When the kids need some down time, here are 5 family-friendly public libraries that offer a morning or afternoon of reading, crafts or other quieter activities.
BACC Art Library
Tucked away in the basement of the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC), the relatively small (and very quiet) Art Library provides a respite from the bustling Pathumwan area. It offers contemporary books on art and design, public computers, free Wi-Fi and a Kid’s Corner with art-related and others books (most are in Thai though). You can also check out the centre’s top floors for contemporary Thai art exhibits, with fairly frequent new displays. Free admission; closed Mondays.
An independent, privately funded library, BCIL features a sizable collection of faith-building publications in a home-like atmosphere. The library offers a welcoming children’s room with books and toys. Admission is free; the library opens from Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 7pm; and on Saturday, from 10.30am to 3pm.
Lumpini Public Library
Operating for over 50 years as Bangkok’s first public library, Lumpini Public Library (more recently rebranded as Lumpini Discovery Learning Library) is located on the north side of Rama 4 Road at the Rajadamri intersection, behind the statue of King Rama VI. The library houses some 30,000 titles, including some children’s books in English. It’s worth a look, especially if you are already visiting the park. Free admission; closed on Mondays and public holidays.
First opened in 1922, this beautiful historic landmark, with a Rotunda gallery, houses about 20,000 English books. The cosy children’s corner has new and classic titles, puzzles, games and beanbag chairs. Come for the themed children’s storytelling and crafts session, held each Saturday morning, followed by a relaxed lunch at the Garden Gallery and Café. Non-members pay 50 baht a day to access the facilities; the library is closed on Mondays.
Not a conventional library, TK Park offers English and Thai books for adults and kids, as well as magazines, journals and multimedia resources, on over 1,500 square metres of space atop the CentralWorld shopping complex. The children’s room features a cushioned reading pool, honeycomb nooks and a tree house. There is also a wooden toy set up, with puzzles and games, and a craft station with drawing equipment. TK Park also features a quiet room, music library, IT library, mini theatre and more. There’s a B20 entrance fee for non-members; the library is closed on Mondays.