Visiting Petra with Kids

What makes for a favorite kid destination?  What has to be there to make sure to keep your kid’s interest?

Meg from Backpack to Buggy once commented on one of my posts here that all kids really need are some rocks to play with and they are happy.  My friend (and sometime TSM contributor), Jody Mace, once joked that horse poop makes a fine and versatile distraction for kids.  And my own mother, Laurel, says that sand is the great equalizer when it comes to keeping kids occupied.

So if we hold these three basic axioms to be true, then Petra is a true kid’s paradise.  Because you can find all three of these in mass quantities across the archeological park.

But all kidding aside, Petra really is a fantastic place for kids.  I know that Petra is on the must-see list for many adults (and not just because it was featured in the third Indiana Jones flick) but it’s also the perfect place for the pre-school set to explore history.  The park is big enough that kids of all ages have plenty of room to run around.  You can scramble up the hills and get dirty in at least 4 different colors thanks to the special colored rocks.  The mountains are full of caves to wander into.

You can race along the famous al-Siq in a chariot.  There are camels, donkeys and horses roaming about.  You can explore the many buildings and tombs built right into the rock wall.  You can get prime seats to watch the famed Bedouin “donkey boys” race along the old Roman road.  And there are plenty of Bedouin children that will actively engage with your child.

Honestly, it’s no great matter that your child won’t necessarily get the gist of the Nabatean people’s role in history.  They’ll still be aware that they are standing in an incredibly magical and special place.  And they’ll thank you for it later.

And that’s worth remembering when you see them going after that horse poop.


Need a family friendly hotel near Petra?  Read Kayt’s review of the Moevenpick Petra Nabatean Castle.



  1. says

    Petra the world wonder is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable Treasure and Greatest Tourist attraction. It is a vast, Unique City, Carved into the Sheer Rock Face by the Nabataeans, an Industrious Arab People who settled here more than 2000 Years ago, Turning it into an important Junction for the Silk, Spice and other Trade Routes that linked China, India and Southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

  2. says

    Love your blog- I found it through babble. Congrats on getting best travel blogs of 2011! I can’t wait to wander around and read more about your adventures:). We travel a lot with our 4 kiddos and hopefully we’ll make it to the Middle East one day…Petra looks awesome.

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