I used to look around and wonder to myself, “why on earth would you bring your wife and kids to Pattaya?”, of all the places you could have picked in the world, you chose here? Now that I’ve been around for a few years I actually realize that Pattaya actually isn’t all that bad of a place to raise a family at all and surely not one that should be excluded from your list of family-friendly vacation destinations.
Thailand is actually a very family-friendly place for the most part. No matter where you go, even in our occasionally raunchy, overly friendly and sometimes downright grabby city, there are plenty of things for families to do and many families who are already here living that can look past the “right in your face” sexiness of the city.
For those of you just curious as to what Pattaya has to offer your family activity-wise while on holiday, the list is truly endless. You can find just as many family FUN-tivites for families, if not more than other cities. There are countless zoos, aquariums and shows that are kid-friendly as well as numerous other things for you and your little ones to enjoy. While there are way too many to list them all, here is a “short” little list of 20 family-friendly holiday ideas in Pattaya:
#1 Art In Paradise: The art gallery where even people who aren’t into art can have fun. Art in Paradise is an interactive 3D showcase that lets you literally immerse yourself into the artwork. There are dozens of scenes that you will be able to choose from to brighten up your Instagram page so don’t forget your cameras!
Ticket prices for the exhibit are 400 baht for foreigners and 160 baht for Thai citizens. Children under 2-years of age are free. Make all your social media cohorts jealous with your Art in Paradise experience.
#2 Big Buddha: Wat Phra Yai is a temple at the top of Pratumnak hill in between Pattaya and Jomtien. The temple’s main attraction is the giant 18-metre tall golden Buddha statue. It is because of this feature many people simply refer to it as “Big Buddha”. You can actually see the Buddha statue from many places in the city if you know where to look.
The temple itself was built back in the 1940s and over the years has become a place of prayer and worship for the Thai locals and a major tourist attraction for the city. Visitors will find sweeping views of the Jomtien area and a number of smaller Buddha statues (which are still quite big).
#3 Khao Keow Open Zoo: Many of you may have visited other zoos and think to yourselves “what does this zoo have that the others don’t?” Khao Keow Open Zoo is unlike other zoos in that it lets you get up close with many of the animals that won’t eat you. You can feed the giraffes and the rhinos and several other of the animals.
Most other zoos that you have been to in the past will not have been inhabited by wild monkeys either (these they ask you to not feed).
Upon arriving you can rent a golf cart and be your own guide as you drive around the zoo premises and stop to view the animals at your own leisure. Some of the animals are in semi-open enclosures as the name suggests.
All of the animals at Khao Keow are in good health. They seem to be well taken care of and none of them looks to be wanting for food. It is a great place to take the kids for a day and let them explore the animal kingdom.
Admission prices are 300 Baht for foreigners, 100 baht for foreigners with a Thai driver’s license, 70 baht for Thai adults and 50 baht if you are driving through in a vehicle. Golf cart rentals are an additional fee.
#4 Sanctuary of Truth: A truly majestic place to visit. The sanctuary is a hand-carved wooden masterpiece of a building. Even as you enter you can feel the sheer magnificence of the building. It is neither a temple or a palace but is well fit for royalty and has a power about it that is somewhat religious.
Construction on the sanctuary of truth began in 1981 and continues even to this day. Nobody knows for sure when or if the project will ever truly be completed. Ticket prices to visit this one-of-a-kind building are 500 baht for adults and 250 baht for children. You can choose to have one of the tour guides show you the structure (at no additional cost, though tips are appreciated) or you can throw on your hard hat and venture off on your own.
#5 Harbor Mall (Harborland): Out of all the shopping centres in Pattaya (and there are quite a few), Harbor Mall was built with your children in mind. Almost the entire place is specifically constructed so that children will enjoy a day out with mom and dad.
There are many photo opportunities to be had on a visit to Harbor. Upstairs from the main mall, you will find Harborland. This place is every kids’ dream. They have everything from a trampoline park, to rock climbing and even a zip line play area called Adventureland. Prices for each activity vary but one thing you can be certain of is that you are making some lasting memories with the kiddos. You can even play in the snow!
#6 Mini Siam: This attraction will teleport you around the world. Mini Siam is home to nearly 100 miniature scale models (1:25) of renowned sites from around the world. It is a completely different experience in the evening time as that is when the tiny cities come to life with lights.
A trip to Mini Siam and Mini Europe (aka everywhere but Mini Siam) won’t break the bank. Adult tickets are only 250 baht and 120 baht for children. (foreign visitors with Thai driver’s license may be able to get a reduced ticket price)
#7 Cartoon Network Amazone: This is the perfect place for you and your family to escape Thailand’s hellish hot days. Cartoon Network Amazone is the world’s only Cartoon Network themed water park. With over 150 slides and attractions spread over 10 themed zones, there is sure to be something that everyone enjoys.
Ticket prices vary depending on promotions and deals but on average a super value adult ticket will cost you about 1,290 baht per person. Being that they are a branded park, they also offer several early-bird specials as well as yearly membership options and group prices.
#8 Pattaya Park: Pattaya’s cheapest waterpark. To gain access to the swimming pools and water slides will cost you a whopping 100 baht per person. There are other activities available for additional fees such as visiting the Pattaya Park Tower, ziplining and riding the roller coaster.
#9 Nongnooch Tropical Botanical Gardens: Dubbed “a garden for all people of this world”, Nongnooch garden is truly a must-visit attraction. The park is spread over 1,700 rai of land and is so big that you nearly need 2-days to explore it all.
Nongnooch opened to the public in 1980 and is now one of the most visited parks in Thailand serving more than 5,000 people each day. The park is recognized as one of the top ten most beautiful gardens in the world.
Children under 90cm are allowed free admission, Foreigners with Thai driver’s license is 300 baht and for most adult tourists the price is 500 baht. There are also show tickets combos available for purchase.
#10 Tiger Zoo: The Sriracha Tiger Zoo covers about 100-acres of land and specializes in breeding tigers and crocodiles as well as other species of animal.
The park aims to teach conservationism and conserving of natural resources. Visitors will see and learn about tigers, crocodiles, elephants, camels, spotted deer, donkeys, rabbits and other small animals.
Tickets are 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. Other ticket options that include individual tours, food, and hotel transfer are also available.
#11 Underwater World: Located on Sukhumvit Road in Pattaya, Underwater World is an interesting place to take the kids for the day. They have a wide variety of fish and reptiles and even a shark tank.
If you are feeling a little wild, they also have a program where you can dive in the tanks with a scuba diving instructor.
Ticket prices are 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children. (Locals and Foreigners with Thai Driver’s License is 250 for adult and 150 for children)
#12 Ripley’s Believe it Or Not: Located at Royal Garden shopping centre, Ripley’s Believe it or Not is actually 7 attractions in one. If you are into oddities, the Odditorium is right up your alley. Or for something a little more thrilling you could opt for Ripley’s Haunted Adventure or Scream in the Dark. Ripley’s Moving Theater 9DX lets you be a part of the movie with 9 different special effects. Or you can try your luck in Ripley’s Infinity maze or The Vault Laser Maze Challenge.
Ripley’s also has several cool photo opportunities available with their celebrity look-alike models. The haunted house is not at all for the faint of heart.
Tickets for all 7 attractions will cost you 1500 baht per person.
#13 Pattaya Sheep Farm: This is another half-day to all-day adventure. Pattaya Sheep Farm sprawls across more than 100 rai of land and has several animals that you can get up close with from alpacas to sheep and pigs.
The farm also offers a bird and animal show as well as many other activities like carriage riding. If you are feeling a bit hungry there is also a steak house on-premises.
Admission to the sheep farm is only 50 baht per person and is free for children under 110cm. Getting to the farm will require transport of some sort as it is a little way out of the city.
#14 Frost Magical Ice of Siam: Located right next door to the Pattaya Sheep Farm is another super cool attraction (pun totally intended). Frost Magical Ice of Siam is a 30,000 square meter dome full of icy wonder.
Visitors will see ice sculptures from a skilled Thai carver who has won various awards around the world. Don’t forget a sweatshirt as it can get up to -10 degrees inside the dome.
Tickets to Frost are 350 baht for adults and 250 baht for children.
#15 Ramayana Waterpark: Built like an ancient city, you and your youngsters can explore all the ruins and have a blast playing on their selection of water rides.
There are 2 dedicated zones for the kids and relaxation pools for mom and dad. Find comfort knowing that every lifeguard at Ramayana is certified by the American Lifeguard Association. Relax while the kids run around and have fun.
Tickets are around 1,190 baht for adults and 890 baht for children (no big water slides included) for children ages 4-14. If you are a senior citizen, disabled or pregnant the ticket is only 590 baht to enjoy yourself (minus the big water slides) for the day. There are also several ticket specials that include all-you-can-eat buffets and a free locker (with purchase of 2 tickets).
#16 Tuxedo Illusion Hall: Get the family ready for magic at its finest. Mr Tuxedo had a dream, so he quit his career as an engineer and instead turned his engineering skills towards magic.
After achieving his goal of becoming an awarded magician and the first Thai listed in the magician hall of fame he decided to set up Thailand’s first magic theatre.
Tuxedo Illusion Hall offers a full range of world-standard magic performances and shows. Tickets can be found online for as little as 300 baht per person.
#17 Pattaya Dolphinarium: If you have ever wanted to swim with dolphins, Pattaya Dolphinarium has you covered. Here you can meet the team of 7 dolphins and Lilo and Stitch the pair of seals.
They offer several shows each day (closed Wednesdays) and ticket prices range from 600 baht for adults and 400 baht for children for regular seats up to 1100 baht for adults and 700 baht for kids for VIP seating.
#18 Pattaya Elephant Village: The elephant village is a sanctuary for former working elephants and has been in operation since 1973. They offer an elephant training show, a Thai cultural show and even ox-cart rides.
There are several different ticket packages that you can choose from. Elephant trekking (riding on the back of the elephant through the park), combination trekking (elephant, by foot, ferry and ox-cart), or ATV trekking can all be found on-site and each lasts for a certain number of hours.
#19 Monster’s World Aquarium: Enjoy a few hours hanging out with the animals at Monster’s World Aquarium. They have some of the most prehistoric-looking turtles and fish on display.
They also have a reptile room and bird aviaries outside that you can spend time in feeding the beautifully coloured birds, guinea pigs and rabbits.
Tickets are 500 baht for Foreign adults or 100 baht for Thais/
#20 Pipo Pony Club: Spend a day out on the dwarf horse farm. Pipo offers several performances by cowboys and Indians and they also bring you a variety of exotic and rare animals for your viewing pleasure. Transport yourself into a picturesque fairy tale scene that the kids are sure to enjoy.
Aside from the shows and animals, Pipo also offers youth horse riding lessons that will teach your kids the art of riding. Riding a horse takes great discipline and balance all of which can be learned from their wonderful trainers.
Tickets and activities vary in price. It is best to contact the venue for exact pricing for your day out.
This is just a handful of options that are available to families that are here on holiday or live here full time. Pattaya is gradually becoming a much more “family-oriented” vacation destination over the years and it seems as though it will continue on that path.
The next time you find yourself in Thailand, don’t shy away from making Pattaya a destination on your itinerary just because you have the kids with you. They will have just as much fun as you, guaranteed.