Thinking about a trip to Pattaya but asking is Pattaya suitable for families? Don’t worry! There are lots of Pattaya kids activities and attractions to make for a super fun Pattaya family holiday. Here is the low down on the things to do in Pattaya with kids – all road tested by us as well as lots of information to make your family holiday in Pattaya a massive success!
Below, you will find what to do in Pattaya with family, as well as some of the best things to do in Pattaya without kids (like Walking Street), the best family hotels in Pattaya, what there is to eat, how to get around, our overall thoughts of Pattaya and other useful information for your next trip!
Since Pattaya is best known for its nightlife, it seems only appropriate to start this list of Pattaya attractions with Pattaya’s infamous centre, Walking Street.
Things start late here, so there is no one around in the mornings and everything is shut. By the early evening, the streets are packed and there is a great vibe. There are all types, and it is very mainstream, not what I would have imagined from Pattaya’s reputation as a sex capital. It seems like the city has definitely cleaned up its act.
It has a great energy and it’s fun to walk around, although you do certainly see many interestingly named places in the many alley ways, full of Thai girls. There are plenty of families out and about. The infamous walking street was very tame, at least as far as realising you are in a red light district (assuming you are, im not even that sure!). It did look like lots of fun though, so may shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. If I wasn’t here with kids, I would be here partying every night. There is certainly plenty of things to do in Pattaya at night for adults!
If you want beautiful beaches, go to a different part of Thailand. Pattaya beach, at the south end anyway, is certainly not somewhere I can imagine hanging out. Thankfully, we are not beach people, so I was kind of glad to have an excuse to just use the hotel pool instead (which was great!).
If you are looking for a beach, it’s a better idea to nearby Jomtien.
One of the top picks of things to do in Pattaya with families is the Cartoon Network Amazone waterpark. This waterpark is tons of fun with many water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool and playground area for younger kids. In fact, there are over 150 slides and attractions in 10 themed zones.
There’s also live shows with stunts and the chance to meet Cartoon Network characters. The kids are absolutely going to love this, as will adults. It’s sure to be one of the favourite family activities in Pattaya.
Our Pattaya must do is to get a manicure, pedicure and massage! In fact, it was one of our top things to do at Pattaya on our Pattaya vacation.
It wasn’t just us either – 2 year old S loved having her nails done. We had been talking about it for awhile and she was so excited to be going.
S excited in the lift on our way to get her nails done
There are massage/mani/pedi places everywhere here, usually with a starting cost of 200 baht per hour. I was surprised when the first couple of places turned us down and were a bit rude about it. Usually the massage places are clamouring for everyone’s business and the locals always want to talk/touch/etc S. Plus, they think she is like 6 years old, so its not like they were worried by the two year old.
The place we ended up at was great and treated her like a princess. She just loved it and was so good and stayed still the whole hour that it was happening. She is so proud of her bright green nails (she picked the colour). We will definitely be doing it again.
We loved this place. It was our favourite of the Pattaya top things to do.
It is massive, clean, well manicured and just seemed so professional after the crocodile farm. There are lots of different Pattaya family attractions as well as a Thai cultural show, elephant show and a massive botanical gardens. We only saw a small section of it, but what we saw was awesome.
We started with the Thai cultural and elephant shows, which are straight after each other and in neighbouring venues. I am not really a fan of cultural shows, that is until they were re-enacting how they used to fight in battle, and suddenly elephants joined the fray. That was totally amazing and my highlight for the day. S actually seemed to enjoy the show and sat quietly until about 20 minutes in when she had enough (but still stayed quiet, just wanted my iphone!). Z was fine as usual.
The elephant show was quite amazing, very clever beasts!! S enjoyed this one for about 15 minutes and then we left, as plenty of things to do!
J has wanted to ride an elephant for ages, so he finally got his chance, especially as S was quite keen after falling in love with the elephants in the elephant show. It was very cool, the elephant walked them round part of the park for 20 minutes.
After this, we headed to the other animal attractions. There are bird aviaries (most were ducks, turkeys, roosters etc and on the ground), and many other animal enclosures. We particularly liked the turtle and tortoise one. There was also areas of lots of figurines of animals, which I think S might have liked more than the real thing!!
We finished with the petting zoo. We bought some food here and S was able to feed the animals. She loved it although got a bit freaked out at times. She loved being able to touch the animals.
So all in all, an awesome morning. If only we didn’t need to get back for the kids to nap, we could have easily spent a lot longer here. I highly recommend, and I’m sure we will go back one day.
Nong Nooch Garden is about 40 minute drive from South Pattaya. You can find discounted tickets for Nong Nooch at Klook. They are currently US$6 cheaper than buying direct! Elephant rides are extra. There are many opportunities to pay minimal amounts to feed animals.
You can get cheap shuttle transfers but we wanted more flexibility, so we hired a private car and driver for 800 baht who waited until we were done. We only spent the morning, but you could easily spend the whole day with older kids. It was mostly pram friendly.
One of the fun things to do in Pattaya is to visit Underwater World – Pattaya’s aquarium.
There’s five zones with over 5,000 fish. Kids will love the touch pool where they can touch some of the sea creatures. There’s three feeding times including the opportunit yto watch shark and manta ray feeding.
One of the attractions in Pattaya is The Sanctuary of Truth. This wooden temple is a gigantic structure and up to 105 metres high and is completely covered in carvings.
Construction started in 1981 and is still continuing. There are regular tours as well as dance shows twice a day. It makes for quite a sight and is worth a visit.
Click here to buy discounted entry tickets with the option of transfers. Kids under 110cm are free
This market is more than just a market. It’s divided into 4 regions which are meant to reflect the different regions in Thailand making it one of the more interesting tourist attractions in Pattaya.
The best way to experience this market is by hiring a boat and being paddled around, but it is also worthwile to walk around the different regions to see all the different buildings which are built in the same style as the region where they appear. There are also many eating options and, of course, shopping.
In addition to this, there are also cultural shows every afternoon. It is touristy but it’s also education and fun and worth adding to your list of places to go in Pattaya.
We came here as it sounded like a fun attraction in Pattaya for families that S would enjoy.
Unfortunately, none of us enjoyed it.
The stone park was kind of cool. However, the animal exhibits were horrible. Small and bare. Even worse were all the “attractions” set up for people to interact with the animals. The animals were obviously very drugged and chained up. It made me want to vomit. I seemed to be alone in these feelings and everyone else there seemed to love it.
The crocodile show, for which the place is famous, was no better. The crocodiles must have been drugged. They were just lying around, until one of the “performers” would drag one out, and hit it with a stick to open its mouth. They would then just lie there while the performer did whatever and then dragged it back away before attacking another one. Not my idea of entertainment. Afterwards lots of kids were posing for photos sitting on the poor creatures.
As for the kids? Well Z slept most of the time we were there (until some ladies pulled back the shade cloth to look at him!!) . S got some suncream in her eyes and spent the next two hours that we were there screaming about it. She attracted lots of people and was often surrounded :-/ They were generally trying to be helpful, but it made it more stressful. They were probably wondering why the 8 year old kid was behaving like a 2 year old (S is seriously big compared to kids here). It was pretty much a nightmare of a morning.
We disliked this place so much that we have decided not to go to the Tiger Zoo which we had previously been looking forward to, as, after reading reviews more carefully online, it seems that it will be the same type of thing, and we just can’t support such attractions.
We were charged 400 baht per adult and kids were free – from what I read beforehand, kids should be charged if they are over a meter so technically S should have needed a ticket. I also read that adults are 300 baht and we suspect our driver may have taken a cut. Private transfers we arranged down the street from the hotel. It was 800 baht including waiting time. You can get shuttles for cheaper, I saw signs for 500 baht for van transfers and entry, but we just wanted the flexibility to stay less time and not be spending ages in a van dropping and picking up people. Reasonably pram friendly and you could pay 25 baht to get taken around by a train.
We stayed in a family room at Mecure Pattaya. It has the best room for kids that I have seen.
We just loved this resort and so did the kids. S loved having her own “room” and played on the slide a lot and with her toys (both her own and the ones that came with the room). We knew there was nothing in there to worry about so they played in there without us hovering which was good for all of us. We love this room so much, that I can actually imagine us coming back to Pattaya in future in large part because of the room.
The facilities were also good in this Pattaya accommodation. We always had the kiddy pool to ourselves. We ate at the hotel a couple of times as they had awesome value buffets. We even got room service as it was actually cheap for hotel room service. The hotel was also in an awesome location, an easy walk to everything we need. There is also a free shuttle.
Mecure Pattaya family room, about $105 a night. See the latest prices here.
Other great Pattaya family hotels:
There are a ridiculous amount of food options here, but they are mostly relatively pricey. Around 300 baht per dish seems about average for non-Thai food, 150 baht for Thai food. There are cheaper places though, so thankfully it isn’t like Phuket where everywhere basically cost the same. It is all yummy, so I would have to say it is good value.
We self cater breakfasts (and have the whole trip). It’s so much easier to start the day with a meal that we don’t have to leave the room for! One of the many benefits of the Mecure was that we were only a few minutes walk from an international supermarket, so we have been able to buy weet bix for breakfasts and even “so good” (Aussie brand) soy milk for Z. We brought peanut butter with us and if S is hungry at an awkward time to go buy food, then we make her a sandwich.
There are taxis and ute like vehicles for getting around. We are so close to everything in our Pattaya accommodation that there is no need for us to use these though. For longer trips (like to the crocodile farm), we hired a car and driver. There are stands literally everywhere for this, and we went around many of them and 800 baht was best price we could get for a few hours (as in they drive us there, wait for us to finish and then drive us back).
You can also organise trips further afield through these people. 1200 baht is best price we have found for Bangkok city. This is for a van though – they won’t even discuss car hire for this trip with us once we say 4 people which is a bit frustrating as we fit with out luggage in smaller cars (we have to all sit in the back seat to hold the kids, so the front seat is available for luggage as well as boot). I think it would be 1000 baht for a smaller one though, so $6 is probably worth the extra space as it is more pleasant.
Walking around has proved challenging. We can get away with taking the stroller with us in the mornings when no one is around, but this is boring as it is no fun at this time. Once the streets fill up with people and cars, it’s just too hard.
There are lots of laundries around, but many charge by the piece :-/ thankfully, there is one near us that charges 80 baht a kilo, although it takes two days.
I like Pattaya.
I have avoided it in the past, and I was reluctant to come here this trip, thanks to its reputation. I did a lot of research because of its reputation as well, a lot more than I would for anywhere else, just to make sure it was ok for us. I was even embarrassed to admit to people that we were coming here. Thankfully, my research was right, and we had no reason to be concerned.
Don’t get me wrong, the sex industry certainly exists here, and you do see old white men with young Thai females, but they are nowhere near the majority. It is not that in your face and it is very easy to avoid the less family friendly parts altogether (although in saying that, it’s all behind closed doors from what I can see, so nothing to be too concerned about). We are staying in South Pattaya which is the center of it all, and it is fine. It is far more in your face in Patpong in Bangkok.
So come, or don’t come, but don’t let its reputation dissuade you.
What are your top things to do in Pattaya with kids?
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