Driving Massive Construction Equipment? Check.

Those of us who live in Bangkok have probably been to Lumpini Park more times than we care to count.  And when we get there, we usually do normal park things:  jog, bike, visit the playground, feed the fish, take in the local aerobics and tai chi classes.  But here is something I bet you didn’t know you could do in Lumpini:

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Operate massive construction equipment . . . every little boy’s dream.  Thank you, Lumpini Park, for delivering!

What Not to Miss During the Holidays

Although we are headed back home to celebrate the holidays this year, I felt it obligatory to share with my readers what not to miss in Bangkok over the next month or two.  After all, Christmas trees are already going up all around town and the weather is starting to cool off.

Logan last Christmas

1.  In search of Christmas toys?  Plan Toys has their unbeatable semi-annual sale throughout the month of December.  Make a morning out of visiting their factory store on Sathorn Soi 10 and you will find discounts from 50-70 percent on some of their finest toys, from doll houses to pull toys to wooden firetrucks, tractors, and more.   There is a crazy awesome train table set up in the front of the store, as well as toy kitchens, cars, trucks, etc.  Bring your little ones along and they will be so busy playing they won’t even know you are buying for them.  Seriously, this is the sale.  Buy for Christmas and stock up for birthdays (both your child’s birthday and his friends birthdays).  You will be happy that you did so.  More about Plan Toys in one of my previous posts – The Land of Wooden Toys.

2. Do not miss the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra’s “Concerts in the Park” at Lumpini every Sunday evening at 5:30pm from December-February.  This is an awesome opportunity to let the little ones roam free with their friends while you nosh on bread and cheese (and maybe – gasp- bring a little wine) and listen to the Orchestra’s renditions of famous tunes from the Indiana Jones to the Phantom of the Opera to Christmas music and more.  The concert dates for 2012-3 as listed on the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra’s FB page:

Sunday 16, December 2012
Sunday 23, December 2012
Sunday 6, January 2013
Sunday 13, January 2013
Sunday 20, January 2013
Sunday 27, January 2013
Sunday 3, February 2013
Sunday 10, February 2013

Concerts are free of charge.  Bring your tots, some food and drink (they sell popcorn, soft drinks and a few other snacks), friends, bikes and trikes, rent a mat or two to sit on, and enjoy.  This is a beautiful time of year to be outside.

3.  Hit up an enjoyable and delicious Christmas buffet.  There are only a gazillion options in Bangkok – so choose a location that seems family-friendly, is reasonably priced, and will make your tummy happy.  Our favorite is the Sukothai Chocolate Buffet.  While the Chocolate Buffet is offered year-round, the Sukothai is decorated so beautifully at Christmas that we venture to the buffet once a year during the holidays.  Don’t worry, there is a savoury table to match the sweet one.  In the event of a sweet headache, just start altering between the two (my husband has the method down)!  The buffet runs about 1200 baht/person (and half that for children) over the holidays.

Sukothai Chocolate Buffet last Christmas

Logan loved it!

Oh, there is so much more to do in Bangkok during the holidays.  If you have suggestions, please share them in the comments.  We’re all looking for new ways to explore a city that offers so much, and the holidays are a great time to explore.

Found: True Toddler Joys in Bangkok

Time and time again, the following activities prove to be a true joy for our little one in Bangkok.  You must give them a try!

1. Siam Ocean World – At first glance, the place is pricey.  After all, it is just an aquarium in the basement of a mall . . . or is it?  If you’re a Thai resident, make sure to bring proof of residency and ask for the resident rate.  If you and your family enjoy it, splurge and become a “Siam Ocean World Member” for 1,500 baht/person/year (young children are free) and visit as many times as you like.  We’ve found the yearly membership to be especially helpful when our little guy is:  a) just up for a quick visit; b) gets cranky mid-way through and we have to bail early; and/or c) is only interested in racing to the end of the aquarium in order to drive the fish tuk-tuk.  Yes, folks, there are penguins, sharks, and stingrays, but you’ll soon see that most toddlers prefer the fish tuk-tuk to anything else.  C’est la vie.

Logan driving the toddler-captivating fish tuk-tuk

2. Sukothai Chocolate Buffet – Okay, so you can probably only indulge in something this rich once a year, but let me tell you, it is definitely worth it!  From the sushi spread on the savory side to the delectable concoctions of everything chocolate on the sweet side, there is something for everyone, trust me.

Yum! Destroying Christmas cupcakes at the chocolate buffet!

3. Concerts in the Park – From mid-December through mid-February each year, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra holds outdoor concerts in Lumpini Park for free on Sunday evenings beginning at 5:30pm.  Bring snacks, libations, bikes, scooters, and trikes and meet up with your friends to enjoy live music from Phantom of the Opera, Indiana Jones, Chicago, the Sound of Music, and other well-known classics.  The cool weather and open space make it an ideal location for toddlers to run free, make new friends, grab snacks from nearby neighbors, and test out other childrens’ ride-on toys!