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 events are being celebrated on Saturday, January 14th 2023 and finally after almost 2 years of not celebrating this weekend will be all about the kids.
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.
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.
A Full list of events that will take place can be found HERE
Children’s Day Attractions
There will be many attractions and events all across the country to entertain and celebrate kids. Private companies but also government agencies and royal army organize all kinds of activities that day and many of them are free of charge.
The Don Muang Air Show
One of the biggest Children’s day events in Thailand, as in previous years, will be at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, where the Royal Thai Air Force will offer a free air show with demonstrations of several fighter jets.
F16 fighters will simulate aerial combat and air strikes, AU-23 will demonstrate colorful smoke, and EC-725 helicopters and Gripen jets will fly overhead.
The show entrance is free. If you want to attend it, there will be a free shuttle to bring visitors from the parking lot to the track.
Note: The influx of the event is important for travelers. Because the road traffic will be much heavier than usual between Bangkok and Don Muang airport, if you have a flight from there, plan more time to get to the airport.
Traditionally, the army will be very active on Children’s Day and military compounds will open their doors to children and their families offering many activities and demonstrations.
Thai Government Events
It is the tradition that both the Government House and Parliament House in the Dusit area will be open to the public from 8 am to 3 pm. Children will have the privilege of being able to sit in the chair of the Prime Minister and have their photo taken with his portrait.
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.