In Thailand, the festivities continue well after the New Year — for kids, that is, with National Children’s Day (“Wan Dek”) on the second Saturday in January. This year, it falls on January 9th. Below are some places in Bangkok to enjoy Children’s Day celebrations.
1. Government House
Many government offices are open to children and their families, including the Parliament House complex and Government House, both in the Dusit district. In the latter, children can take a tour of the famed Venetian Gothic building and have their picture taken in the office of the Prime Minister.
2. Royal Thai Air Force Base (Don Muang)
Traditionally, military compounds also open their doors to children and their families. The Royal Thai Air Force, for example, celebrates Children’s Day at their Don Muang Air Base and museum. Here, kids can get up close with various aircraft and watch impressive aerial demonstrations, from around 7am to 3pm.
The BACC hosts the “Dek-Art@bacc 2016: Smile to the World” festival from 10.30am to 6pm. Under the theme of being a “good giver with environmental awareness”, children are invited to donate their gently used books, clothes, toys, CDs, DVDs and stationary for charity; in exchange, they receive a pass to join workshops on tie-dying, notebook-making and more.
4. Nanmee Books Learning Centre
Located in Sukhumvit Soi 31, Nanmee Books organises “Magical Children’s Day 2016″, with Harry Potter-inspired activities. Kids can discover magical enchantments, solve puzzles, paint and colour a secret garden, and engage in scientific experiments. The event runs from 9am to 4pm.
5. Bangkok Planetarium
The planetarium is a long-time favourite among Bangkok families, especially on Children’s Day. And after being closed for renovations for eight months, the newly re-opened facility features an aurora-themed decor, new digital projectors and a state-of-the-art digital theatre system — with the ability to screen more than 9,000 stars! Entry is free on 9 January.
6. Dusit Zoo
Another popular venue on Children’s Day, the zoo offers free admission for kids and special activities, such as games, a mascot parade and animal shows. Other parks under the Thai Zoological Park Organization, including Khao Kheow Open Zoo, also organize their own special Wan Dek activities.
For children who love superheroes and cartoon characters, EmQuartier presents more than 70 mascots at Quartier Parc (M Floor) from 10am to 8pm. Come meet Batman, Superman, Brown & Coney from LINE and more!
8. Central Chidlom
From 10am to 8pm, kids can join Central’s “Box of Inspiration” celebration, which includes games, magic shows, clowns, creative workshops and contests. Similar celebrations will take place at Central Ladprao, Bangna, Pinklao and Chaengwattana.
9. Siam Paragon
From 8 to 10 January, from 10am to 10pm, Paragon will host its “Pokemon Day – Pikachu Dance Party”, which features a Pokemon parade and dances with Pikachu mascots and 20 friends from Japan. Other attractions include a 9-metre high trampoline as well as fun games and activities.
Tips: On Children’s Day, the MRT and BTS give free rides to children under 140 cm in height and aged below 14 years. Also, venues tend to get very crowded and loud, and may not be ideal for babies and toddlers.