Don’t miss the wonder that is Petra, a city carved out of the rocks by the Nabataeans in the 6th century. There’s a lot of walking and a lot of steps, but camel, horse and donkey rides can save on the legwork as you admire the ruins and there are trinket stalls and tea rooms to stop off en route.
Spend a day in the wonderfully preserved Roman city of Jerash - in the high season its hippodrome hosts gladiator shows and chariot rides at 45 minutes long, they're just the right length for young spectators. See our feature on an October half-term family trip to Jordan including a chariot race.
Venture into the otherworldly desert and mountain landscape of Wadi Rum, where TE Lawrence was once based. As well as camping overnight, you can explore the dunescape by 4WD, see ancient petroglyphs, ride camels and try sandboarding.
Experience the weirdness of floating on water during an overnight stay at the Dead Sea, but take a bottle of water to throw over kids if they get any in the eyes. There are plenty of hotel resorts and beaches here, plus a waterpark.
Hike amidst some of Jordan’s stunning scenery, choosing a trail to suit your family’s abilities, and bringing water, sunscreen and hats, and extra clothing (the temperature drops dramatically as the sun goes down). Nature reserves great for hiking including Aljoun and Dana; the latter is the starting point for a six-hour hike to the wonderfully remote Feynan Ecolodge. In the Mujib Nature Reserve, canyoning and climbing is becoming ever more popular.
Spend a pleasant couple of days in the thriving city of Aqaba with its modern resorts, marinas and waterparks, and the chance to try wind-surfing, waterskiing and the like in the Red Sea. You can also tour the city in a horse and carriage or rent a bike, before hunting out souvenirs in the souk or relaxing in a pavement café.
Discover the capital Amman, a thoroughly modern Arab city with plenty of things to do and see, shopping malls to splurge and stay cool in, and green space to run around in. The King Hussein National Park offers easy distractions including a playground, and you can tick off museums in the same outing – this where locals go for fresh air and a wander around King Hussein’s Automobile Museum to lust after his many cars! There’s also the Children’s Museum with hands-on activities and a planetarium, the Archaeological Museum, and Jordan’s Museum of Popular Traditions, stuffed with traditional Jordanian costumes. After sightseeing, cool down at the Water Park, an oasis of slides and palm trees, or people-watch on pedestrianised Al-Wakalat Street, where local families sit at outdoor cafés to watch the world go by. Lastly, head for Amman’s Citadel to tour the city’s ruins, including the impressive Roman Theatre.