Thanksgiving has come and gone, so you know exactly what that means: it's time to look ahead towards winter and the holiday season. There's a chill in the air and a nip at our faces, and wishful thoughts of outdoor strolling down Nanjing Lu and impromptu parties on the curbside no doubt have many of us feeling a bit glum. But there's no need to keep our heads down and hibernate this winter—some good old-fashioned holiday cheer and cozy wintry activities can be just the remedy we need to keep us occupied and optimistic. Heck, even Starbucks has gotten in the holiday spirit, with background Christmas lounge music, winter peppermint mochas and, in some cases, giant plastic snow people. If they can do it, so can we! We've got a couple of suggestions for winter activities this year. So…got your puffy jacket on? A steaming cup of cocoa in your mittened hands? Okay, you're ready. Read on to get the most out of this winter in Shanghai!
What else could we start with but ice skating? There's just no getting around the fact that ice skating is the perfect winter pastime wrapped up with a bow. Like board games and art projects, it's one of those activities that you go into groaning about its cliché-ness, but which ultimately leaves you feeling refreshed and content. It's cheery, it's fun, it's active, and I guarantee it will bring a healthy flush to your cheeks. It's also a good way to get out and about and be social. Everyone can enjoy its community-oriented nature – it's great for family fun, groups of friends, and also happens to be a super romantic place to hold hands with that someone special.
1) Shanghai New World Ice ParadiseView In Map
This indoor ice rink is open all year long and features a high quality ice surface. As an added perk, the rink provides lessons from fitness to professional training.
Add: 2-88, Nanjing Xi Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:30 (Mon-Fri); 09:00-22:00 (Sat-Sun)
Tel: 021 6359 6692
Price: 30-50 RMB (depends on time of day)
2) Songjiang University Students Sports CenterView In Map
This well-maintained rink is a ways out from the city center, but it's affordable and open every days of the week.
Add: 2000 Wenxiang Lu, Songjiang District, Shanghai
Opening hours: daily, 09:30-22:00
3) Wujiaochang Champion RinkView In Map
This may be a small rink, but it's good for public skating, very similar to the one at People's Square.
Add: 7F, Bailian New Era Mall, 8 Songhu Lu, Yangpu District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 11:30-22:00
This is definitely the holiday-heavy option for all of the Christmas lovers out there (I'll raise my hand here). There are a several exciting Christmas markets and bazaars that will be rolling out their goods in the coming weeks. The beauty of Christmas markets is that they're good for both window-shopping and for busy Shanghai-ers looking to get their present buying done in one fell swoop. It's also a wonderful way to take in loads of interesting, creative arts and crafts and discover unique designs from the stock of talented local artists.
1) Christmas Village View In Map
The Radisson BLU Hotel in Pudong Century Park will host Shanghai's earliest Christmas Market, featuring the only original Christmas Village in Shanghai. It includes Shanghai's best Gluehwein and authentic Christmas Village snacks and drinks. Vendors will be selling Christmas decorations, calendars, handcrafted arts, as well as more interesting pieces (watches that double as metro cards, anyone?). And for some extra Christmastime realness, booths will be decorated like Swiss mountain houses, complete with white Alps-like snow.
When: until Dec 16; 17:00-22:00 (Fri), 12:00-22:00 (Sat), 12:00-20:00 (Sun)
Where: 1199 Yingchun Lu, Pudong District, Shanghai
2) Shanghai Christmas MarketView In Map
Located in Xintiandi, this traditional European-style Christmas market has a romantic, cozy atmosphere, cheerful street carnival, and performances and workshops for children. There will be handmade articles, delicious mulled wine and gingerbread and Christmas cookies. There's also a gigantic Christmas tree and something called a “Santa Claus Village”.
When: Dec 20-Jan 1; 10:00-22:00
Where: Xintiandi Taipingqiao Park, Huangpi Nan Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Sweater shopping is a great option for the winter because you're ticking several things off the list at once: you're buying much-needed warm things to keep the cold away, but you're also indulging in weird, funky (i.e., festive) sweater designs of the only-during-winter fashion variety. This is your chance to mix up your winter wardrobe! Better yet, why not sneak in a little Christmas shopping for friends and family. After all, what says “Merry Christmas” better than an oversized green sweater with a prancing reindeer stitched on front? Grab your friends and lose yourselves among the stalls to spend a happy afternoon out of the cold.
1) The Anxi Clothing Market View In Map
This is definitely the place to start. First of all, it's huge, and has got all manner of shoes, jackets, dresses, sweaters, and general second-hand clothing. You can find crazy vintage designs that might just make you delirious with glee, or simple basic pieces to last you through the year. And best of all, it's cheap! Bargaining is acceptable and prices are very reasonable, about 50RMB for a sweater.
Add: 1355 Kaixuan Lu, Changning District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 08:30-18:00
2) Shanghai Fake MarketView In Map
Even for those who have been before, it's probably the right time to go back and cast a new eye over all the knock-off items here. There are just so many choices. Coats and jeans that look close to the real brands, sweaters galore, and countless knick-knacks and gadgets. You can pick out anything here from trendy new items to quirky Chinese fashionista pieces.
Add: 580 Nanjing Xi Lu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
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Keywords: Shanghai winter activities Shanghai winter holiday Shanghai Christmas markets
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