Due to the oppressive heat and humidity in Bangkok, not to mention the lack of outdoor space, finding things to do with kids in Bangkok isn’t an easy task. However, if you spend a bit of time to get to know the city, you will find there are many hidden gems, both indoors and out.
This indoor mega kids playground is a great place for kids of all ages (up to 13) to let off some steam. Located in the heart of Bangkok, on Sukhumvit soi 26, this 2,000 sq. m. centre of fun is packed with play equipment imported from the UK. Split over three zones, including the soft play area for toddlers, a two storey play area for the older kids and a sports zone complete with basketball/football court and rollerblading and cycle track. There is also a well-equipped arts and crafts room for children who prefer more sedate activities.
Parent won’t be disappointed by the feeding zone which serves hot and cold food and drinks. There is also a more secluded area for parents upstairs complete with cable TV, internet access and comfy seats.
For pricing, location and opening hours visit the Fun-arium website at: www.funarium.co.th
2. Siam Ocean World
This aquarium is located in the basement of the Siam Paragon shopping centre and is one of the largest in South East Asia, covering 10,000 sq. m. If the thought of seeing live animals in captivity in South East Asia fills you with dread, there is no need to worry as the tanks here are large and well maintained, and it is a thoroughly modern operation. Siam Ocean World is owned by the Australian Oceanis Group which is the World’s largest aquarium owner and operator which gives you an idea of the high-standards in place.
This Bangkok aquarium is creatively designed and filled with 100s of different species, including a variety of sharks. There is also a glass bottom boat ride in the main tank which allows a close up experience with a whole host of sea life. For those who want a closer look of the sea creatures the opportunity to scuba dive in the main tank is available.
The entrance fee to Siam Ocean World isn’t cheap and dual pricing is in operation, with foreigners paying twice as much as Thais. However, if you are an expat and can prove you are a resident of Thailand then you can pay the Thai entrance fee. For regular visitors there is a membership card, and if you plan to visit Ocean World more than a couple of times a year, as you will do if you live in Bangkok with kids, it is well worth the price.
Visit the Siam Ocean World website for more info: www.siamoceanworld.co.th
3. Bangkok Snake Farm
Located in the relatively green and leafy grounds of the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, a world famous centre of research into venomous snakes, the Bangkok Snake Farm is a great place to take kids for a day out in Bangkok.
As well as the expected inclusion of an outdoor area with snakes in large cages and an indoor section of snakes in tanks, there are daily venom milking and snake handling performances. The snake handling performance is the real highlight of the Bangkok Snake Farm and any visit should be timed to coincide with the show, which at the time of writing is 2.30pm in the week and 11am on the weekends.
Although the treatment of the snakes during the handling performance is slightly questionable (do snakes like being taunted by a man with a stick?) it is a good chance to see these deadly creatures do their thing. Thanks to Thailand’s relatively relaxed health and safety regulations this is a good opportunity to get up close and personal with some of nature’s most formidable predators.
The Bangkok Snake Farm is located close to Silom so is fairly central. The address is 1871 Rama 4 Road and it can be found at the intersection with Surawong and Henry Dunant Road.
4. A BAMBI Playgroup
Even if your visit to Bangkok is short, taking your young children to a Bangkok Mothers and Babies International (BAMBI) playgroup is a great way to keep them entertained in a safe environment with other expat and local kids to play with. They work on a pay as you go basis so there is no need to be a member of BAMBI, although it does qualify you for a discount. The maximum age for attendance ranges between three and five depending on the group so this might not be an option for everyone. They are held all over the city, at schools and nurseries and the price of admission is low.
If you are in Bangkok for a short stay and just want somewhere to let your kids play in safety then dropping into a BAMBI playgroup is a great option.
Check the playgroup schedules on the BAMBI website at: http://www.bambiweb.org/