Whether it’s the neon lights of Pub Street and the night markets, or the bustling chaos of the local markets selling colourful keepsakes, Siem Reap’s appeal undoubtedly extends to the younger members of the family. Sometimes, children need a break from the sun, or a way of passing some time during a downpour of seasonal (refreshing) rain. If you have teens, some time doing their own thing might be the order of the day. However, parents don’t have to forgo adventure in their pursuit of a fun-packed holiday, as the kid-friendly options we’ve listed for you here cover the adrenalin-fuelled to the creative – and everything in between!

(Photo by Régis Binard.)

At Siemreap.net we believe this is a must-see for everyone visiting Siem Reap! Dance, theatre, performance arts and aerial skills are all showcased in this breathtaking show, which supports an innovative social enterprise with the proceeds. With no animals featured, you can be reassured this circus offers entertainment for all in the form of folklore and real-life stories from modern society, told with stunning performances by talented circus artists. With live music and lots of laughs, you will be enthralled from the moment you arrive at the fairy-light adorned entrance to the big top tent. Refreshments and merchandise are available to buy before the show, too.

Where: Phare Circus Ring Road, Siem Reap
Open: performances at 8pm (additional 5pm performances from Nov 1- March 31 on Mons, Thurs and Sats)
Great for: all ages
Cost: Tickets priced $18-$38 for adults (3 choices of seating) and $10-$18 for children (aged 5-11). Under 5s go free.
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Book in advance? Booking is essential
More info: Phare Circus

Nurture your children’s creative side as they learn how to throw the clay onto the wheel to make your very own ceramic masterpiece at Khmer Ceramics. Teachers are on hand to guide you through the process and to help you to add Khmer carving to your finished pots, using special tools – all provided. Your completed pieces will be glazed and returned to your hotel the following day, so do book your class so that it’s not on your last day in Siem Reap!

Where: 0207, River Road, Siem Reap
Open: Daily at 8am, 10am, 2pm and 4pm
Great for: Age 3+
Cost: $25 per person
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Book in advance? Booking is essential
More info: Online booking page

After a demonstration by skilled expert staff from Khmer Ceramics and hearing the history and importance of Cambodian ceramic art, begin your class, working with traditional pottery tools, and learning painting techniques. Create two elephant mugs with decorative saucers using your own imaginative designs and vibrant colours. Allow time in your travel itinerary for your masterpieces to dry, as you’ll need to collect them the next day. This family friendly activity is ideal for pairing with the Khmer Ceramics pottery workshop also offered here.

Where: 0207, River Road, Siem Reap
Open: Daily at 8am, 10am, 2pm and 4pm
Great for: Age 3+
Cost: $25 per person. pick-up from your hotel is included
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Book in advance? Booking is essential
More info: Online booking page

If you have older children who love to indulge in selfies, this is the place for you. New technology at Artbox Siem Reap transforms 2D art so that it feels like it’s alive. This indoor attraction houses over 130 artworks waiting for you to discover. Snap yourself in snowscapes, jungles, fairy tales or some of the world’s best-loved tourist spots. It’s just like you are inside the picture! The kids can practice their photography skills, too.

Where: 1 Krous Village, Siem Reap
Open: 9am – 9pm Daily
Great for: all ages
Cost: Children $6.60. Adults $9.90.
Duration: allow 2 hours
Book in advance? Book online

5The Great Escape – Escape the Room Game

The clock is ticking and you have 60 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and unlock your way through the game! You and your team select one of the three themed ‘rooms’ and use your wits, working together, until you have escaped. Staff will set the scene and brief your team, prepare your room and get you started. Choose from ‘The Lost Room’ (an Angkor themed escape room), ‘Crime Scene 86’ or ‘Prison Break’ for a thrilling experience that the whole family can enjoy. Will you escape in time?

Where: C39, Angkor Shopping Arcade, National Road 6 (Airport Road), Siem Reap
Open: 10am – 10pm
Great for: All ages (children can go unaccompanied as the escape rooms are supervised at all times by a Game Master.)
Cost: $20 per person, $10 for children under 16, FREE for children under 6, return transport from hotel and bottle of water included!
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Book in advance? Not essential but recommended to ensure that your preferred room is available

6Bambu Stage – Puppet Show (& Workshop)

Bringing classical Cambodian tales to life using live music, puppetry and the shadows of gently flickering fire! Immerse yourself in the show and, afterwards, meet the puppeteers and learn how the puppets are made. These captivating tales make cultural insights so appealing for young children, and the setting is magical.

Where: Performance Art Theatre, Siem Reap
Open: Mon, Weds, Thurs, Sats.7pm
Great for: all ages
Cost: Children 6-12 $9 (under 6s go free). Adults $18. Show + dinner package also available.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Book in advance? Booking is essential

7Lemongrass Garden Spa – Kiddie Khmer Massage

While parents relax with a treatment from this conveniently located spa’s varied menu, the little ones can enjoy a gentle massage, with or without oil, or a soothing foot massage. Once they’ve finished, they are welcome to relax alongside you while you finish up. Will it be a massage, a pedicure, or facial? Treatment rooms are quiet, fragrant and beautifully decorated and you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back from the bustling city outside.

Where: 2 locations: 2 Sivatha Blvd & 105b Sivatha Blvd, Siem Reap
Open: 11am – 11pm
Great for: ages 2-9
Cost: from $9-12
Duration: 45 minutes
Book in advance? Ideally, but not always necessary
More info: Lemongrass Garden Spa

8The Happy Horse Ranch – Horse and Cart Rides, or Pony Trails

Taking a one-hour cart ride is an easy way for the whole family to enjoy views of villages and countryside, so have your camera handy! It offers a great introduction to the village way of life and some interesting scenery, including a quick stop at Wat Chok pagoda to stretch your legs. Children can take a short pony ride on a lead, led by an experienced staff member, around the beautiful ranch, passing the other ponies being groomed or happily grazing. More experienced riders can opt for a temple tour on horseback, or a four-hour countryside tour, perhaps taking in a majestic sunrise. The ranch can accommodate every age group or special request – drop them an email and they can even arrange a tuk tuk to pick you up (extra charge applies).

Where: Group 4, Svaydangkum, Siem Reap
Open: mornings are best for the horses, but the Ranch will accommodate your requests
Great for: all ages, beginners and advanced riders
Cost: from $20 for a 30 minute children’s lead ride up to $95 for a 4 hour countryside trail ride. Cart rides (min 2 people) $20 per adult, children under 10 $10, under 5s are free.
Duration: choose your trail – from 30 mins to 4 hours
Book in advance? Booking is essential

9Angkor Wat Putt – Temple Themed Mini Golf

The breezy tuk tuk ride out to the countryside location is part of the charm of this gentle but fun children’s activity. Golf clubs and score cards are provided, and each hole is a beautifully designed mini temple replica, some more challenging than others. Score a hole in one and win yourself a refreshing cold drink, or a beer for Mum or Dad. Play in the morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler but, even on a hot day, the sprinkler system keeps you cool with a misted spray as you plan your next swing.

Where: Angkor Wat Putt Road, Siem Reap
Open: 8am – 8pm
Great for: All ages
Cost: $5 adult / $4 child for one round (additional $2 for round trip pick up)
Duration: 2 hours
Book in advance? No need, unless you require pick up service

10Angkor Silk Farm – Free Guided Tours

Silkworm cocoons at the Angkor Silk Farm in Siem Reap.

Take a 20 minute drive outside Siem Reap to the Puok district (free shuttles, twice a day) and see this silk farm at work. Children can learn first hand about the process, including seeing the silk worms in their fluffy cocoons and the spinning of the raw silk. Watch the ladies at their looms creating intricate designs in an array of colours before taking a look around the boutique shop for gifts to take home.

Where: Puok district, Siem Reap
Open: 8am – 5pm Daily
Great for: all ages
Cost: free admission
Duration: allow 2 hours
Book in advance? Free transport twice a day (9:30 am and 1.30pm).

Have you spent time in Siem Reap with your young children? What did your children enjoy the most? Why not let us know? We’d love to hear from you.

Clare Lawrence is a long-time expat, originally from England, with six years in the UAE under her belt as well as over two years here in Siem Reap. She has written on expat life, saving money, holidaying with children and budget travel for a number of magazines and websites, including Siemreap.net.