This Part C of the Surakarta itinerary series is meant for when I’m taking my beloved niece and nephew or if the main objective is to entertain kids between the age of 5 and 10. So the places chosen has to be kid-friendly, full with exciting experiences, and simultaneously fun while also being educational, if possible.
12 pm – 2 pm: Arriving at Solo | Lunch
The kids better take their naps in the car so when we arrive in Solo their energy has been recharged. For lunch, any options from the bottom box will work, depends on what they’re in the mood for. Eggsperience ($) is mainly a noodle restaurant but they also sell rice bowls, small snacks, even roti bakar. Grandis Barn ($$$) is a garden resto serving western cuisines but they’re kind of in the outskirt of the town. Alamama Resto ($$$) is also serving western cuisines but their location is much closer to the main street/ downtown area than Grandis. Fast food places ($$) are more of an easy choice if the kiddos are already accustomed to them.
2.pm – 2.45 pm: Hotel check-in | Dzuhur prayer
Tidy ourselves up, relax for a bit, change of clothes, refill those tumblers full, and get ready to explore.
2.45 pm – 5 pm: Werkudara double-decker bus ride (3 pm schedule)
A double-decker bus is not something we encounter everyday, so it’s going to be fun sightseeing the city around from the second floor of the bus. Tickets could be purchased days before by contacting Whatsapp of Dinas Perhubungan Kota Surakarta. The ride lasted for about 2 hours.
5 pm – 8 pm: Mall time! Paragon Mall / Solo Square Mall
It’s almost sunset; no museums or park is open at this hour. So, the next best thing is a mall. Solo Paragon is by far the nicest mall in town, in my opinion. Spacious food court with so many food tenants and indoor + outdoor seating, a supermarket (Transmart), an arcade with a choo-choo train, a playground with mandi bola area, and lots of other stores. On the other hand, Solo Square sometimes has seasonal events on their concourse area. It might be ‘Snow Wonderland’, or plant exhibitions, food festival, or even a fashion show.
8 pm onwards: Back at hotel | Rest and sleep
The kids shall go to bed early this evening because they will have to wake up also quite early the next day.
5 am – 7 am: Rise and shine
Subuh prayer in Solo is usually around 4:20 am.
7 am – 9 am: Car Free Day @ Slamet Riyadi Street
The fun thing about Solo’s Car Free Day is that it’s very kid-friendly. Aside from the food and snacks, there are many arts & crafts spots to have fun at. There are drawing boards, colorings, playing with kinetic sands, small ping-pong tables, balloons, even a magician in the act. Some animal communities also provide pet petting, like lizards, snakes, birds, sugar gliders, owls, and of course dogs. Lots of kids also ride their inline skates here. It’s a fun place.
9 am – 10 am: The Heritage Palace
It’s a place made purely for Instagrammable pictures. They have this old castle-like building upfront, garden area, transportation museum, and 3D trick art gallery.
> Free alternative: Balekambang Park. It is a free entrance city park. The kids could run around freely here. There’s a lake, there are many ‘wild’ animals roaming around such as deer, ducks, monkeys (watch out for them naughty ones), turkeys, and, naturally, birds.
10 am – 11 am: Gladag area | Gelatoku | Gedung Djoeang 45
From Pasar Kliwon area of Slamet Riyadi street to Gladag area at Jenderal Sudirman street, there are many Instagrammable spots and beautiful historical buildings. Rutan Solo, The Royal Heritage Hotel, BCA office, Gapura gladag (the palace’s old gate), the asphalt-less brick road, Bank Indonesia building, Vastenburg fort, the city’s post office, and balaikota (the townhall). After walking around and taking pictures, cool down with some gelato at Gedung Djoeang 45, just 300 meters from the Slamet Riyadi statue.
11 am – 11.50am: Batara Kresna Railbus (STA 11.26 am → PWS 11.45 am)
My niece and nephew likes train. They’re always excited about it. Batara Kresna railbus is a unique train because its track runs on the main street, alongside cars and motorcycles. The route is actually between Solo and Wonogiri and would take about 1.5 hours one-way, but since we just want to experience riding the train for once, we can just take the 20 minutes intracity ride.
11.50 am – 12.15 pm: Back at hotel | Hotel check-out
Most hotels I know have this system that will let you ‘late’ check out for free until 12:30pm. So, that’s why they always inform you to check out at noon at the latest.
12.15 pm onwards: Lunch
Again, pick from any of the lunch options on the bottom box or follow where the kids are wanting to go.
This post is the third of a 4-part-er Surakarta weekend itinerary trip suggestion I wrote for this blog. The same recommendation I’d give for all the parts is to seek for hotel located anywhere along the Slamet Riyadi Street.
- Part A: For solo/ local duo trip.
- Part B: For when I’m traveling with my Mom & Dad (people in their late 50s – early 60s).
- Part C: For when I’m traveling to entertain children under the age of 10 like my niece & nephew.
- Part D: For a trip with a foreigner partner who’s eager to learn about the richness of Javanese culture and accustomed to pay more for things because of their skin color privilege in exchange for additional ease, comfort, and politeness in hospitality (yes, this is both stereotyping but also oddly specific; thanks for noticing).