Best Activities with kids in Chiang Mai
Traveling in Thailand with children can be very rewarding and will be an unforgettable experience if planned well. The Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai has loads of activities for the younger ones. From the 3D Art Museum to Elephant Sanctuaries, Cooking Courses to Water parks, we have selected our favorite trips and things to do to keep your kids busy during your holiday in Chiang Mai.
In The City of Chiang Mai
Nong Buak Hard Public Park
This public park located in the South-West corner of the old city moat is a fantastic place for children. There is a playground, fish pond and free to use work out equipment, so the parents can also enjoy themselves. Sit back and relax in one of the coffee shops or have a foot massage while watching your children enjoy themselves at the playground. The entrance is free.
Children don’t like to go to temples because they think it's boring. To make it more interesting you can take them to Wat Chedi Luang or Wat Sri Suphan (Silver Temple) to join the monk chat. Here the kids can have a conversation with a real monk. The monks hanging around these two temples between 4 - 6 pm like to practice their English with foreigners. It is very interesting for both the children and the monks to have a conversation with each other and learn about the differences within their cultures. Ask the elder monks at the temple for more information or follow the monk chat signs inside the temple grounds. Please dress politely and donate to the temple after the chat.
Art in Paradise
This 3D art museum located on Chang Klan Road is one of our favorites to spend a rainy afternoon. The pictures that you will take here will turn into long-lasting memories and will keep your kids busy for a few hours. The entrance fee is 300 Baht per person.
Elephant Parade Land
Paint a miniature elephant statue and help a good cause at the same time at Elephant Parade Land. The money that you spend here will be invested in elephant conservation in Thailand. You can buy nice elephant souvenirs here and the kids can paint a miniature elephant statue. A great day out for the kids, full of art and learning about elephant conservation in Thailand.
Elephant Parade Land is located nearby the Ping river on the east bank of the river just across the Nawarat bridge. A taxi or tuk tuk from the old city will cost around 80-100 Baht, 1 way.
Thai Cooking Class
An exciting and fun activity to do with your children is to follow one of the Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai. It will be a great introduction to Thai cuisine. After this class, the kids will be more confident to try the many different Thai dishes that they will encounter during the holiday in Thailand. Our favorite cooking course in Chiang Mai is Smile Organic Farm. This excellent cooking school is located on a cute farm outside of the city. You can take half-day and full-day classes including a visit to a local market and a tour around their organic farm.
Please click on the link below for more information.
Central Festival Indoor Playground
Central Festival is a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of Chiang Mai city. If you want to escape the heat with your family, then this is a great place to go. Of course, you can go shopping here, but there are more things to do. Central Festival boasts an indoor playground, movie theater, bowling alley, and even an ice-skating track. There’s also an arcade gaming hall and karaoke rooms to show off your singing skills. The large variety of restaurants in the mall will serve food for every taste and budget.
Outside of the City of Chiang Mai
Maerim Elephant Sanctuary
The most memorable experience for your children during the holiday in Chiang Mai will be to meet a real elephant. At Maerim Elephant Sanctuary they will not only meet them but, they can bathe with the elephants, feed them and touch them. Only a 45-minute drive away from Chiang Mai’s old city this ethical sanctuary is easily accessible and therefore very suitable for the kids. There is a large swimming pool on-site and the helpful guides speak good English. They are friendly and patient with children.
You can choose between a half-day and full-day program at Maerim Elephant Sanctuary. For lunch, you will learn how to prepare your own delicious Thai style noodle soup.
Please click on the link below for more information.
Siam Insect Zoo
The Siam Insect Zoo in Maerim located about 20 minutes north of Chiang Mai holds a large collection of living and mounted insects. The friendly staff is patient and relax with children. You can touch different kinds of insect, scorpions, spiders, lizards and go for a walk in the butterfly garden. If you are looking for an educational and active day with your kids, then this is the place to go. The admission fee is 200 Baht per adult and 150 Baht per child and a tuk-tuk ride from the city and back should cost about 500 Baht.
Huay Tung Tao Lake
The Huay Tung Tao lake is an excellent place to spend a lazy afternoon with your children. While the kids enjoy themselves swimming and playing you can have lunch and a drink in one of the huts on the water. In a nearby rice field is the biggest attraction though… The Thai army has built several giant straw gorillas and you can climb in the gorillas and take pictures.
The entrance fee to the lake area is 50 THB per person which makes this an affordable day trip. A Grab Taxi to and from the lake should cost approximately 250 Baht per way.
Grand Canyon Waterpark
Just 16 kilometers south of the old city you can find the Grand Canyon Water park. This Canyon is an old quarry that filled up with rainwater and has become one of the most popular activities in Chiang Mai. Boasting slides, zip lines, floating wipe-out tracks, swings, and cliff jumping. There is a separate swimming pool area for young children, making this day trip suitable for the entire family and all ages. Make sure that you arrive early because the time will fly in the water park!
The entrance fee is 550 Baht per person and the easiest and safest way to get to the Grand Canyon is by Grab Taxi. (250-500 Baht, 1 way)
Mae Sa Waterfall
The Mae Sa Waterfall in Maerim is a 10-tier waterfall with wonderful calm green pools to swim and relax. You can find this waterfall just a 30-minute drive north-west of Chiang Mai. It’s a great place for a pick-nick, some hiking, and bathing. The local restaurants nearby serve Northern Thai specialties like Som Tam (papaya salad), grilled chicken and sticky rice. If you are looking to experience the jungle, but don’t want to go on a full day trekking then the Mae Sa Waterfall is a great choice.
The entrance fee is 150 Baht per person and a private car or taxi should cost around 800 Baht for a return trip.
You can read more about our favorite Chiang Mai waterfalls in our Waterfall Blog.
Tube Trek Waterpark
Your kids can’t get enough of playing in the water? Then take them to the Tube Trek Waterpark in San Kamphaeng. This brand-new modern water park boasts exciting slides and attractions and leaves all the other swimming pools in Chiang Mai far behind. There’s a lazy river where you can float in a tube and relax while your children are having the time of their life trying all the crazy slides. The park opens its doors at 9:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm. Trained lifeguards and medics are on duty every day to make sure everybody stays safe.
The entrance fee is 500 Baht per adult and 300 Baht per child (90 cm – 140 cm). Children smaller than 90 cm can enter the water park for free.
The cheapest and easiest way to get to the water park is by Grab Taxi or red pickup truck. The price should be around 500 Baht, 1 way. It takes about 25 minutes by car from the old city.
Bosang Umbrella Village
The hand-crafted paper umbrellas are a typical Chiang Mai souvenir. Spend the morning or afternoon at the famous Bosang Handicraft Village with your kids. While you go shopping for souvenirs the children can paint a small paper umbrella. The price is only 80 Baht per child, and they can keep their hand-painted paper umbrella. A fantastic souvenir of an awesome holiday in Chiang Mai!
How to get to Bosang? The easiest and cheapest way is by a red pickup truck or Grab Taxi. The price should cost about 300 Baht, 1 way.