Amusing all ages
Phnom Penh is predominantly an adults’ playground, but there are plenty of attractions that afford fun for the whole family. From playparks 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 icecream, to catching the latest film at the flicks and stepping back in time at the arcades, Phnom Penh has it all.
The Shop Too (St. 337) is a green oasis in the midst of the Tuol Kork’s urban district. It is 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, laser tag, and kart racing, as well as a huge playground. There’s also two floors of Science Zone to discover.
Monkey Business (St. 370) also lets your young ones release their inner apes at its colourful, cushioned, air conditioned indoor playground.
Farm to Table (St. 360) 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…
A truly immersive and mysterious experience can be found at Escape 60 (St. 147) – the first real escape room adventure in Phnom Penh. In just 60 minutes, you and your teammates must follow clues to uncover secrets and solve challenging puzzles. A great way to value your freedom!
For a different perspective on the city, take a trip down Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap river with Cambo Cruise (Sisowath Quay). 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 (corner of St. 63 and 142). Also offering staggering views of the capital, the open-air rink has ramps and jumps for kids to test their skills on. The games arcade next door also provides endless hours of entertainment, and there is a whole floor dedicated to food and drinks kiosks, where you can replenish yourself after a solid skate session.
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 (behind the Himawari Hotel on Sothearos Blvd) 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 (st. 63), 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 (Monireth Blvd near Olympic Stadium), and also boasts a screen at TK Avenue (St. 313), 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 (out along National Highway 1) 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.
Last but not least, Aeon Mall (Sothearos Blvd) – a massive Western-style shopping centre – brings you a host of international brands and a superb range of leisure activities including ten-pin bowling, 4D cinema, laser tag, ice skating and a games arcade.