Mount Nho Jesus Statue
There's a host of rather oddball tourist attractions, the most famous being the giant Jesus statue on top of Mount Nho (Small Mountain). It's rather a long, hot and sweaty hike up the 847 steps to the Christ the King Statue, as it's officially known. But at the top hikers are greeted with cool sea breezes, amazing views and a small shop selling drinks and snacks.
Inside the Jesus is a small art gallery that's usually open in the mornings and afternoons (not during lunchtime).
You can continue in the Christian vein with a visit to the giant Mary statue, Our Lady of Bao Dai, on the western side of Mount Lon (Big Mountain).
Thich Ca Phat Dai Pagoda
If you are more interested with Buddhism, explore the beautiful Thich Ca Phat Dai Pagoda, on the northwestern side of Mount Lon, which has a giant white Buddha perched at the top.
More unusual family fun can be had at Vung Tau's Lam Son Stadium, which hosts greyhound racing every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7pm. It's one of the few places in Vietnam where Vietnamese people can legally gamble.
Each race is over in a flash, lasting about 30 seconds, but the real attraction here is the vibe, with the crowd cheering the winners and excitedly discussing their bets. For kids, the highlight is probably the dog parade before each race.
The minimum bet is VND10,000, so having a flutter won't break the bank, and it's easy to place bets because the program is printed in English, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese.
Children under 10 years of age receive free admission. The general entrance fee is VND50,000 while access to the air-conditioned VIP area is VND100,000.
White Palace Colonial Mansion
Pint-sized pirate-lovers can be entertained for an hour or so at the White Palace, also known as Bach Dinh, one of the many summer homes of the last emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai. The upper floor of the palace is much as it would have been when the royal family used it, but the lower floor is where the real treasure is. Cabinets display 17th and 18th century Chinese artefacts recovered from a shipwreck discovered off of Vietnam's Con Dao Islands.
Ho May Park with Cable Car
For a full day of family activities, take the cable car up to Ho May Park, which has a theme park with roller coasters, dodgem cars, and other rides, as well as a play area for younger children. A range of adventure activities are offered including horse riding, horse-drawn carriage, swan-shaped paddle boats, ziplining, paintball and rock climbing.
Street food on the waterfront
In the evenings, join the locals, snacking on street food sold from hand cars, getting weighed on mobile weighing machines (which also tell your fortune); and watching couples ride tandem "love bicycles" up and down the waterfront.