Bangkok can be hot, crowded, gridlocked, and just about everything that a parent might not want when dealing with their kids on vacation. But don’t let this put you off, as the City of Angels also does have a good number of sights for children of all ages, plenty of them that mom and dad will enjoy as well, and you can choose between indoor and outdoor attractions that fit the bill for everyone. Start off with a visit to the informative and extremely fun Queen Saovabha Institute’s Snake Farm, which has great photo ops and fun combined with being educational, or the beautiful Sea Life Ocean World aquarium, one of SE Asia’s best. To cool off from the heat, Siam Park City (also known as Siam Amazing Park) is Asia’s largest water theme park, full of wave pools, slides, and lots of other rides and attractions, and Flowhouse features a simulated wave rider to surf on smack in the middle of the city. For a more natural outdoor experience, head for Bang Krachao, the city’s biggest green space and escape, featuring several large parks, boating, and bicycling, or stay more central and spend the afternoon at Lumpini Park. Other winners include Kidzania, which replicates an entire city for kids, where they get to learn trades, open bank accounts, and play and learn in heavy doses, and Harbor Land, another large creative playground option bound to keep the kids busy for the day. The Museum of Siam is hands-on, and one of Bangkok’s most informative museums, and for total family enjoyment, everyone will love the theatrical Thai boxing performance of Muay Thai Live, located in the shopping and eating mecca of Asiatique. Between all these, you’ll keep the little ones busier than ever.
If you’re looking for a multi-themed amusement park to spend the day with the kids, Siam Amazing Park (also known as Siam Park City) covers a lot of bases. The park, located in the north of Bangkok near the suburb of Minburi, boasts one of Asia’s largest waterparks, spread over 100 acres, with an assortment of water attractions that include 7-story water slides and one of the world’s largest wave pools.T he park also features an X Zone, Family World, Fantasy World, and even Small World that has rides for the little ones. Thrill-seekers will also find a suspended “Vortex” rollercoaster here. Suan Siam, as the park is known in Thai, is the country’s oldest amusement park, dating back to 1980, and has been listed in the Guinness Book for some of its massive attractions. Even Michael Jackson was here in 1993 while performing on a world tour. While the park is a bit old in the tooth these days, it has nevertheless been undergoing some needed renovations and remains a wonderful place to cool off and spend the day ensured that the kids will never get bored.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For Asia’s biggest water theme park, head for Siam Amazing Park
Dave’s expert tip: The easiest way to get here is via taxi. The nearest public transport station is the Lat Krabang Airport Link station, but it will still be a 20-minute plus ride from here. You could also get here via taxi from the airport, as the park is closer to Suvarnabhumi than the city center.
Created by King Rama VI in 1932, and named after the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumpini Park is an urban oasis, one of the city’s largest parks located smack in the middle of central Bangkok. Besides offering plenty of shady trees under which to picnic or nap, and being a great respite from the city chaos and heat, there are also free aerobic classes held around sunset, and the park’s jogging and bicycle paths are a big hit with the city slickers.
You can also rent paddleboats to head out on the lake which is in the center of the park, plenty of fun for the whole family, and there are also playground areas for the kids and even rudimentary outdoor gym facilities (free weights and exercise stations) for mom and dad.
Other than getting a workout in or just relaxing on a bench or the grass with a good book, there are a few other things to do in Lumpini. The park is home to large monitor lizards, who look a lot scarier than they really are, as well as plenty of birds, squirrels, and other small critters for you to observe.
Lumpini is also home to the “Concert in the Park” series, where you can catch classical music performances by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra during the cool season, as well as the annual Bangkok Street Show, which features performance artists from around the world.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For a place in central Bangkok to escape with the kids, Lumpini is tops.
Dave’s expert tip: the closest public transport to Lumpini is the MRT subway station of the same name.
Both entertaining and informative, the Snake Farm is a great spot for parents and kids alike. The Queen Saovabha Institute which runs the place has a complex housing an exhibition area for 35 species of living snakes, a 100-seat arena for venom extraction, a museum and exhibition about snake evolution, anatomy, toxicology and snake bites first-aid, along with a highly developed research center and an outdoor serpentarium for snake exhibits and handling shows. The indoor museum is full of interactive demonstrations and the live handling show is excellent, with many of the most poisonous and largest snakes brought out for photo opportunities and a bit of playful bravado between them and their keepers.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For entertaining and informative family fun, the Snake Farm is a top choice.
Dave’s expert tip: The snake-handling show is at 11, and 2:30, while on weekends, there is no 2:30 performance, so plan your visit accordingly. Best reached via Skytrain to Sala Daeng and then walk up through Soi Thaniya to the Red Cross complex.
This venture by one of the world’s biggest playground companies is sure to please both parents and kids, and there are now a slew of branches all around Thailand to enjoy. The focus is on safety, as well as on plenty of games and machines that will help kids build their muscles, along with sport and social skills. There are super slides, bumper cars, laser tag, and rollerblading amongst the options, and parents are advised to wear clothing to run and slide around in, as there’s plenty of focus here on joining the kids fun.
There are a range of ticket options to go for, ranging from day passes to just the standard 2-3 play pass, as well as a range of activities for the different sized kids (toddler, small kid, big kid, and junior), and those parents who just want to chill out or go shopping in Fashion Island’s mega-mall can opt for some Happy Care, where a babysitter will watch your child for two hours for 200 baht, or 350 if you want one speaking a foreign language.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For top-notch children’s playground equipment and great family fun, Harbor Land is a superb new choice.
Dave’s expert tip: You’re going to need wheels or a taxi for this one, as Fashion Island Mall is located in the far north of the city, Getting on the Ram Inthra Expressway is the fastest way to get here, and a taxi will run 150-200 baht.
For parents looking for a big outdoor escape for the whole family: While many might think of Bangkok and nature in the same sentence as being an oxymoron, they probably have never heard of Bang Krachao. Bang Krachao, also known as “the lungs” of Bangkok is a vast area of green space just across the Chao Phraya River from Klong Toey. Originally a settlement for ethnic Burmese Mons, Bang Krachao is made up of orchards and gardens, and a strict local planning code prohibiting high rise buildings and factories has kept the area in a pristine state. The 100 acre Sri Nakhon Kuenkhan Park with its oasis of trees, lakes, and trails is the highlight here, as is renting a bicycle and heading out along the raised embankments that run through villages built on wooden stilts. Kids will love going for a paddle, pedal, or just running along the endless paths, and mom and dad will get a workout as well, plus some much needed fresh air.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For Bangkok’s biggest green space for kids, Bang Krachao is a must visit.
Dave’s expert tip: If here on a weekend, make sure to go to the nearby Nam Peung floating market, an authentic Thai affair featuring excellent food and organic products. Motorcycle taxis go here from the ferry pier. To get across to Bang Krachao, a 10 minute 5 baht ferry runs from the Klong Toey Pier at Klong Toey Nok Temple.
Urban surfing comes to Bangkok, at the Flow House, a city beach club where one can get up on a boogie board or surfboard on perpetual sheet waves created by the Flowrider wave generating machine, perfect for surfing and body boarding. While evenings see the party crowd show up, earlier in the day is perfect for kids and families, with more of a focus on just getting wet and staying cool. The surface of the Flowrider pool is made from soft plastic, ensuring that kids can wipe out and stay safe at the same time.
Besides the bar drinks there is plenty of pizza, pasta, burgers, and even pad thai, plus more at Flow, along with an air conditioned indoor area to escape the heat, not to mention a sports bar with a pool and soccer table, making this this coolest urban beach hangout this side of California. Flow riding lessons are available, plus plenty of locker room space and showers for the busy urban warrior with other engagements.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For a bit of island surf in Bangkok, Flowhouse is in.
Dave’s expert tip: It is a bit too far down Soi 26 to walk from the BTS Skytrain (Phrom Pong Station), best to hop on a motorcycle taxi for 20 baht to A Square, which is down near the intersection with Rama IV.
It is a bit of a misnomer to say that Kidzania is something to do with your kids because actually, it is all about the kids here, but this is one of Bangkok’s best kid-friendly settings and is a fantastic “edutainment” option for big doses of fun and learning. Kidzania is modeled on a city that has been built for children, where they get involved in every aspect of running, participating in, and making a life for themselves in the community. There are banks where kids can use the “kidzo” currency they receive upon entrance to open accounts, there are job programs where one can learn to fly a plane, become a news reporter, barbershops and salons to both give and receive haircuts and beauty treatments, and an arts studio to work on design, drawing, and painting. The best part of all, at least from the perspective of the little ones, is that parents aren’t allowed to interfere or get involved, but can only sit back and watch.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For a great combo of fun and learning, Kidzania is a great kids option when visiting Bangkok.
Dave’s expert tip: To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to Siam, head into the Siam Paragon Mall, and up to the 5th floor.
As it is so hands-on, kids will enjoy this informative spot as much as their parents. The Museum of Siam, also known as the Discovery Museum, is a well designed and laid out multimedia exhibition, focusing on the questions of “who are Thais” and “what is Thai culture?” The museum traces Thai history from past to present, going through a series of different rooms looking at different aspects of Thai history, from Suvarnabhumi (the Golden Land) to Buddhism, to the founding of Ayutthaya, to Thailand today and its relation to the world.
In each room, visitors have a variety of digital exhibits they can interact with, and video exhibitions posing questions of what “Thai-ness” might be as well as explaining the history and ethnography of the region. Everything is translated or subtitled into English, so foreign visitors can get just as much out of the exhibits as Thais, and the friendly staff greets everyone on entry with a plan of the museum and the instructions to “please touch everything.”
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For being an innovative and hands-on experience, the Museum of Siam bucks the trend.
Dave’s expert tip: Because of the use of video and digital technology and the hands-on approach, the museum is well suited for young children
For those with an interest in muay thai boxing, but without an appetite for the violence, consider checking out Muay Thai Live, a family friendly theatrical production that combines an entertaining performance with an imaginative display that traces the history of the art of Thai boxing and its place in Thai culture. The performance, directed by award-winning Thai film director Ekachai Uekrongtham and featuring actor and professional boxer Uttaporn Suwan, unfolds over five short acts and follows the rise of Thai warriors during the Ayutthaya kingdom period up to the modern action hero today, and the place Thai boxing has as an art and cultural form in the society.
The choreography and stunts are very well done, and the intimate venue ensures a great seat for everyone, with superb sound and lighting displays with all the latest technology. Topping things off, the stage show is followed by a couple of live boxing matches with both local and international talent, allowing spectators the chance to have more comprehension of muay thai after the informational stage show they’ve just watched. As opposed to the usual fight nights seen in Bangkok, this one is not a leave the wife, girlfriend, and family at home affair, but one that all genders and ages will find informative and entertaining.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For a family-friendly Thai kickboxing theatrical, Muay Thai Live delivers a knockout punch!
Dave’s expert tip: The best way to get here is to take the free shuttle boat from the Saphan Taksin Pier to Asiatique. Make sure to come early, as the boat lines can get very crowded around sunset and dinner time.
Siam Ocean World demands a hefty entrance price, but the kids most certainly will love it, and mom and dad will be well impressed with the aquatic collection. Built underneath the flashy Siam Paragon Mall, this set of giant aquariums is home to over 30,000 fish and marine creatures from around the world, including sharks, piranhas, manta rays, dolphins, and much much more. The 7 zones here showcase everything from loveable water rats and otters to ugly lion and stonefish and plenty of deadly predators too. There are shark feeding, penguin feeding, and eagle ray feeding performances, a 270-degree underwater tunnel, and the amazing Open Ocean, Asia’s largest panoramic aquarium, home to a variety of sharks all swimming as if in your lap.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For Bangkok’s best family marine attraction, you can’t beat Siam Ocean World.
Dave’s expert tip: If you purchase tickets online on the website, you can save 20%. Additionally, those foreigners living in Thailand are eligible for large discounts with proof of ID.