungan Plaza (and other malls like Royal Plaza) is a toddler's dream, with boat, train, and car rides, plus two interactive play areas for endless giggles and creativity. After playtime, grab a spicy, crispy Ayam Geprek at Ayam Keprabon Express in the mall for a delicious local treat.

Over at Chipmunks in Pakuwon Mall, kids can dive into a world of adventurous play. This spot's ideal for birthday parties (if you’re celebrating overseas), with a variety of games in a clean, spacious setting. It’s an adventure zone for kids over three, and don't forget the socks!

Then there's Playtopia Ciputra World, where play and learning collide in a bright, cheerful space. From slides to trampolines, it's a haven for active kids. The playground encourages little ones to get creative with colouring and counting games, suitable for tots and above.

Bonus: Quick tips when touring Surabaya with your kids

Surabaya, a city bustling with life and culture, offers a wonderful family adventure. To ensure your trip is smooth and enjoyable, here are some essential tips for touring Surabaya with kids:

What to pack for a trip to Surabaya with kids

Pack these into your luggage before flying off to Surabaya:

  • Comfortable clothing: Surabaya's tropical climate calls for lightweight, breathable fabrics. Pack plenty of cotton outfits for your kids.
  • Sun protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are a must to protect your family from the tropical sun.
  • Reusable water bottles: Stay hydrated on the go and reduce plastic waste.
  • Snacks: Keep some healthy snacks handy to fuel your little explorers.
  • First aid kit: Always useful for minor scrapes or allergies.
  • Entertainment: Books, games, or tablets can be lifesavers during travel downtime.

Where to stay in Surabaya with kids

Consider family-friendly hotels with kid-friendly amenities. Here are some suggestions:

  • The Westin Surabaya: Offers free bikes and an outdoor swimming pool, perfect for family fun.
  • The Paneya @Benson Apartment: Equipped with a kids' pool, indoor play area, and outdoor play equipment.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Surabaya: Features a kids' club allowing parents some time off for spa treatments.
  • Oakwood Hotel & Residence Surabaya: Boasts a family-friendly restaurant and cosy accommodations.

What to eat in Surabaya with kids

Exploring Surabaya's attractions isn’t complete without one activity: relishing its unique local flavours. Treat your family to Almond Crispy chips, Bu Rudy’s Chilli Sauce, and the famous Surabaya Snowcake. These delicacies embody the city's rich culinary heritage and are perfect souvenirs. For kids, look out for child-friendly dishes and local sweets that are less spicy but equally delicious. These flavours will surely bring back fond memories of your Surabaya adventure even after you return home.


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With flights from Singapore to Surabaya that make travel easy and a plethora of activities and delightful cuisine, the Indonesian city offers a diverse range of experiences. Whether you're seeking adventure, cultural exploration, or simply a relaxing getaway, Surabaya has something special for everyone. 

So, make your plans, pack your bags, and embark on a journey to this captivating Indonesian destination.

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Best time to visit
The best time to visit Surabaya is between May and September, which are considered the drier months of its tropical climate. However, do drop a raincoat for the kids or umbrellas in your travel backpack just in case!

The official currency of Surabaya is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR or Rp.). You can buy currencies at real-time exchange rates and collect your currencies at Changi Airport using Changi Recommends FX. 

For hassle-free navigation around Surabaya, especially with kids, taxis are your best bet. Opt for reliable services like Uber, GrabTaxi, or the well-trusted Bluebird Taxis. While buses are available, they tend to be crowded. Most tourists prefer taxis for comfort and convenience.

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You can get to Surabaya via a flight from Singapore to Juanda International Airport. Book your tickets to Surabaya now!