Most parents agree that Phnom Penh is a pretty kid-friendly city.
Phnom Penh is becoming more geared towards children, as legions of expats start families and middle-class Cambodians join the parental spending crazy. The majority of activities are aimed at kids and tweens, but there are more and more things for older kids to do, too. It’s also worth checking with the international schools, as they offer have after-school classes that are open to non-students. Here are some of our favorite Phnom Penh activities for kids, parenting resources, and interviews with Phnom Penh expat parents.
Things to do
Billing itself as “11 levels of fun” and bedecked with one of the most eye-popping building facades in Phnom Penh, Kid City is filled with activities for kids including ice-skating, a science lab, laser tag, two playgrounds for toddlers and kids, go karts, and climbing walls. Read our full review of Kid City.
Ly La Sport and Recreation Center has three pools, including two designed for kids. The pool for the youngest kids has three areas with different depths, the shallowest good for toddlers. The deeper end features water slides and such. There are always kids there but it’s never overly crowded. There are benches on one one side that are reasonably well shaded, a place for parents to relax while the kids swim. A second kids’ pool is suitable for older kids or parents wanting to swim a lap or two.
Ly La Sport and Recreation Center
# 36 Street 508, Phsa Doeum Tkov, Chamkamon, Phnom Penh
T: 023 999 947; 023 999 949
Over at Aeon Mall there’s a flashy bowling alley, BluO Cambodia, that bills itself as “cosmic bowling.” They have 13 lanes with glow in the dark bowling and a live DJ on weekends for so-called “rhythm and bowl.” The alley is available for private parties, and they also have two lanes that are kid-friendly; they’ve got bumpers to prevent gutter balls. Prices start at $5, with shoe rentals for an additional $1. If you forgot and wore your flip-flops, they also sell socks for $1.
BluO Cambodia at Major Cineplex
132 Sothearos Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
T: 023 901 000
Dance World Cambodia and Central School of Ballet Phnom Penh offer dance classes for kids of all ages. Dance World Cambodia has classes for kids in ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, commercial, jazz, and modern dance, and classical, contemporary, and lyrical dance for those up to age 16. Classes are offered for kids as young as three up to age 16, plus adult classes for older teens. Terms run for 19 weeks, and prices range between $135 and $205, depending on age and how many classes per week, plus there are packages to combine ballet and jazz classes. Central School of Ballet has six levels of ballet classes for boys and girls up to age 16 (and adult classes for older students). Classes cost between $155 and $205 for a 19-week semester.
Dance World Cambodia
114 Street 136 at the corner of Street 19, above Sweet Tea Shop, Daun Penh
Central School of Ballet Phnom Penh
10 Street 183 (entrance on Street 406/475), Phnom Penh
See a movie
These days there are lots of movie theaters in Phnom Penh and most of them show movies for kids. This is an especially appealing activity during hot season, when two hours in a heavily air-conditioned room is easily worth the price of admission. Most of the big theaters show mostly action movies, but they also have started showing English-language children’s movies and offer reduced-price tickets for kids. See our review of Phnom Penh movie theaters for more details on the individual cinemas.
The Empire Movie House has a special Kids’ Club every Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., when they screen a kids’ movie in their air-conditioned theater. Selections are more interesting than what you’ll find at the major theaters, and parents are free to skip the film and have a drink at the downstairs bar instead. Tickets for children under 12 are $1.50; all other are $3.50. The Empire also has private screening options for kids’ birthday parties and can offer catering services as well.
The Flicks 1 has Saturday and Sunday kids’ sessions at 10 a.m., screening family-friendly movies of all stripes. Children up to age 18 pay $2, while those over 18 pay $3.50. An admission at the first screening is good for the day (at the same Flicks venue), so you can make a day of it and enjoy the air-conditioning. Private screenings are also available for $20 and are suitable for birthday parties.
#34 Street 130, Phnom Penh
T: 077 468 243
#39B Street 95, Phnom Penh
Elite Soccer Asia has fully qualified soccer coaches (or football, if you insist) ready to show you how to score a goal! They have a mini-flicks school for 3 and 4-year-olds and Futsal Soccer School for ages 5 to 9 and 10 to 14. The schools teach technical skills while having fun. A 20-week session for the little ones costs $135, and for older kids the price is $80 for a 10-week session. Elite Soccer Asia also offer soccer camp summer sessions and have birthday party options.
Elite Soccer Asia
T: 078 700 327
Your questions about parenting in Phnom Penh answered
Move to Cambodia talks to expat parents about raising kids in Cambodia.
We did a Q&A with Jeff Mudrick, who spends a lot of time at the pool with his six-year-old. “You can drag your kid with you most anywhere and be received warmly or at least with tolerance,” he says, “From Khmers, at least.”
Another Q&A with Greg Bloom, who says, “Life is easy in Phnom Penh, and that extends to raising kids.” He gives a list of fun activities for kids in Phnom Penh, as well as suggestions for weekend breaks.
In this Q&A, French expat Anaïs Pagès Peeters talks about the ups and downs of raising her three-year-old and one-year-old children in Phnom Penh.
British expat Daniel Riley talks about some of his favorite activities to do with his three-year-old daughter in Phnom Penh, and explains the best and the worst of Phnom Penh parenting.
Wondering if you should give birth in Phnom Penh? We talk to expat moms about how they made the choice to stay in Cambodia or go abroad for childbirth.
Online resources for parenting in Phnom Penh
The Cambodia Parent Network is a Yahoo group with more than 5,000 expat members (not all of them parents). It’s a great source for moving sales, buying and selling, and sourcing difficult-to-find items.
The Cambodia Parent Network Facebook group isn’t related to the mailing list but is a great place for parents to exchange information about life with kids in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh Mamas is a Facebook group where Phnom Penh mothers exchange information and advice about all things kid- and parenting-related.
Phnom Penh Parents is a Facebook group for parents in Phnom Penh.
Wondering about schools?
We have an entire section on schools in Phnom Penh for expat kids, from nursery age through high school. Find out which schools are accredited and have international certification in our Phnom Penh Schools section.
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