Chiang Mai Outdoor Playgrounds

with No Comments

Although not blessed with an abundance of parks there are some nice playgrounds and play areas we have come across throughout Chiang Mai.

The most common materials for building playground equipment seems to be metal. If these are well maintained then they do a good job but sometimes they look worryingly rusty. On the other hand there are some nice plastic playgrounds around but sometimes these aren't maintained then the intense sunlight and humidity seems to warp and crack the plastic.

These are some of our favourites, although we're pretty sure there are still others to discover.

Best Outdoor Playgrounds

If you are looking for a free outdoor playground in Chiang Mai for the kids to enjoy, these are the best two we have found so far:

1. At Nong Buak Haad Park there is a nice new plastic mini adventure style play area with slides and bits to climb. There is also the benefit of the park itself, refreshment stalls and the option to feed the fish in the park's big pond. This is a good option for both residents and visitors as it is in the city centre.
Nong Buak Haad Park Playground
2. The Old Stadium has a nice plastic playground and a good climbing net. The old stadium and running track are still there so there's the option of getting some exercise in if you fancy.
Chiang Mai Old Stadium Playground

Attractions with playgrounds

These attractions are great for kids but there is also the added bonus of a playground.

3. Chiang Mai's newest attraction is Hidden Village, a fantastic park just off the second ring road. This isn't a park in the traditional sense though. The shady, grassy areas are there but there are also huge colourful sculptures of reptiles and bugs from past and present for kids to clamber about, an adventurous wooden playground (possibly better for slightly older kids), a big and busy trampoline, and a small petting zoo with sheep and donkeys. But the star of Hidden Village is the dinosaur exhibit.
4. There is a small, well maintained metal playground at Huay Tung Tao reservoir. This is good for younger children and there is a nice cafe adjacent to it. There are plenty of grassy areas for picnicking or running about on, depending on the height of the water, and there are quite a few restaurants dotted about. By the water's edge cute wooden huts are available to rent and these are popular for having lunch in. The road around the reservoir is well paved and good for pushchairs and bikes. There is a fee to enter the reservoir. UPDATE: Since writing this post, we've revisited the reservoir (end 2017) and sadly the playground has been moved and fallen into neglect. Some bits can still be used but much of it is rusty or has fallen apart.
Huay Tung Tao Reservoir Playground
5. Tweechol Botanic Garden has a playground but unfortunately the plastic was suffering and cracked the last time we visited. However we did find some usable parts. The gardens are lovely to walk or cycle around. You can take your own bikes or hire them. Baby seats for the bikes are also available to hire. There is a little zoo at the far end of the gardens.
Tweechol Botanical Gardens Playground (at Horizon village Resort)
6. San Kamphaeng Hot Springs has a reasonable playground for small children. Our 3 year old enjoyed about 15 minutes of play and running around. It's not worth making the trip to the hot springs just for the playground, but if you're looking for a half day out, then the hot springs are worth visiting and the playground is something for the kids. There are also some nice grassy areas that are good for picnics.
San Kamphaeng Hot Springs Playground
7. Chiang Mai Night Safari has a very good covered out door playground with various small slides and equipment plus an excellent climbing net. Check the post to find out more about opening times and admission fees.
Chiang Mai Night Safari climbing net
Chiang Mai Night Safari playground with climbing net

 Cafes & Restaurants with Playgrounds

Pretty much every restaurant and cafe in Chiang Mai welcomes children, but not all of them are child friendly. These are the places we have found which have been built with kids in mind .

7. Baa Baa Black Cafe at the Mae Rim Lagoon Resort Hotel is a wonderfully relaxed and quiet place. The food and drinks are good and kids can run around the garden and use the playground. The equipment itself is not in the best condition but there is a small slide, some swings and a little climbing frame. Combined with the grassy area, our 3 year old has had hours of fun here. We have been to this place many times and always have a good time.

8. At Ginger Farm, along with all of their other fantastic farm activities, there is now a covered wooden playground, recently built. There is a wooden walkway and ladder to negotiate, bales of hay to climb and a climbing net. The playground is for kids above 3 with adult supervision. They have also recently finished building a wonderful bamboo walkway through the rice fields and this is great for spotting ducks and birds among the rice stalks. In addition, there is a nice sand pit, kites to fly when the wind is up and plenty of farm animals around. The food, cakes and drinks are consistently very good. Another firm favourite of ours.

9. Nic's Cafe has a large playground, however we've never eaten there. We've only popped in to check out the playground and it appeared to be for older children.
10. Cup Fine Day is a cafe/restaurant at the foot of Doi Kham. It has a pretty large children's playground with climbing frames, sand pit and trampoline all under the shade and serves up decent food and drinks.

Playground now sadly in disrepair

11. We've found a few forums which mention the playground at Royal Flora Ratchaphruek. However, when we visited, it was roped off and closed due to disrepair. We did sneak in for a look and a few bits were still ok but overall it's pretty unsafe which is a shame as it looks like it was once very nice. The route around the park is good for pushchairs and bikes. UPDATE: Since writing this post, we've revisited the park (Feb 2018) and the playground is back up and running. It's now in lovely condition, which is great to see.
Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Disused Playground