Before moving to Osaka from Tokyo, I had never really thought of it as a kid-friendly place. After all, I usually came to Osaka to indulge in the food culture. But oh how wrong I was! There is so much for kids to do in Osaka, and my family ended up loving the Kansai region so much that we built a house here!
So if you’re looking for recommendations on the best things to do with kids in Osaka from a local mom, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to take my daughter to many fun places throughout Osaka. These include attractions, zoos, aquariums, amusement parks, museums, and activities that keep kids busy and make wonderful family memories.
In this article, I’ll share these amazing places in Osaka to take kids. This is something I wish I had when I first moved to Osaka so hopefully, it’ll be helpful for you and your kiddos will enjoy these spots as well. Best of all, everything on this list is toddler-friendly and gets my daughter’s seal of approval!
Note that these places to take kids are not just for locals, I recommend them to parents visiting Osaka with little ones as well.
There’s a Google map at the end of the article with all the spots in this article, so make sure to save it!
Looking for where to stay in Kansai? Check out my article on the best family hotels in Osaka as well as hotels for families in Kyoto. I also have an in-depth article about ryokan in Kyoto and the surrounding area.
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- The Best Things to Do with Kids in Central Osaka
- The Best Things to Do in Umeda with Kids
- The Best Things to Do in Northern Osaka with Kids
- The Best Things to Do in Eastern Osaka with Kids
- The Best Things to Do in Southern Osaka with Kids
- The Best Things to Do Around Osaka with Kids
- Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Osaka with Kids
The Best Things to Do with Kids in Central Osaka
Of course, this is going to be first on the list! If you’re visiting Osaka with kids, or even if you live here, going to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is a must.
My daughter always has so much fun here, enough that I have purchased yearly passes twice already! Since I’ve been to Universal Studios Japan several times over the years, I’ve written an in-depth article all about visiting USJ with kids, including babies and toddlers, so make sure to give it a read!
One of the world’s biggest aquariums, Kaiyukan is a must-visit if you’re in Osaka. I’ve been here countless times, both with and without my daughter, and enjoyed it every time.
The aquarium’s claim to fame is its whale sharks (called jinbeisame in Japanese) and other sea creatures from the Pacific with a whopping 15 different large tanks.
The entrance fee is quite cheap for children ages 3 to 6 at 700 yen, while toddlers ages two and under are free!
If your child is a Pokemon fan, then they might enjoy visiting the Pokemon Cafe in Shinsaibashi. I’ve written an article about visiting the Pokemon Cafe with my daughter so make sure to have a look!
When we were building our house, we had to go to many showrooms and ATC, a mall along Osaka Bay, had many. And imagine our surprise when we saw a huge play area in the building!
My daughter loves this place, and it’s no surprise. There’s so much for kids to do, such as play in inflatable castles and houses, go on small rides, kid-friendly bouldering, and more.
My daughter also really enjoyed the dress-up area where she could wear costumes and “transform” into her favorite Pretty Cure characters. You can connect your Spotify to the stage using Bluetooth and play music for the kiddos as well. (I highly suggest doing this, if you play Disney or Pretty Cure songs, the kids will go nuts and it’ll start a dance party!)
The Best Things to Do in Umeda with Kids
If you want a spectacular 360-degree view of the city, then you’ll want to visit Umeda Sky Building. The observation facility is located on the 39th and 40th floors and includes shops and cafes as well.
I’ll be honest here, my toddler wasn’t that impressed but we also live somewhere that has a beautiful view so I think she’s used to it. But I still enjoyed it, as did my husband.
Make sure to visit the basement as well, which is like taking a trip back to 1920s Japan. There are restaurants where you can try Osaka specialties like Kushikatsu, too.
Bornelund is a toy company in Japan that makes educational toys for young children. They also have their own indoor playground that has several locations throughout Japan, including in Osaka —near Osaka Castle and in Umeda in the Grand Front Building.
I’ve been to the Umeda branch several times with my daughter and sometimes with her friends as well, and everyone has always had a great time. There’s so much for kids to do, such as play with wooden Bornelund toys, bounce on huge inflatable mats, jump around in ball pits, and in the summer play with small water toys outside.
My daughter always has a blast at this educational museum that teaches through play. I’m also happy to report that after I wrote an article all about Kids Plaza Osaka, some other parents visited and their kids had a great time!
Since it’s located only one stop away from JR Osaka Station, I highly recommend visiting.
The Best Things to Do in Northern Osaka with Kids
Did you know that there’s a Cup Noodles Museum in Osaka? I think many people don’t!
It’s smaller than the one in Yokohama but I find that it’s just the right size for small kids. The location is also perfect since it’s less than 30 minutes away from Osaka-Umeda Station.
My daughter enjoyed being able to make her own cup noodles (and one as a souvenir for her dad, too) at the Cup Noodles Factory, which included decorating the cup and choosing the seasonings to put in the noodles. There are also some interactive exhibits that she had fun exploring.
I was so surprised when I stumbled on this zoo a few years back.
I initially went to the area to see Satsukiyama Park which is a huge playground that has stunning cherry blossom trees. It’s such a wonderful place for kids to play in spring. And to my surprise, there’s a zoo as well further up.
This zoo is free and you can see various animals such as wombats, alpacas, and wallabies. I am not the biggest fan of zoos but the animals here seem like they’re quite well cared for.
The zoo and park are also near Ikedashioato Park, which has a small castle and some very beautiful plum trees and cherry blossom trees, a must-visit spot in spring. Kids will probably enjoy all the carp in the pond like my daughter does, and you can buy some food to feed them as well.
Did you know that there’s a beautiful waterfall close to Osaka-Umeda?
Minoh Falls is hands down one of my favorite places to visit, especially in autumn, and best of all, it’s easy to visit with kids! There are no stairs on the path leading up to the waterfall, which takes around 40 minutes to go up (depending on how fast you are). This means it’s stroller-friendly! (And gives parents a good workout.)
My daughter didn’t have enough stamina to fully walk by herself until she was four years old, but when she did it, she was so proud of herself! The top of the waterfall also has some small shops that sell food, so you can sit on the benches and enjoy the falls with something yummy to eat or drink.
When you walk up to the falls, you’ll encounter this insect museum along the way. It’s absolutely worth visiting, not only for the low cost but for the numerous bugs inside! Don’t worry, the bugs are in glass enclosures so it was fine for even me, a person who can’t stand insects.
All of the bugs are local to Minoh and some might be firsts (it was for me!). My daughter loved seeing all the different insects. There’s also a butterfly room where butterflies flutter about and you can see them up close. I think that was my favorite part (it’s especially nice on a cold day since the room is warm).
Another nice thing is that the entrance ticket can be used all day so we ended up visiting twice, once on the way up to the falls and again on our way down.
This is a huge park that was made on the grounds of the 1970 Japan World Expo and still retains the Tower of the Sun, which is now its symbol (pictured above). My daughter loves to point out the tower whenever we pass by!
The massive park is something worth visiting every season due to its seasonal plants and flowers. Spring is especially gorgeous as the park has tons of cherry blossom trees.
There’s a small train you can ride that will take you around the grounds. There are also several parks for kids to play in as well as small museums.
I’ve been to this park numerous times and I still haven’t seen everything there is!
This is one of my favorite aquariums and zoos in Kansai, and also my daughter’s! It’s bright and has lots of space for all the different aquatic creatures as well as land animals. In fact, there’s an open space where animals are free to fly or roam about!
The Best Things to Do in Eastern Osaka with Kids
Hirakata Park is a fun amusement park featuring tons of attractions for kids of all ages. I was surprised to see that my 4-year-old was able to ride on quite a few attractions!
It also has seasonal attractions such as a small snow park, ice rink, stunning illuminations in winter, and a waterpark in summer. They sometimes have shows as well featuring popular Japanese cartoon characters like Pretty Cure.
The Best Things to Do in Southern Osaka with Kids
Similar to the Sylvanian Families Park in the Kanto region of Japan, this is a theme park that brings kids into the world of Sylvanian Families. I love how they have life-size versions of all the cute Sylvanian toys, which is bound to make any fan happy.
The Best Things to Do Around Osaka with Kids
One thing I love about Kansai is that it is so easy to travel between prefectures in the region. The spots I am recommending below are just outside of Osaka city but are still very easy to visit — you won’t even feel like you left the city!
This is a great place for kids to see airplanes taking off from Itami Airport. There are also parks for kids to play, including one just for toddlers (ages 1-3).
Itami Sky Park has washrooms and diaper changing rooms as well.
If you’re visiting Itami Sky Park, I also suggest visiting this science museum, which is within walking distance of Itami Sky Park.
Although it’s small and a little old, there are plenty of fun and educational things for kids to do and explore.
I also like the planetarium, which costs only 400 yen to see a show. They have special shows just for little kids on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 AM.
Day Trip to Kyoto
There are tons of things to do in Kyoto with kids as well so it’s worth taking a day trip (or staying overnight) there.
If you want to know more, read my Kyoto with kids article!
Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Osaka with Kids
I hope this list of things to do in Osaka with kids has been helpful. My daughter has had so much fun at these spots so I am happy I finally have had the chance to share this knowledge with other parents in Japan.
Below is a map with all the locations on it so please feel free to use it!
I also have an article on what to do with kids in Kyoto so make sure to give it a read!