Things To Do In Chiang Mai with Kids – A Family Friendly Guide

During our 3 months living in Chiang Mai with kids, we made sure we took advantage of all that the city had to offer a family.  We found that things are well documented for singles and couples, but there just wasn’t much on the internet for families.  So if you are looking for things to do in Chiang Mai with kids, then you will love our Family Friendly Chiang Mai guide. Things to do in Chiang Mai with kids - A Family Friendly Guide Here are some of our favorites, which are Family Friendly Chiang Mai, that is things to do with kids!.  We will review Things to do, Places to stay, Places to eat and a few extras as well.  We lived in the Nimman area, so it may seem heavily weighted to that area.  We loved our neighborhood and the city!  There is so much nature and education around, we wanted to do it all.  Of course we didn’t have time, but we shared with you what we could do.  Each title highlighted in Blue should be a link to more information.

Things To Do In Chiang Mai With Kids

  • Yi Peng Festival

    Held each year in late October or early November.  Imagine thousands of candles lit lanterns released into the air at the same time.  I would not recommend this for small children, as there are thousands of people and upon exit, the crowds can be thick.

  • Loi Krathon Lantern festival

    Usually held early November each year.Things to do in Chiang Mai with kids - Yi Peng Festival

  • Visit the hilltribes

    An amazing cultural experience for the whole family – get out into countryside to visit northern Thailand’s ethnic minorities otherwise known as ‘Hill tribes’.
    Tailand Hilltribe village children

  • Elephant Nature Park

    There are few words to describe how magical and special this place is.  If you don’t do anything else in Chiang Mai, you really need to visit Elephant Nature Park. Elephant_Nature_Park

  • The Chai Lai Orchid Nature Bungalows & Eco Resort 

    (Awesome Experience!) I know this is a place to stay, but wait until you see all of the things to do!  Very family friendly and educational too! The Chai Lai Orchid Title

  • Doi Suthep at Sunrise

    Of course it is good to visit any time of day, but sunrise is particularly spectacular.
    Doi Suthep Chiang Mai Sunrise

  • Saturday Night Market & Silver Temple

    Free!  (Unless you buy goodies at the market).  The Market starts on Bumruung Buri Road, near the south gate (Chiang Mai Gate) of the old city, and runs along Wua Lai Road.  Wat Sri Suphan - Silver Temple Chiang Mai

  • Sunday Night Market & Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan

    Free!  (Unless you buy goodies at the market).  The Market starts at Tha Phae Gate on the East side of the Old city and runs down the center road (Rachadamnoen Road), feeding into many side streets and even into the courtyard of Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan. Sunday Night Market Tha Phae Gate - Wat in center of town

  • Bo Sang Handicraft Village

    Saa Paper Umbrella Making  Free! Very interesting, colorful and educational.  We all enjoyed the afternoon out. Bo_Sang_Village_Umbrella_Making_-_Chiang_Mai

  • Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park

    Really a pleasant surprise and only $3 a person.  This is a very interactive and educational experience, and the kids had a blast. Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park Free WiFi

  • Scorpion Tailed River Cruise 

    90 minute Ping River Tour Don’t forget the Adventures with Anya on this one. This was a fun afternoon out and you get more than just a cruise on the river.  The kids really enjoyed this as well as the stop over. Scorpion Tailed River Cruise

  • Huay Kaew Waterfalls

    Free! This is a great place for a hike and a picnic.  Beautiful surroundings and the kids loved being free and running around. Huay Kaew Waterfalls Chiang Mai Thailand (huai Kaeo waterfalls)

  • Monk Chat 

    Free! Visit with the monks and ask anything you like.  This was great fun for the kids, as they were full of questions. Monk Chat Adventures with Anya

  • Fish Pedicure

    Once you get over the mental aspect of what is going on, this was a great and inexpensive experience.  Anya just loved it. Fish Pedicure Fish Spa Chiang Mai Thailand

  • Meditation Retreat 

    This is really for the older or more mature kids or any adults.  This is a 2 day/ 1 night retreat to learn the art of mediation with the Monks. Meditation Retreat Chiang Mai

  • Catmosphere

    Do you love cats?  We have the purrrfect thing for you to do in Chiang Mai.  Visit a cat cafe! Catmosphere Cat Cafe Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai Zoo & Aquarium

    This wasn’t a San Diego Zoo, but if you have little ones, they will enjoy the animals.Hungry Hungry Hippo - Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium

  • Thai Cooking Class

    We just never made the time for this, as we have done cooking classes in Morocco and Budapest.  Had we stayed longer we would have.  We are going to share the thoughts from Elliot, a 10-year-old traveling with his parents “All 7 in 7”.

  • Fruit Carving

    We just never made the time for this, as we have done cooking classes in Morocco and Budapest.  Had we stayed longer we would have.  We are going to share the thoughts from our friends from “An Epic Education”.

  • Thai Massage

    This may not be for the kids, but parents will appreciate a massage. Thai is twist and turn, poke and prod.  Oil massage is more like a rub.
    Breakdown of Alan's First Thai Massage

  • Buak Hard Park 

    Free! This is a relaxing park on the southwest corner of the old city, just inside the moat.

  • The Chiang Mai Night Safari 

    We didn’t experience this activity, but we did hear it is best to go at night or dusk.

  • The historic city of Wiang Kum Kam

    The first capital of Lanna and an ancient village, now a ghost town.  Due to the change in the flow of the river, this town was abandoned and sometimes floods.  It is about 600 x 850 meters big and a neat experience.

  • Organized Tours

    There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour.  There is so much to do and Viator has so many great offers for you.  Click here to see their latest Chiang Mai Deals!

Family Friendly Places To Stay In Chiang Mai Thailand

Unique Family Friendly Places to Stay, just outside of Chiang Mai

Family Friendly Trips from Chiang Mai

Family Friendly Places To Eat In Chiang Mai Thailand
Where to eat in chiang mai

If you do nothing else around town, at least enjoy Chiang Mai on a stick!

Costs in Chiang Mai


  • Songthaew – Red Truck with 2 benches (Song = 2, Thaew = Bench) are 20 Baht ($.60) per person for each trip within the city (roughly, within the superhighway).
  • Tuk Tuk – Scooter usually with a 3 passenger seat in the back. Prices vary, but usually around 80 Baht ($2.50) per trip
  • Driving in Thailand?  Are you crazy? Actually, we really enjoyed renting a car and taking a road trip.  Driving wasn’t bad at all, so get over your fear and explore.  At times this is more cost-effective for families than public transportation.  Check out our Driving in Thailand Tips and Tricks.  Scooter rentals can run from 150-200 ($5-$6) Baht a day and car rentals can be found from 500-1000 Baht ($15-$30) per day.  Usually Avis Thailand has good deals.
    Driving in Thailand
  • Bus – The main bus station is the Arcade bus station on the NE outside of the old city.  There is also a small bus station in Chang Phuak outside the North Gate.
  • Train – Many people come and go from town via the train. The train station is located along the east side of town. We took the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
    Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai - Anya gazing out the window
  • Air – Airport Code  CNX – Flying is obviously the easiest way to arrive and depart from Chiang Mai.The airport is just outside of the city center on the southwest corner.

Other Family Friendly Info around the Nimman area

  • Orthodontist Chiang MaiDentist  Our friends the Grants wrote up something about their dental experience and provide the location in the old city as well.  We visited the Nimman Dental Clinic, off of Nimman Soi 2
  • Optometrist
  • Orthodontist
  • Rental Car

We hope this helps you out for your Family Friendly time in Chiang Mai.  It doesn’t matter if you are in Chiang Mai for a week or a year, there is loads to do in Chiang Mai. There’s so much family fun around every corner.  We didn’t have time to do it all, so we may just need to come back.

More Things To Do in Chiang Mai with Kids


If you have a cool family activity or other things to do in Chiang Mai you would like to add to the list, just put it in the comments below or contact us to add it.

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  1. This is an excellent guide, Heidi!

    You guys should consider beefing it up, and making an ebook out of this. This would be fantastic for families traveling to that area 🙂

    • Not a bad idea at all. We have loads more to add, but thought we should get what we have out there now. So many people are coming to town now for the next few weeks for all of the festivals. We are receiving emails for info and it is just easier for me to send a link, with extra personalized info. We will be adding more, but the ebook would be good too. Need to add a bit more to it for that.
      Heidi recently posted…Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park – Chiang Mai ThailandMy Profile

  2. God bless you for writing this post! We are headed to Thailand in 2.5 months specifically with a goal of spending 2-3 months in Chiang Mai as a break from 6 months of non-stop travel. Trying to find information for families (as you know) is nearly impossible. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed post… our 7 year old daughter is so excited to go to catmosphere! I mean who wouldn’t be… cat’s with T-Shirts!!!!

    Thanks again,


    • Stephen you made our day! Thank you so much for the compliment. We are still going to try and add more to this post as we think of things. We are currently working on writing up our favorite places to eat. It is very difficult to dig up all of the family friendly things. Let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you in any way.

      You bet Catmosphere is the best! We will be going there one more time before leaving Chiang Mai late next week.

    • Oh thank you Elaine! We figured the standard “to do/to see” is covered everywhere and thought we would take a different route. Thanks for noticing that! Yep, it would be fun for the no kids travelers too! 🙂

    • You made my day Jessica. It feels great to know it is of use to someone. It take hours upon hours to write these things, so now I know this one was worth it! Le us know if you have any questions and enjoy Chiang Mai. We have only been away for about 6 weeks and miss it already.

  3. I have a very dear friend who is a member of our Buddhist organziation, SGI who returned to Thailand and lives in Chiang Mai…it is a beautiful city with so many wonderful options…thank you for making this information so accessible!

    • Oh that is wonderful. This place is near and dear to our hearts. It is absolutely wonderful and so many educational things to do, which are fun! It is good for the souls of the young and old alike. We look forward to returning one day.

  4. Our family of 5 (three kids aged 15, 12 and 11 years old) went to Chiang Mai in March. We only got to stay for 4 nights, so I’m very jealous of how long you got to stay there. We loved it. I wish that I had read your insights before we went but we did do a couple of amazing things that are not listed here. We did a segway tour of the historic part of the city and we spent a day becoming an elephant owner at Pantara Elephant Farm,, which was spectacular! Highly recommend both!

    • Hi Nicole, Oh that all sounds great. I don’t think any segways were in town when we were there. We sure did love it and miss it too. All the more reason to go back one day.