International schools have already broken up for summer and what a long summer it is. With the novelty of being off school wearing out; kids soon get bored of having nothing to do or only the Nintendo Wii and DVDs to keep them amused. Best that you find the little -or big- rascals something to keep them occupied; lest they find themselves some mischief to be getting themselves into. Group activities, days out and extracurricular learning are the order of the day for what is shaping up to be a great summer.
Almost everyone likes animals: the best way to see them is in their own habitat - or at least a close approximation of it in which they are clearly comfortable - Beijing Wildlife Park gives you exactly the opportunity to do this. For many animal lovers the sight of creatures being kept in small and occasionally ill maintained enclosures in zoos; sometimes even being fed junk by visitors, is an unpleasant experience. These are not sights which one has to be worried about when visiting the Wildlife Park.
The animals at the park seem fairly free, and reasonably looked after. Amongst their ranks are: the big cats, including pumas, panthers, tigers and lions; the exotic birds- parrots, flamingos etc.; large mammals including primates such as baboons and a host of four legged friends such as African hunting dogs, wild boar and the old savannah favourite, the zebra. Most popular with visitors is the 30 minute bus journey allowing a close up view of the fantastic beasts in their homes.
Beijing Wildlife Park 北京野生动物园 View In Map
Add: Inside Wanmu Forest, Daxing Yufa Town, Daxing District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6921 6666, 6773 1631, 6779 2477
Ticket Price: 80 RMB adults, 55 RMB students, free for children under 1.2 meters
Opening hours: Daily 08:30-17:00
Getting there: take bus no. 943 from Yongdingmen (永定门) or bus no. 937 from Baiyun Lu (白云路)
The Deep Blue Yonder
Some people like creatures that roll around in the grass and climb trees; others have favourite creatures which are wet and slippery. If you belong to the latter group then you have two great options in Beijing. Beijing Blue Zoo, located next to the workers stadium boasts the longest completely immersed aquarium tunnels, which are 120 meters long. It also has 20 separate tanks with a variety of aquatic life including crustaceans, eels and what the park claims to be fierce piranhas. The 7,800 sq meters of blue will no doubt keep the little ones busy and the 75 RMB for adults and50 RMB for children aged 12 and under is not a strain on the pocket.
The Beijing aquarium is also a popular family attraction. With a larger site than the Blue Zoo making it worth the trip over to Xizhimen; if that is a distance from home. One of the main draws of Beijing Aquarium – particularly for families- is that visitors are able to swim with the dolphins. Other highlights include daily seal and dolphin feeding shows and the fact that adult tickets are 50 RMB and admittance for children is free.
Blue Zoo Beijing北京工体富国海底世界 View In Map
Add: South Gate of Workers Stadium, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6591 3397
Opening times: 08:00-18:30
Beijing Aquarium北京海洋馆 View In Map
Add: Inside the Beijing Zoo, 137 Xiwai Dajie, Haidian District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6217-6655
Splashing in the Sun
Sometimes when you are a kid, looking is just not enough. There are very few better ways to get into that aquatic mood than taking a day trip to Beijing Hot Spring Leisure City. The site is a little known Water Park in the far north, situated in Beijing’s Changping suburb not far from the most northerly spot on the longitudinal subway line 5. It may sound like a bit of trek but the visit is worth the effort. Sprawling across a massive site featuring faux southern architecture, a hotel and conference center, and there are numerous places to enjoy watery fun: especially great for cooling down on a scorching summer day.
The hot springs are more of a self contained resort than merely a water park. However, the water park itself warrants a visit on its own merits. The park includes a 50 meter pool, wave machines and a number of fun slides as well as a themed children’s play area and sun loungers for the old(er) folks to rest on. What are you waiting for? Get those trunks/swim suits on and start splashing!
Beijing Hot Spring Leisure City温都水城 View In Map
Add: 55 Wangfujie Bei Qijiazhen, Changping District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8178 8888
Opening hours: Water park open 09:00-22:00 daily; hot springs open 09:00-02:00 daily.
Ticket prices: 168 RMB; 100 RMB for those below 1.4m; free for kids below 1.2m.
The Best of the Rest
China Puppet Theatre is a great option when faced with the challenge of entertaining kids for a few hours, especially younger ones. Although the productions- both western and Chinese of origin; from Monkey King to Pinocchio- are slightly spit and sawdust in comparison to slicker performances from outfits like Disney Land HK, it must be said that when the lights are dimmed in the theater there is definitely a magical feeling in the air. Incorporating actors with large puppets, this theater with three stages and an additional adventure playground is a boon for the occasional summer day when the weather is bad.
Many kids are fed up with books by the end of the summer term; others have a voracious appetite for all things written. Scholastic Children’s Library caters for those amongst the latter group with aplomb. Situated at a number of locations across the city this lending library for foreign language kids books is a blessing for those that have had difficulty in finding nice quality story books for children.
Sports Beijing is a nonprofit group that organizes all manner of sporting activities for young people. The community enterprise is maintained through the volunteer efforts of parents. Sports range from golf to athletics and everything in between. The group organizes leagues as well as training session. This is place is great for expat kids with sporty talents to get a chance to participate in the kind of activities that they enjoyed back home.
China Puppet Theater中国木偶剧院 View In Map
Add: A1 Anhua Xili, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6425-4798
Opening hours: 09:00-20:00
Scholastic Children's Library学乐英语 View In Map
Add: Anzhen, Sheng Gu Jia Yuan, Block 1, Building B, 1st Floor,
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Keywords: summer ideas children Beijing Holiday activities children Beijing children activities summer Beijing
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