Taipei is a year-round kid-friendly city, and finding places that will keep the little ones cool and entertained isn’t difficult. The trick, of course, is finding a few kid friendly spots that the grownups will enjoy – or at least be able to endure without too much difficulty.
MyTaiwanTour offers six spots for your summertime fun:
1. Taipei Zoo (臺北市立動物園)
Kids love zoos, and there’s a lot to love about the Taipei Zoo. It’s big, built over 165 hectares sprawling up the side of a hill, there are plenty of animals to look at and interact with from every corner of the globe, including indigenous residents like Formosan Sika Deer, Rock Macaques and Black Bears to obvious transplants like Chinese Pandas and Antarctic Penguins. There’s a great reptile and amphibian house, a petting zoo, an aquarium, an insectarium, a butterfly house and more. The zoo is well-laid out with plenty of transportation in between exhibits. Being right on the MRT line doesn’t hurt either – the ride out is also fun, and if you’re in the mood to see the zoo from above, you can take the little ones on a glass-bottomed gondola afterwards.
Kid friendliness: Very friendly – though smaller children may get tired out (not necessarily a bad thing).
Grownup friendliness: Pretty friendly – while there’s a lot of walking around involved, there are plenty of places to cool off throughout the zoo.
2. Maokong Gondola & Tea Hills （貓空）
Right next to the zoo is where you’ll find the Maokong Gondola, which offers amazing views of the city, the surrounding hills, and of course the zoo over which it passes before heading deeper into the Maokong tea hills. The gondolas come in two flavors, regular (which offer great views of the surrounding area) and glass bottom (which offer great views of the surrounding area AND everything beneath). After passing over the zoo, the gondola heads into a beautiful tea-growing region with street food, restaurants, ice cream shops, and a couple of very beautiful temples. Though the gondola can get warm in the summer, it’s generally bearable except on the hottest days.
Kid friendliness: Pretty friendly – Kids will love the glass bottomed gondola, especially as it passes over the zoo. The temples up top are colorful and distracting enough to entertain for a while.
Grownup friendliness: Very friendly – Parents get to sit down for 20 minutes while kids play spot the monkey from their seat. The Tea Hills have enough to keep the kids occupied for a while.
3. National Taiwan Science Education Center （國立臺灣科學教育館）
Definitely a good spot for parents looking to interject a bit of education into the fun mix, the multistory NTSEC is a kid-friendly science museum featuring a series of diverse and rotating exhibitions. Each floor specializes in a particular area of science, and all of the exhibits are specifically geared towards kids ranging from kindergarten to middle school, with explanations in English and Chinese. Right next door to the NTSEC is the Taipei Astronomical Museum, making the pair good for an full day outing. Both are fully air conditioned!
Kid friendliness: Very friendly – Enough exhibits and activities to kill an entire afternoon (especially if the next door Astronomical Museum is included).
Grownup friendliness: Pretty friendly – While the exhibits are geared towards kids, most are laid out well enough to keep grownups from being bored. There’s also a coffee shop inside for your mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
4. Taipei Children’s Amusement Park (臺北市兒童新樂園）
This place offers exactly what the name suggests, namely a park for the amusement of children between the ages of two and twelve. The park is small and easy to walk around, offering rides of about the same type and variety as you’d find at a mid-sized summertime county fair. There’s kid-friendly food, activities geared towards kids, and best of all…lots of other kids.
Kid friendliness: Pretty friendly – Enough to kill an hour or three for younger kids.
Grownup friendliness: OK – Definitely for the children. But at least there’s water and shade.
5. Taipei Water Park (自來水博物館）
Similar to the Children’s Amusement Park, but with water slides, pools and a somewhat more educational element. Plus, it’s wet and cool, which isn’t a bad thing in the dog days of summer. Bring swimsuits, towels and swim-caps – if you forget, you can buy them at the concession stand.
Kid friendliness: Very friendly – Kids + summer + water activities are usually a winning combination.
Grownup friendliness: Pretty friendly – You’re going to wind up soaking wet anyway, so why not have some fun in the process?
6. Core Pacific Mall（京華城）
The fact that this main part of the Core Pacific Living mall is an 11-story high orb long ago won it the prize for being Taipei’s most unique shopping mall. But step inside and you’ll quickly find out why in recent years it’s become known as the go-to place to bring the kiddies. In addition to being fun to look at both inside and out (just riding the escalator into the orb’s interior is pretty cool), the mall is filled with child friendly venues, including a roller skating rink, movie theaters, video arcades, playgrounds, and even a two story climbing wall / jungle gym. There’s a great food court in the basement with plenty of kid-friendly restaurants, too.
Kid friendliness: Very friendly – This mall may well have been designed with kids in mind.
Grownup friendliness: Very friendly – It’s air conditioned, big enough to kill several hours, and…did we mention that there’s a great coffee shop facing the kiddie climbing wall?
Looking to take a family-friendly journey around Taiwan? Check out our Taiwan Family Fun Tour: Five days of adventure, great food and plenty of fun in the most popular spots around Taiwan