Phuket, Thailand with Kids: A Family Adventure in the Land of Smiles

Welcome to Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and a tropical paradise that offers endless fun and excitement for the whole family. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and exciting attractions, Phuket is the perfect destination to create unforgettable memories with your kids. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the area’s rich history, cultural highlights, best time to visit, recommended duration of stay, entrance fees (if any), and a detailed list of the top things to see and do in Phuket with your little ones. Get ready for an amazing family adventure in the Land of Smiles!

Short History and Fun Facts:
Phuket has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. It was once a major trading hub on the maritime route between India and China, attracting merchants from all over the world. The island’s strategic location made it a coveted possession, resulting in battles and changing hands between various powers. Today, Phuket’s cultural heritage reflects its multicultural past, with influences from Thai, Malay, Chinese, and European cultures blending together. Fun fact: The name “Phuket” is derived from the Malay word “bukit,” which means “hill” and refers to the island’s hilly terrain.

Thai culture is deeply rooted in Buddhism, and Phuket is no exception. Temples, or “wats,” are scattered throughout the island and provide a glimpse into the spiritual side of Thai life. The people of Phuket are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness, making it a welcoming destination for families. The local cuisine is a culinary delight, with its vibrant flavors and diverse dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional Thai street food and explore the bustling night markets.

Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of Thailand. It is part of the Phuket Province and is connected to the mainland by the Sarasin Bridge. The island’s pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes make it a popular destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Phuket with kids is during the dry season, which lasts from November to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and rainfall is minimal, providing ideal conditions for beach activities and outdoor adventures. The peak tourist season is from December to February when temperatures range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius (77 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). If you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of November to early December or March to April.

What to Wear:
Phuket has a tropical climate, so it’s best to dress in light, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton. Don’t forget to pack comfortable footwear, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect your family from the sun. If you plan to visit temples or more formal establishments, it’s recommended to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees.

Average Daytime Temperatures by Season:

  • November to February: 25-32°C (77-90°F)
  • March to May: 27-36°C (81-97°F)
  • June to October: 25-31°C (77-88°F)

Duration of Visit:
To fully experience Phuket’s beauty and enjoy the various activities on offer, it is recommended to spend at least five to seven days on the island. This duration allows for a balanced mix of relaxation, exploration, and cultural immersion, ensuring a memorable family vacation.

Best Things to See and Do in Phuket with Kids:

  1. Visit Phang Nga Bay:
    Embark on a boat tour to explore the breathtaking limestone cliffs, hidden caves, and emerald-green waters of Phang Nga Bay. Marvel at the stunning natural landscapes as you cruise through the bay, and let your kids experience the thrill of discovering secret lagoons and exploring the famous James Bond Island, featured in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Engage in fun activities like kayaking or canoeing through the mangrove forests, and enjoy a relaxing swim in the crystal-clear waters. Many tour operators offer day trips to Phang Nga Bay with prices ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 THB per person.

  2. Explore Old Phuket Town:
    Take a stroll through the vibrant streets of Old Phuket Town and immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage. The colorful Sino-Portuguese architecture adds a charming touch to the area, creating a picturesque backdrop for your family adventure. Discover unique art galleries, museums, and historical landmarks such as the Thai Hua Museum and the Old Phuket Town Sunday Walking Street Market. Engage in a treasure hunt to find the famous “Old Town Street Art” murals that depict Phuket’s history and folklore. Let your kids experience the local culture by tasting delicious street food and interacting with friendly locals. Entrance to the museums and art galleries may vary, ranging from 100 to 300 THB per person.

  3. Splash around at Patong Beach:
    Spend a day of fun and relaxation at Patong Beach, Phuket’s most famous and vibrant beach. Let your kids build sandcastles, splash in the gentle waves, and take a leisurely walk along the shore. The beach offers a wide range of water sports activities, including jet skiing, banana boat rides, and parasailing, providing endless entertainment for the whole family. Enjoy a beachside picnic or indulge in fresh seafood at one of the many beachfront restaurants. There is no entrance fee to access the beach, but prices for water sports activities vary, starting from around 500 THB per person.

  4. Discover the Big Buddha:
    Take a trip to Nakkerd Hill to visit the iconic Big Buddha, a majestic 45-meter-tall statue that overlooks the island. Marvel at its grandeur and enjoy panoramic views of Phuket. Encourage your kids to participate in the ritual of offering gold leaf to the Buddha for blessings and good luck. Take the opportunity to teach them about Buddhist traditions and the importance of respect and mindfulness. Visiting the Big Buddha is free of charge, but donations are welcomed to support the maintenance of the site.

  5. Experience Thai Culture at Wat Chalong:
    Explore Wat Chalong, the most revered Buddhist temple in Phuket. Admire the intricate architecture, vibrant colors, and ornate decorations. Encourage your kids to learn about Thai customs and beliefs as they observe traditional rituals and ceremonies. Let them light incense sticks and join you in paying respects to the temple’s main pagoda. Visit the exhibition hall to learn more about the history of Wat Chalong and its role in Phuket’s spiritual heritage. Entrance to Wat Chalong is free, but donations are appreciated.

  6. Have Fun at Splash Jungle Water Park:
    Cool off and have a blast at Splash Jungle Water Park, an exciting attraction for kids of all ages. Experience thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and interactive play areas. Watch as your kids laugh and splash around in the safe and supervised environment. Relax in the sun while they enjoy the park’s various water activities and attractions. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and swimwear for a full day of water-filled excitement. Ticket prices for Splash Jungle Water Park start from around 900 THB for children and 1,200 THB for adults.

  7. Interact with Wildlife at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary:
    Engage in an ethical and educational experience at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, a rescue and rehabilitation center for elephants. Let your kids learn about the importance of animal welfare as they observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Participate in feeding sessions, help bathe the elephants, and gain a deeper understanding of the conservation efforts in place to protect these gentle giants. Visiting the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary requires prior booking, and ticket prices range from 3,000 to 5,800 THB per person.

  8. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving:
    Explore the vibrant underwater world of Phuket by taking your kids snorkeling or scuba diving. Discover colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine creatures. Many tour operators offer family-friendly snorkeling trips with experienced guides who ensure safety and provide educational insights about the marine ecosystem. Encourage your kids to appreciate the beauty of nature and instill in them a sense of responsibility for marine conservation. Snorkeling trips typically start from around 1,000 THB per person, while scuba diving prices may vary depending on certification and dive sites.

  9. Enjoy a Phi Phi Islands Tour:
    Embark on a boat tour to the picturesque Phi Phi Islands, known for their pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Let your kids marvel at the stunning limestone cliffs, snorkel among colorful fish, and relax on the powdery white sands. Explore the islands’ hidden coves and caves, and soak up the natural beauty of this tropical paradise. Capture precious family moments against the backdrop of these breathtaking landscapes. Prices for Phi Phi Islands tours start from around 1,500 THB per person, depending on the type of tour and inclusions.

  10. Visit the Phuket Trickeye Museum:
    Immerse your family in the interactive and imaginative world of the Phuket Trickeye Museum. Step into 3D optical illusion art and let your kids become part of the artwork. Encourage their creativity as they pose for fun and creative photos with various illusions. This unique museum provides an opportunity for laughter, creativity, and unforgettable memories. Entrance fees for the Phuket Trickeye Museum are approximately 500 THB for adults and 300 THB for children.

  11. Discover the Phuket Zoo:
    Take your kids on an adventure to the Phuket Zoo, where they can observe and learn about a variety of animals, including tigers, elephants, monkeys, and more. Enjoy animal shows, such as crocodile wrestling and elephant performances. Let your kids interact with friendly animals in designated areas and create lasting memories of their encounters with wildlife. The entrance fee for Phuket Zoo is around 500 THB for adults and 300 THB for children.

  12. Learn to Cook Thai Cuisine:
    Enroll in a family-friendly Thai cooking class and learn the secrets of Thai cuisine together. Explore local markets to select fresh ingredients and discover the aromatic herbs and spices that make Thai food so flavorful. Under the guidance of experienced chefs, learn to prepare classic Thai dishes and savor your creations. This interactive culinary experience allows your family to bond while immersing yourselves in Thai culture and gastronomy. Prices for Thai cooking classes vary depending on the duration and inclusions, starting from around 1,000 THB per person.

Please note that the prices mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as season, availability, and specific tour operators. It’s always recommended to check with the respective attractions and tour providers for the most up-to-date information and to make reservations in advance when necessary.

As you wrap up your unforgettable family adventure in Phuket, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had together. From the pristine beaches and vibrant culture to the exciting attractions and delicious cuisine, Phuket has provided memories that will last a lifetime. As you bid farewell to this tropical paradise, remember to take the warmth of Thai hospitality and the beauty of the Land of Smiles with you wherever you go. Until we meet again, Sawasdee Krab!

Want to keep up with our blog?

Get our most valuable tips right inside your inbox, once per month!

Related Posts


Travel Guide – Porto

Perched on the hillsides overlooking the Douro River, Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, is a captivating cocktail of history, vibrant culture, awe-inspiring architecture,

Read More »
Skip to content