With intriguing culture, innovative museums and outdoor fun, Bangkok is wonderful for families. Here are our top twenty activities for enjoying Bangkok with kids.
1. Get a dose of Thai-ness
Visit Museum Siam, an interactive multimedia museum in old Bangkok, where kids can excavate fossils, fire faux cannons and explore a room full of traditional Thai toys. Also, check out Nitas Rattanakosin to learn about Thailand’s artistic and cultural heritage through engaging interactive exhibits. It is temporarily closed, but should open in the coming weeks.
2. Foster a love of reading
Make a trip to the Neilson Hayes Library for a themed storytelling and crafts event on Saturdays, or spend time in the well-stocked Children’s Corner. Alternately, TK Park in CentralWorld offers an unconventional library, as well as an impressive range of multimedia resources.
3. Get wet and wild
Take up the exhilarating art of flowboarding at Flow House Bangkok in central Sukhumvit, or take a short ride outside the city to Taco Lake Cable Wake Park for wakeboarding, water skiing and other adrenaline-inducing water sports.
4. Go fish!
Spend the day at Bungsamran, where you can fish from the boardwalk in the centre of a huge lake or rent a lakeside fishing bungalow. Show your mettle against formidable creatures, such as Mekong giant catfish, giant Siamese carp and giant gourami.
5. Hit the rinks
Grab the gang for an active day of loud music, flashing lights and ice skating! Bangkok features a number of excellent rinks, including branches of The Rink and Sub-Zero; and Ice Planet.
6. Partake in natural goodness
On weekends, immerse yourselves in the family-friendly community of the Bangkok Farmers Market, where independent and organic food producers showcase their fresh and tasty wares.
7. Play in the park
Take your pick among our favourite green spaces in central Bangkok, including Benjasiri Park, which houses well-manicured grounds and the best playgrounds in the city; Benjakitti Park with lovely landscaping, bike paths and boating fun; and Lumpini Park, an urban oasis of shaded walkways, stunning architectural features and large playgrounds.
8. Make science fun
Explore the engaging exhibits of the National Science Museum at Chamchuri Square. Highlights include hands-on scientific exhibits, skeleton displays and a play area equipped with educational toys.
9. Watch a show
Counter Bangkok’s pervasive mall culture by seeking out a cultural performance, including the elaborate classical masked dance-drama (Khon) performances at Sala Chalermkrung; Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show; and Siam Niramit Ratchada Theatre.
10. Tour Bangkok by bike
Join an organized bike tour and saddle up! Choose an easy, kid-friendly ride, such as that arranged by Grasshopper Adventures. You’ll be guided through the back roads of Bangkok – and gain insight to a whole new side of the city.
11. Get a glimpse of the past
Take advantage of the many child-friendly destinations in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin district. For example, visit Wat Pho, an ornate temple famed for its long golden Reclining Buddha, and take a ferry directly across the river to Wat Arun, the striking Temple of the Dawn.
12. Visit the highlights of mini-Siam
At Ancient Siam (aka Ancient City), see scaled down re-creations of all of Thailand’s important historic sites. If you have time, drop by impressive elephant deity structure of the Erawan Museum and explore its lovely grounds.
13. Indulge the need for speed
With older kids and teens, get the go-kart racing experience at Easy Kart, one of the largest indoor tracks in Asia. Packages include tournament or F1-style races, with qualifying laps and a final race.
14. Discover an underwater world
Marvel at the splendour of the seas at Siam Ocean World aquarium. In addition to the sharks, stingrays and sea horses, kids will be drawn to the touch tanks, penguins and padded play area, known as one of Bangkok’s most popular activities for kids.
15. Play and pretend, for real
The ultimate in ‘edutainment’, Kidzania offers a huge faux town that provides children with a range of realistic experiences that encompass over 80 different jobs. Kids earn ‘money’ that they can spend on souvenirs or use to open a bank ‘account’. For a similar experience, with a significantly cheaper entry fee, is Molly Fantasy Kidzoona, located in Gateway Shopping Mall and The Mall Bangkhae.
16. Get up close with animals
To see a variety of indigenous and foreign wildlife, spend the day at Dusit Zoo. Younger kids will love feeding the monstrous fish in the lake, visiting the petting zoo and running around in the playground. If you have a car, opt for Khao Kheow Open Zoo. It is the only official open zoo in Thailand and plays an important role in the conservation and research of animals.
17. Mess about in boats
Hire a long-tail boat from any Chao Phraya River pier, and capture the essence of life by the city’s canals or klongs. A reputable company used by many foreigners, is Small Teak Boat Canal Adventure by Pandan Tour. Arrange to explore the canals in Thonburi, or drop by the wonderful Royal Barge Museum to view Thailand’s fleet of intricate royal ceremonial boats.
18. See reptiles galore
For kids with an affinity for reptiles, go to the Snake Farm to see a cobra being milked of its venom, which will be used to make snakebite antidotes. Established by the Red Cross, it is widely known for its research and conservation efforts. Also, seek out Turtle Mountain at Wat Prayoon, an unusual temple that’s home to a vast population of turtles.
19. Delight in trinkets and toys
Wow the family at Bat Cat Museum, which boasts one of Asia’s largest toy and superhero memorabilia collections, with its own Gotham City Museum for all things related to Batman. Doll lovers will appreciate a trip to the Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum to see handcrafted dolls in costumes from all over the world. Or for a relaxed stroll, check out Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin Market known for its eclectic mix of vintage and retro goods, notably toys.
20. Get cultured
Take the family to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and explore its contemporary art exhibits, basement library and quirky shops. Then walk to the nearby Jim Thompson House to see authentic Thai teak houses, a variety of Southeast Asian artefacts and silk production methods.