This list of the best things to do with kids in Chiang Mai does not include temples. This may come as a surprise when the one thing the city is most famous for is its massive array of ancient places of worship. However, we’re expecting that you’ll visit these places anyway. For this selection, we looked at the places to take your kids when they’re templed-out – when they’re sick of stupas, bored of Buddha statues, and so over ordination halls.
Among our list of Chiang Mai family activities and attractions, you’ll find exciting outdoor adventures as well as interesting indoor learning, plus a few which combine the two. Most are suitable for all ages, though some are perhaps a little too extreme for the really little ones. While quite a few places on our list are located well outside of the city, hotel transfers are available for most of them, making getting there and back a breeze.
Chiang Mai Night Safari is an unusual but exciting way of seeing a wide range of animals. The park aims to recreate the experience of being out in the wilderness after dark, though daylight tours are available, too. There are three zones to tour – Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl and Jaguar Trail. From the open-sided tram you travel on, you’ll see lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, pumas, tigers, flamingos, jaguars and many more exotic creatures. There’s also an impressive laser light show every night, to provide a dramatic end to your tour. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
- Location: 33 Moo 12, Nhong Kway, Hang Dong
- Tel: +66 (0)53 999 000
- Price Range: 800 baht for adults, 400 baht for children
This eco-friendly adventure park gives you a very different view of Thailand’s beautiful rainforests. You’ll fly through the treetops on ziplines, across bridges and down abseils, stopping at platforms securely and responsibly fastened to the trunks of centuries-old trees. Safety is paramount, and Flight of the Gibbon provides modern equipment and two experienced guides to ensure that you spend your time enjoying this fantastic experience and not worrying. As the name suggests, there is a chance of spotting wild gibbons among the treetops, among other native wildlife. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 17:00
- Location: Ban Mae Kampong, Chiang Mai Province
- Tel: +66 (0)53 010 660
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/FlightOfTheGibbon
- Price Range: 4,199 baht per person
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai was a pioneer among the new breed of elephant attractions in Thailand. The sanctuary is effectively a retirement home for elephants which worked in the logging and tourism industries. It focuses on the welfare of the animals above all else, so you can’t ride the residents and they won’t do any circus tricks. Instead, you can interact with them in a more natural way. This includes walking with them, feeding them and bathing them. Both children and the elephants are sure to get a lot out of this ethical experience. Location: Office on Tha Phae Road Read More...
- Location: Office on Tha Phae Road
- Tel: +66 (0)83 562 4263, +66 (0)53 273 415
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/elephantjunglesanctuary
- Price Range: From 1,700 baht per adult, 1,300 baht for under-10s
This extreme sports centre in Mai Rim has a very wide range of activities available, including bungy jumping, ATVs, go-kart drifting, paintballing, motocross, zorbing and more. Some of these are obviously not suitable for small children, but the centre also has a selection of activities just for little ones, including mini ATVs, a paintball target range, mini golf and a scaled-down bungy jump. Roundtrip transfers from Chiang Mai hotels are available and there is an on-site restaurant and bar. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
- Location: 816 Mar Rim-Samoeng Road, Rim Tai, Mai Rim
- Tel: +66 (0)53 297 700
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/extremesportscentre
- Price Range: From 300 baht to 8,000 baht, depending on which activity you choose
If you’re looking for the best things to do with kids in Chiang Mai to burn off some of their extra energy, a cycling tour is sure to achieve that. The Old City’s roads are often too narrow to support much traffic, making cycling a generally safe and convenient way for families to get around. Better still, the countryside outside the city is criss-crossed with interesting, beautiful cycling routes. You can explore the rugged highlands, mountaintop temples and stunning National Park scenery on the back of a bike, covering much more ground that you could on foot. Read More...
Creative kids will get a lot of fun photos out of this fun museum. Unlike usual art galleries, the 130 images at Art in Paradise are all interactive, using tricks of perspective to allow you to insert yourself into the picture. Stand in the right spot and take a picture and it looks like you’re trapped in a snow globe, about to be eaten by a crocodile, exploring an Egyptian tomb or riding a magic carpet. Naturally, you need at least two people to get the most out of a visit here – one to pose and the other to take photos. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 20:30
- Location: 199/9 Chan Klan Road, Chang Klan
- Tel: +66 (0)53 274 100
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/artinparadise.cnx
- Price Range: 300 baht for adults, 200 baht for children
Elephant PooPooPaper Park
Yes, you read it right – it’s paper made of elephant poop! There are quite a few elephants around Chiang Mai and, naturally, quite a lot of elephant droppings. As the ponderous pachyderms have a high-fibre diet, the resulting material is both largely odourless and already pretty close in consistency to paper. This fun eco-tourism attraction in Mai Rim shows how you can make all sorts of useful items out of…waste products. It’s a very hands-on sort of place, so kids can get creative and learn some things about elephants in the process. Just make sure you wash your hands before you eat anything!
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:30
- Location: about 18.5 km north of Chiang Mai, Mai Rim
- Tel: +66 (0)53 299 565
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/PoopoopaperPark
- Price Range: 100 baht per person over 5 years old
This fibreglass, steel and glass elevated walkway gives you a birds-eye view of the beautiful Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens. It rises 20 metres above the ground and goes for 400 metres around the treetops, making it the longest suspended walkway in Thailand. Some sections have a glass floor, which isn’t great if you’re afraid of heights! It’s worth it to reach the bits where you pass a beautiful cascading waterfall, though. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:30 - 17:00
- Location: Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, Mae Rim
- Tel: +66 (0)53 841 234
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/qsbgcm
- Price Range: 40 baht for Thai nationals, 100 baht for visitors
This museum takes the phrase ‘weird and wonderful’ to all new extremes. The collection includes thousands of insects, seashells, fossils, stones and other interesting specimens from the natural world. It was built up over years by the museum’s owners – a Thai couple with a passion for bugs. Any child with a fascination for creepy crawlies will love the exhibits, especially the massive beetles. There’s also a lot to learn from the museum, which has a particular focus on muito-borne diseases, making it an educational as well as entertaining place to visit. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00
- Location: 72 Srimankalajarn Road, Nimman
- Tel: +66 (0)53 21 1891
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfWorldInsectsAndNaturalWonders
A very wide range of animals call the 200-acre Chiang Mai Zoo home. In the hilly countryside, you’ll find enclosures for lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, dingoes, alpacas, penguins and many more creatures from around the world. The star attractions are the pandas. They are kept in a special enclosure, which costs an extra 100 baht for adults to enter, or 50 baht for kids. All of the animal areas are designed so that you can get close enough to not need a zoom lens to take pictures of them, but without risking either yours or the animal’s safety. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 - 18:00
- Location: 100 Huay Kaew Road
- Tel: +66 (0)53 221 179
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/FanpageChiangMaiZoo
- Price Range: 150 baht for adults, 70 baht for children. Some exhibits cost extra