If you love shopping, then this exotic city is a double treat for you to shop until you drop. Check out our insider list of fun things to do in Hanoi with kids.
1. Get Lost in the Bustling Streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter
The incredible maze of busy streets of Hanoi’s old quarter are one of the most fantastic things to see in Hanoi with kids. There is no better way to get into the heart of Hanoi than enjoying a stroll around its bustling streets of the Old Quarter. Walk hand in hand and pass all the hidden corners of the city, you’ll be charmed by the liveliness and the bustle of food stalls, vendors, coffee shops, restaurants and amazing French colonial buildings.
The central roundabout between Hoam Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter is a popular meeting point in Hanoi
Marvel at a wide range of shops selling souvenirs and street food lined along the sidewalk. Still, it could be a bit challenging for your family to walk through the small and narrow streets filled with locals and tourists alike and all kinds of vehicles. The best advice here is just doing like the locals; you can’t go wrong.
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Vietnam florist vendor selling flowers on the bicycle in Hanoi Old Quarter street
2. Bask in the Alluring Sights of Hoan Kiem Lake
Set right in the heart of the city, this legendary centerpiece of Hanoi is worth a visit at any time of the day. Just a stone’s throw from the Old Quarter, the lake offers some of the best views in all of the city. It is definitely a pleasant place for your family to stroll around and take in the serenity of the lake.
Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi with willow branches on foreground
From the crack of dawn to the late night, the lake is a hotspot of the locals and tourists alike and a perfect place to get away from the crazy traffic and overcrowded footpaths. Just stroll under the shady boulevards and watch local activities which are really the essence of authentic Hanoian experience, you’ll quickly fall in love with this romantic city.
Group of Vietnamese seniors practices Tai Chi early in the morning on the bank of Hoan Kiem Lake
3. Explore the Unique Taste of Street Food in Hanoi
Vietnamese food gets big love from people all over the world for its uniqueness and special taste. While you’re in Hanoi, make sure to spend your time going on a foodie adventure and share great experiences with your kids with an amazing food tour. Join with the locals for a steaming Pho or fresh spring rolls is the best way to introduce your kids to Vietnam’s exotic cuisine.
Night Food tour with Kids in Hanoi Old Quarter
Offering a wide range of options for all kinds of foodies, even the pickiest eaters, Hanoi’s street food is absolutely a must which is cheap, fast, healthy, yummy and lots of fun. Why don’t you give it a try?
Suggested Read: Top 8 Coffee Shops in Hanoi Old Quarter
Potato chip on a sticks, spiral fried potatoes in street vendor shop at night market in Hanoi
4. Learn to Be a Real Vietnamese Chef
Vietnamese cuisine can be experienced through a bit challenge: taking part in a fascinating cooking class. It will be a special chance for kids to get great fun and try their hands to cook their own dish under the instruction of an experienced chef. Pick up the fresh ingredients, prepare and cook your own home-style Vietnamese dishes, what could be a more authentic experience than that.
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Tourists learning how to make the Vietnamese traditional delicacy - Spring Rolls in Hanoi
5. Enjoy a Magical Water Puppet Show
Besides The Quintessence of Tonkin, One of the fun things to enjoy with kids in Hanoi is enjoying the amazing water puppet show - a great way to get into Vietnamese culture and get a flavor of Vietnamese humor. This traditional art form is one of a kind and a fun way to introduce some local culture to your kids.
Performers during the water puppets show
Each story is told in a magically amusing way with Vietnamese folk music. Your kids simply can’t take their eyes off these amazing scenes. Dramatic effect, magical lighting, graceful puppets, and exceptional dancing performance will bring your family a leisurely night with a full sense of relaxation and experience.
Where to watch: Thang Long Water Puppet Theater: 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
When to watch:
- Monday - Saturday: 03:00, 04:10, 05:20, 06:30, 08:00 every afternoon and evening
- Sunday: 9:30
Price: About 5 USD
Performance of the water puppet at Hanoi, Vietnam.
6. Try Your hands at pottery at Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Hanoi is home to several handicraft villages, each features with its own craft from traditional furniture, coppers, silk, ceramics or even snakes. Just 13 kilometers to the southeast of Hanoi, you can find the traditional ceramic village of Bat Trang - a true joy for ceramic enthusiasts, especially for kids. They will have a chance to learn and make their own little items. There is a wide range of fun activities for all of your family to enjoy including statue painting, ceramic painting or pottery making.
Kids learning to create their own pottery stuff
7. Take a Cyclo Ride Around the Bustling Streets
Exploring the historic heart of Hanoi, there are a couple of ways. Many travelers choose to explore on foot, the others enjoy a leisurely cyclo ride which can be a fun, exciting and quick way to get a feel for the city’s way of life and its crazy traffic. If you have small children, then taking a leisurely cyclo ride is a great alternative to get around some tourist spots and get a new experience on this unique means of transportation without tiring out your legs.
Note: You should negotiate with the rider for a suitable price before taking it
Suggested Read: Hanoi Nightlife: Top 7 Night Lounges & Bars in Hanoi
Foreign tourists enjoy a cyclo ride around Hanoi Old Quarter
8. Visit the Enticing Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Boasting a fascinating collection of exhibition and displays of the diverse culture of the 54 different ethnic groups in all of the country, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a fabulous place to delve into the country’s culture and get some interesting experiences with kids.
Your kids may love to see a number of cool artifacts depicting the traditional way of life of different ethnic minorities including handicraft, cooking, traditional clothing or art performances.
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology showcases the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Your family may wish to enjoy an entertaining water puppet show which is performed daily at the museum.
- Opening hours: 08:30 am – 05:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday
- Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi
- Entrance tickets: are free for children under 6 years old
You can witness various Vietnamese traditional houses in Museum of Ethnology
These are just some of the most interesting things to do with kids that VNZA suggested for a fun-filled family holiday in Vietnam. Add all of these things on your list of what to do with kids in Hanoi and make a plan to explore, to play and to make memories together. For more useful tips and blogs, please feel free to read our Vietnam travel guide.