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5 Ways To Celebrate Christmas in Bali

If you’re from down-under, or elsewhere in Southeast Asia, spending Christmas in tropics-like weather is probably nothing new.

If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, however, the idea of spending Christmas where you’re not getting cozy near a fire and drinking mulled wine might seem pretty foreign. But if you’ve somehow found yourself in Bali this Christmas after a decision to ditch the snow for some sand, and need some ideas of what to do around the island to celebrate the holiday, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some suggestions on how you can celebrate the holiday spirit in Bali, whether you’re used to a warm-weather Christmas or not, whatever your preference and style.

1. For the family vacation-goers

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Have a lazy morning (or as lazy as you can be if you have little ones around). If you’re staying at a hotel/villa, they will probably have a Christmas breakfast special, which you might want to take advantage of. Christmas morning is a good excuse to get room service. Go on, you know you want to.

Those with active kiddies under the age of five may want to head to the Christmas party at the Cheeky Monkey Learning Center in Sanur. For Rp 75,000 per kid, your little ones will get to deck up an actual Xmas tree, make stockings, and fine-tune their cookie decorating skills. Rumor has it there is choir and Santa too. Starts at 10 am.

Play@Sheraton Kids Club also has a special Christmas program for children up to the age of 12, where they can play games, watch a holiday movie, and engage in various “edutainment” activities between 8 am to 6 pm on Christmas day. You can then treat yourselves to a traditional Christmas lunch feast, or enjoy a chilled-out afternoon tea at The Lounge serenaded by a little bit of live piano entertainment.

2. For the couple seeking a romantic Christmas
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Start your day by having breakfast at Cafe Pomagranate in Ubud, and then spend your Christmas morning gazing at the rice fields (intermittently with each other’s loving eyes) and savoring the 360-degree rice paddy views.

In the afternoon, we suggest checking out one of Bali’s numerous spas and book a couple’s massage. Body Temple Spa has some Christmas specials, and Maya Resorts Ubud gives you a Rp 200,000 discount retail voucher from the hotel gallery if you book a two-hour spa treatment.

You can then get a little glammed up and make your way to Conrad Bali for their Gatsby-themed Festive High Tea, starting at 3 pm. Or if you’re willing to splash out a little more rupiah, you can opt to have the Christmas buffet dinner at Suku, accompanied by fireworks overlooking the ocean. What could be more romantic?

3. For the party-goers and fans of crowds
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For some of us, Christmas in Bali is an excuse to party during the festive season.

Start your evening at Park23 Entertainment Center with the weekend Picnic Market Food Bazaar, or if you want to go somewhere a little more upscale and trendy, you can try your luck dining at Cocoon Beach Club or a late Christmas lunch at KuDeTa

When party o’clock starts, you won’t be short of choice on venues ⎯ it seems like Bali’s nightclubs don’t sleep on Christmas Day. In fact it seems to be an excuse for a number of them to hold special events. Some worth checking out include Fashion Christmas at F Love Bar and Christmas specials at Mint Bali and  Mirror Bali. If soul and R&B are more your thing, check out Hu’u Bar’s Soulful Friday⎯Christmas Edition.

4. For those seeking offbeat experiences
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This year, Christmas happens to fall on a full moon. So the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan is hosting a full-moon yoga session on Christmas day.  According to the Four Seasons, it’s the first time in 38 years that a full moon has fallen on Christmas Day. So while doing yoga in a river terrace in Bali might not seem like an “offbeat” experience, doing yoga after dark on Christmas day when everyone else is stuffing his or her face with turkey and ham definitely is. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel Zen during Christmas instead of suffering from food coma?

If your “offbeat” experience MUST involve stuffing your face with a meat of your choice, then check out the “all you can eat” Christmas buffet at Bali Beach Shack. They have a “special” Christmas drag cabaret show in the evening if you opt for the dinner, which is supposedly “family-rated.”


5. For the Christmas traditionalists
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Meat and roast lovers can opt for the Christmas lunch at Jemme Bali. For a more laid-back environment, The Wicked Parrot also has a pretty decent Christmas special (including Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and mince pies, for all the Brits, Irish, Aussies, and Kiwis in Bali.)

If you hail from Australia or New Zealand, and your idea of a “traditional Christmas” involves a BBQ grill, check out Arwana’s Christmas BBQ By the Beach. What better way to recover from eating too much fresh seafood and quality meat than by lying in a beach overlooking the Indian Ocean? Yeah, we can’t think of any either.


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