The kids are alright
Phnom Penh is predominantly an adults’ playground, but there are plenty of attractions that afford fun for the whole family. From play parks to movies to ice-skating to laser tag, it’s all here now.
While tourism continues to shape the landscape, an increasing number of parents are enjoying the emerging market aimed at them and their kids. From a lazy day by one of the many hotel swimming pools and taking a stroll along the riverside for ice-cream, to catching the latest blockbuster and stepping back in time at the games arcades, Phnom Penh has it all.
Urban Space Playground & Cafe out in the Toul Kork area lives up to its name and then some, with an indoor playground, swimming pool, Lego room, arts and crafts room, dance studio, and multimedia room all available for your little ones to enjoy.
The Shop Too is also an oasis in Tuol Kork – the perfect safe haven for families with children thanks to its hundreds of square metres of garden space. To keep the energy levels at full tilt, they offer a large choice of pizzas, weekly BBQs and seafood specials.
Kids City is one of the most popular facilities for youngsters. The 11-storey indoor entertainment centre on Sihanouk Blvd boasts climbing walls, laser tag and kart racing, as well as a huge playground and a soft-cushioned toddle town. There’s also two floors of Science Zone to discover.
Monkey Business also lets your young ones release their inner apes at its colourful, cushioned, air conditioned indoor playground.
Farm to Table provides a family-and-dogs-friendly open air space with fresh, healthy dishes made with locally sourced, organic certified, and wherever possible, sustainable seasonal produce. Feast your eyes (and mouth) on the edible garden!
For a different perspective on the city, take a trip down Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap river with Cambo Cruise. Their Silk Island lunch cruise offers a buffet and two-hour tuk-tuk tour of the isle across the Mekong, while their sunset dinner cruise features live music, a buffet and tranquility as you drift along the Tonle Sap river.
Roll back the years and relive those forgotten roller disco days at the roller-skating rink, which sits on the top floor of Sorya Shopping Centre. Also offering staggering views of the capital, the open-air rink has ramps and jumps for kids to test their skills on.
Make the most of the dry season and take a leisurely stroll along Sisowath Quay, also known as the Riverside. The picturesque lawns outside The Royal Palace are always full of Khmer families in the evenings, while mornings are an ideal time to feed the flocks of pigeons – buy a bag of seeds from one of the many sellers and join in the fun. A little further up the Riverside is Blue Pumpkin, famous across Cambodia for its delicious ice cream, so be sure to stop by and try a scoop or two.
As well as offering a range of sunset, dinner and Apsara dance river cruises, Kanika Restaurant-Bar runs a lunchtime cruise with an 11-course, all-you-can-eat, Asian-style buffet.
Family film time is also an option, with Phnom Penh now home to several multiplex cinemas. Platinum Cineplex, on the fifth floor of Sorya Shopping Centre, screens the latest movies in 2D and some in 3D format.
Legend Cinema opened in 2011 on the third floor of City Mall Shopping Centre, and also boasts a screen at TK Avenue, a mall which also has several boutique stores and restaurants and is becoming a popular recreational venue especially among the younger Khmer crowd.
On the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Kingdom Resort has an entertaining little water park for the kids featuring multiple slides, swings and state-of-the-art play equipment. Adults can occupy themselves at the relaxing spa and sauna while the kids run riot out of sight and out of mind.
Western-style shopping centre Aeon Mall sports a range of leisure activities including a 4D cinema, ten-pin bowling, indoor playground, laser tag, ice skating, and arcade games.
Over at Fantastic World Water Park you can get wet and wild in this modern styled water park boasting giant rainbow slides, spiral slides, lazy wavy river, and separate kids pool. There’s an onsite cafe selling food and drinks, and changing rooms and lockers are available.