Kata Beach offers quite a few activities for children of different ages. The very young ones will need little but sand, water and sun, then lots of sleep. But as they get older feeding their curiosity and burning up the excess energy is a challenge that can drive parents to distraction. Kata and its environs can help, somewhat.
ride the (artificial) waves: The newest here attraction is right by Kata beach, at the south end of the beach road. The wave rider is fun for a wide range of ages, from kids of 10 years old to big boys of 30. Children can get help and tuition, and may just slide around for laughs or learn to become serious wave riders.
Dino Park restaurant and mini-golf in the village at the north end is a double winner with children and parents alike. The Jurassic theme of the mini golf course, complete with a fire-breathing volcano, real waterfall and roaring dinosaurs, enchants children of all ages. The garden-and-stream restaurant is fun, and this establishment can make a full family night out.
Centara’s water park: A major daytime attraction requires a trip to the next beach, Karon, where we find Centara Resort's water park with streams winding through caves and pools in a jungle setting. It's another natural for kids young and old, and is open to outsiders. Day tickets can be bought at the hotel reception, and in the high season of 2014 they cost 1,000 Baht each (about $30).
Kid’s love elephants: Kata also gives easy access to one thing that kids the world over really love, elephants. Jungle camps of the lumbering pachyderms are scattered over the high mountain to the south of Kata beach, the only road to continue down the coast, crossing to Nai Harn and Rawai beaches. In 2014 there were four camps, so look around before taking your choice – if you have your own transport. Meeting and riding an elephant can etch tender memories to rival a child's visions of the beach itself.
ATVs & paintball: These same camps also offer ATV (All Terrain Vehicles) tours and fun on steep mountain tracks, with the activities and itineraries varying with the age and skill of the drivers and passengers. The other offering here, at one or two of the camps, is paintball. Customers are supplied with everything needed to play shoot-em-up in the jungle, not just the guns and ammunition. Full body suits protects the visitors' own clothing, and helmets and visors protect the eyes.
Longtail boats: Hiring a longtail boat and taking an open ocean outing – be it a fishing or snorkelling trip, or visiting a more remote island – can provide children with a real adventure. They're available right there on Kata Beach, or can be rented from Rawai beach or Chalong jetty for half the price. See details of where to rent longtail boats on Phuket .
Phuket's Big Buddha: this huge image of the Buddha sits on the hill above Kata Beach, but faces away to the east. It makes a fascinating half-day trip for the family, and there are plenty of things that kids might want to know about both the Buddha and the philosophy he left behind. See some of the things that can be done while visiting Big Buddha on its mountain top .