Bangkok has a reputation for being an after-dark playground for adults. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a family-friendly city. There are dozens of activities, classes and shows that cater specifically to the young ones. Here are 35 things to do with your kids in and around Bangkok. Many are worth checking out even if you don’t have children.
1. Siam Ocean World
An impressive aquarium in the basement of the posh Siam Paragon Shopping center, Siam Ocean World has everything from penguins to sharks.
There are live feeding displays, a kids’ play area, rain forest, reefs and giant tubs you can stick your feet in and watch fish nibble away at your dead skin.
1-B2 Floor, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Road. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. +66 (0)2 687 2000
2. Dusit Zoo
Bangkok’s Dusit Zoo -- known as Khao Din to the locals -- has been around since the 1930s but recently underwent some renovations that include a lakeside promenade and a 'sky walk' that gives visitors an elevated view of some of the exhibitions.
Located next to the grand Amphorn Satharn Throne Hall, it has a decent selection of animals, including the usual elephants, tigers, snakes and crocodiles.
There are also a few small rides and a huge lake you can paddle around in a pedal boat as your kids -- or you -- cower at the sight of wild monitor lizards swimming by.
71 Rama V Road, Chitrlada district, Bangkok. +66 (0)2 281 2000 . Open daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
3. Safari World
Safari World is basically a two-park attraction. There’s a drive-through open zoo where you can check out lions, tigers and rhinos from the safety of your car. The park also offers bus rides through the zoo for visitors without vehicles.
Next door is Marine Park, which is a bit misleading as there’s a lot more than just aquatic-related stuff, such as animal exhibitions and live shows.
99 Panyaintra Road. +66 (0)2 914 4100-. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
4. Siam Park City
Siam Park City is a huge theme park with thrill rides, kiddie rides, a massive water park, dinosaur museum -- stay away if you have dust allergies -- and a learning zone.
The aging park certainly could use a few coats of paint but it's still a great place for a day out. Most impressive of all is Siam Park City’s wave pool, which at 13,600 square meters is the largest in the world, according to Guinness.
Siam Park Avenue (Serithai soi 75), Waterpark open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Amusement park, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. +66 (0)2 919 7200
5. Ancient City
The only way to tour Thailand’s most significant historical sites in a day. About a 45-minute drive from the city, this Samut Prakan attraction features replicas of dozens major Thai landmarks, from the Grand Palace in Bangkok to the contested Preah Vihear temple on the border with Cambodia.
Given Ancient City's size, walking isn’t recommended. Rent a golf cart or a bike to cruise around the park instead.
296/1 Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoo, Samut Prakan. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bangkok expats love this giant air-conditioned venue. The majority of the space is taken up by an enormous playground complete with climbing walls, ball pools, super-slides, trampolines, tubing and rope swings.
There’s also a cycling circuit (complete with bikes, trikes and helmets), a basketball court, outdoor sandpit, paddling pool and a well-designed babies' and toddlers' area for tots under five.
A café caters to adults and kids, and upstairs there’s an arts and crafts room and party spaces for hire. Best of all, there's a separate parents’ area complete with 1970s style lounge furnishings and those priceless attributes -- peace and quiet.
Sukumvit 26 (behind Carrefour, Rama IV Road). +66 (0)2 665 6555 Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
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