When we start our dream project Heron House, we envisioned a fun hang-out get-away haven for expats and tourists in Hoi An. A place where you can meet and make friends with like-minded people over rounds and rounds of creative cocktails while sunbathing by the swimming pool. It was meant (and equipped) to be a fun cool place for young couples and friends.
And while we enjoyed so much the company of various couples and groups of friends traveling through Hoi An, we soon realized our popularity among families with young kids. We love them and they love us back. It is great to see our young guests’ amusement when visiting the rice fields and making friends with our farm animals. Little Nick loved chasing after ducks while little Tilly wants to bring back a cow to Saigon. Since then we have tried to adapt to meet our little guests’ needs (plenty of crayons and toys for everyone!) and reaching out to different businesses in town to find the best activities for families with kids. Hoi An is indeed a great town for kids to explore and here are some of our recommendations to get you excited:
- Cooking class in Tra Que village
I always love to meet kids who are enthusiastic about foods and helping out in the kitchen. What could be a better way for the family to bond over flipping ‘banh xeo’ (our pancake) and making spring rolls. We usually recommend taking a half-day program with Water Wheel from Tra Que vegetable village, starting at 8:30am by bicycling to the local market, picking the freshest ingredients from their garden, making a big Vietnamese meal and ending the class with a food coma back at Heron House around 1:30pm.
- Building sand castles at An Bang beach
Every kid loves to spend all day long at the beach (while the parents can relax with a glass of wine or read a book). We usually recommend parents to take their kids on a nice bicycle ride through the rice paddies to get to the beach. Our personal favorite place to chill out at An Bang is H’Mong Sisters (look for beach chairs with floral covers!) with great BBQ dishes and a very relaxing vibe).
- Uncovering the mystery of the old town
Hoi An is a town full of history and legends, and we are excited that there just came a special way for kids and adults alike to explore the town. Halfway between a life-sized investigation, an original city-tour and a treasure hunt, Urban Tales Hoi An invites you to save the city from the mysterious Malediction of the Jiangshi. This 1/2 day excursion has been especially designed for independent travellers willing to discover the city by themselves. The scenario will lead visitors to some of Hoi An’s best parts: narrow streets, century-old wells, calligrapher’s studies and the unforgettable surrounding countryside. Good luck with the adventure and please don’t tell us the answer!
- Board game tournament at Heron House
We are proud to present you with a wide range of board games for family bonding time. From Jenga to challenge your skillful hands, Life to live a different life for the day, Sorry to bring out the ‘mean’ side in you, Monopoly the special Hanoi version and many more. This is the time when different generations come together and share many laughter in the comfort of our home.
- Learning how to make lanterns
Hoi An will certainly charm you with its ancient houses, colorful walls and beautiful hanging lanterns. And what could be a better souvenir to bring home than a really cool lantern that you made with your own hands? Our friends at Xu Dang Trong offer lantern-making class throughout the day so you can pop in any time for a quick treat. Let your kids bring a piece of Hoi An home with them to show off with their friends.
- Be crafty at the Terracotta museum
This is certainly not a full day trip, but it well deserves half of your day to explore all the cool little exhibitions at this museum. Opened in 2015, the park nestles in the heart of Thanh Ha ancient pottery village which is famous for traditional terracotta artifacts. Everything to the tiniest details was made with so much care, from the miniature World-Heritage-list sites around the world to the terracotta walls that told the stories of Vietnam’s struggle throughout history. Your kids can also join one of the on-site workshops to make their own souvenir to bring home!
Enjoy our Hoi An and let us know if you did something super fun in Hoi An that we miss here!