The annual National Children’s Day for Thailand takes place on the second Saturday of January every year. Children are considered as the most valuable resource of the country. There is a Thai saying that goes, “Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous.” To help stimulate children to be aware of their significant role in the country, the National Children’s Day was held for the first time on the first Monday of October 1955 and continued like this until 1963. Then it was changed to the second Saturday of January.
This year, Children’s Day is on Saturday 8th January 2011. Many organizations around the country and popular tourist attractions for children, like zoos, put on special activities for children. Most of these allow children to go in for free or at a reduced price. Dusit Zoo is free for children less than 100 centimeters until the end of the month. Dream World has a cover chrage of 60 baht for children. Some public transport is also free for children on this day. For example, both the BTS skytrain and MRT underground are free for children under 140 centimetres if they are accompanied by an adult.
The camps of the Armed Forces are popular destinations for young kids on Children’s Day. Here in Samut Prakan, the Royal Thai Navy have activities at Fort Chulachomklao, Royal Thai Naval Academy and the Navy Museum. That is where I wil be going to take pictures. The Royal Thai Army has activities at their old headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. The Royal Thai Air Force are holding their event at the main cargo terminal in the Don Muang airport compound. Children will be able to clamber aboard helicopters and tanks and also have their pictures taken with soldiers.
Government buildings are also open for children. For example, Government House in Bangkok have arranged activities. The children can visit the prime ministers office to have their picture taken there. The Education Ministry have events at the National Stadium while the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will hold their activities at the SRT Public Park. The newly opened Madame Tussaud’s, on the 6th floor of Siam Discovery Center, will allow children under 12 to go in for free.The National Science Museum is also organising games and exhibitions for children.
Shopping malls will also have activities: Siam Paragon will host “The Flying Fantasy” fair, featuring games such as Rodeo Bull, Euro Bungee, Water Balloon, Rock Mountain, Wave Slide, Space Ball and a labyrinth of magnificent marine life. Paradise Park on Srinakarin Road is hosting classic games, popular comics, outdoor film screenings and performances. Branches of The Mall will host themed activities. The Ngarm Wong Wan branch will run various workshops for children to learn how to make traditional Thai desserts, pottery items and other handicrafts, the Bang Khae branch will focus on mass transit, and the Bang Kapi branch will reconstruct the atmosphere from the Pirates of the Caribbean films