For our first international holiday with three kids in tow, we wanted something easy and relaxing but with the option to get out and about and explore.
We had visited a few times before and we knew it would tick all these boxes – many beautiful, kid friendly resorts, the welcoming (and kid loving) Thai people, plenty of things to do and just a nice place to hang out, knock back a cocktail, have a massage and have the relaxing time we knew we would need 3 months into the new baby journey.
It was a good decision. It is not only a great vacation choice to pick Phuket for kids, but great for adults too! We had the break we wanted, we were able to explore and we also ensured our older kids, who were feeling a bit travel weary after our 13 months of adventure that ended earlier this year, loved travel again.
In fact, they can’t stop asking to go back to Phuket.
So that you can also love Phuket with kids as much as us, below you will find our guide to what to do in Phuket with kids, where to stay in Phuket with kids, how to get around Phuket and everything you need to have a fabulous trip in Phuket for kids and adults alike!
Our kids were 3 months old, 4.5 and 6 years old when we visited the last time.
If you are looking for a cultural experience that is truly mesmerising that none of you will ever forget then go to Phuket Fantasea.
This “cultural theme park” has a Las Vegas style theatrical show as its main event. It’s extravagant, filled with special effects and is an extremely well done and entertaining 70 minute production which will change how you feel about cultural shows. It tells a story full of Thai dance and history, as well as magic, acrobats and animals. It’s like nothing we have ever seen before and well worth the entry tag.
In addition to this main show, there are restaurants, a shopping strip, a games arcade, animals to visit as well as the chance of an elephant ride. Just walking through Phuket Fantasea to get to the main theatre is quite an event. There are dazzling lights and attractions. It’s a one of a kind experience and we found it worked very well with our kids in Phuket.
The theatre itself (see above) looks like an ancient building and inside, like you are in the jungle. It’s amazing.
If you want to see one of the most amazing shows of your life – go to Phuket Fantasea during your visit. You can read my full review here or click here to buy discounted tickets.
Kids Club Phuket
Kids Club Phuket is an indoor play centre which is fully supervised in the heart of Patong. It is an excellent way to let the kids let off some steam (especially if you visit in wet season like us) while you enjoy a massage, go shopping or have a cocktail.
It’s a decent size play centre with the bonus of having windows along the side so if you are nervous about leaving your kids, you can always watch them for awhile from outside until you feel ok about leaving them.
S and Z had a great time and wanted to return again after we picked them up to eat lunch. They played lots of games and got rid of at least a tiny bit of their copious amounts of energy! If you are looking for a Phuket kids club, this is a good choice.
When I googled the address of this place before we went, two addresses appear online. Unfortunately, we tried the wrong one first! It’s located opposite the Kee Resort, just behind Bangla Road and half a block from the beach.
When we went, entry cost 350 baht per child from 1 year old. They can come and go all day but you must at least check in with them physcially every 3 hours or pay 200 baht per hour. Socks are required.
Patong is the centre of action and has an infamous reputation particularly because of the it being home to Phuket’s sex industry. Because of this, it’s easy to think that Patong is not one of the kid friendly things to do in Phuket. However, Patong is a reasonable size place and, although I would recommend avoiding Bangla Road from late afternoon, it can be a fun place to hang out.
It has an energy that I like. There are lots of shopping opportunities, a pretty (but busy) beach, water sports and a ton of restaurants and massage parlours. There’s also a playground towards the northern end of the beach. It’s easy to spend time in Patong and we enjoy visiting when we visit Phuket. We also enjoy leaving too 😀
Thai massage or manicures
I must admit that my favourite thing to do in Phuket is to have a massage and get a pedicure. Thankfully, this also makes for fabulous kids activities in Phuket! Our kids also love having their nails done and 6 year old S had her first massage on our most recent trip.
I was a bit nervous about her getting a massage, but we tried it out at our resort, the Sunwing Kamala Beach, which was an easy choice as lots of the kids were getting treatments. It was a great hit.
There are many massage and nail places in Phuket. You will find them everywhere!
Kamala Beach is our top choice of beach places to visit in Phuket for kids. We stayed here for four nights on our most recent visit and it was fabulous.
The beach is quite low key, but still has plenty of facilities. What I particularly like is that there are restaurants on the beach itself and many of them had kids’ toys out the front. These were a huge hit with out 4 year old and great for the 4 and under crowd in general. There is also a playground next to the walkway to the beach and market stalls. This is next to the Sunwing Resort.
On Friday nights, there is the Friday Night Market opposite Phuket Fantasea. There was also a market here on a Monday night when we visited.
Baan Teelanka (Upside Down House)
This bizarre attraction is actually made up of 3 attractions – an upside down house, a garden maze and an escape room. They are all fun activities for kids in Phuket. We did the first two.
The maze is simple but lots of fun. We did it in two teams and made it a competition who could get out first which the kids loved. I’m happy to report that Baby J, Z and I won.
The Upside Down House is quite bizarre and incredibly well done. The attention to detail inside the house is superb. There are all the normal rooms you would expect in a house and it’s all upside down including paintings, laptops on desks, wine glasses, everything. There’s even a garage with an upside down tuk tuk.
It’s easy to take lots of bizarre photos (and they help you do this). It can cause some invertigo and Mr 4 was too scared to walk down the stairs again once we got to the top (or bottom – since it was the garage!).
This was actually our children’s pick of the best things to do in Phuket with kids. They love mazes at the moment and they loved the novelty of the Upside Down House.
When we visited, it cost 460 baht per adult and 250 baht per child to visit both of the attractions. See more information here.
If you are looking for very fun things for kids to do in Phuket, head to Rawai Park. This new park area is home to four different areas aimed at different age groups. This includes a water park for 2-12 year olds, two indoor playgrounds, one for younger kids and one for older kids and an outdoor rope climbing tower for 10-14 year olds.
Find more information here.
Another of the Phuket attractions for kids is the Phuket Aquarium. It is located on the southeastern tip of Phuket and is a lovely little centre. There’s many beautifully displayed tanks with information about the sealife, a small touch tank and a small tunnel. There’s also an outside walk where you can see recovering sea tutles.
It’s on the small side, but we did like the presentation. The outside trail to see the sea turtles and some other things made for a nice walk and everything was stroller friendly.
They are currently building a multimedia centre about sealife which is projected to open in mid 2017.
Current costs are 180 baht for adults, 100 baht for kids, under 108cm kids are free. More information here.
Phuket Bird Park
Another option of where to go in Phuket with kids is the the Phuket Bird Park. It’s in a beautiful spot and it felt like we were walking around the jungle when we weren’t looking in bird enclosures. The site in general is quite well presented although I did feel sorry for the crocodiles.
There’s many different enclosures as well as a couple of walk in avairies. In one (pictured above and see it below), there were very friendly birds that were landing all over us. The kids absolutely loved it but be careful of your belongings. Josh had some expensive sunglasses scratched.
There’s a live bird show which is fun. I was called up on stage (ahhhh!) and had a parrot guess my age! It was well done. On the upside, I got a painting by a macaw to thank me for my efforts!
There are opportunities to feed the birds (at an extra cost) and the crocodiles.
It’s a small park but the staff are friendly and we enjoyed our time here.
We paid 1600 baht for 2 adults and 2 kids. More information on their website.
Kata Beach is another great beach area especially if you are looking for what to do in Phuket for kids. It’s a beautiful beach with white, soft sand and the blue water. The central Kata area also has a nice range of restaurants and shops.
Dino Park Mini Golf
The Dino Park Mini Golf is one of the popular Phuket things to do with kids – it was the only place we went on our September holiday in Phuket with kids which was crowded.
It’s a jungle and dinosaur themed mini golf course in central Karon. It’s really well designed with a lot of lush vegetation, dinosaur footprints and statues, caves and even a waterfall. Each of the holes is slightly isolated from the others (some more than others). Even with the course busy we still left like we were all alone at times. Holes went through caves or through dinosaur bones or over bridges. It certainly wasn’t boring.
See us in action here:
Z and S loved going around the course. We were through in what felt like no time, about 75 minutes. They both loved playing and were disappointed when it was over.
Baby J did not fair so well – it was hot and humid and he wasn’t comfortable. Prams/strollers are out, too, so avoid taking infants or toddlers if you can. Three is the minimum age (in my opinion) to get something out of going.
If you take your mini-golf seriously the course itself is pretty tough – if you shoot par you’re doing well.
It cost 240 THB for an adult, 180 for a child, 120 per non-playing adult, 80 for a non playing child when we visited. More information on their website.
The Karon Beach area is lovely with a big, wide, beautiful beach and a main road with everything you need. We liked how this area had a good vibe and enough people around to give it some energy even in the low season.
We visited in September and there were small areas of the beach where swimming was ok and it was lifeguard patrolled so this is a good option for sea swimming at this time.
See more of the beach here…
There is also a decent playground area around the big roundabout by the beach towards the northern section. There are four lots of play equipment as well as gym equipment. My only gripe is that there was a fair bit of rubbish around here.
I was attracted to Phuket Town after seeing it TV. It looked pretty and interesting with its Sino-Portuguese architecture. We planned a day trip here on our first Phuket visit.
We spent a couple of hours wondering around and it did come up lacking. There wasn’t much to do or see and it didn’t look nearly as pretty with lots of traffic and it is a difficult place to walk around with kids.
On the upside, it definitely does show you a different side of Phuket. We also found everything to be a lot cheaper.
Phuket Trickeye Museum
The Phuket Trickeye Museum is another fun thing to do in Phuket for kids and families. If you haven’t been to a trickeye museum before, it’s basically a “museum” filled with 3D art where you pose in the pictures for photos. It’s lots of fun and our kids love it.
We did not get the chance to visit this museum but we have visited similar ones elsewhere. It’s located in Phuket Town.
You can find more information here.
For scary things to do with kids in Phuket, head to Ghostinium! It is a small, fun animatronics display. It tells the story of aliens in a spaceship who are on a mission to collect unusual animals from across the galaxy and history.
There are quite a few rooms and displays of moving animals and creatures including aliens, dinosaurs, a crocodile and King Kong. There’s audio in many of the rooms to tell the story in Thai, English, Russian and Chinese.
It’s an interesting place, seemingly quite random but some of the displays are very cool and life like. I was worried that Mr 4 who scares quite easily would not enjoy it, but both the kids loved it. I had a fright myself at one point when a dinosaur head popped out of nowhere.
Here’s an example of two of the exhibits.
It’s located in the Central Festival shopping centre so it could be a treat for the kids if they behave while you do some shopping.
We paid 700 baht for 1 adult and 2 kids.
The Big Buddha is massive – at 45 metres tall it’s easy to see from many vantage points on Phuket. The best part about visiting this image for tourists, though, is definitely the 360 degree views of the island including Phuket Town, Kata, Karon and Chalong Bay. It’s also quite peaceful with only the sound of small bells if you are lucky enough to arrive at a not busy time.
It’s easily reached by car and a great way to finish (or start) a day of sightseeing on the island. Entry is via donation and it is a religious site, so leave the beachwear and skimpy clothing for the beach.
Splash Jungle Waterpark
Do Phuket activities for kids come more fun than a water park?
We loved the idea of visiting a waterpark during our time in Phuket and when we found out about this one, we knew we had to visit! It’s a fun water park. On the small side, but it had everything you would expect at a water park and was great with younger kids so we were very happy.
There are some bigger water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a big kids’ playground as well as some kids’ waterslides. There’s also some other pools, places to eat and everything you need at a water park. We ate lunch here and it was as you would expect at a water park (ie not good), so I’d eat elsewhere if possible.
Our older kids absolutely loved it as would have we except our baby was not a big fan. We had had all these romanticised ideas about us all going on the lazy river together but he hated it. Otherwise we had a good time. See more here:
See more information on their website.
Hot Tip: The park is on the expensive side – the current price is 1295 baht for an adult and 650 baht for a 5-12 year old (younger kids are free). We found it cheaper to stay at the big resort where the park is located (Centara Grand West Sands Resort) than pay for the park plus taxi rides. We paid about AUD$160 for a family residence room which is basically a two bedroom suite. There are cheaper room options. Splash Jungle is free for people at the hotel.
The park is out by the airport and it took us an hour and a quarter to drive there from Karon at a price of 900 baht one way. For this reason, we stayed at Centara Grand West Sands on the last night of our holiday. We were originally meant to be flying out early so it had the extra benefit of making it nice and quick to get to the airport. There is more about the Centara Grand West Sands below or click here for the latest prices.
Mai Khao Beach
If you like your beaches beautiful and without people then head to Mai Khao beach. At 11 kilometres long, it’s the longest beach in Phuket and also one of the least visited thanks to being part of Sirinath National Park.
See more here:
Ride an elephant
If you are ok with elephant riding then there are plenty of places to do this in Phuket. One option is at Phuket FantaSea but there are many more. Do a quick google or talk to your hotel.
Other animal attractions
There are many other animal attractions in Phuket including Phuket Zoo, monkey shows, snake shows, Tiger Kingdom and some other iffy looking attractions. None of them seemed to be at all animal friendly so we stayed away. It is easy to find out information about them once in Phuket if this is something that interests you.
Quick overview of Phuket with kids
About halfway through our time in Phuket, we started making super quick YouTube videos of the Phuket tourist attractions for kids and hotels where we stayed. You can watch them all here in a few minutes which will give you a great overview.
Map of things to do in Phuket for kids
Where to stay in Phuket with kids
It can be super overwhelming to pick the best place to stay in Phuket. There are so many different areas and so many different resorts. The biggest problem is that there are just so many great options that it can be hard to work out which one to take!
Because this is such a big topic I have written two other articles on this specificially. If you are still confused about which area might be best, read my article about where to stay in Phuket – I detail all the main areas you might what to consider, their pros and cons, who they best suit and some great accommodation options in each area.
I also have an article just about the best family resorts in Phuket.
On our most recent trip, we stayed in three excellent resorts which I have no hesitation in recommending. I will describe them here and you can read the articles I just mentioned above to see other resorts that we recommend including ones in Kata and Patong.
Sunwing Kamala Beach
We absolutely loved our stay at the Sunwing. It is one of the most family friendly places we have ever stayed or heard about.
The facilities are just amazing – 7 pools plus a toddler pool. 3 water slides. Two restaurants. A kids club. And so many other things. The kids were in heaven.
The hotel primarily tries to attract families and it is so nice to stay somewhere where we felt completely welcome and didn’t have to worry about bothering anyone. The couple of places we have stayed like this (why aren’t there more!) seem to have so much better behaved kids too. I think everyone (kids and parents alike) just relax more and there are less issues when there is less to stress about.
What really differentiated this hotel for us, though, was the amazing “happy baby studios”. This room type comes complete with an amazing amount of baby/kid equipment. We had a cot, pram, high chair, change mat, special nappy disposal bin, baby bath, car mat, bouncer, bumbo and lots more. It really made for a very comfortable stay for us. We also had our own yard which was great when baby J was sleeping.
Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa
This lovely resort is in a great location at the northern end of Karon Beach. There’s great facilities, easy access to the rest of Phuket and a great range of rooms.
We enjoyed splashing around the pools, eating in their restaurants and room service and the kids loved the kids club which had great staff who put in a lot of effort to play with them.
The best part for us was our room – we stayed in a private plunge pool suite. This means we had a two room suite (so the older kids were in another room), a huge bathroom and a great outdoor area with table and chairs, a lounge area and a plunge pool. It was just heavenly!
My only complaint is that the outdoor area wasn’t fenced off so it wasn’t private but it was all ours.
We were attracted to this resort near Phuket’s airport because we wanted to visit Splash Jungle Waterpark. When I realised the cost of entry to the waterpark was similar to stay at Centara Grand West Sands Resort and get free access to the park, it was a no brainer. We decided to spend a night here.
The resort is massive. It’s so big that buggies run around on a schedule. I quite enjoyed walking around the nice grounds with baby J in a stroller.
It has beach frontage at Mai Khao and is in a lovely spot (the photo of Mai Khao Beach above is from directly in front of this hotel). The beach is beautiful and private with no one around to hassle you at all. There’s multiple pools in addition to the water park including a big infinity one by the beach. There’s a kids club which is open 9am-9pm (NB: if your kid is under 4, they do insist they wear nappies), multiple restaurants, bars, a pool bar, a shop and many other facilities including an adult activity program.
I liked that the kids club had movie night every night from 7-9pm (at an extra charge) so it’s perfect for leaving your kids while enjoying a quiet meal. There’s lots of space so it’s great with kids. They can run around a lot without bothering anyone.
Near the entrance to the water park, there are some shops, massage places and a couple of restaurants so there are some choices other than resort options. There is not much else around though.
There are a wide range of room types. We paid about AUD$160 and this gave us a deluxe family residence room which had a bedroom, living area, big bathroom, balcony and a small kids’ bunk room. We appreciated the extra privacy.
We had a great two days and night here. However, we did have some frustrations with the service. Check in took a long time and we had to ring three times and go visit reception (only to be sent back) before we could get a room service menu! Thankfully, the food was good when it came.
There are basically two seasons in Phuket – low and high – and they align to the monsoon and the dry season. The low season is May – October and it does make a big difference to prices. Accommodation prices basically double in high season.
One time when we visited we stayed right as low season changed to high season and the hotel costs did literally double overnight! So there is a big incentive to visit in low season.
Low season does mean more rain. Our latest trip was in September and the rain ruined (only) one day. Of course, you could be very unlucky and have it rain the whole time you are there.
The beaches are generally not safe for swimming in low season, so if you are a big beach person then I definitely recommend avoiding low season. If you are like us and prefer pools and love a good bargain then it can be worth braving the rain and visiting in low season.
Getting around Phuket
Phuket is big – it might surprise you how big before you visit – and getting around can take awhile. It’s also not as cheap to get around as you might imagine. There are reasonably set prices for most trips and a tuk tuk mafia which makes short journeys not very good value.
For this reason, we combined many of the attractions we visited and did one big day where we visited quite a few attractions for kids in Phuket – including Baan Teelanka, Ghostinium, Phuket Aquarium, Phuket Bird Park and Big Buddha. We paid 2000 baht for a driver for 8 hours to visit all of these. If you go to attractions individually, the entry fees plus the transport costs can make for a very expensive trip.
We recommend our driver: “Adam Service” 089 4720220.
It’s not hard to find a taxi or tuk tuk, they are usually cruising around. There are taxi areas in popular places and hotels have taxi desks. Hotel taxi prices can vary from what you would pay anywhere to crazy high prices. For example, at the Novotel, we only had to walk 100 metres away to get a taxi for about half the price!
Local transport is not very convenient and not a great choice with younger kids.
We love Phuket!
It’s a great place for a relaxing holiday or a more adventure filled one and we love this combination. There is a great choice of what to do with kids in Phuket and there are some fabulous resorts. All 5 of us had a fantastic holiday in Phuket and we are seriously considering returning again next year.
If you are looking for a beach holiday, a resort holiday, an adventure or simply some hot weather, Phuket is a great choice!
Have you been to Phuket? What are your favourite things to do in Phuket with kids?
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This content was originally published here.