What Things To Do in Chiang Mai Thailand – A Family Friendly Guide

This is a thorough guide of what things to do in Chiang Mai with kids!  During our 3 months living in Chiang Mai with kids (10& 12 yrs), 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 short-term apartment rentals Chiang Mai, places to eat in Chiang Mai or Things to do in Chiang Mai with kids, then you will love our What to do in Chiang Mai guide. Here are some of our favorite fun things to do in Chiang Mai with kids.  If you don’t have kids, this is still a great guide to Chiang Mai for you too!

We will review fun Things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand!  As well as, Places to stay in Chiang Mai, our favorite places to eat in Chiang Mai, and a few extras as well.  We lived in the Nimman area, so it may seem heavily weighted to that area.  We loved our Chiang Mai neighborhood and the entire city!  There is so much nature, activities, cheap eats, cheap accommodation, and education all 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.  There are also many free things to do in Chiang Mai, so it is great for the budget.


Fun Things To Do in Chiang Mai Thailand With Kids or Without!

  • 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.  This was one of our favorite things to do in Chiang Mai at night.

    Anya-and-Lars-Loy Krathong Chiang Mai Thailand

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Sunrise Chiang Mai at Doi Suthep

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

  • Things to do at night in Chiang Mai – 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 Chiang mai old city, and runs along Wua Lai Road.  Another favorite things to do in Chiang Mai at night.Wat Sri Suphan - Silver Temple Chiang Mai

  • Top Chiang Mai Attractions are the markets! – 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.  Another favorite things to do in Chiang Mai at night.Sunday Night Market Tha Phae Gate - Wat in center of town

  • Free Things to do in Chiang Mai –  Bo Sang Handicraft Village

    Saa Paper Umbrella Making  Free! Very interesting, colorful and educational.  We all enjoyed the afternoon out.  One of our favorite free things to do in Chiang Mai!Bo_Sang_Village_Umbrella_Making_-_Chiang_Mai

  • Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park

    We were a little hesitant to go to the Elephant poopoo park, but we are so glad we did.  It was really a pleasant surprise and only $3 a person.  This is a very interactive and educational experience, and the kids had a blast.  You follow the poo and walk around the park learning how the poo is collected, cleaned, filtered and turned into paper.  You get to do it all, so add the PooPoo park to your list of things to do in Chiang Mai!Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park Free WiFi

  • Scorpion Tailed River Cruise 

    if you are looking for things to do in Chiang Mai, which are educational, then check out this 90 minute Ping river tour.  This was a fun afternoon out and you get more than just a cruise on the river.  The owner is passionate about the history and even takes you to his special gardens for a snack.  The kids really enjoyed this as well as the stop over.  This was one of our favorite Chiang Mai attractions.  Scorpion Tailed River Cruise

  • Free Things to do in Chiang Mai – Huay Kaew Waterfall Chiang Mai

    Free! This is a great place for a hike and a picnic.  Beautiful surroundings and the kids loved being free and running around.  There are snack stands at the enterance and it is also a good spot to find a cold drink.  The Huay Kaew waterfalls are very refreshing.  Another favorite free thing to do in Chiang Mai.Huay Kaew Waterfalls Chiang Mai Thailand (huai Kaeo waterfalls)

  • Free Things to do in Chiang Mai – Monk Chat Chiang Mai 

    Free! Visit with the monks and ask anything you like.  This was great fun for the kids, as they were full of questions.  You can click on the heading to read more about our Chiang Mai Monk Chat  and they also offer a great mediation session at Wat Suan Dok.  You can get the information at the same location as where you chat with a Monk in Chian Mai.  The monk chat was a family favorite on our free things to do in Chiang Mai.Monk Chat Adventures with Anya

  • Fish Pedicure or Fish Spa Chiang Mai!

    Once you get over the mental aspect of what is going on, this was a great and inexpensive experience.  Anya just loved it.  Of course you can read more by clicking on the title.  Some people have concerns about the safety and cleanliness.  We loved it and it was so cheap.Fish Pedicure Fish Spa Chiang Mai Thailand

  • Chiang Mai Meditation Retreat with Monks 

    This is really for the older or more mature kids or any adults, but it was one of our favorite things to do in Chiang Mai.  This is a 2 day/ 1 night retreat to learn the art of mediation with the Monks.  You can obtain more information about the Chiang Mai meditation retreat at the Wat where the Chiang Mai Monk Chat is held.Meditation Retreat Chiang Mai

  • Catmosphere!  What better than the Chiang Mai Cat Cafe?

    Do you love cats?  We have the purrrfect free thing to do in Chiang Mai.  Well, you will need buy a drink or snack, but it is worth it to visit a cat cafe!  Sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or another drink, while the little furry lovies give you loads of attention.  This is great for us, becuase we travel and don’t own any pets.  So visiting a cat cafe and doing housesitting is a way for us to get a little time with pets.  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”.  He enjoyed his cooking class in Chiang Mai.

  • 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.  

  • Thai Massage

    This may not be for the kids, but parents will appreciate a massage. Thai is twist and turn, poke and prod.  If you don’t like the Thai massage, just ask for an Oil massage, which 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 Chiang Mai old town, just inside the moat.

  • Things to do in Chiang Mai at night – 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!

Best time to visit Chiang Mai

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is between October and April. The weather at this time of the year is very pleasant with light breeze, which is also why it’s peak tourist season.  Chiang Mai is in a valley.  March or April is often burning season, which may mean it is a bit smokey.


Where 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!

Cost of living in Chiang Mai

  • Two months in Thailand for a family of 4 – We share all of our expenses with you, every single penny.  If you want to know the cost of living in Chiang Mai for our family of 4 then, you have come to the right place.  We even talk about the dentist, orthodontist, and eye docotor in Chiang Mai.
  • Cost of everyday things around Chiang Mai.  If you want to get a feel for how much food costs in Chiang Mai or maybe it is just the everyday expense, we have it all here for you.  It is of course just a guide for you to get an idea.  Prices can change and well, what you choose to buy may be different from what we selected as far as the brands.
    Cost of Living Chiang Mai Thailand
  • Cost For One Month In Thailand with Kids! 


    Once again, we share all of or costs for a family of 4 to live in Chiang Mai.  Again, you may have a different comfort level or budget, but feel free to use this as a cost of living in Chiang Mai guide.  cost for one month in Thailand with kids

  • Costs for a couple in Chiang Mai (our friends, the Grants)

Chiang Mai Transportation

  • 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
      • Exploring With Our Avis Thailand Toyota Innova Check car rental deals now

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

More Things to do in Thailand

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.

Come on and tell us what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.