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Expats who consider moving to the Thai capital may wonder about how children in Bangkok keep themselves busy. Despite its frenetic nature, however, there are plenty of child-friendly activities and attractions in the city.
New arrivals will find that the weather often dictates how expat families in Bangkok spend their time. During the summer the city's various waterparks are full of visitors looking to cool off, while the frequent bursts of tropical rain are perfect for a day of indoor activities.
Outdoor activities for kids in Bangkok
When the Thai summer is in full swing, families can head down to one of the many water parks in Bangkok. Siam Park City is one of the most popular of these, and children of all ages can spend an entire day riding down the slippery slides or splashing in its countless pools. There is also an amusement park with rides and activities to suit all ages. Other popular parks include the Pororo Water Park and Fantasia Lagoon, which is situated on the roof of the Mall Bangkae.
Older children might enjoy the Flowrider at Flowhouse in Bangkok. Here they can learn to surf in the middle of the city, courtesy of the wave machine. Those who prefer to enjoy the water from a distance could also take a boat trip down the Chao Phraya River and its many canals.
Animal lovers should head to Safari World Zoo and Marine Park. Here, visitors can see a wide variety of animals roaming freely across acres of open space from the comfort of their cars. After seeing the sights of the Safari Park, visitors can walk to Marine World, which is closer to a traditional zoo. The highlight for many is the giraffe feeding platform, where they can feed bananas to the colossal but friendly herbivores.
Braver families might enjoy the Bangkok Snake Farm on the grounds of the Thai Red Cross Society. A mixture of indoor, outdoor and educational activities, learning more about this much-maligned species allows many visitors to get over their fear of these reptiles – or at least learn which ones they really should fear.
Indoor activities for kids in Bangkok
Another way to escape the city’s summer heat is ice skating at one of its many skating rinks. One of the most popular is Ice Planet, which occupies two floors at the Siam Discovery Centre. Aside from housing an Olympic-sized ice rink, it also boasts a skating school for ice hockey and figure skating, as well as an indoor garden for expat parents who prefer to keep their feet on the ground.
One of the most interesting children's activities in Bangkok is KidZania, a scaled-down indoor city where children get to play at being grown-ups and play their part in the city’s “economy”. Here, local and expat children can be everything from dentists to mechanics in a controlled environment, learning and having fun while earning in KidZo – the official currency of KidZania.
There is also a wide range of museums in Bangkok dedicated to everything from the human body to Batman – although some of them would be better suited to older children. Those wanting a family-friendly way to learn about their new home should visit the Museum of Siam. Set in a neoclassical building, its combination of old and ultra-modern influences create a fascinating journey into Thai history and culture.