Bangkok is not renowned for its art galleries, and while Art In Paradise might not be traditional art, it is a highly enjoyable and educational fun stop for the entire family, just make sure to bring your camera and some willingness to ham it up. Art in Paradise is the brainchild of Shin Jae Yeol, a Korean who has now brought three 3D art museums to Thailand, one in Pattaya, one in Chiang Mai, and the latest to Bangkok. 3D or illusion art seeks to turn ordinary two-dimensional artwork into three-dimensional interactive pieces, and at Art in Paradise visitors get to be part of the paintings and get creative in terms of how they want to see and be in the picture. Needless to say, the results are one incredible photo op, and in a Facebook and Instagram crazy country like Thailand, you can just imagine how much fun people have posing. You can surf on big ocean waves, cross hanging bridges in the jungle, or hang out in new takes on old classic Dutch Masters or Van Gogh paintings. Some of the paintings are quite well-executed, while others are just there to ensure that you get creative and have a whale of a time doing so.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For interactive family fun in the art world, Art in Paradise brings out the kid in everyone.
Dave's expert tip: Best to get here via the MRT Metro, get off at the Thailand Cultural Center Station
If you're looking for a multi-themed amusement park to spend the day with the kids, 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 Park City!
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.
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.
Bangkok can often be a trying city for parents when it comes to doing something fun for their kids. The aptly named Funarium is a great way to give the kids some fun in a safe and well-maintained environment. This indoor playground is home to 2000 square meters of playing space, the highlights of which are a climbing structure, trampoline, bicycle rink, sliding machine, and water play area. The activity spots are separated into age-friendly categories so that the toddlers can play in the puddle pool while the older kids head over to the basketball court or bicycle rink. The bike rink also turns into a rollerblading arena at certain times, and blades can be rented out from the staff. In addition to all the physical activities on tap, the Funarium also has a hands-on activity section, which features a cooking class as well as an art and crafts room.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For a great fun and safe place for kids to play with other children in Bangkok, you can't beat Funarium.
Dave's expert tip: Most people see the listing for Funarium as Sukhumvit Soi 26, but this is down at the bottom of the soi near Rama IV. Best way to get here from the Phrom Pong Skytrain station is to catch a taxi down Soi 26, and you will find Funarium just behind K Village.
For the adventurer in all of us, Playtime is a huge indoor playground that boasts a wide array of activity options. There is a rock-climbing wall, a trampoline, a zip line, an electric car course, softball zone, and slide area and sandpit, to name but a few. There is also an arts and craft corner and cooking stations for something a bit less energetic. An added bonus is the massage area, where mom and dad can get a rejuvenating massage while the kids are busy playing, making a stop here a good option for the whole family.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: For creative indoor playground fun, Playtime makes its mark.
Dave's expert tip: The food at the cafe here is rather pricey, so you might want to bring your own.
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
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.
This massive playing space takes up 1,400 square meters of the 3rd floor of the Emporium Mall, and is a dedicated learning playground for children, with 19 different zones focused on different themes and activities for kids to take part in. There is an inflatable mountain to climb, a slide and set of nets to clamber across in the Dream Jungle, and the kids can reproduce interactive masterpieces at the Art Gallery or create their own jazz or classic mixes at the DJ Canopy Station, The focus here is on learning and fun, and Imaginia succeeds on both fronts. Parents can be assured that their kids will be occupied for hours.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Combining learning with fun puts Imaginia up there for kids activities in Bangkok
Dave's expert tip: Come here directly via the Skytrain to Phrom Phong. Make sure to wear socks, they are required.
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.
This new venture by one of the world's biggest playground companies is sure to please both parents and kids. 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.