Most activities for expat children are connected to Hanoi’s international schools. Sports and cultural exchanges are conducted between schools in the region, and tournaments are held regularly. Swimming, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis and athletics form the basis of the sports calendar. Tae Kwon Do, table tennis, gymnastics, ballet, drama, computing, calligraphy, batik, silk screening and sewing are some of the after-school activities offered for children. The schools organize fairs and festivals for children, as well as trips to outlying provinces to take advantage of the natural and cultural richness of Vietnam.
Once the school year begins, birthday parties tend to make up much of children’s social calender.
Vietnam National Academy of Music, Music classes are offered by schools, but for private lessons you can contact the music conservatory – they can recommend teachers for almost all instruments. Children who enjoy music may also be introduced to the traditional music and instruments of Vietnam.
77 Hao Nam, Tel: 844 3851 1842
Lenin Park, Hanoi’s biggest open area, just south of the Old Quarter, has lots of space to run and play, as well as jungle gym sets for various ages. Children may be attracted to the many people fishing along the lake’s edge, but the water is not clean and the fish should not be eaten.
The Tay Ho Water Park is a great day trip with water slides, roller coasters, a wave pool and other rides, including some for toddlers. Admission is only VND 70,000 – it can get swamped on weekends, but on weekdays it is uncrowded.
614 Lac Long Quan, Tel: 043 7184175
[Follow Au Co out of town, look out for the huge Ferris wheel and head for that.]
The Hanoi Club is a members-only club with a swimming pool, outside play area, swings and slides, and an indoor, supervised nursery for mixed ages. It also has tennis courts, table tennis, and swimming lessons for children.
76 Yen Phu, Tel: 043 823 8115
The American Club has playground equipment, a games area, and running space with grass. The club also organizes children’s activities such as soccer games, Christmas and Halloween parties, and teen dances. These facilities and activities are open to members only, see the website for membership details.
19-21 Hai Ba Trung, Tel: 043 824 1850
Check out the New Hanoian website’s “Groups” page to see what new children’s clubs may be active when you get to Hanoi:
The Hanoi International Women’s Club has groups and events for children that rotate seasonally: