Words by: Nathan Ray
Photos by: Myles Tan, Taipei Water Park, Taipei Zoo, Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, April Chen, Daria Lin, Liu Jiawen
Taipei is a highly liveable city. It boasts a very well-connected public transportation system. It is super safe, very easy to navigate, and there are loads of outdoor places to explore. You can’t walk for more than 10 minutes without discovering a park. There are excellent mountain hikes within the city limits. Riverside bike paths stretch for kilometers. The public spaces are also well-maintained and family-friendly. Taipei has so much to offer; visitors and locals alike are spoiled for choice. And if you are struggling to decide where to take the kids this summer, no sweat. Here are five family-friendly destinations within Taipei where you can chill out this summer. (Read more: Visiting Taipei with Children [Summertime Edition])
TAIPEI WATER PARK
To say that summer in Taipei is hot is an understatement. The summer humidity can be so overwhelming that most people tend to hide away in their air-conditioned apartments. But on a sweltering summer day, there is nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in the pool. It is even more amazing if that pool comes equipped with giant water slides!
The Taipei Water Park (臺北自來水園區) is located in Gongguan (公館) and lies only a short walk from MRT Gongguan Station (捷運公館站) and the Gongguan commercial district. The nearby Gongguan Riverside Plaza (公館水岸廣場) is another perfect space for the whole family to enjoy a bit of cycling. Besides the water slides, there is a large wading pool complete with playground equipment that will keep the kids busy. (You might also like: Taipei — The Most Kid-Friendly City in Asia)
It’s not just your typical water park, though. The site is also home to the Museum of Drinking Water (自來水博物館). The museum, housed within a Baroque-style building built in 1908, was a water intake unit that collected water from the Xindian River (新店溪) and also a water pump house/purification plant that provided water to 120,000 users in Taipei. It was a remarkable construction a hundred-plus years ago as it represented the modernization of Taipei’s water supply system. Nowadays, it serves as a museum that provides interesting and educational information on water conservation, and much of the original equipment remains on display inside. This park will cool the kids down when the weather heats up.
Taipei Water Park
(The opening hours of the pool are subject to change due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check before visiting.)
With an esteemed history that stretches all the way back to 1914, the Taipei Zoo has been a mainstay in Taipei for over a century. Originally based in Yuanshan (圓山) in the northern suburbs, the zoo was relocated to a purpose-built site in Muzha (木柵) in 1987. It is easily accessible and sits at the very southern end of the MRT’s Wenhu (文湖) Line. With admission costing only NT$60 for adults and NT$30 for kids, it is a cheap day out for the whole family. (You might also like: 8 Things To Do When Traveling With Kids in Kaohsiung)
The Taipei Zoo is home to creatures from all over the world and is the perfect place for young children to get up close and personal with them. The headliners of the show are in the Formosan Animal Area. This area houses animals indigenous to Taiwan, and many are very rare or endangered species in dire need of conservation. There are various species of deer, the clouded leopard, Formosan rock macaques, pangolins, the leopard cat and the elusive Formosan black bear. The black bear has even become an unofficial mascot of Taiwan in recent years
In addition to the Formosan residents, there are many other international and domestic species for children to learn about. Highlights include the Children’s Zoo, where kids can interact with domesticated species such as alpacas, llamas, miniature horses and more. The Australian Animal Area is home to the famous Australian icon, the kangaroo, and the African Animal Area is where the legendary beasts of the great continent reside. There are zebras, giraffes, rhinoceroses, elephants, gorillas and of course the king of them all, the mighty lion.
TAIPEI CHILDREN’S AMUSEMENT PARK
The name just about says it all! This is where to go if the kids just want to go wild and have fun. Taipei Children’s Amusement Park (臺北市立兒童新樂園) is located in Shilin District and is guaranteed to be an action-packed day out, even for parents. While the park is meant for kids, parents can jump on a few of the rides, too. There are all the typical rides you’d expect at an amusement park. There is a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, a pirate ship, and a giant slide, just to name a few. There are lots of options for restaurants in the park as well, mostly fast food chains. Street performers also appear on occasion, and there is a theatre featuring shows by the IFKIDS Theatre Company (如果兒童劇團). (Read more: Glamping for Kids in the Heart of Taipei)
The best part is that the park is very affordable, unlike typical amusement parks. You can let the kids rampage all day without going broke. For the basic entrance fee, it will cost NT$30 for adults and NT$15 for children aged 7 to 12. For each ride you choose, there will be another charge from NT$20 to NT$80. You can also get a one-day pass for NT$200 per person, which allows you to take any ride in the park as many times as you can handle. And to make it easier, you can use your EasyCard to pay. So, you can top up your kid’s card and let them decide how they want to spend their budget.
Plan your family trip to Taiwan NOW! (Or click page 2 for more hotspots.)