Visit the Amazing Land of Jordan
Our 5 Favorite Things to do in Jordan with Kids
The biggest attraction by far when you visit Jordan is Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. What is truly remarkable about this area is its location and the history of the Nabataeans who built this city. The Nabataeans represent a rags-to-riches story from nomads to nobility. Their wealth came from the selling of frankincense and myrrh, which were prized for their ceremonial and other religious uses.
At the famous picturesque carvings such as the Treasury, Monastery, and Amphitheater in Petra, you will immediately notice how the designers incorporated architectural design from the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Greeks. Also impressive is the engineering of wells and channels to gather water in this arid region. It is estimated that up to 30,000 people lived in this remote epicenter of trade. I count our family trip here as one of our most memorable travel experiences.
2. The Dead Sea
This body of water is the lowest point on Earth at almost 400 meters (1,300 feet) below sea level. The Dead Sea has no outlet streams and only receives water from the Jordan River and scarce rain. We thoroughly enjoyed the extraordinary and comical buoyancy due to the high density of salt in the water. In fact, it is impossible for a person to sink without additional assistance such as weights. Someone on YouTube showed a 14-pound bowling ball floating in the water! Our whole family enjoyed the effortless floating and other weird things you can do like almost sitting up in the water.
The other characteristic many people appreciate is the high mineral content in the Dead Sea. It leaves a smooth, silky feel to your skin as if you had just applied baby oil. I also tried applying mud on my arms and body before entering the water for a much needed skin cleansing. Visiting the Dead Sea is a unique and fun experience you will never forget.
3. Mount Nebo & Jordan River
Mount Nebo is a significant stop for people of Biblical faith. In the Bible, it’s the place where God allowed Moses to look toward and see the Promised Land. The beautiful Memorial Church of Moses occupies the site on top of this mountain where you can take a look for yourself and get an orientation of the geography. Look for the map pointing to different cities and landmarks for help.
Another stop is called Bethany Beyond the Jordan. This location is believed to be the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. As a Pastor and person of faith, I cherished the opportunity to see and walk in the places where much of Biblical history happened. I am glad that the government has left these areas uncommercialized. Though barren, the unbuilt land leaves your imagination to picture the people and stories from 2,000 to 3.500 years ago.
4. Madaba Mosaic Map
About halfway from the airport in Amman and Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa is the ancient town of Madaba. This historic city is known for its many mosaics, of which the most famous is the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land including Jerusalem. It is a floor mosaic first created inside a Byzantine church dating back to around the 6th century. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 746 and subsequently abandoned. The map was rediscovered in 1884 when people from St. George Greek Orthodox Church restored the place of worship where it still remains today.
When I saw the Madaba Mosaic Map, I was reminded that art truly has a timeless place in history. Most of the electronics and things that I have will end up recycled or in a landfill. Their values will be short-lived and usefulness only personal. But the many mosaics in Madaba and the edifices at Petra are works of art for an entire world throughout time to enjoy. I highly recommend a visit to the country of Jordan to see their rich and amazing history.
5. Jordan Pass
The Jordan Pass is a money-saver! This pass includes your visa into Jordan as well as entrance to over 40 attractions for less than what you would have paid separately for a travel visa and only admission into Petra. The pass also includes your exit fee if you are heading into Israel. It does require staying in Jordan a minimum of three nights which we easily spent one night each at the Dead Sea, Petra, and Aqaba. The Jordan Pass can be purchased directly online from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Recommended Hotels in Jordan
Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa offers the convenience of being able to take a dip in the Dead Sea and return to your own hotel room for a shower afterwards. In Aqaba, DoubleTree Aqaba is right at the center of the city where you can safely and conveniently walk around to enjoy the restaurants and shops.
You may also enjoy:
- 4 Best Things to do in Jerusalem with Kids
- 7 Fun Things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel
- Kids, Mummies and the World’s Best Museums for Egyptian Art
- Day Trip to Exotic, Adventurous, Mystical Tangier, Morocco
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Eugene lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his wife have taken their two children to about 15 countries for work and vacation. Eugene is…