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8 things to do in Bangkok with your children

The year just kicked-off and there will be several long weekends waiting you and your family! How about a family getaway to Bangkok? Though known for its wild nightlife, there are plenty of activities for those with young ones in tow as well. Plus, Bangkok is also a top destination for families from all around the world. Here's a slew of family-friendly things for everyone to try and enjoy:

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1. Spend a day at Suan Rot Fai Gardens

An oasis of green in the centre of Bangkok, Suan Rot Fai Gardens (Wachirabenchathat Park) makes a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Originally a state golf course, it is a lovely and relaxing 3km of shaded trails. Although most of it has been converted into recreational and fitness areas, a small portion has been retained for young golfers to practise their budding golfing skills.

In this park, you can also find a pool, a huge pond, as well as the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. It is a highly popular spot for local families having picnics. Rent bicycles for your clan (some even have baby seats) and go down the lane exclusively for those on two wheels. Prefer a leisurely water ride? Rent a canoe or paddleboat at the scenic lake. Little ones will love clambering over the variety of climbing and play equipment there, or wandering through the closed-dome greenhouse to marvel at the exotic collection of winged creatures. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Address: Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 How to get to Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.: Mo Chit BTS station

trees by the lake on a clear day

Suan Rot Fai is an oasis.

2. Visit the National Science Museum

There is little doubt that children of all ages will enjoy this fun little museum. This branch of the National Science Museum features hands-on exhibits that demonstrate probability, magnetism, and physics, just to name a few. We are most excited about the mock excavation pit at the skeleton and fossils exhibit. Walk around some more and you’ll find elaborate Lego displays built by local students. There are several play areas and interactive exhibits for children to explore, with giant blocks, computers, and educational toys. The museum is located on the fourth level of Chamchuri Square, where you’ll find a number of casual and children-friendly dining options for your post-discovery chomp.

Address: Thanon Phaya Thai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330 How to get to the National Science Museum: Sam Yan MRT Station Admission Fee: Adults S$1.60 (40 baht); Children S$0.80 (20 baht) Website: National Science Museum

Night view of the city

This is a fun museum for all. Photo from: Asia Web Direct

3. Marvel at the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Home to more than a thousand images of Buddha, this temple is one of Bangkok’s largest. It is also where the famed reclined 46-metre long golden Buddha resides. The Buddha’s 5-metre long feet are elegantly decorated with mother-of-pearl illustrations. The complex is an easy ten-minute walk from the Grand Palace and a must-go for first-timers. The fusion of Indian and Chinese influences can be seen in this temple.

Families will enjoy wandering through this grand complex, and children will have a great time exploring. When your feet get tired, take a rest at the garden by the river pier. Wat Pho is known as the birthplace of Thai massage and medicine, so Mom and Dad are in good hands. For good luck, purchase a bowl of coins and drop them in 108 bronze bowls that line the length of the walls; 108 being a significant number in Buddhism. Tip: Wear appropriate clothing as they have a strict dress code.

Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200 How to get to the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho: SkyTrain to Saphan Taksin Station S6. (Silom Line), Take Exit 2 and go to Chao Phraya River Express Boat Pier.Take boat heading to Tien Pier (N.8) and walk straight Admission fee: S$4.00 (100 baht)

Reclining golden Buddha

One of Bangkok’s largest temples.

4. Play and learn at Little Footsteps

Little Footsteps is a haven created by two sisters where life, love and parenthood connect. They strongly believe in learning through play. Come here with your tiny ones to enjoy tons of creative activities. There are cute and fun spaces that include a library, art & crafts room, a cooking room, a board game room, a music room, and more. There is a wide selection of children’s toys for sale as well, including imported wooden goods from around the world.

Address: 8 Srinagarindra 62 Alley, Khwaeng Nong Bon, Khet Prawet, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10250 How to get to Little Footsteps: Best to go by taxi Website: Little Footsteps

Exterior shot of Little Footsteps

A haven for the entire family. Photo credit: Little Footsteps

5. Drive around at Easy Kart

Opened in 2004, Easy Kart is one of the largest indoor go-kart tracks in Asia – perfect for an adrenaline-packed racing experience. There are high-tech tracks and high performance go-karts with multiple engine sizes to suit individual driver needs. Children aged 8 to 12 can drive 100cc karts, and children over 12 and adults are permitted to drive 160cc or 270cc karts. Choose from different packages too, such as tournaments and F1-style races with qualifying laps, a podium and trophy for the winner! For family members or friends who are not racing, there is a viewing deck for them to cheer from or they can also enjoy themselves at the pool tables, the panoramic bar or the restaurant. If your little one is under 8, you will have to wait a few years because there is a minimum age requirement here.

Address: 31//11 RCA Plaza, 2nd Floor, Rama 9 Road, Bangkapi, Huaykwang, Bangkok 1032 How to get to Easy Kart: Pharam 9 MRT station Prices: From S$18.20 (450 baht) Website: Easy Kart

Pool tables beside the track

One of Asia’s largest indoor go-kart tracks. Photo credit: Action Sport Asia

6. Catch a Thai Puppet Show at Aksra Theatre

Folktales are told through the classic art of puppetry on an embellished and grand stage. Instead of controlling the puppets from behind, the puppeteers are very much part of the show. Dressed in black, they bring the colourful puppets to life dancing with the live orchestra, who plays a melodic fusion of Thai and European instruments. These guys have some serious skills and the craftsmanship of the puppets and the sets is something else. These shows contain a lot of beauty, culture and myth, stage technique and classical dance all on one stage. The theatre boasts some 600 seats and advanced audiovisual technology.

Address: 8/1 Rangnam Rd, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, 10400, 10400 How to get to Aksra Theatre: BTS Station Ticket price: S$32.40 (800 baht)

Colourful puppets

One of the best puppet theatres for you to have a good time.

7. Give back to society

Bangkok is crawling with malls but if your kids have a sense of conscience, they may prefer to volunteer some of their time to help others instead. Such an unforgettable experience will most likely give them a sense of accomplishment and make them more aware of social issues of the world today. An example of an organisation is the Gift of Happiness Foundation. This small but effective NPO is dedicated to giving happiness and essential goods to impoverished children and families in Thailand. They are always looking for volunteers to join their monthly projects, and guarantee a trip of your lifetime with them.

Address: 202 On Nut 36 Alley, Khwaeng Suan Luang, Khet Suan Luang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10250 How to get to Happiness Foundation: BTS On Nut Station Website: Happiness Foundation

Children in a remote village school

Give time, give happiness.

8. Get fit

If your kids are the rough-and-tumble type, how about giving Muay Thai a shot? With Muay Thai Fits, you can partake in their training by a professional without even leaving your hotel. Their unique training program is suitable for all, with a special program for kids as well – that builds strength, stamina, coordination and stability. Your kids will become calmer and more composed, as well as more confident. A professional Muay Thai trainer will come to your hotel with all the necessary equipment. Whether for relaxation, exercise or for self-defence, time to pack a punch in this itinerary!

Prices: From S$36.40 (900 baht) Website: Muai Thai Fits

Boys doing Muay Thai

Everyone should give Muay Thai a shot.

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Originally published on 17 January 2015 and updated in April 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.