Phuket is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand, known for its stunning white sandy beaches, clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. However, it’s not just a destination for adults, there are many things to do in Phuket with kids, making it an ideal destination for the whole family.
With plenty of family-friendly activities and accommodations to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re thinking of visiting Phuket with kids, this guide will provide you with tips and ideas on how to make the most of your family trip to Phuket.
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Is Phuket a good place to visit with kids?
When people think about what Phuket is famous for, they usually conjure up images of Patong Beach and Bangla Road which is known for its wild nightlife and seedy tourism.
However, this is only a small part of Phuket, and the rest of the island is a fantastic destination for families with kids. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and adventurous attractions, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
The island of Phuket has many family-friendly accommodations ranging from luxurious beach resorts to budget-friendly hotels, that cater to the needs of families.
It also has plenty of activities that are perfect for kids, including visiting elephant sanctuaries, splashing around in water parks, and zipping through the jungles on an ATV tour.
Families can enjoy quality time together while exploring the natural beauty and cultural richness of this amazing destination.
With its warm weather, friendly people, and welcoming atmosphere, Phuket is a great place to create unforgettable memories with your children.
Things to Do in Phuket With Kids
There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Phuket to choose from. Here are some of the best things to do in Phuket with kids.
1. Visit Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Visiting an elephant sanctuary is one of the top things to do in Phuket but you should choose the sanctuary with care. Not all sanctuaries offer ethical experiences, by allowing visitors to ride, feed, bathe, and play with elephants.
The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary allows visitors to observe but not interact with the elephants, allowing them the freedom to go about their day undisturbed.
As you observe these gentle giants, you will learn about where the elephants were rescued and learn about the conservation efforts.
Don’t miss a chance to walk along Thailand’s longest canopy walkway, walk the nature trails through the park, and watch the environmental documentary in the Tree Top Lounge.
2. Take a Boat Tour of Phang Nga Bay
The whole family will enjoy a boat tour of this stunning bay, known for its towering limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. This tour also includes a visit to James Bond Island, which was featured in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun,” as well as Panyee Island, which is where you will find the famous floating village which was built on stilts.
Perhaps the best part of this tour is when you visit a lagoon where you can enjoy canoeing around the limestone formations, looking out for monkeys and sea birds, and exploring sea caves.
3. Visit Phuket Old Town
Take a walk through the historic streets of the charming Old Town, known for its Sino-Portuguese architecture and colorful markets.
Cool down with a refreshing Thai Milk Tea in one of the boutique cafes, or visit one of the markets and shop for souvenirs.
Don’t miss the Naka Weekend Market if you’re visiting on a weekend, which runs from 4 pm – 10 pm. The night markets are a great place to try traditional Thai street food.
This is a great first-day activity if you are feeling jet-lagged or tired from traveling.
4. Hit the Beaches
Phuket has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. You will find a more relaxing atmosphere at beaches like Kata Beach and Karon Beach where you can swim in the sea and spend quality time on the beach.
If you have kids who need more entertainment, head to Patong Beach or Kamala Beach where you can rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, go parasailing, jet skiing, and more.
Most of the towns in Phuket have convenience stores where you can buy buckets and shovels, footballs, and volleyballs, so take your kids to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea.
5. Watch a Cultural Show at Siam Niramit
If you’re looking for things to do in Phuket with kids at night, then check out Siam Niramit.
Famous for its cultural show, visitors get to watch live entertainment themed around Thailand’s history, traditions, culture, and mythology through dance and music. The show also features spectacular special effects, elaborate costumes, and music.
Visiting Siam Niramit is a unique way to experience Thai culture and enjoy a fun-filled evening out with your family whilst enjoying a buffet dinner.
6. Splash Around in Splash Jungle Water Park
Splash Jungle Waterpark is a must-visit attraction in Phuket. It is perfect for families looking for a fun and exciting day out.
Located in Mai Khao Beach, the water park features a range of water slides, pools, and attractions suitable for all ages. There are thrilling rides like the Whizzard, a waterslide with a 360-degree loop, and Boomerango, which has a 15-meter vertical wall.
Younger kids will enjoy the relaxing Lazy River, Wave Pool, or Splash Park, or the whole family can go on the raft ride. There is something for everyone.
The water park also offers dining options, lockers, and shower facilities, making it easy to spend the whole day there.
Another water park that’s worth checking out if you have more time and enjoy Splash Jungle Waterpark is Andamanda Park.
7. Visit Aquaria, The Phuket Aquarium
Located in Cape Panwa, this aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, sharks, and colorful fish.
Aquaria is a magical underwater experience, where you can get up close to 25,000 marine animals and learn about Thailand’s marine ecosystem from the knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Don’t miss a chance to visit the aquarium’s Trick of the Eyes exhibit, an AR exhibit that allows you to awaken all of your five senses.
8. Go ziplining
Ziplining in Phuket is an exhilarating activity that is perfect for families with older kids. The island offers a range of zipline parks, including Flying Hanuman and Jungle Xtrem Adventures, which offer a unique way to experience the beauty of Phuket’s natural surroundings.
Ziplining is an adventurous outdoor activity in Thailand that not only allows you to feel the thrill of the experience but also to be in touch with Phuket’s nature.
The parks offer a variety of zipline courses suitable for different ages and skill levels, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
9. Take an ATV tour
An ATV tour in Phuket is an exciting experience that the whole family can enjoy. Driving around on an ATV allows you to experience the island’s nature in a unique way, and get off the beaten path.
Not only is riding an ATV a thrilling way to get your children excited about outdoor adventures, but it’s also a great way to enjoy the stunning scenery of Phuket. You can choose between riding around jungle trails, along beachside paths, or around the mountainside.
An ATV tour in Phuket is a fun way to create unforgettable memories with your family that you’ll cherish for years to come.
10. Take a Day Trip to the Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are one of the most beautiful spots in Thailand and are the scene on many postcards. It’s an easy day trip from Phuket and makes for an exhilarating experience the whole family can enjoy.
The Phi Phi Islands are known for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and thriving marine life.
On a day tour, you get to visit the famous Maya Bay, a pristine beach made famous by the Leonardo Dicaprio movie, The Beach, as well as visit lagoons for swimming and snorkeling.
Tour operators provide safe and comfortable boats with knowledgeable guides to ensure an enjoyable and memorable experience for the whole family.
Where to Stay in Phuket
When visiting Phuket with kids, it’s important to choose accommodation that is safe, and comfortable and offers the amenities and services that families need. Fortunately, Phuket has a wide variety of options available to suit different budgets and preferences.
Some of the best areas to stay in Phuket with kids are Kata Beach, Kamala Beach, and Karon Beach. Patong Beach is where you will find parties and nightlife, so it’s not recommended to stay here with young kids, however, it’s a great place to visit in the daytime as the beach has lots of watersports on offer.
Popular family-friendly hotels in Phuket
- Holiday Inn Resort Phuket – This beachfront resort is located in Patong Beach and offers a range of family-friendly facilities, including a kids’ club, swimming pools, and a family suite with separate bedrooms and living areas.
- Pullman Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa – Located in Karon Beach, this resort offers a range of fun activities for families, including a kids’ club, waterslides, and a pool with a two-level water slide.
- Novotel Phuket Resort – Located in Patong Beach, this resort offers a range of family-friendly activities, including an outdoor swimming pool and a children’s playground.
- JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa – This 5-star beach resort is located on Mai Khao beach and it’s fairly close to the airport. Guests have access to a spa, three outdoor pools, a modern fitness center, and activities such as Thai cooking classes. Most rooms have a terrace or balcony and there are several room configurations that work for families.
Getting Around Phuket With Kids
When traveling with kids, it’s important to plan how you will get around. While taxis and tuk-tuks are available, they may not be the most convenient option (or cheapest option), especially if you have young children.
Ways to Travel Around Phuket with Kids
- Rent a Car: Renting a car is a great option if you want to explore Phuket at your own pace. Most car rental companies offer child seats for an additional fee.
- Hire a Driver: Hiring a driver can be a good option if you don’t want to drive yourself. Drivers are often available for hire by the hour or day. Click here to book a driver.
- Use Public Transport: If you’re on a tight budget, public transport such as a tuk-tuk and songthaews (local buses) are a good option. Keep in mind that public transport is very slow as it stops at multiple places, and there isn’t really a set timetable. It’s important to plan ahead if you plan on taking public transport with children and allow extra time.
- Use Grab: Grab is the most famous riding-sharing app in Phuket. It allows you to book a driver and take you from A to B quickly and efficiently. They can be more expensive than public transport, but they are much faster.
Tips for Visiting Phuket with Kids
When traveling in Phuket with kids, it’s important to take extra precautions and plan ahead to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting Phuket with kids:
- Arrive before your kid’s bedtime – Depending on where you are flying from, your kids may be cranky and tired when they arrive. You should try to arrive just before their bedtime so they can go straight to sleep. Try not to arrive in the dead of night as it’s not always easy to find taxis at the airport.
- Stay hydrated – The weather in Phuket can be hot and humid, so it’s important to keep your family hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids.
- Dress appropriately – When visiting temples or other cultural sites, remember to dress respectfully. This means covering your shoulders and knees and avoiding revealing clothing.
- Look out for your kids – Phuket can be quite busy, so it’s important to keep an eye on your children at all times, especially around the pool or on the beach.
- Try the local food – Thai cuisine is delicious and there are many kid-friendly dishes to choose from. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Phuket with Kids
Phuket is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. The island boasts stunning beaches, beautiful natural habitats, exciting theme parks, and a range of water sports and outdoor adventures.
Phuket is a safe place to visit, with friendly locals and excellent medical facilities.
The island’s warm weather and tropical climate make it an ideal year-round destination.
Phuket is a fantastic place to create unforgettable memories with your family while enjoying the beauty and culture of Thailand.
About the author: This is a guest post contributed by Louisa from Travel Thailand Together. Travel Thailand Together is a site dedicated to everything Thailand, run by ex-pats and frequent travelers to Thailand, offering recommendations for things to do, see, stay, and explore.