No matter how young or old your kids are, there are plenty of things to do in Vietnam with family. In the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh family activities range from exploring lush gardens and parks to a day out at one of the expansive theme parks or enjoying traditional performances in the heart of the city. Ho Chi Minh City also has a good mix of accommodation, dining, and shopping opportunities on offer, to keep both parents and kids happy.
1. Rin Rin Park – Situated in Xuan Thoi Dong, the real highlight of this immaculate little garden, is the truly spectacular Koi pond.
Sit back and relax in the calming gardens as the kids explore the wonderful water features and whimsical fish sculptures or spend hours watching the Koi.
2. Cu Chi tunnels – Discover an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
These fascinating tunnels form part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country and were used during the Vietnam War. Don’t miss an opportunity for an interesting and educational visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where you can learn about the tunnel systems, and even crawl through them if you’re feeling adventurous.
3. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Established in 1865, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, are Vietnam's largest zoo and botanical garden.
Home to over 550 mammals, reptiles and birds, as well as more than 1,830 trees and 260 plant species in the botanical gardens. Explore the different sections of the zoo and gardens, including the animal conservation area, orchid garden and plant conservation centre and a children’s amusement area.
4. Jade Emperor Pagoda – Located in District 1, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most spectacular and atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City.
The temple was built in 1909 in honour in the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor) and is stuffed full with fierce looking heroes and menacing Taoist figures, that are sure to thrill your children while you delve into the rich history of this unusual and mesmerising place. Even the former President of the USA, Obama paid a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda, so it's surely worth a visit.
5. Tao Dan Park – Take a stroll with the kids through this leafy public park featuring manicured gardens, a Buddhist temple, play areas & sports facilities.
The 10-hectare Tao Dan Park is one of the city's most attractive green spaces. The park is split down the middle, with a small contemporary sculpture garden on the northeast side and on the other side, the Labour Culture Palace with tennis courts, a colonnaded art-deco swimming pool and a clubhouse.
6. Artinus 3D Art Museum – This offbeat, family-friendly museum is the first of its kind in Ho Chi Minh City.
The spacious exhibit is filled with vibrant murals and paintings of wildlife, sculptures and popular landmarks that seem almost lifelike. Perhaps the museum’s main draw is the Vietnam Zone featuring three-dimensional paintings of ladies dressed in traditional ao dai costumes.
7. Ben Thanh Market – In District 1, central Ho Chi Minh, Ben Thanh Market is a large marketplace and, as one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon is an important symbol of the city.
Explore local handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs, as well as a taste of the local cuisine.
8. Saigon Reunification Palace – This must-visit family-friendly attraction has a special appeal for kids and is an interesting stop for parents too.
The spacious public areas make a befitting backdrop for a princess fantasy, while the basement war rooms will appeal to your little heroes.
9. Monkey Island – Situated in Halong Bay, this scenic, swampy mangrove forest features wild crocodiles and dozens of clever monkeys.
The kids will love watching the monkey’s as they dart around on the soft sand. Monkey island isn’t just about the monkeys, there is also a short trek that takes you up to the peak of the island, offering one of the best views of the bay.
10. Sherwood Residence – Finding the right hotel is likely an essential on your family itinerary for Vietnam. The 5-star Sherwood Residence apartments are ideally located on scenic Pasteur Street in District 3 Ho Chi Minh City, with easy access to all major tourist attractions and shopping centres.
The hotel is perfect for travel with the family as there is an outdoor pool area, modern fitness centre, Finnish sauna, steam bath, table tennis, billiards and golf putting area, yoga room, plus an array of kid-friendly features, including a playroom, mini cinema, game room and separate children’s pool.
As one of Vietnam’s most prominent cities, Ho Chi Minh City certainly isn’t lacking in exciting activities, culinary delights and sightseeing opportunities, but why not take a few days out and escape the busy metropolis for a different environment. With our top 5 day trips from Ho Chi Minh City, just hours from the city, you can discover jungles, floating markets, islands, rivers, and much more.
Plus, the hotel offers travel assistance for all sightseeing attractions in the city and surrounding areas. After a hearty breakfast at Sherwood Residence, head out to experience rural life at the Mekong Delta. It will take around 2 hours from here to the Mekong Delta and it’s definitely worth booking a tour to get the most out of exploring the area. When at the vast Mekong Delta area, much of your exploration will be centred around the waterways, as it is the waterways and canals that predominantly connect one area to the next. Why not get hands on and have a go at fishing with the locals or enjoy a peaceful canoe down the canals. Many tours will take you to the durian orchards, rice fields, rice paper factories and local markets.
2. Vung Tau – Perhaps the easiest way to get to the very popular destination of Vung Tau is by road, on a bus or taxi.
From Sherwood Residence this excursion should take approximately 2 hours, and most buses run from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau around every 30 minutes (Sherwood Residence can assist with your travel arrangements if you’re unsure). While the beach itself isn’t perhaps as spectacular as others in Vietnam, the laid-back vibe of this small, bustling coastal community more than makes up for it. In this charming sea-side town there are plenty of activities to fill your day, including a small hike up the surrounding mountains, or a gondola ride up if you’d prefer. For the foodies, the fresh seafood along the beach or at one of the many restaurants in town comes highly recommended.
3. Can Gio Mangrove Forest – Can Gio Island, otherwise known as Monkey Island, is a series of islands comprising of 80,000 hectares of mangroves and water coconut forests.
The Can Gio Mangrove Forest is around 40km (25 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City so it doesn’t take long to get there, but the simplest way is by bus followed by ferry across the Nha Be River. Aside from the hundreds of monkeys, this UNESCO biosphere reserve features a unique wetlands ecosystem, home to a number of rare plant and animal species, including many saltwater crocodiles and a variety of migratory birds. In the forest reserve you can feed the monkeys, fish for crabs, watch the bats or even feed eels to the crocodiles.
4. Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple – The Cu Chi Tunnels played a vital role during Vietnam’s long fight for independence and on your visit here you get a real insight into what life was like during that time. Spend half a day learning about the interesting history of the tunnels and climbing through the narrow spaces. There are a variety of transport options to Cu Chi Tunnels, but a bus is perhaps the simplest and is around an hour and a half journey from near Sherwood Residence.
On your journey back to the city, stop off at Tay Ninh to see the Cao Dai Temple, home of the Cao Dai religion. Time it right to experience the main draw at this temple - the daily masses, featuring bright colours and fascinating rituals.
5. Cai Be Floating Market – A full day excursion to Cai Be floating market is the perfect way to witness the floating market activities, enjoy boat rides through small canals, experience cooking local dishes and biking in the village paths.
Arrange a tour and get picked up directly from Sherwood Residence, where you will head along the Trung Luong Express Highway, perhaps stopping off to take photos in Tan An town overlooking the picturesque flat rice fields. Though not as large as Cai Rang floating market, Cai Be is the less touristy option, where you’ll see locals trading fruit, flowers and seafood.
Heading to Vietnam for a family holiday to remember? Your dream family vacation likely involves you relaxing by the pool, catching up on a little light reading, as the kids enjoy splashing around. Or perhaps spending the day together, sharing new experiences in new places. Can your big holiday dreams really come true when kids are involved? Is a family holiday really a family holiday if the reality meets your expectations?
Expectation: We will travel light for this holiday.
Time to pack smart. Remember the weather in Vietnam can be changeable so layers are essential. Think lightweight layers that can be interchangeable, to save on space. Don’t forget a light raincoat for all the family.
Reality: Where on earth am I going to put all this stuff?
Maybe I didn’t need eight pairs of shoes for our week-long holiday. Why did I pack fifteen t-shirts for each of the kids? Have no fear, Sherwood Residence is here. At one of the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City for families, Sherwood Residence have spacious rooms ideal for when you’ve over-packed. Plenty of space for all those shoes.
Expectation: The kids will love all the travelling now they’re getting older.
Travelling to a new destination will be so exciting for the kids, they’ll be happy just taking in the scenery.
Reality: “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
Why do they need to stop for the toilet again? What do you mean you’re bored? Stop picking on your sister. For the fiftieth time, no we are not there yet. Unless you’re one lucky parent, the kids probably aren’t going to sit back and enjoy the journey, so plan ahead. Plenty of travel snacks, music, films and games will help the journey go a little quicker for the little ones.
Expectation: We’ll get an early start to beat the crowds tomorrow.
Let’s make the most of our time away and beat the crowds. We can rest on the journey home.
Reality: Mmmmmm bed
It may not be so easy to leave the super comfy beds at Sherwood Residence. Just 5 more minutes...2 hours later...
Expectation: We’re going to try this fabulous restaurant I found.
It’ll be so nice to enjoy a meal out together and taste the local cuisine.
Reality: “Ohhhh but I don’t like that food
For some kids there’s nothing like homemade food. Fortunately, at Sherwood Residence the kitchens are ideal for staying in and making dinner. Or try Sherwood Residence’s very own Club Restaurant and Café, serving a selection of Western and Asian cuisine.
Expectation: Let’s spend the day exploring.
In such an amazing place, it would be wrong not to get out there and explore.
Reality: “Why can’t we just swim in the pool?
It may be a struggle to drag the kids away from the outdoor pool, mini cinema, playroom and games room at Sherwood Residence. But hey, if you can’t beat them you may as well join them. Besides, who doesn’t love an afternoon by the pool.
Expectation: Perfect fun-filled and fail-proof holiday itinerary. Check.
Top attractions and places to visit, googled. What could possibly go wrong?
Reality: No kids allowed? Closed for renovation? Need to book ahead? Aarrrggghhhh
That’s our itinerary out the window then. Don’t worry, if you’re staying at Sherwood Residence in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, there’s always lots to do nearby. Plus, they offer a complimentary shuttle service to all the local shopping, dining, and entertainment hotspots, and travel assistance for all sightseeing attractions in the city and surrounding areas.
Expectation: This is going to be a holiday to remember!
Memories to cherish and photos to savour.
Reality: Well we won’t be forgetting that holiday in a hurry
What on earth are you doing in that picture? Can’t we get at least one decent photo together?
Expectation: This holiday will be perfect family bonding time.
All this quality time together will be so good for us as a family.
Reality: I need a break from these kids
Okay that’s enough now, time out. Enjoy a moment of escape in the Finnish sauna or steam bath at Sherwood Residence. You deserve it.
Packing for one can be tricky enough... Have I remembered everything? What about my passport? Did I pack a toothbrush? When kids are involved working out what to pack and what not to pack can get a whole lot more complicated. With these Vietnam travel tips and checklist of what to pack for your trip to Vietnam, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Keep Kids Entertained
Happy kids means happy parents. Plan activities ahead to keep the kids happy and amused. There is plenty to do in Vietnam, especially if you’re staying in the city of Ho Chi Minh, where you’ll find activity parks, sports centres, museums, and much more. With the long flights and possible long car, train or bus journeys ahead, it’s important to pack plenty of travel games and electronics to keep everyone happy, such as:
To save unnecessary stress, pre-arrange your transport. The easiest way to travel with kids in tow is taxi. In Vietnam most taxis can comfortably fit a family of four, while van taxis can fit more (these are harder to find though).
It is essential to book your hotel beforehand, as depending on the time you’re travelling, hotels can fill up quickly. Keep everyone happy and choose a hotel with plenty of facilities for the kids and somewhere for parents to catch up on the needed relaxation. Sherwood Residence is ideally located in Ho Chi Minh city, and offers fantastic spacious rooms perfect for families. The hotel is also well equipped with family-friendly facilities, including an outdoor pool area, table tennis, billiards and golf putting area, a playroom, mini cinema, game room and separate children’s pool, plus modern fitness centre, Finnish sauna and steam bath, ideal for parents to relax.
In many parts of Vietnam, the lifestyle can be a little chaotic, so it’s important to keep close tabs on your kids, particularly when travelling around cities and markets.
A vacation can easily be ruined if one of the family gets ill, so plan ahead and protect the kids where possible, for instance:
If possible, travel light. Use a soft-shell bag or backpack, as this will be far easier when using transport, plus it’ll leave your hands free for holding onto the kids.
It’s a good idea to check the weather for the duration you’ll be staying in Vietnam, to avoid packing unnecessary clothing items and neglecting the ones you will need. Some of the more essential items are:
The idea of a family trip to the bustling and energetic city of Ho Chi Minh, with its chaotic streets teeming in motorcycles and food-stalls, may seem like a daunting prospect for a family holiday, but don’t be put off.
The city of Ho Chi Minh is nestled on the edge of the stunning Mekong Delta, with plenty to offer in the way of family-friendly attractions and things to do to keep both parents and kids happy and entertained.
Burn off some energy with a bicycle sightseeing tour of Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City's massive and atmospheric Chinatown district.
Great for a leisurely ride with the little ones, this approximately four-hour long excursion is guided by an English-speaking local, stopping at the 19th-century Thien Hau Pagoda and Binh Tay Market, where you can shop for local handicrafts and try some delicious Vietnamese street food.
2. Happy Sunny Days – There’s not much worse than dragging the kids around in the cold and having to pack for all weathers, but in Ho Chi Minh that’s not a problem.
The city has two distinct seasons - the northeast monsoon months from November to April and the rainy southwest monsoon months of May through October. The driest time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the months of December to March, when you can almost guarantee it’ll be warm and dry with temperatures ranging between 21°C and 34°C. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, you'll rarely need more than one layer of clothing in this south-eastern Vietnam city.
3. History for All Ages - Perhaps an unlikely contender for a family-friendly activity, the War Remnants Museum is an important and educational stop on your Ho Chi Minh City itinerary. Interesting and informative for the big kids and the little ones will love the big aircrafts and tanks outside.
Get a history lesson about Ho Chi Minh city by taking a trip to the Reunification Palace - home to the presidents of South Vietnam before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Discover a place rich in history where, inside the palace, it is as if time has stood still.
4. Family Fun-Time – For a fun filled day in the city head to Monkey Island.
Take a tour through this incredible palm-fringed island, discover the immense diversity of the island's flora and fauna, and get up close and personal with the monkeys. Not only is the island home to thousands of monkeys, there's also a crocodile preservation area, as well as other exciting animals for all the family to see. Enjoy quality time together in this beautiful mangrove setting.
5. Bedtime Bliss – After exhausting days out with the kids a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential. At the elegant five-star Sherwood Residence you’re sure to have the best nights rest. These beautifully appointed serviced apartments and penthouses in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, are perfect for exploring all major tourist attractions, with a complimentary shuttle service to key shopping, dining, and entertainment hotspots in Ho Chi Minh’s historic centre. You can also enjoy a direct route to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which is only 20 minutes away.
There’s plenty to keep parents and kids happy at Sherwood Residence with an outdoor pool area, modern fitness centre, Finnish sauna, steam bath, table tennis, billiards and golf putting area, as well as an array of kid-friendly features, including a playroom, mini cinema, game room and separate children’s pool.
With 3,000 kilometers of spectacular tropical coastline, fascinating culture, endless activities and exquisite food, it comes as no surprise that Vietnam is an increasingly popular family holiday destination - from beach hoppers to culture buffs and adventure seekers, Vietnam has something for all ages. Take a family trip to Vietnam and share amazing new experiences with your loved ones
With more than 3,000km of coastline, Vietnam is perfect for the kids to build sandcastles and snorkel while you bask in the sunshine. Discover serene secluded coves, white sands and crystal-clear waters ideal for snorkelling. Just 175km to the south of Ho Chi Minh City, is Ho Coc - an enchanting, often deserted beach, offering a 5km stretch of golden sand, clear waters and backed by fine dunes. The Binh Chau Hot Springs are located conveniently nearby in case sunbathing gets too much.
Also, not far from Ho Chi Minh City is Vung Tau - this accessible destination ranks among the best beaches in Vietnam due to its beautiful landscape and well-developed tourism. As if endless sands and blue waters weren’t enough, Vung Tau is also home to a mountain range that diversifies the local landscape. Aside from swimming and sunbathing, the family can opt for a trekking trip to the giant statue of Jesus Christ or around the newly built Cloud Lake Resort- Amusement Park.
The famed Mekong River winds its way through Southeast Asia, flowing into the East Sea at the Mekong Delta just south of Ho Chi Minh City. The Mekong Delta allows visitors to look at an ancient riverside lifestyle and a habitat - more than 1,000 species of animal live side by side in what is described as a “biological treasure trove”. Why not take a boat ride to explore the floating markets?
2. Vietnamese Culture - Vietnam should be called ‘the land of endless smiles’. With friendliness present in every corner, from the urban cities to rural countryside, Vietnam offers the perfect warm welcome for families.
One of the oldest cultures in South East Asia, dating back to 2000 BC, Vietnam has a complicated history - influenced by Chinese, Khmer, and Indian cultures, as well as French colonialism - there is much for you and the family to discover about the country’s rich history.
The Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is housed in a beautiful and imposing neoclassical building built in 1885 and formerly known as Gia Long Palace and the Revolutionary Museum. Here you can take a journey of cultural discovery, learning the story of Vietnam with archaeological artifacts, ceramics, city maps and exhibits about the city’s diverse cultural heritage.
Ben Thanh Market is one of Saigon’s oldest landmarks and most dynamic places to visit – a bustling market by day and a vibrant social scene by night. Located in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, it’s a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink at the food stalls inside the market. As night falls, restaurants around the market open their doors creating a vibrant street side scene filling the air with the scents of wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats.
3. Little Adventurers – Vietnam has plenty to offer in the way of adventures family vacation ideas – from discovering the Cu Chi Tunnels to sledding down the Mui Ne sand dunes, there's something in Vietnam that suits your appetite for adventure.
Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest and most modern city located in Southern Vietnam, where you’ll find some of the best destinations for all - from historical spots to entertainment centres and open spaces. Included in the must-visit list is Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, Gia Long Palace, Saigon Opera House, Tao Dan Park and A O Show Saigon.
Close to Ho Chi Minh City are the Cu Chi Tunnels, considered as a heroic district for its role during the American war in Vietnam. Offering visitors a sneak-peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948, the site has over 120km of underground tunnels to crawl through - with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres.
If you need to burn-off some of the kids’ energy, why not travel by bicycle, kayak or foot. Bike through small rural villages and rice fields near Ninh Binh, kayak and hike in caves at Ha Long Bay, try your hand at traditional net fishing in floating baskets or ride a water buffalo in Hoi An.
For more outdoor activities for the family, enjoy a range of sporting activities including tennis, rock climbing, basketball and more at Phan Dinh Phung Sports Club, or explore Tao Dan Park and Le Van Tam Park – beautiful parks, featuring walks lined by tropical trees, including flame trees and So Khi trees.
4. Food for All Ages – The Vietnamese are obsessive foodies so there’s sure to be something to please even for the fussy eaters in the family. Plus, with vendors selling specialty dishes daily on every street corner, you don’t stay hungry for long in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.
Taking a food tour in this foodie’s paradise is a good idea as it offers tourists a variety of tasty street food such as banh khot, banh tam bi, banh da cua - always tasty, fresh and healthy. Beer is another major Vietnamese preoccupation and every major city seems to have its own brand of beer, from Hue's Huda to Saigon and Hanoi's eponymous brews.
5. Family Friendly Accommodation – For ultimate kid friendly vacations Sherwood Residence is an elegant five-star luxury hotel offering beautifully appointed two- and three-bedroom serviced apartments and penthouses in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
At this convenient location, hotel apartments provide easy access to all major tourist attractions and shopping centres. While you relax in the outdoor pool area, fitness centre, Finnish sauna, steam bath, table tennis, billiards and golf putting area, or yoga room, the kids will be happy and amused with an array of kid-friendly features, including a playroom (open 6am – 10pm), mini cinema, game room and separate children’s pool. For added convenience there is a complimentary shuttle service to key shopping, dining, and entertainment hotspots in Saigon’s historic centre.