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Rest, Relaxation and Recreation in Jakarta

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Once you have settled in to the regular activities of your new life in Jakarta, you will begin to think about how to enjoy your leisure time in your new home. There are a good number of recreation and sports activities available in Jakarta that will appeal to various members of the family.

Many expatriate homes have their own swimming pool and housing complexes and apartments often have a pool and other facilities, such as: fitness center, and tennis courts. Sometimes it's nice to go out for a change of atmosphere and to socialize, and the ideal place is one of the family-oriented sports clubs.

International Sports Club of Indonesia (ISCI) is a long established club located on the southwest outskirts of the city at Ciputat. Its spacious grounds provide plenty of space for a jogging track and sports including soccer, rugby, cricket, field hockey, basketball, tennis, squash, and badminton. The open-air restaurant in the clubhouse overlooks the large swimming pool, children's pool and nearby children's playground.

The American Embassy Recreation Association or AERA, usually called just the American Club, is very popular and centrally located in Kebayoran Baru. Membership is open to Americans and limited numbers of other nationalities. The facilities include an open-air restaurant and air-conditioned bar/restaurant, family recreation room, children's playroom, a very well equipped fitness center, large swimming pool and small pool and play area for young children, as well as basketball and tennis courts. AERA offers a wide variety of classes and activities and monthly celebrations of special events.

Private business clubs offer social and business entertaining facilities and activities.

Family Outing Fun

For family fun outings here are a few suggestions:

  • Go-carting at Speedy Karting, Jln Gatot Subroto No 72
  • Paintball at Splash Paintball
  • Patriot Paintball Sport at Alam Sutra housing complex in Serpong.
  • Ice skating at Skyrink in Taman Anggrek Mall.

There are several water parks where children can enjoy swimming in various kinds of pools with water slides, etc. One is Lippo Cikarang in Bekasi, to spend a day at Water Boom (Tel. 8990-7814), a beautifully landscaped park. Ancol Dreamland in North Jakarta also has the Gelanggang Renang "Water Park" (Tel. 6471-1512) featuring a large swimming pool with slides, wave pool, and children's pool.

For more fun activities, try Waterboom Pantai Indah Kapuk with 19 world class water slides including The Hairpin, Aquatube, Speed Slide, Bomblazter and many others (Jl Pantai Indah Barat No 1 Pantai Indah Kapuk)

Scuba Diving is not a sport for younger children certainly but older kids may enjoy the challenge. Before you and your offspring venture out into the deep blue sea however, you’d better practice first with a proper teacher.

For sports enthusiasts there are numerous expatriate community sports clubs where members get together to indulge in their favorite pastime.

Over 40 golf courses located in and around Jakarta are open daily from sunrise to sunset, and with very reasonable charges, making Jakarta a golfer's paradise in Indonesia!

To learn a little more about the cultures and ethnic groups across the Indonesian archipelago, it's well worth a visit to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or the "Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park"; it's advisable to go on a weekday as Sundays in particular can be extremely crowded. The park features full size replicas of traditional houses from all the provinces of the Indonesian archipelago with displays of clothing, arts and handicrafts, numerous museums with different themes, an IMAX theater, bird aviary, orchid garden, a man-made lake with the islands of Indonesia, as well as a monorail, and cable cars.

At Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta there is a planetarium with shows twice daily and a presentation in English can be arranged in advance.

The Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta, not far from popular expatriate residential areas, is home to over 250 species from Indonesia and throughout the world and is set in over 135 hectares of parklands. This is a relatively green and shady place where you can enjoy walking or cycling and a picnic lunch. Once again it's best to avoid Sundays and public holidays as it's very crowded.

Taman Impian Jaya Ancol or Ancol Dreamland is a huge oceanfront recreational facility in North Jakarta featuring the water park mentioned above, a marina for boating, a golf course, as well as the following theme parks and attractions:

  • Dunia Fantasi "Fantasy World" - rides include roller coasters, bumper cars, flume ride, carousel, and boat ride.
  • Gelanggang Samudra "Oceanarium" - variety animal show, birds and orangutan show, sealion show, dolphin show, as well as a boat ride through tropical gardens.
  • Sea World - large tanks with all sorts of sea creatures, touching pool with starfish, anemones, and walk through underwater tunnel where you are surrounded by sharks, turtles, manta rays and other marine life.
  • Pasar Seni "Art Market" - art objects and handicrafts from throughout the country, cultural events and performances.

Read Fun Things for Kids to do in Jakarta for some more ideas!

Many shopping centers and malls have food courts, restaurants, indoor recreation facilities such as rides and arcade games, as well as multiplex cinemas. Many of the latest movies are screened in Jakarta not too long after their international release, with English soundtracks and Indonesian subtitles.

Most quality cinemas belong to the Cinema 21 chain and movie schedules can be found at their website, giving a listing of theatres, movies, and playing times. Premiere service theaters can be found at most of the 21 theatres that are located in the popular malls in Jakarta. Premiere theatres have their own ticket booth and exclusive lounges where the moviegoers can relax and enjoy snacks and cocktails while waiting for the movie to start. Your snack can also be served to you within the theatre and a blanket provided so that guests need not worry about being too cold in the air conditioning. The seating in the Premiere theatres is made luxurious by giving each guest their own Lazyboy- type reclining chair that has a foot rest and can recline to the guests specific preference.

Blitzmegaplex that is located in Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place is also popular with movie goers. Not only do they screen most of the popular American films that are released, but also offer their clients a more international selection of films. Often current Indian, Taiwanese, and European films can be viewed in one of the 11 auditoriums. The adjacent lounge offers guests a place to meet friends and enjoy food and drinks either before or after the movie.

There are also many excellent art galleries and museums in Jakarta. Cultural performances are held regularly at Taman Ismail Marzuki and Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, the city's main fine arts center. Local and foreign performances are held here, including ballet, theatre, symphony orchestras and choirs, chamber music and the traditional Indonesian Puppetry or "Wayang Orang", among others. A monthly schedule of activities at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (the national performing arts theatre) is available by subscription, or at various community centers.

While their activities are mostly geared for adults, the Indonesia Heritage Society is a great organization to join if you want to learn about the incredibly diverse and fascinating Indonesian culture and arts.

It can also be very enjoyable to spend your leisure time exploring some of the older parts of the city. One of the most interesting places to visit is Sunda Kelapa Harbour with its fleet of traditional phinisi sailing boats, the old Dutch lookout tower and Maritime Museum in a former Dutch East Indies company warehouse, also visit Pasar Ikan (fish market) and nearby Fatahillah Square where you can enjoy lunch or some delicious ice cream at the famous Café Batavia Restaurant.

There certainly is some kind of recreation for everyone in Jakarta!

For more contact information on recreational and relaxation opportunities in Jakarta, see AWA's Jakarta Shopper's Guide.

Our thanks to Colliers International for their generous contribution of this article!

Last updated March 16, 2016

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

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