Alternative Activities in Beijing

Alternative Activities in Beijing
By Mark Turner ,

From time to time people get bored of their normal routine in the city, this sometimes leads to a kind of stagnant feeling; going to the same places, seeing the same faces and doing the same things. Something that many Beijing expat residents are not aware of is the fact that there are a great number of outdoor and alternative activities to get involved with around the city. Here are a few suggestions for activities and sports to try out when that hamster wheel job or lifestyle is becoming a drag and something new or different might inject a little much needed fun and adventure into life. Whether you’re a couch potato or an adrenaline rush thrill seeker we’ve got something for you.


Ice skating
With us being firmly in winters icy clutches there are quite a few places to skate in the outdoors, namely Beijing’s parks; although, except for a select few, Purple Bamboo Park being one such example where there is a designated area where one can pay for the privilege of skating in the picturesque park, the ice is generally not maintained for skating. This does not stop locals from enjoying the ice, however, we suggest that if you fancy a spot of seasonal fun or are indeed considering taking up skating, that you try one of these popular indoor skating spots.

New World Champion ice rink housed in Chongwen’s New World Mall is the city’s largest at 1,700sq meters and also one of the city’s most popular. It is the perfect place to enjoy during off peak time skating as prices are considerably lower. A favourite of expat families in particular, the Ice Zone is Shunyi’s very own ice rink, very convenient for the district’s expat family enclave but also a favourite of families from all over the city as figure skating classes and party provisions making it an excellent choice and worthy of the travel.

New World Champion Ice Rink 新世界冠军滑冰场View In Map
Add: B1, New World Shopping Mall, 44 Chongwen Waidajie, Chongwen District, Beijing
北京崇文区崇文门外大街44号, 新世界购物中心B1
Tel: 010 8887 4899
Opening hours: 10:00-21:30
Price: Weekday mornings before 11:30am 30 RMB. Weekday afternoons until 5pm 40 RMB. After 5pm 50 RMB. Weekends RMB50

The Ice Zone 冰点地带 View In Map
Add: River Garden Clubhouse, 2nd floor, 7 Yujing Lu, Shunyi, Beijing
北京顺义裕京花园会所2 楼, 裕京路7号
Tel: 010 8046 6092
Opening hours: 10:00-21:00
Price: Weekdays 30 RMB per family. Weekends 50 RMB

Rock climbing
For many, few things in life beat the rush off scaling a massive wall, and an artificial rock climbing is the best way to do that in any city; luckily Beijing has a number of decent artificial rock faces which fit the bill. Touch Stone Rock Climbing is not only a site (located in Ritan Park) but also a club meaning that visitors can not only enjoy the facilities, a twelve meter high face with routes for climbers of varying proficiency levels, but they can also enjoy the support and friendship of other members or visitors to the club, as well as the helpful staff. For those that find Ritan too much of a trek or are living in Haidian, the rock face in the basement of Golden Resources shopping mall is a good alternative catering for mainly beginner to intermediate climbers and boasting a decent size wall its is a good source of climbing fun for both locals and expats.

Touchstone Rock Climbing View In Map
Add: Ritan Park, near the northeast gate, 6 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyangmenwai, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 138 0105 2361
Opening hours: 10:00-21:30
Price: Membership card 260 RMB; 50RMB per day + 10RMB shoe rental

Golden Resource Mall Indoor Rock Face 金源购物中心室内攀岩场View In Map
Add: Basement of the Golden Resource Shopping Mall, Yuanda Lu, Beijing
Opening hours: 10:00-21:00
Price: 10 RMB/time

For those with a fear of heights or no inclination to go slipping around on an icy floor beckoning an imminent wet cold rear and laughing bystanders, bowling is a perfect way to have fun and do something that is a little more active than just propping up a bar. Gongti 100 bowling centre is the prefect venue for some non couch activities and not so far from Sanlitun that a visit cannot be incorporated into a night on the town. The bowling alley features a whopping 100 lanes and all of the standard bowling alley fare suitable for guests of all ages. With a few less lanes but featuring swimming pool and pool hall Jing’an entertainment centre is a great family oriented venue to enjoy bowling and hand for those residing in the north of the city.

Jing'an Entertainment Center 静安娱乐中心保龄球馆View In Map
Add: B2, Jing’an Entertainment Center, 8 Beisanhuan Donglu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京朝阳区北三环东路8号静安中心地下二层 Tel: 8455 2288 ext.8032
Opening hours: 8:00-01:00

Gongti 100 工体100View In Map
Add: 2F, Club Tango, 6 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6552 2688, 6552 1446
Opening hours: 9:00 - 02:00
Price: 30RMB/hour

Outdoor pursuits
In the areas outlying Beijing there is a wealth of outdoor pursuits which can be enjoyed by those needing respite from the city. Beijing Hikers club is one organisation which organises such events, with its headquarters at Lido, the club organises hikes of varying difficulty levels (ranging from levels 1 through to 5). They provide an itinerary, guides, refreshments and transportation and are the perfect way to enjoy some sight seeing and good exercise without going to the hassle of planning your own trip.

The Goose and Duck Ranch is a getaway which offers a broad range of activities along with idyllic log cabin lodgings for those wishing to take a weekend getaway not far from the city. Activities provided at the site include go-karting, a bonfire, horse riding and archery. Although the site is not as bright and modern as it used to be, it is still a solid favourite with families, children love the activities and adventure that the site provides.

Beijing Hikers 北京爱山户外文化国际俱乐部 View In Map
Add: Office 1907, Building 107, Jiangfu Jiayuan, Xiao Chengezhuang, Jiangtai Donglu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京朝阳区将台东路小陈各庄, 将府家园, 107号楼1907号
Tel: 010 5137 4906
Opening hours: Office hours are 9:00-18:00 Tuesday-Friday

Goose & Duck Ranch 鹅和鸭农庄 View In Map
Add: South of Zhaicun Village, Qiaozi Town, Huairou District, Beijing
Tel: 010 5928 3045

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