In Thailand, in addition to celebrations for Mother’s and Father’s Day, there is also a holiday dedicated to children. Wan Dek, or Children’s Day, is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in January. This year, Children’s Day should have been celebrated on Saturday, January 8th 2022 but the ongoing and seemingly endless Covid pandemic has once again put a stop to that; as it did to many other celebrations last year!
Wan Dek is Unique to Thailand
Thailand’s Children’s Day is not to be confused with The United Nations Universal Children’s Day which is celebrated each year in November 20th. Wan Dek is something unique to Thailand!
Wan Dek is historically a day where parents celebrate their children and reinforce good examples and values. Nationally, it is a day to recognise the development that children have made and will make to the future of the country. These days it’s all about children having fun and parents being grateful for the part they play in bonding families and enriching lives.
Normally, you would see Thai youngsters walking around with balloons and enjoying games and mini-concerts that are hosted in shopping centers, schools and the grounds of some temples. In Bangkok, Government House is a popular venue for families on Children’s Day with children receiving the privilege of being able to step foot inside the prime minister’s office. Although the government have cancelled their celebrations, private shopping malls, activity centers and clubs are still hosting some Children’s Day Events this year which will be strictly in accordance with the global pandemic safety guidelines.
A Full list of events that will take place can be found HERE
Children’s Day Attractions
The usual Air Show, army events and museum events have been cancelled but Central shopping malls are having a host of different celebrations to mark children’s day.
To celebrate the National Children’s Day, Central Pattana presents the “Central Kids Day 2022” campaign that will bring state-of-the-art digital activities for kids at all 35 Central shopping centres from tomorrow to Jan 31. The campaign will open up a world of boundless imagination for children and the whole family will have fun with activities and workshops designed to promote brain development and creativity in young minds. Highlights for children in Bangkok and its vicinity from Friday to Sunday include giant balloons and a 300m² playground filled with fun games by TK Park, Playmondo, Playsquare and ClayWorks, at CentralWorld; the “Kids Journey In The Butterfly World” where children will learn to paint butterflies using interactive multimedia techniques, at Central EastVille; a smart playground to promote Play Quotient, fun with Google Earth VR and a virtual aquarium, at Central WestGate; and a digital workshop by Air Doodle, at Central Pinklao.
Almost every theme park for children across Thailand will also offer discounts or even free activities on that day. Check out your local parks, amusement centres and malls for what’s going on in your area.
One popular destination is Asiatique the Riverfront. They will also celebrate Children’s Day by offering children under 120 cm tall a free ride on their Ferris Wheel from 4pm to Midnight.
In Bangkok, The Museum of Siam will open for free with special activities for children, you’ll also fnd that most (if not all) museums feature free admission and special activities for kids on Children’s Day. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) in Pathumwan hosts a special event for children every year where they can be involved in both creative and interactive activities throughout the day.
Malls and Shopping Centers
You will find nearly all of the shopping centers and malls will create and organise their own events, usually involving stage and magic shows, games, give aways and discounts on children’s products. You will find each of the malls trying to compete with each other for the largest and most impressive themed celebration. This particular Saturday of the year is always the busiest with families bringing their children out for the day up hop around various places to enjoy all the festivities on offer!
Free Rides for Kids on MRT and BTS
On Children’s Day, the MRT and BTS give free rides to children under 140 cm in height and aged below 14 years.
Thailand loves children and shows them that at Children’s Day even more than the rest of the year!