Filled with ruins and archaeological treasures, Jordan is a surprisingly underrated and overlooked destination. A compelling mix of new and old, a contemporary ambiance and fascinating culture, make Amman an exciting place to explore. Here are 8 family-friendly ways to enjoy this Middle Eastern treasure.

At the Roman ruins in Jerash

At the Roman ruins in Jerash. photo: Monique White

8 Things to Do with Kids in Amman Jordan

  1. Find Roman ruins away from Rome

  2. Visit the Citadel (Jabal Al-Qalaa)

  3. Play at the Children’s Museum

  4. Bob in the Dead Sea

  5. Explore the Royal Family’s Auto Museum

  6. Shop at the Downtown Souk

  7. Amble down Rainbow Street

  8. Visit Abu Darwish Mosque

Jordan’s capital is one of the Middle East’s most modern cities, as well as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Known as Jordan’s “white city” because its hills are covered in a jumble of cream-colored limestone houses, Amman dates back more than 5,000 years. Once a Roman capital, a Roman theater, which dates back to 170 AD, sits in the city center and is still used today for events.

Here are 8 fun things to do in Amman for a kid-friendly family vacation exploring the wonders of Jordan.

Turning the Roman ruins of Jerash into a playground.

Turning the Roman ruins of Jerash into a playground. Photo: Monique White

Rome from Rome

The Roman ruins at Jerash, about 30 miles north of Amman, are easy to get to and make for a great half-day excursion.

Outdoor Museums

Perched on the highest hill in Amman, the Citadel (Jabal Al-Qalaa) is an open-air museum.

Children’s Museum

After seeing all of the ancient ruins, kids will be ready to go back to the future at the modern Children’s Museum, which offers a plethora of hands-on exhibits and activities.

Bob in the Dead Sea

Dramatic and other-worldly beautiful, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth at 1,312 feet below sea level. Take a day trip to the Jordan Valley to see it and bob around in the warm, salty seawater. (Many products come out of the Dead Sea, including its mineral-rich facial clay mask.)

Amman Jordan is filled with ruins and archaeological treasures. Here are 8 reasons why you should take your kids to explore this treasure of the Middle East.

See How the Royals Drive

See the impressive collection of cars and motorcycles owned by the Jordanian Royal Family at the Royal Automobile Museum. Afterwards, take a walk around King Hussein Gardens, one of the few green spaces in the city.

Shop the Bazaars

When there are more shopping malls than museums in a city, it’s easy to decide how to spend your time. Pick up Turkish leather, jewellery, handcrafts, hand-embroidered linens or an authentic Bedouin dress in one of Amman’s traditional souks. For an authentic Middle Eastern experience, go to the Downtown Souk, where you will find stalls and shops selling aromatic spices and Arabic delicacies and an animated fruit and vegetable market.

Explore Rainbow Street

Amble down Rainbow Street and take in the exotic local flavor. This block is filled with antique shops, art galleries, cafés and bars, including ridiculously delicious falafel favored by locals from Falafel Al Quds Rainbow Street.

Visit Abu Darwish Mosque

The breathtakingly beautiful Abu Darwish Mosque. Covered with the distinctive black-and-white checkered patterns, it is situated on the highest point in the city.

Get more tips for planning a family trip to Jordan.  And find out why Cultural TravelingMom Christine Tibbetts thinks are the top 5 reasons to visit Jordan.