Fun things to do in Thailand for an unforgettable family vacation

If you’re venturing into Asia with your family, Thailand stands out as an ideal starting point. Renowned for its paradise beaches, wildlife-rich jungles, warm hospitality, and delectable cuisine, it’s a top choice for family vacations. Thailand’s long history of welcoming Western tourists and its well-established infrastructure add to its allure for family travelers. 

We’ve explored the entire country to compile a list of the best family-friendly activities, spanning the lush green landscapes of the north to the tropical, white sandy beaches of the south. Whether it’s snorkeling, racing, riding, shopping, or experiencing the thrill of flight, Thailand offers a wonderland for kids. Dive into our curated list of fun things to do in Thailand with kids to craft a delightful vacation itinerary in this enchanting country.

10 amazing fun things to do in Thailand with your family for your dream vacation

Once known as “Siam,” Thailand is a land of exotic wonders and fascinating culture. While many connect Thailand to its temples and floating markets, the country extends beyond these cultural landmarks. Moreover, there’s more to Thailand than its renowned capital, Bangkok. For families, especially those with young children eager to explore the world, we recommend venturing beyond Bangkok. Explore the diverse landscapes and lesser-known destinations for a distinctive and memorable family experience. Thailand’s charm lies not only in its iconic sites but also in the hidden gems waiting to be discovered, offering unique opportunities for family bonding outside the bustling city.

Below is our list of curated fun things to do in Thailand with your family to give you and your family the vacation you all yearning for. Read on and let us unveil these wonderful destinations together.

Exploring Bangkok, visiting floating markets and Buddhist temples

Bangkok Wat Arun
Bangkok Wat Arun

In the vast expanse of Bangkok, its size is rivaled only by its vibrant energy. The challenge arises not from a lack of things to do but from the abundance of choices. While the temptation might be to explore every market and temple, especially with kids in tow, a more curated approach is advisable. 

Opt for a few must-see experiences: embark on a river taxi journey to the floating flower market at Pak Klong Dalat, traverse the city in a lively tuk-tuk to reach the Grand Palace, explore Wat Pho, renowned for its reclining golden Buddha (and indulge in a revitalizing Thai massage), and embark on a leisurely long-tail boat ride down the Chao Phraya River. This selection ensures a diverse and enjoyable experience, offering glimpses of Bangkok’s dynamic facets while maintaining a pace suitable for both exploration and relaxation.

One-touch to nature – Elephant encounter in Chiang Mai and Koh Chang

Chiang Mai elephants conservation in action
Chiang Mai elephants conservation in action

Beyond temples and floating markets, Thailand is renowned for its majestic elephants—a delight for your children. One exceptional place to witness these gentle giants is the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, the sole authentic elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Here, rescued elephants roam freely, allowing visitors to feed them and even join in their bathing. The sanctuary offers an educational experience for kids, shedding light on elephant care, protection, and their integral role in the country. Importantly, Elephant Nature Park prioritizes ethical practices, refraining from elephant riding.

For those seeking an elephant trekking adventure, Kok Chang Safari is a popular choice, though it operates as a commercial entity. Here, guided elephant rides offer breathtaking views of the ocean and Thai jungle. At Kok Chang, kids can interact with well-treated elephants, participating in feeding and bathing activities post-trek. The safari also hosts diverse demonstrations, including rubber tapping, Thai curry cooking, and coconut processing by local experts, adding an enriching touch for parents and children alike.

Indulge in a Jungle Adventure at the Flying Hanuman

Top on our list is an ideal adventure for families with spirited kids, preferably aged 5 and above, eager for an adrenaline-fueled escapade. Nestled in Kathu, Phuket, the Flying Hanuman offers a Tarzan-inspired experience, inviting you to zip line through the wilderness, creating a thrilling connection with nature. Beyond positioning Phuket as a beach haven, this eco-adventure showcases the island’s lush forest environment. Soar freely above trees, navigating ziplines, platforms, sky bridges, spiral stairways, and a sky rail. 

Amidst the adventure, relish the mesmerizing views of the vibrant greenery below. Remarkably, the Flying Hanuman site preserves its natural beauty, with an 80,000-square meter expanse harboring a diverse array of trees and small animals. Adventure prices vary based on the chosen package. Journey A, priced at $110, encompasses 28 platforms, 15 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, 2 abseil points, 3 spiral stairways, 1 sky rail, a 20-minute wilderness walk, a t-shirt, and a meal. Journey B, excluding the meal, costs $102, while Journey C, the most affordable at $72, includes 16 platforms, 8 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, 1 abseil point, 2 spiral stairways, and a 20-minute wilderness trek. Don’t miss the chance to ignite your kids’ enthusiasm for an extraordinary outdoor adventure at the Flying Hanuman!

Glide through the Rainforest at Flight of the Gibbon

Thailand boasts stunning rainforest landscapes, and eco-tourism has become prominent in many major cities. While we previously recommended Flight of the Haruman in Phuket, we have another suggestion for families in Chiang Mai if Phuket seems distant. Established in 2007, the Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai is renowned as Thailand’s premier zipline tour operator. Set amid the Khao Kheow rainforest, this adventure spans 26 platforms, offering a day tour featuring a jungle obstacle course and a zoo visit. What makes it family-friendly is its inclusivity, allowing young children to join the fun, either accompanying adults or participating solo if they’re over 1 meter tall.

With the highest safety standards and skilled “Sky Rangers” guiding you and your kids, the experience includes ziplining, conquering sky bridges, abseils, and exploring nature trails in the Thai rainforest. The tour also provides a Thai lunch and hotel transfers. Named Flight of the Gibbons due to the chance to spot and hear wild gibbons in the treetops, this magical adventure offers a close encounter with these creatures in their natural habitat—an experience your kids shouldn’t miss. The zipline adventure at Flight of the Gibbon costs $132.5.

Learning the Art of Eight Limbs at Jun Muay Thai Koh Samui

Embark on the journey of mastering the “Art of Eight Limbs” with Jun Muay Thai on the picturesque island of Koh Samui. Originating from Thailand, Muay Thai, derived from the Sanskrit word “Mavya,” meaning “to bind together,” is a dynamic combat sport renowned as the “art of eight limbs.” This martial art engages fists, elbows, knees, and shins, showcasing its multifaceted nature. Beyond its combat aspect, Muay Thai is a form of Mixed Martial Arts with applications in self-defense, making it an ideal choice for enthusiasts of all ages.

For families seeking Muay Thai training for their children, Jun Muay Thai camp in Lamai, Koh Samui, is a recommended destination. With daily training sessions at 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., they cater to both kids and adults. The two-hour sessions encompass a 30-minute warm-up followed by comprehensive training in punches, kicks, elbows, and various combinations. Tourists can avail themselves of single sessions at $10 each or opt for a week pass at $60, providing unlimited training opportunities. Whether a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, Jun Muay Thai offers an immersive and enriching Muay Thai experience for all.

Handicraft Creativity at Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum

Let’s revisit the bustling city of Bangkok, a true gem in Thailand’s crown. Unique to this city, the Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum stand as a testament to artistic ingenuity. Established in 1957 by the late Khunying Tongkom Chantha Wimol, this museum is a captivating gallery showcasing traditional Thai dolls alongside a diverse collection from around the globe. With over 400 dolls meticulously crafted and curated by the owner, the museum features representations of classical Thai dancers, miniature Khon masks, and dolls from Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Greece. 

Each doll is a masterpiece, adorned in national costumes from various countries and outfits reflecting Thai mythology and history. A visit to this enchanting museum offers an immersive experience for children, particularly young girls who can deepen their appreciation for dolls. Witness professional doll makers in action, crafting new additions available for purchase. The Bangkok Doll Factory Museum, open daily (except Sundays) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., warmly welcomes visitors, and admission is free for all.

Bright Lantern Spectacle at Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai sky lantern festival

In the enchanting city of Chiang Mai, November brings forth a celestial spectacle known as the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. This mesmerizing event, held annually on the full moon of the 12th lunar month as part of the broader Loy Krathong celebration, transforms the night sky into a sea of golden lanterns. Locals gather to release these lanterns, symbolizing wishes for good fortune in the upcoming year. This timing holds cultural significance as it aligns with the fullest rivers and the brightest moon.

The festival is a captivating experience for families, providing an opportunity to actively participate by lighting their own lanterns and sending wishes into the night. Beyond the luminous display, the celebration offers a rich tapestry of cultural performances, including dance shows and live music. The Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai becomes a magical moment for families to come together, immerse themselves in the cultural traditions of Thailand, and create lasting memories under the radiant glow of a thousand lanterns.

Cycling Adventure with the Kids at Wachira Benchathat

Escape the crowded tourist spots in Thailand and embark on a delightful cycling adventure with your family at Wachira Benchathat Park. Formerly a private golf course for State Railway employees, this lush oasis, also known as Suan Rot Fai and Railway Park, has transformed into a beloved public space. Covering 150 acres, the park boasts expansive grassy areas, winding trails, tennis and basketball courts, providing an ideal setting for a tranquil family outing.

Rent bicycles at the park entrance for an affordable price, offering options for kids, adults, and even bicycles with baby seats. Explore the 3-km winding trail, enjoying the fair weather and the natural surroundings. For a unique experience, visit the insectarium and butterfly garden, the only one in Bangkok, captivating the kids with its fascinating wildlife.

To add to the adventure, take a canoe or paddle boat out on the lake, available at a reasonable hourly rate of $1.45. Wachira Benchathat Park offers a perfect blend of outdoor activities and relaxation, making it an excellent choice for families seeking a peaceful retreat from urban life. The park welcomes visitors every day from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., providing ample time for families to create lasting memories together.

Bamboo Rafting in Mae Wang District

Embark on a unique water adventure with your family in Chiang Mai’s Mae Wang District, a haven for nature trips in Thailand. Here, bamboo rafting takes center stage, offering a distinct experience reminiscent of kayaking. Nestled amid the district’s high mountains and crystal-clear waters, Mae Wang provides an ideal setting for this tranquil activity. Drift along the Wang River on a bamboo raft, surrounded by the serenity of nature.

Mae Wang stands out as the premier destination for bamboo rafting in Thailand, promising a peaceful escape amidst the trees. Families can opt for a guided experience or venture out on their own. Paddling a bamboo raft mirrors the simplicity of kayaking, ensuring an easy and enjoyable navigation. Each raft, spanning 25 feet, comprises thick bamboo stalks bound together with rope and rubber strips.

Affordability adds to the allure of this adventure, with costs per bamboo raft accommodating up to five individuals at $15. Whether guided or self-led, savor an hour or more of bamboo rafting on the Mae Wang River, creating cherished family memories against the backdrop of Thailand’s natural beauty.

Sample local cuisine and joining in a cooking class

Thailand’s culinary landscape is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, and exploring it is a delightful adventure. Night markets, such as the one in Chiang Mai, offer an affordable and fun way to experience the country’s diverse cuisine. From fried pork kebabs to noodle soups, and even exotic choices like deep-fried grasshopper, the array of offerings is both intriguing and delicious. For families, exploring traditional Thai desserts like Mango Sticky Rice, a favorite among children, is a must. This sweet delight, made with glutinous rice, fresh mangoes, and coconut milk, provides a taste of authentic Thai sweetness, often available at reasonable prices.

Beyond sampling, diving into the art of Thai cooking is an extraordinary family bonding experience. In Kanchanaburi, renowned for the historic Bridge over the River Kwai, a fantastic traditional cooking school awaits. Here, families not only learn to master iconic dishes like green curry, tom yum, and som tam but also savor the results together. Thailand’s rich culinary heritage becomes a shared experience, creating lasting memories of both the vibrant markets and the joy of creating and enjoying delicious Thai meals.

Final thoughts

In the tapestry of Thailand’s enchanting landscapes and vibrant culture, family vacations become timeless tales of joy. Exploring the Kingdom of Smiles unveils a kaleidoscope of fun things to do in Thailand that redefine family bonding. From the bustling markets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of Phuket, every moment is a treasure waiting to be discovered. 

Viland Travel’s customized tours add a layer of magic, crafting personalized experiences that resonate with each family member. Whether it’s marveling at ancient temples or sharing laughter during a traditional Thai cooking class, these adventures stitch together memories that last a lifetime. 

Embrace the allure of Thailand, where the warmth of the people matches the tropical sun, and let Viland Travel guide your family towards an unforgettable journey through the heart of this captivating nation.