Despite Siem Reap not having much in the way of public parks with playgrounds, there are some great spots for young kids to run off energy and have fun. Here is a list of some of the best play spaces and activities for younger kids in Siem Reap:
Kids Park at Heritage Mall has our vote for the best soft-play space in the city. It’s the largest one in town and offers great climbing opportunities, multiple trampolines (including one with a foam pit), spinning swings, foam ball cannons, small monkey bars, large foam blocks to build your own castles, several slides, and numerous other engaging play options. It’s kept clean and is well air conditioned. And although they sell soft drinks and a few snacks (chips and candy), you are also permitted to bring your own snacks. With Starbucks and Tous les Jours in the same building, it’s easy to enjoy a coffee while the kids run wild! Entry is $3 weekdays, $4 Saturday and Sunday for ages 2 to 12. Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bring socks or you’ll be required to purchase a pair.
Asia Plaza Playground, located two levels up from Asia Plaza Supermarket, has a large arcade space with games for young and old, with everything from fishing games to ball throwing, bike racing and a small carousel, through to hunting and shooting games and virtual reality experiences. There is also a good-sized soft play area for kids up to about age 6. It has spinning swings, play houses, a ball pit and slides, climbing areas, ride-on cars, tunnels, giant balls, etc. Plenty of fun for the $3 entry fee to the soft play area. Doors open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On the top floor of Lucky Mall is a small soft play area and mini arcade. Bring socks for the soft play area, which has a ball pit at the base of a slide, some climbing areas and a trampoline. Not sure how often it gets cleaned – it is rather grubby. The arcade has a number of different style games for young children, from ride-on trains to motorbike racing, shooting balls at targets and manipulating construction vehicles to pick up marbles. Suitable for ages 3 to 8. They also have electric ride-on vespa-style scooters kids can drive around a small open area. The play space is hidden a bit, at the back of a toy shop called BBP. You’ll find it to your left as you reach the top of the escalators. Entry to the soft play area is 6000 riel. Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Palm Container Night Market along Road 60 (easily recognizable with the giant transformer robots guarding the front entrance!) also offers a soft play area and large arcade space, the latter of which has games for young kids through to adults with typical arcade offerings and virtual reality experiences. The soft play area has a pirates theme and offers lots of climbing, slides, ball pit, a play house and bouncy toys. Entry is $2 per child, open from 5 p.m. until late. There is seating with tables all along the soft play area with restaurant food available for order.
As an added bonus, the Palm Container Night Market also offers mini theme-park rides for kids. Gentle little roller coasters, trains, and a carousel for toddlers as well as a bit more extreme spinning and swinging rides for older kids and adults young at heart. There are also bumper cars and ride-on motorbikes for kids to drive around at the front entrance. Along the back of the market is a futsal (mini soccer) park. The market opens around 5 p.m. but really gets going after dark, from 6 p.m. onward. The downside is the noise level at this market – they have a stage with live performances and speakers turned up to the max! Try to arrive early to enjoy some fun before it gets too loud.
Boxville on Road 6 doesn’t get nearly as busy as Palm Container Night Market, but has a fantastic outdoor playground that is sadly under-used! It’s sheltered by a huge canopy and has multiple slides – both enclosed twisty slides and open straight slides, climbing areas, tunnels, some swings and monkey bars, merry-go-round, see-saws, etc. The place sits abandoned during the day, opening for action in the late afternoon and evening. Entry is $1 per child. You’re welcome to play a while, go get some dinner at the food stalls and return for more play in the same evening on the same entry. This is one of our favorite play spaces!
Residential area Tourism City not far from Makro on Road 6 boasts an open outdoor child’s play area, free for anyone to use. It has very little shade, so hats, sunscreen and cold drinks are a must most days, but it does offer a merry-go-round, see-saws, slides, swings, monkey bars and various animal and cartoon statues for photo opportunities – all in a garden setting.
Li Su Garden (formerly Secret Garden), just off Rose Apple Road, has a small playground with two short slides, a see-saw, swings, balance bridge and ball pit. It also boasts a pool with a shallow end and shade shelters for families to eat and hang out. The playground was very dusty and the pool was cloudy when I last had a look, but could serve as a play space in a pinch if you’re in the Sok San Road area and don’t want to go far. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entry is $1 per child for access to the pool and playground. The food stall onsite sells Khmer dishes for $3-4 per dish.
Also worth a mention is the kids’ entertainment on offer on Road 60. Further east past Palm Container Night Market is a street night market with plenty of Khmer food options for family picnics as well as carnival-style rides and games. Bouncy castles, swing cars, bumper cars and brightly-lit ride-on motorbikes as well as trampolines are set up every evening for kids to enjoy. Pay-per-ride fees range from 3000-6000 riel for about 5 minutes of ride time. Pop-the-balloon dart games and ball tosses are also set up along the stretch of road with prizes ranging from pencil erasers to shampoo to giant teddy bears. Not exactly a playground, but great fun for young kids nonetheless!