The Children’s Discovery Museum in Chatuchak, which re-opened in January 2015 after lengthy renovations, offers a fun day of exploration and play for children ages 1 to 12. The focus is on learning through doing, so kids are encouraged to experiment with hands-on equipment and interactive displays.
The museum features zones in three buildings with over 7,000 square metres of space; each zone is geared for a particular age range. In the Rainbow Building, babies and toddlers can play in the Big Backyard, a soft and sensory play area. Catering to kids ages 3 to 6, Rainbow Town is a faux town where children can pretend to take on certain occupations, such as pilot and mechanic; and Nature Playground offers climbing structures for free play.
The main Thor Tawan building also features a wide range of creative activities. On the ground floor, the Creative Science zone allows kids to experiment with various scientific principles, from sound and classical mechanics to energy, movement and wind. Dino Detective, accessed via a dinosaur’s mouth, is a great space where kids can run around and touch every display. One exhibit has children pretending to feed interactive dinosaur heads that let them know with a roar whether they’ve made a choice offering. The dinosaur zone opens up onto a large outdoor mock excavation site where kids can dig for missing dinosaur bones to complete giant puzzles. Other ground floor zones include the Art Studio and Junior Thai Kitchen.
The upper level zones in Thor Tawan are geared for older children. On the first floor, you’ll find Our Friends, an exhibit about cultures around the world, with an augmented reality exhibit that lets kids don different costumes from around the world; Incredible Me, which is all about human anatomy; Amazing Vision, granting a new perspective on things; and Inventor’s Club, where kids can learn how inventions come to be. Ascend another flight of stairs to the Kid’s Playhouse, Wonder Building and Build Our City zones.
After a couple hours of edutainment, children will be ready to play outside and let off some energy. And the museum’s 3,000 square metre Outdoor Activity Zone is likely to be their favourite part of the day! Here, kids can explore the multi-level Jungle Adventure climbing frame and tree house, and play with slides, a tunnel, nets and a suspension bridge; run around the Water Play park, cooling off with water jets, rain showers and fountains; or play with manual water pumps, manipulating water flow down various flumes.
Museum admission is free. There are lots of staff, some speaking English, on hand to explain how things work and ensure safety. Some exhibits are already in need of maintenance. All in all, however, it was a day of casual and fun learning, with the bonus of dashing across the street to Chatuchak market for a bite and bit of browsing in the fish and small pets section.
The museum is located near JJ Mall, close to the entrance of Queen Sirikit Park; on-site parking is available. For more info, including a map, operating hours and visitor tips, click here.