Phuket Island is a popular place for family vacations in Thailand. There are so many fun things to do in Phuket with kids, that choosing what to do in Phuket on your vacation will be the biggest choice!
We spent 4 weeks on Phuket Island on our 1 year trip around the world with our kids. We’ve narrowed down what to do in Phuket with kids for your 1st time in Thailand.
What You'll Find in This Post
- Top 10 Things To Do in Phuket with Kids
- Where to stay in Phuket with Kids?
- Map of Phuket Island
- Day Trips from Phuket Island
- Other Things to do in Phuket with Family
- Travel Trips for Thailand
- Best Time to go to Phuket Thailand
Top 10 Things To Do in Phuket with Kids
1. Snorkelling & Diving
The water in the Andaman Sea around Phuket Island is warm, clear and has an abundance of ocean wildlife to discover. Kids and families can spend hours on any of the beaches searching for creatures, fish and sea animals.
We would bring our snorkel gear with us to every one of Phuket beaches and the kids loved playing in the sea looking for so many different kinds of fish. Our favourite spot for snorkelling right off the beach was at Surin Beach right off the rocks.
I would suggest bringing your own snorkel and mask, fins can be optional if you want to pack lightly. There are also good quality dive shops in many of the city centers if you forget.
If your kids are up for something adventurous and willing to try diving there are many certified PADI diving shops that can take kids out diving if they meet the age requirement. Luca was 8 years old and did two dives with the certified instructor in Thailand.
2. Elephant Sanctuary
Kids love animals and they love to see new animals that they don’t get to see back home while on holidays. But, we also like to ensure that we are searching for Phuket attractions that treat their animals ethically and not just done for tourism. We found an Elephant Sanctuary for injured and retired working elephants situated in the jungles of Phuket.
Learn and observe from the elephants in the closest atmosphere that these elephants can live in now. Kids will get an opportunity to feed a couple of the elephants, walk through the fields and watch the elephants, and if you are lucky to be able to watch the elephants wash themselves in their watering hole. Kids learn so much from the guide and still be able to see the elephants.
You can find out more about the Elephant Sanctuary here, we went on the morning tour and we thought it was one of the best places to visit in Phuket with family.
3. Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands
Get out and explore another island. Take a speedboat Phi Phi Island tour and spend the day on the water. We spent a full day going out to a few different islands, snorkelling, swimming and seeing the limestone cliffs of Phi Phi Island! Truly remarkable and a must when in the Phuket area.
Most of the Phuket tours will take you out for the entire day and include your transportation from your hotel, food and all excursions.
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Spent the day cruising by speedboat to go find Maya beach. We found it! #beachkids #whitesand #phiphiisland #mayabeach #thailand . . . . #Passportkids #familytravel #kidstravel #ftb100 #tinytravels #familytrip #familytraveltribe #tbscommunity #havekidswilltravel #tmom #lpkids #travelwithkids #familymemories #kidswhotravel
Note: We were one of the last people who could go to Maya beach since they have closed it down to allow for the wildlife to return. This is a good thing and the tours now will take people to other great spots. Just check the itinerary of which islands and beaches before booking.
4. Thai Street Food at Kata Beach
Thai street food is amazing and one of the best family things to do in Phuket! The best part of the street food is to get a variety of different kinds as a family and sample to see what you like.
Kata Beach has a greet walking street that you can go on just off the beach, so it makes it easier for kids to look and see all the different street vendors. We loved the bbq chicken, pineapple rice, rolled ice cream, fruit, noodles and meat skewers. Take it back to your beach spot and enjoy both the food and the beach in one day.
5. Longtail Boat Ride to Freedom Beach
If you are wanting to go check out one of the best beaches in Phuket, you are going to have to get there by longtail boat! Freedom Beach is just a short longtail boat ride away from Patong Beach and offers a small beach inlet.
The longtail boat ride on its own is so much fun and one of the best things for kids to do in Phuket! Enjoy the views from the water, experience a Thai longtail boat ride and spend the day at a beautiful beach.
You can arrange with the boat drivers upon your arrival at Patong Beach and they will take you there for the day, and then return to pick you up. Pack food and water for the day, although they have some amenities, its best to be prepared.
6. Massage on the Beach
We absolutely loved getting a family massage on the beach. On most of the beaches, they will have tables set up for your entire family to go and enjoy a massage right on the beach. Our kids stayed still and actually fell asleep the one time!
Relax and enjoy this treat for the entire family on one of Thailand’s beaches.
7. Scooter Ride around Phuket Island
If you are looking for a way to explore the island on your own as a family and a bit adventurous, a scooter ride around the island may be a perfect idea!
For the most part, it is how all the locals get around with their families. We rented scooters for in town, to get to and from places, and also to tour the island from Kamala to Patong. The kids absolutely loved it!
If scooters aren’t your thing, you can also rent a car and touring the island on your own too!
8. Visit a Local Night Market
Usually one evening a week, each town will have its night market where vendors will set up their merchandise and food stalls. It’s a great way to spend an evening with the family wandering around the market, grabbing your evening meal and enjoying the sights when the temperature is more manageable.
There are a few in Phuket Town, Patong, and we went to the Kamala Friday Market. Ask at your hotel or locals when the night market is and plan to spend that evening enjoying the market shopping in Phuket.
9. Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is one of the great places to visit in Phuket. It is perched on top of the Nakkerd Hills and you will be able to adore this amazing statue and be able to get views from above of the island.
Big Buddha Phuket is located close to Karon so you can add this into a day on Karon Beach, but ensure you are dressed respectfully in no beach attire when visiting the Big Buddha. It is one of the known Phuket tourist places that needs to be seen on Phuket Island.
10. Beach Days
Families travel to Phuket for the beaches, it is what to do in Phuket! Be sure to spend the time just relaxing on the beaches and enjoying all the different beaches on the island. We spent hours on the beaches of Phuket simply enjoying the water, soft sand, and tropical greenery.
If you stay on the west side of Phuket Island, any of these beaches are reachable to spend the day at the beach and explore the area. Some of the beaches have playgrounds and parks for the younger children and toddlers to use too!
These were some of the best family beaches in Phuket:
- Kamala Beach – Shallow water, amenities, easy waves, beach chairs and umbrella rentals, restaurants along the beach and somewhat busy.
- Surin Beach – Great for snorkelling with some rocks, no beach chairs, can rent an umbrella, waves were a bit stronger and least busy beach.
- Kata Beach – Shallow water, some chairs and umbrella rentals, great Thai food, lots of stores, shopping and busier than Kamala.
- Karon Beach – A livelier beach close to the main streets of Karon, lots of restaurants, beach and umbrella chair rentals, shopping and busiest of all these beaches.
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Life doesn’t get any better for a 5 year old than finding a swing hidden in the tree at the beach! #beachlife #phuket #thailand #treeswing #explore . . . . #Passportkids #familytravel #kidstravel #ftb100 #tinytravels #familytrip #familytraveltribe #tbscommunity #havekidswilltravel #tmom #lpkids #travelwithkids #familymemories #kidswhotravel
We loved all of these beaches, it just depends on the atmosphere that we felt like going to for the day. So hopefully this can help you choose your family beach day on Phuket!
What is offered at each of the beaches is constantly changing what they can or cannot have on the beaches (ie. chair or umbrella rentals), so just be prepared with your own towels or umbrella if you want to be certain.
Where to stay in Phuket with Kids?
Before you decide on which hotels to book in Phuket consider the areas of the island that would be the best place to stay in Phuket for families. Here are a few of the areas that we have stayed in Phuket and recommend for kid-friendly spots on the island.
Kalama is a great area for families to stay in. Close to both Kamala Beach and Surin Beach which are very kid-friendly. The area has lots going on during the day along the beaches, a good variety of restaurants that you can walk to along the beach, a small main street to walk around. There is little to no nightlife, with only a few restaurants that stay open later. Smaller center with a quieter beach atmosphere. We loved this area for the perfect beach getaway with the family. Slow beach life pace.
We stayed at the Glam Habitat Hotel for our stay in Kamala and highly recommend this hotel. Since we were travelling with a larger group we rented a 3 bedroom private villa and it had an amazing private pool! Very close to the beach and all the restaurants.
This is bigger than Kamala, with more options for restaurants, more grocery stores, shopping and livelier city. Karon Beach and Kata Beach are all closes by this area to stay which are both some of the best beaches in Phuket. We stayed in this area as well and enjoyed it when we were looking for more energy, more people and activities going on. This is still a very family-focused area to stay and would recommend with a family too! Just more action and people.
Phuket has some great 5 star resorts in Phuket that go above and beyond if you are looking for some of the best resorts in Phuket that may include food, kids club, private pools, etc. This one in Surin Beach and this one in Kalama Beach are some great options.
There are also plenty of options for Airbnb on Phuket Island too if you prefer to stay in an apartment. We stayed in an Airbnb in Karon for a week and it worked out great, but generally, the hotels are closer to the beach and Airbnb apartments are a bit further away.
If you haven’t used Airbnb before you can save money and get a credit for your first stay here!
Map of Phuket Island
Day Trips from Phuket Island
There are so many great day trips that you can take from Phuket and keep a home base on the island and still explore other places in Thailand. Here are a few if you have a few extra days or looking for some more Phuket day trips!
Other Things to do in Phuket with Family
If you have been to Phuket before or if you have more time on your vacation here are a few more ideas to consider for family Phuket activities:
- Phuket Old Town
- Phuket Aquarium
- Wat Chalong
- Ziplining at Flying Hanuman
- Waterpark at Splash Jungle
- Gocarting at Kart Speedway
- Anthem Wake Park
- Mini Golf
- Phuket Trickeye museum
Travel Trips for Thailand
- Currency – In Thailand, the currency is the Thai Baht. Most of the outdoor markets, tuk-tuks, restaurants and small shops only take cash, so have some money with you at all times. Larger grocery stores, more established restaurants and hotels all take credit cards. There are ABM cash machines everywhere to get cash out.
- On the island, there are taxi services, scooters for rent, car for hire, or tuk-tuks in abundance to take you from one place to another.
- Airport Transfer (HKT) – You can prebook your airport transfer from the airport to your hotel here and know upon the jetlagged arrival you have transportation to your hotel arranged.
- Ferry Services – If you are travelling to another island after Phuket you can book your ferry tickets here and arrange your travel between the islands. Phuket to Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi and Railay Beach.
- Tourist Visa – Check with your home country, but most likely you will require a visitor visa to enter Thailand for up to 30 days. We were staying for over 30 days and acquired a 90 day visa prior to entry.
- Have proper international travel insurance when you are travelling, we used World Nomads for our travel when we were in Thailand and highly recommend it. It’s easy to get a quote, processes it and add on countries to your itinerary.
- Check out the Thailand tourism website for more details on Thailand like upcoming events or festivals.
- We have used Get Your Guide and Viator to book a day trip which allows you to get the most of a full day tour that has been arranged for you.
- We always bring a travel book since sometimes you don’t have wifi or mobile phone coverage, this one is our favourite guidebook we used and here are some other recommended options for Phuket travel guides.
Best Time to go to Phuket Thailand
The best time to visit Phuket is from November to April when the weather is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, diving and enjoying the outdoors. There may be occasional rain, but it usually comes down quick and heavy for a short period and then is gone. Between May to October, it can be monsoon season for Phuket weather, and although prices will be cheaper the weather conditions are not ideal.
Phuket is a great destination for a family holiday. Usually paired with a few days in Bangkok if travelling internationally can be a fantastic Thailand vacation.
We hope you have come up with some great ideas for what to do in Phuket for kids on your trip and the best places to visit in Phuket with family! There are so many things for kids to do in Phuket on your Thailand tour, the tough part will be choosing what you do for your time on the island.
If you have been to Phuket before and have any other things to do in Phuket for kids, let us know in the comments below!