best things to do with kids in osaka

Things to Do with Kids in Osaka + Toddler Friendly

Last Updated: June 17, 2024
Written by Kay

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, playgrounds, 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.

If you’re searching for an itinerary for visiting Osaka with kids, I’ve got you covered!

For those wondering where to buy baby or toddler products (clothes, formula, wipes, diapers, strollers, etc) in Osaka, check out the Akachan Honpo store at Lalaport Expo City or the Babies R Us at Namba Parks.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission on any purchases through those links at zero additional cost to you. Whatever I make goes to keeping this website running and I am forever grateful for the support.

The Best Things to Do with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids in Central Osaka

Universal Studios Japan

universal studios japan with kids

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!

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

kaiyukan osaka aquarium with kids

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! Aquariums are a great place to take babies (my daughter had an amazing time when I took her to her first aquarium at 7 months) so I recommend it for those with tiny little ones as well.

Make sure to check out the LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER that’s a few minutes walk away as well! If you’re looking for a cute place to eat, consider the Kuma Kafe. It has lots of adorable teddy bears throughout as well as pictures of bears taken by the owner!

Pokemon Cafe

Photo spot at Pokemon Cafe

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!

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle with Kids

The grounds of Osaka Castle are HUGE and you can easily spend a day here.

There are plum blossoms and cherry blossoms in spring with plenty of space to have a nice picnic while looking at the castle.

There are different activities kids can do like taking a train ride from one side of the castle grounds to the other or riding a boat along the moat. There’s a Bornelund playground as well!

I highly recommend investing in the Osaka Amazing Pass as this will give you entry to Osaka Castle, the boat ride, and the Kaiyodo Figure Museum, which kids might enjoy. The entry to Osaka Castle alone is worth it since you don’t have to wait in line (and the line was very long when I went). You can also skip the line by buying tickets only for Osaka Castle online.

Is the inside of Osaka Castle worth it for kids? Well, it’s crowded, especially on the top floor, but my daughter liked the relics and artifacts on display (surprisingly) and the moving dioramas. I recommend taking the elevator up because although the line might seem long, it moved faster than we expected.

ATC Asobi Mare

ATC asobi Mare

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 and toddlers 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!)

Klook.com

The Best Things to Do in Umeda with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Umeda Sky Building

umeda sky building 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.

basement of umeda sky building

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.

Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest

children's book forest library in Osaka

This is a three-floor library filled with children’s books. Most of the books are in Japanese and you need to make a reservation in advance to enter.

They only allow you to stay for 90 minutes and the time went by very fast, but my daughter loved picking out different genres of books and having me read them to her.

Toy Toy Park

toy toy park for kids in osaka

A small facility, Toy Toy Park is located one stop away from Osaka Station. It contains tons of toys for kids to play with such as Plarail, Pretty Cure (Precure), and Lego. Kids can also see passing trains from the window.

Bornelund

bornelund in umeda osaka with kids

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.

Parents bring their babies here too, so I highly recommend it!

Kids Plaza Osaka

kids plaza osaka

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 told me they visited and their kids had a great time!

Since it’s located only one stop away from JR Osaka Station, it’s absolutely worth visiting.

The Best Things to Do in Northern Osaka with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda

cup noodles museum in 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.

Satsukiyama Zoo and Park

I was so surprised when I stumbled on this zoo a few years back.

satsukiyama zoo with kids in osaka

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.

I think it’s wonderful to bring babies here as well.

Ikedashioato Park with kids in osaka

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.

Minoh Falls (aka Minoo Falls)

Did you know that there’s a beautiful waterfall close to Osaka-Umeda?

Minoo Falls in Osaka with Kids

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.) So make sure to bring your baby and/or toddler here!

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.

Minoh Park Insectarium 

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.

Minoo Insectarium in Osaka for Kids

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.

Katsuoji 

Katsuoji Japan

This is a stunning temple in Minoh in northern Osaka. The temple’s claim to fame is the numerous Daruma dolls throughout its grounds, which are meant to bring luck or victory when wanting to achieve or pass something like a test. Katsuoji is also beautiful in autumn, with numerous maple trees, and in spring with its cherry blossom trees.

My daughter loves spotting all the different Daruma dolls and placing a new one somewhere when we visit.

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park (Banpaku Koen)

Osaka Expo Park with Kids

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 playgrounds for kids to play in as well as small museums. I think it honestly has some of the best playgrounds in Osaka!

I’ve been to this park numerous times and I still haven’t seen everything there is!

Needless to say, this is also a baby and toddler-friendly place.

To get there, take the Osaka Monorail to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station.

NIFREL: Interactive Aquazoo

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!

Babies and toddlers are also bound to love all the sights at NIFREL.

NIFREL aquarium with kids

NIFREL is right next to Banpaku Koen and Lalaport Mall so make sure you give it a visit. (And if you have time, visit some shops for kids in Lalaport!)

The Best Things to Do in Eastern Osaka with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Hirakata Park

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!

Hirakata Park in Osaka with kids

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 Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Sylvanian Park 

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 Babies, Toddlers, and 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!

Itami Sky Park

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.

Itami City Children’s Cultural Science Museum

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.

Tojo Lake Toy Kingdom

Located in Hyogo Prefecture, this is a huge amusement park that has tons of toys, as the name implies. There are also rides and in summer, a waterpark.

I took my daughter here for her third birthday and she had so much fun playing with all the dolls and toy trains.

It’s easiest to get here by car but there’s a shuttle bus from Shin-Sanda Station that runs about once an hour. Shin-Sanda Station is less than an hour by train from Osaka-Umeda Station.

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!

Day Trip to Kobe

I love visiting Kobe with my daughter. There is so much for kids to explore and do!

I’ve written an article all about places to visit in Kobe with kids so make sure to give it a read.

Overnight Stay at Wakayama

I absolutely adore Wakayama Prefecture, which is Osaka’s neighbor. I recommend going to Shirahama Beach, known as Japan’s Hawaii, and Adventure World, an amazingly huge safari-like zoo with pandas. It’s easy to access from Osaka Station and kids get to ride a cool panda train! 

If you feel like traveling further, definitely check out Kumano Kodo and the nearby seaside area with kids. It was magical.

Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Osaka with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

I hope this list of things to do in Osaka with babies, toddlers, and 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 itinerary to help you plan your trip to Osaka with kids.

I also have an article on what to do with kids in Kyoto so make sure to give it a read!

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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