Things to Do in Phuket with Kids: Top Family-Friendly Activities

by Josh Larsen
05.25.2023

Phuket, Thailand, is a paradise for families seeking adventure and relaxation. As a parent, I’ve discovered that this tropical island offers an abundance of activities for kids of all ages. From exhilarating water parks to fascinating wildlife encounters, there’s never a dull moment when exploring Phuket.

One of the must-visit attractions for us was the Splash Jungle Water Park, where we enjoyed adrenaline-pumping slides and a playful wave pool. We also immersed ourselves in the local culture by visiting temples such as Wat Chalong and learning about the island’s history. And when it was time to unwind, unwinding on family-friendly beaches like Kamala, Nai Harn, and Kata was the perfect way to create unforgettable memories.

Phuket has proven to be an ideal destination for a family vacation, combining a mix of excitement, relaxation, and cultural enrichment. With numerous activities catered to children, parents can also partake in the fun, creating lasting bonds and memories. In this post, we’ll cover the top things to do in Phuket with kids.

Top Beaches for Family Fun

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is one of the popular family-friendly destinations in Phuket. I particularly enjoy its clean white sand and clear waters, suitable for swimming and beach activities. The atmosphere here is bustling yet relaxed, offering plenty of restaurants and shops to grab a bite or pick up souvenirs.

Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach is an excellent choice for families seeking a laid-back vibe. Once a small Muslim fishing village, Kamala has managed to maintain its peaceful ambiance while providing modern amenities. The calm waters make it perfect for kids to safely wade and swim. And if you’re looking for a stunning sunset, Kamala Beach won’t disappoint.

Bangtao Beach

I admire Bangtao Beach for its long stretch of soft sand and clear blue waters. With luxury resorts close by, the beach offers a balance of privacy with access to quality amenities. The shallow waters are ideal for kids to safely splash and play, while I can take part in a variety of beach activities, such as kayaking and boating.

Mai Khao Beach

At Mai Khao Beach, near Phuket Airport, I find it’s a bit more secluded, which makes it perfect for a relaxing family day. The beach’s cleanliness and uncrowded nature allow me to unwind and appreciate its natural beauty. It’s also close to Splash Jungle Water Park, a medium-sized park offering water slides and a wave pool.

Nai Harn Beach

I appreciate Nai Harn Beach for its untamed beauty and serene atmosphere. This small yet pristine stretch of sand is tucked away in the south of Phuket and offers a peaceful retreat for families. The clear waters are great for a refreshing swim, and children enjoy the opportunities to explore the surrounding greenery.

Freedom Beach

Though it requires a bit more effort to reach, Freedom Beach is worth the trip for its tranquil setting. Accessible by boat, or by a short hike, this small and secluded beach is the perfect escape for a family. The powdery white sand and crystal clear waters create a picturesque spot to relax and enjoy some quality family time.

Exciting Activities and Attractions

Phuket Aquarium

During our visit to Phuket with kids, one of the highlights was the Phuket Aquarium. This aquarium offers a fascinating underwater experience for the whole family. From exotic fish species to mesmerizing jellyfish, there was plenty to see and learn about. We especially enjoyed the tunnel, where we could see sharks and rays swimming above us.

Blue Tree Water Park

The Blue Tree Water Park was a perfect destination for a hot day. My family and I enjoyed a day of aquatic fun with water slides, swimming pools, and a lazy river. Throughout the park, there were also facilities such as restaurants and cafes for families. This ensured that everyone had a memorable and comfortable experience.

Splash Jungle Water Park

For more water fun, we also visited Splash Jungle Water Park. With thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and a spinning funnel that left us dizzy, we spent the whole day laughing and splashing together. The park’s location on Mai Khao Beach near Phuket Airport made it easily accessible and a great addition to our family vacation.

Upside-Down House

As a quirky attraction, the Upside-Down House piqued our curiosity. We couldn’t stop laughing as we explored the seemingly gravity-defying house with furniture stuck to the ceiling. It made for a great photo opportunity, and we left with some unforgettable memories.

Aquaria Phuket

Another must-visit site during our family trip was Aquaria Phuket. This modern marine life sanctuary houses several underwater ecosystems, showcasing an impressive variety of sea creatures. It also offers interactive and educational displays that engaged the whole family.

Rebel Rock Climbing

For a more adventurous activity, we opted for Rebel Rock Climbing. We were excited to challenge ourselves on the indoor rock climbing walls, while I appreciated the trained staff and well-maintained equipment that ensured their safety. This experience not only provided physical exercise but also built our confidence and teamwork skills.

Exploring Phuket Town

Phuket Old Town

One of the must-visit places was the Phuket Old Town. This charming area is known for its colorful and well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture. We had a great time wandering around the streets, admiring the vibrant old buildings, and discovering unique shops selling souvenirs or local delicacies.

One of our favorite stops was the Pal Cafe at K park, where we savored some delicious snacks and recharged before continuing our exploration. The warm tropical climate of Phuket made our stroll through the Phuket Old Town a pleasant experience, and the kids enjoyed the lively atmosphere filled with live music and street performers.

To get to the Old Town, I’d recommend using a Grab taxi, as it was efficient and cost-effective compared to conventional taxis.

Naka Markets

Another highlight during our visit to Phuket Town was the Naka Markets. These lively and bustling markets are an excellent spot for shopping and enjoying local street food. The amazing variety of products available, from clothes and accessories to toys and souvenirs, kept us entertained for hours.

The market is divided into two sections: fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish) and non-food items. It was fascinating to observe the local vendors going about their business, and the kids were particularly captivated by the exotic fruits and vegetables on display. Additionally, the market is a great place for discovering authentic Thai street food. We indulged ourselves in a culinary feast while immersing ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the market.

It’s essential to take note that the Naka Markets are most lively during the evenings, making it a perfect time to explore and fully experience this Phuket Town gem. Remember to use Grab or a taxi to reach the market and keep an eye on your belongings as crowded areas may attract pickpockets.

In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Phuket Town, with its rich cultural heritage and vibrant markets. Overall, it was a memorable experience that we will cherish for a long time.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Phuket is not only known for its beautiful beaches and fun activities, but it also offers interesting cultural and historical sites that are perfect for a family visit. In this section, I will share some of the must-visit sites, including the Big Buddha, Wat Chalong Temple, and Karon Viewpoint.

Big Buddha

The Big Buddha is one of Phuket’s most famous landmarks. Located on a hilltop in Nakkerd, it offers stunning panoramic views of the island. The 45-meter tall statue is made of white marble and can be seen from several spots across Phuket. When visiting with kids, I recommend taking the opportunity to learn about Buddhist practices and beliefs, as well as enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the surrounding area. It’s also a great spot for photos with the family.

Wat Chalong Temple

Another must-visit cultural site in Phuket is Wat Chalong Temple, one of the island’s most important temples. The temple complex is vast and features several beautifully designed buildings, adorned with intricate details and golden pagodas. It is a great place to introduce kids to Thai culture and the significance of Buddhism in the country. While visiting, remember to wear appropriate clothing to respect the temple’s customs – that means covering shoulders, chest, and knees.

Karon Viewpoint

For a breathtaking view of the island, I suggest taking the family to Karon Viewpoint. Also known as Three Beaches Hill, this spot offers a panoramic view of Kata Noi, Kata, and Karon beaches, as well as the Andaman Sea. The viewpoint is easily accessible, and there are plenty of spots for the perfect family photo, as well as a small park where kids can play or just take in the marvelous scenery. This destination is perfect for teaching children about natural beauty and sparking their appreciation for the environment.

Visiting these cultural and historical sites in Phuket will provide both enjoyment and education for the whole family. Remember to respect the customs of each location, and I am confident that you will have an unforgettable experience.

Outdoor Adventures and Nature

Limestone Cliffs

One of the most amazing spectacles I’ve witnessed in Phuket is the incredible limestone cliffs. These imposing rock formations tower over the Andaman Sea, creating breathtaking views that both kids and adults will enjoy.

I recommend visiting the nearby Phang Nga Bay, either by boat or by participating in a guided kayak tour. It offers a unique opportunity for parents and children to bond while exploring the mesmerizing landscape and learning about the diverse marine life inhabiting the surrounding waters.

Jungles of Phuket

If you want to experience a real adventure, take your family to explore the lush jungles of Phuket. There are numerous eco-tours available, which provide the chance to spot rare wildlife, stunning waterfalls, and exotic plants. My personal favorite tour is the one that includes a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, where you can learn about these fascinating animals and the efforts to preserve their natural habitat.

When visiting the jungle, always remember to wear comfortable shoes, bug spray, and plenty of sunscreen. These little precautions can make your jungle trek smoother and more enjoyable for the whole family.

Scenic Walking Areas

Phuket offers several beautiful scenic walking areas that are perfect for families. Here are some of my picks:

  • Naiyang Beach: This peaceful beach is ideal for a relaxing stroll with your kids. They can play in the sand while you take in the scenic views of the Andaman Sea.
  • Monkey Hill: This famous location offers a chance to see playful monkeys in their natural habitat while enjoying panoramic views of Phuket town and the bay from the top.
  • Gardens: Visiting one of Phuket’s lovely gardens, such as the Phuket Botanic Garden or the Phuket Orchid Farm is a great way to introduce your children to the island’s flora and fauna.

To maximize the enjoyment of these scenic walking areas, don’t forget to bring a comfortable pair of shoes, adequate sun protection, and a camera to capture the unforgettable memories with your family.

Family-Friendly Dining

Rolled Ice Cream

If you’re looking for a unique dessert experience to enjoy with your children, I highly recommend trying rolled ice cream. With its popularity quickly spreading across the globe, it’s no surprise that Phuket has also embraced this delicious treat. Rolled ice cream is made by pouring a liquid ice cream base onto an extremely cold plate, before mixing and rolling it up right before your eyes – it’s not only tasty but fun to watch, too!

I found several rolled ice cream shops in Phuket with amazing flavor combinations to try. Many of these shops also offer vegan and gluten-free options, so everyone in the family can enjoy this frozen dessert.

Fruit Markets

One of my favorite things to do with my family in Phuket is to explore the local fruit markets. Thailand is home to an incredible variety of tropical fruits, many of which I had never seen before. Visiting these markets is a fun and educational experience for kids, as they can learn about the origins and flavors of a wide array of fruits.

Here are some of the must-try fruits available at Phuket’s markets:

  • Mango: Sweet and juicy, this popular fruit is enjoyed on its own or as a topping for various desserts.
  • Durian: Known as the “king of fruits,” durian has a unique taste and smell that can be quite divisive. Give it a try, and you might just become a fan.
  • Mangosteen: Prized for its sweet and tangy taste, mangosteen is often referred to as the “queen of fruits.”
  • Rambutan: Resembling a hairy lychee, this eye-catching fruit offers a juicy, sweet flavor.

Next time you’re in Phuket with your family, don’t forget to indulge in these delightful food experiences. Rolled ice cream and fruit markets offer both scrumptious treats and unique learning opportunities for kids and adults alike.

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Josh Larsen

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