Top Five Family Fun Places To Visit in Taipei

Are you thinking of taking a family holiday in Taipei?  Or looking for something fun to do on weekends with the family?  As part of a series on family things to do in Taipei, here are my top five fun things to do that the whole family can enjoy.

Meeting one of the pandas at the Taipei Zoo

Meeting one of the pandas at the Taipei Zoo

  1. The Taipei Zoo.  Do not dismiss this as just another zoo:  this modern-planned venue is a must see family attraction in Taipei.  Several of its animals were used in filming the movie ‘The Life of Pi’, they have three cute baby koalas, a pair of panda bears plus elephants, tigers, white rhinoceros, penguins, exotic birds, snakes — pretty much anything you could expect or want to see.  Plus they often have special children’s activities during school holidays.  Taiwanxifu’s tip — avoid the ticket queue and instead use your Easycard (used for all public transport in Taipei) to swipe straight through.
  2. The train network, called the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).  Our toddler loves travelling on the MRT.  In fact he loves any excuse so sometimes we just travel a few stops and come back so he can experience the thrill.  Any MRT line is good, but we find the brown line is particularly child friendly as it is less crowded and above ground so you can see the view of Taipei.  You can even combine with a trip to the Taipei Zoo, although depending on where you have come from it can be a big day.  Taiwanxifu’s tip:  Aim to get into the first carriage on the brown rail so you can look out at the rails; the carriages on the brown line are fully automated and driverless, and kids can play at pretending to be the driver.

    A train is coming ... so exciting!

    A train is coming … so exciting!

  3. Da-an park.  The Da-an park, the largest centrally located park in Taipei, has heaps of swings, slides, climbing adventure bars and even a sand pit.  And if your kids still need more to do, there is wide open space to let them run and run and run some more.  It can get busy on weekends, so it is a good idea to dress your kids in bright colours so you don’t lose them as they run around.  If you still have energy afterwards, head across the road to the Holiday Flower Market, which on weekends has dramatic displays of orchids, lilies, bonsais and seasonal plants and flowers for sale.  The plans are beautiful to look at even if you are only visiting for a short time.  The Da-an park MRT station has now opened, and kids will enjoy also checking out the water features in the indoor garden.
  4. Taipei Expo Park.  The 2010 – 2011 Taipei International Flora Exposition has now finished, and unfortunately the famous Dream Pavillion has recently also closed.  But there is still lots to see.  Our toddler enjoyed the hands-on tour of the robotics exhibitions in the Angel Life Pavilion, and at the moment a Dinosaur Exhibition has just started. And afterwards he enjoyed a cute child’s meal served in a toy car in the calm Angel Cafe, a peaceful and child-friendly interlude surrounded by gardens on each side.  Oh, and even if you don’t go into any of the exhibits the park is fun to visit as its close proximity to the Songshan Airport means lots of low-flying planes.  Little boys in particular will love counting all the airplanes coming into land — ours certainly did.
    Meals on wheels -- children's waffles at Angel Cafe

    Meals on wheels — children’s waffles at Angel Cafe


  5. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, set in old tobacco buildings, has now been turned into an elegant and interesting setting for contemporary art exhibitions.  And also for fun exhibitions that your kids will love, such as the current exhibition celebrating 100 years of Japanese cartoon character Doraemon.  The grounds themselves are beautiful; wandering through the inner courtyard with large fountain and tropical plants, I almost felt like I was in a scene from Alice in Wonderland.  The large pond in front of the complex is also fun for kids to spot koi fish and turtles.
A plane used in the set of the movie 'Seediq Bale' on display at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

A plane used in the set of the movie ‘Seediq Bale’ on display at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

So, do you have a favourite adventure destination for you and your kids in Taipei?  And if so, where?

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About taiwanxifu

‘Taiwanxifu’ (pronounced ‘shee foo’) means ‘Taiwan daughter-in-law’ in Chinese and has been my nickname ever since I married my Taiwanese husband, Sam. I love sampling Taiwanese food, even local specialties such as stinky tofu, pigs blood cake and Taipei beef noodle soup with offal. But there are many other options on the menu. Promise!
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14 Responses to Top Five Family Fun Places To Visit in Taipei

  1. Jenna Cody says:

    The brown line is less crowded? Really? That’s not been my experience at all – I sometimes wait as 2 or 3 trains go by (this still happens – it used to be 3, 4 or even 5 here at Technology Building) at busy times. I never wait that long on the high-capacity lines. Sometimes even at 10 or 11pm you have to cram yourself into a brown line train with lots of people. Agree about the nice view though!

    • taiwanxifu says:

      Ah, yes peak hour travel especially on a Friday night. We usually are on the blue line as it is closest to work/home and that can also get a bit crazy. You don’t usually have to wait for other trains to go by but there are a LOT of people.

      We usually only take our toddler for MRT outings on weekends, and often in the morning, so we are yet to subject him to lots and lots of people on the train. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. MKL says:

    Nice list, thanks for sharing. I’m now in the process of thinking where I could bring my little princess, when she’s big enough to be taken on a stroll (she’s few days old now).

    • taiwanxifu says:

      Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! A few days old and you are managing to read and comment on blogs!

      Babies can get a bit overstimulated when they are young, so I would recommend a gentle walk around the neighbourhood — babies love watching other children at the playground. You might not see any other very young babies out and about. This is because mothers are in confinement (zuo yuezi) for their first month and parents generally don’t want to take their babies out for the first 30 to 40 days either. Still, in nice weather like we have been having recently a bit of sunshine (and Vitamin D) is good for babies and will help prevent jaundice. It’s good for mums to get out and about and meet people, too.

      In due course, you might also want to consider going along with bub to a monthly breastfeeding support group at Parent’s Place. You would be welcome even if you weren’t breast feeding (there was a mother who had stopped feeding at a meeting I went to). And of course, there are always the weekly Taipei City Playgroup catchups to go along to as well.

  3. Worried Mother says:

    Thanks for the information. I am clueless about Taipei. I am thinking about bring my 3 year old boy to Taipei for 3-4 days of holidays. We would like to explore Taipei on our own. Can please advise if Taipei is a “safe city” for kids or I have to be viligant at all times.

    • taiwanxifu says:

      Taipei is a great place for kids! Taiwan is one of the safest places in the world in terms of personal security, and restaurants (and hotels) will go the extra mile to help out with kids. It is almost unheard of for a restaurant not to immediately bring out children’s plastic cups, plates and crockery on arrival. Taxis are everywhere (you can hail them on the streets), cheap and usually clean and reliable. That said, like anywhere you still need to be vigilant because there are still random nutters (although I have only ever come across helpful and kind people).

      When are you going? Taipei is incredibly hot in summer, so if you are travelling then be prepared and make sure not to take your son out in the hot weather for long stretches at a time. A hotel with a pool could be an asset.

      Please drop back here after your trip and let us know how it went.

  4. Cindy Si says:

    thanks very much for sharing. I’m traveling with my 2 kids to Taipei next week and I will take them to the places you recommended.

  5. The songshan cultural park seems to be broken. Also – is it true that some of the sports centers have a play area for babies? If so, which ones?

  6. Min says:

    Am thinking of bringing my toddlers to Taipei from 18 May onwards for at least a week. May I ask how’s the weather like during this period? Does it usually rain?

  7. Jane Yak says:

    Hi, may I know how to get to Songshan Cultural and Creative park as the website is currently under construction. Thanks

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