Chiang Mai is blessed with an abundance of activities and things to do for kids making it a popular destination for families from around the world. There is a laid-back charm that is instantly noticeable, and the friendliness of the locals makes parents instantly feel at ease leaving their kids in the care of guides. With so much to organize for a family holiday it can be a bit daunting finding the best activities for kids in Chiang Mai so here is a handy guide for parents looking for interesting, fun and educational things to do during their stay in the region.
A Cycling Adventure to the Sticky Waterfall
The Sticky Waterfall is a hugely popular attraction in its own right but add in a longtail boat ride across a lake, caves, mountaintop viewpoints and cycling through the jungle and you have an adventure of a lifetime for kids! The 30km ride may be off putting for some, but for more active kids who are experienced on a bike, this is often a highlight of their trip to Chiang Mai. Vehicle supported with plenty of water and snack breaks, supported by highly experienced guides, children as young as 7 have completed the journey.
Hiking and Bamboo Rafting to Secluded Hilltribe Village
A unique tour to a remove Lahu hilltribe village, cut off from civilization, this tour combines a gentle 5km hike through the forest followed by 8km of bamboo rafting along the Teang river. This tour can be booked as either a 2 day / 1 night tour, or a day trip (we recommend the overnight stay in the village). The hike crosses over a small mountain to the village, nestled next to the river and surrounded by stunning rainforest. Along the way kids can forage for mushrooms and learn about the life of the locals before journeying along the river on a bamboo raft.
Making New Friends at a Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary
Visiting a Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary is the #1 activity in the region and there are dozens of places to choose from. Generally visitors will travel an hour north or an hour south, depending on scheduling and a half day program gives the chance to learn about these amazing animals as well as feed, bathe and walk with the herd. We work with the most ethical elephant sanctuaries in Mae Rim and Mae Win / Wang offering both half day and full day visits. If time is tight we can arrange a half day hike / half day elephant visit so chat to us for more details!
Journey to the Highest Spot in Thailand
Another must see for children and adults alike is a Doi Inthanon day tour, combining several attractions and things to do to keep kids entertained for the day. The tour includes the famous twin pagodas, a visit to Doi Inthanon summit, a 500m nature trail and a longer 5km hike down a valley dotted with breathtaking waterfalls as well as a visit to a Karen hilltribe village where kids can learn how to grind coffee the old-fashioned way and cook it over a fire! This Doi Inthanon day trip ticks off several ‘must sees’ and is perfect for families with kids aged 5+ and justifiably one of the best activities for kids in Chiang Mai.
There are plenty of free activities for kids in Chiang Mai, the old town is fun to explore if you want to learn a little about the history of Chiang Mai. Just past the zoo is Huay Keaw waterfall if you’re short on time and want a quick nature fix or you can visit one of the parks located around the city.
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