Phuket is packed with fun things to do with kids. Here are 20 great activities to keep your family entertained and engaged during their stay.
1. Make a splash
Float down a lazy river, bob around in a wave pool, climb on the aqua playground, enjoy the thrill of big slides and more at Splash Jungle Water Park. Located in Mai Khao, the park is the only one of its kind in Phuket. Round trip transport is provided with regular ticket prices, and locals and expats can enjoy discounted rates.
2. Explore hideaway beaches
Seek out the less crowded beaches for a day of swimming, snorkeling and building sandcastles in tranquil natural surroundings. Kata Noi and Laem Ka beaches in the south are stunning, while Layan and Laem Singh in the north are definitely worth exploring. If staying centrally, drive beyond Patong to discover the hidden Paradise and Freedom beaches.
3. Soak in the sunset
A wonderful place to see the sunset is at The Beach Bar in Cape Pawna. Here, kids can safely play on the beach while you relax with a sundowner, followed by dinner in a casual, family-friendly environment.
4. Go island hopping
Explore the isles off the coast of Phuket, including Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga Bay, including James Bond Island and Koh Panyee. You can opt to hire your own long tail boat and putter out to Coral Island, Koh Bon or Racha Islands – all with great secluded beaches. Koh Yao Yai is also close to Phuket but a world away in terms of development. The island is very natural and unspoiled; here, locals treasure their traditional way of life.
5. Fly above the rainforest
The Flying Hanuman jungle adventure is set on the lush forested hillside of central Phuket, near Kathu Waterfall. This is a great place for little monkeys ages 4 and over to feel at home among nature on the treetop walkways, zip lines and abseiling courses. Ticket prices are not cheap, but the experience is definitely one to remember.
6. Dance on the ceiling
Enter the topsy-turvy world of Baan Teelanka, an upside down house in Phuket town! The three-level house with its roof on the ground is fully furnished above your head. Check out the household tuk tuk, navigate up the staircase, and watch the fish swim upside down in the tank. The back garden, featuring a maze, is just as quirky as the house.
7. Enter a 3D fantasy world
Let your imagination take over at the Trickeye Museum in Phuket town, where 3D interactive paintings take you into a fantasy world. Admire works from famous artists (with a twist). Also, run from charging bulls, hang from the rafters to escape a crocodile, and avoid being stepped on by a giant foot.
8. Sing with gibbons
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project offers visitors the opportunity to see gibbons in their natural habitat and learn about the work involved in rehabilitating these lovable primates, many of which have been the victims of poachers in Thailand. After visiting the centre, continue on a jungle walk to Bang Pae Waterfall just 300 meters away (national park fees apply).
9. Meet Nemo
The Phuket Aquarium in Cape Panwa, run by the Phuket Marine Biological Center, houses a variety of colorful tropical fish, coral and sea creatures. After seeing the weird and wonderful marine life in 30 different display tanks, walk through a viewing tunnel and spot huge groupers that swim alongside sharks and manta rays. At the end of the tour, head out the back to visit a sea turtle sanctuary that’s also run by the Center.
10. Take up wakeboarding
Join the hardcore wakeboarders and wakeskaters at Phuket Wake Park in Kathu or Anthem Wake Park in Cherngtalay. Riders, including youngsters ages six and up, are pulled around a lake on a wakeboard by a moving cable high above the water. Without a boat, the sport is more affordable and environmentally friendly, not to mention one of the coolest activities on the planet.
11. Play all day
The Kids Club indoor play centre has all the solutions for parents, whether you want to drop the kids off with babysitters or join in the fun. The venue features ball pools, huge slides, a climbing wall, bridges, walkways, and themed play zones – there are so many activities that appeal to all ages. Another bonus is the on-site café, which serves healthy and nutritious snacks.
12. Enjoy big screen action
The ultimate rainy day solution is to hit the cinema. Central Festival Phuket in Phuket town and Jungceylon Shopping Centre in Patong both show the latest movies in English and Thai. Treat your family to first class tickets at Central Festival and enjoy the comforts of a private viewing lounge with plush sofas and an endless supply of popcorn and drinks!
13. Get creative with tots
Every Thursday morning in Rawai, the Book Cafe bravely opens its doors to little people ages 1 to 3 years to get creative (and messy!) with paint, glue, glitter or water. The workshops are organized by Oasis Ed. Phuket. There is a small fee and snacks are provided. Accompanying parents also get the opportunity to socialize and make new friends in a laid back atmosphere.
14. Golf and dine with dinosaurs
The Dino Park mini golf course and restaurant in Kata Centre is wonderful for kids. The restaurant is designed like a prehistoric cave. The staff don Flintstones-style uniforms and the menu offers a range of local and international dishes. Out back, the 18-hole mini golf course sports replica dinosaurs around every hole, as well as a volcano that lights up at night.
15. Go zorbing!
Rollerball, a purpose built centre for zorbing, is located just outside Patong. Basically, this involves bobbing in a giant water-filled ball that rolls down a hill! It is hilarious from the get-go, and the course here is almost 200 metres, which is pretty long in zorbing standards. The sport is recommended for children ages six and up.
16. Ride the waves
Ride the simulated waves of the Double FlowRider at Surf House Phuket. Right on the Kata beachfront, this trendy venue is open for all abilities and ages to try a surreal surfing experience on a surfboard or body board.
17. Take in a show
Phuket Fantasea and Siam Niramit offer spectacular shows with amazing costumes and special effects that reenact stories of Thai history, culture, myths and legends. Children will especially enjoy the magic that these shows create. Pre-show attractions include traditional villages, shops, performances and games. Hotel pick up is included with tickets.
18. Zoom around on a kart
Racing around a track in a go-kart is fun for all ages, and there are few good courses in Phuket, including Patong Go-Kart Speedway and Phuket Kart Speedway, both in Kathu near Patong. Children can join an adult on double seat karts if they are over 1.25 metres, or they can participate in races for over 8s.
19. SUP and surf
One of the fastest growing water sports is Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding and it has arrived in Phuket at Bliss Beach Club in Bangtao. Skyla Surf & SUP Club will teach you everything you need to know about SUP boarding to get you started. Also, Skyla’s kids surf camps are great fun (parents also get a few hours of precious alone time to relax at the snazzy beach club).
20. Canoe into caves
Phang Nga Bay, situated northeast of Phuket, boasts hundreds of amazing limestone cliffs jutting from the emerald waters. Here, the family can enjoy kayaking and canoe tours on calm waters. No experience is required, as a guide will steer you to the caves, lagoons and beaches. John Gray’s Sea Canoe has achieved numerous ecotourism awards in the past 30 years and offers great insight into the natural environment.