Put that Drink Down: Alternative Activities in Shanghai

Put that Drink Down: Alternative Activities in Shanghai
By Andrea Scarlatelli , eChinacities.com

If you’ve just moved to Shanghai, you might be a bit overwhelmed by all the advertisements for “singles” – singles nights, singles bars, guides on how to hook up when you’re single… But what if you’re not? What is there to do in Shanghai when you’re actually in a *gasp* committed relationship? Or even when you’re single, but just need a reprieve from the bar and club scene? Never fear – here’s a rundown of some couple-friendly activities - from trivia nights to theatres, from climbing clubs to cooking classes - that are good for anyone wanting a break from the Shanghai dating pool. Feel free to try one of them, all of them, or let them inspire you to start something of your own!

Bulldog, Shanghai

There are enough trivia nights around town to keep you busy practically every day of the week! Grab your significant other, a few friends, and head down for The Bulldog’s (1 Wulumuqi Lu, near Dongping Lu乌鲁木齐南路1号近东平路) Manic Monday Quiz Nights every Monday (9pm, no cover), complete with beer chugging contests in-between rounds and a 1,000rmb voucher for the winning team. Southern Belle (433 Changle Lu, near Xiangyang Bei Lu长乐路433号近襄阳北路) offers prizes for the top three winning teams during their quiz night on Tuesdays (8:30pm, no cover). You’ll have to make some tough choices on Thursdays, with O’Malley’s Irish Pub (42 Taojiang Lu, near Urumuqi Nanlu 桃江路42号近乌鲁木齐南路) holding their Stella Artois trivia night at the same time as The Bulldog’s second quiz night offering of the week.

For a fun way to relive your childhood, try a round of bowling at any of Shanghai’s local lanes. Orden Bowling Center (Daily, 24 hours; 3F, 10 Hengshan Lu, near Gao’an Lu衡山路10号甲3楼近高安路) also offers pool tables and arcade games for breaks between games – and really, what could be more fun than bowling with a group of friends at 3:00am in the morning? If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, Shanghai High Score Bowling Alley (Mon-Fri, 10-3am and Sat-Sun, 9am-5am; 456 Dongjiangwan Lu, near Hongkou Stadium东江湾路456号近虹口体育场) also has a KTV area. Serious (and not-so-serious) bowlers can also check out the Shanghai Bowling Club by calling (21) 6405-6417 or emailing shangbowling@hotmail.com for more information about their regularly scheduled expat bowling nights. 

Shanghai Musume

No matter what part of the city fascinates you the most, it is almost certain that there's a museum about it. Interested in the future of Shanghai’s structural development? Check out the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum (Daily 9am-4pm, no entry one hour before closing; 100 Renmin Dadao, near People’s Square人民大道100) for five jam-packed floors that detail the amazing growth of Shanghai. Want to learn more about the history of Shanghai? Pop over to the Shanghai Museum (Sun-Fri, 9am-5pm and Sat, 9am-8pm, no entry one hour before closing; 201 Renmin Lu, near People’s Square 人民大道201号) to take a look at over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art and artifacts, including paintings and ceramics. The Shanghai Art Museum (Daily 9am-5pm, no entry one hour before closing; 325 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu南京西路325号近黄陂北路) is an art-lover’s dream, with five floors containing twelve exhibition halls full of modern and traditional art. Temporary exhibits, such as the fabulous Salvador Dali show, come and go throughout the year. Miss those science classes from school? Take a look at the Natural History Museum (Daily 9am-3:30pm; 260Yan’an Dong Lu near Henan Lu延安东路260号,靠近河南中路) where you can view dinosaur skeletons and the always intriguing Ocean World. And for those more interested in the high-tech side of Shanghai, there’s the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (Tues-Sun 9am-5:15pm; 2000 Shiji Da Dao世纪大道2000), where you can check out interactive exhibits, an earthquake simulator, and an IMAX theater. 

Shanghai Grand Theatre

For a romantic night out, check out the shows playing at Shanghai’s many theatres or concert halls. The Shanghai Theatre Academy (670 Huashan Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu 华山路570号近乌鲁木齐路) and the Shanghai Grand Theatre (300 Renmin Dadao人民大道300号) always put on great shows, both local and international. For a departure from the usual mix of DJ’s and rock bands, catch a concert at the He Luting Concert Hall (20 Fenyang Lu, inside the Shanghai Conservatory of Music 汾阳路20号上海音乐学院内) and impress your sweetie with your sophisticated taste in music!

Experiencing adventure together is a sure fire way to spice things up! So instead of lounging about the city, take a trip with the Shanghai Outing Club (88 Caoxi Bei Lu, near Xujiahui Catholic Church). They plan weekend excursions to surrounding provinces – you just pay a set fee and tag along! The Bohdi Shanghai Hiking Club (2918 Zhongshan Bei Lu, near Caoyang Lu) also helps you escape the city by showing you a bit of green. For a more do-it-yourself approach, try the Shanghai Stadium Rock Climb Sports Center (Daily 10am-10pm; 666 Tianyaoqiao Lu, near Lingling Lu), where you and your friends can challenge each other to new rock climbing heights. Whatever sport you’re into, this place has the equipment you need!

There are few better ways to show the love of your life that you care than by cooking them a homemade meal. Learn together by participating in one of Shanghai’s numerous cooking classes. Chinese Cooking Workshops are offered at Central Kitchen (696 Weihai Lu near Maoming North Lu上海威海路696号307室,近茂名北路), but don’t let the name fool you – you can find a lesson to suit any food craving you have! Indian, Sichuan, Thai, and more are offered during afternoon and evening workshops. For a more personal touch, try Passionate Chef Studio (88 Zhonghua Lu 中华路88号), a one-person cooking company that offers a wide range of international cuisines. This studio’s flexibility makes it perfect for both small and large groups. The Kitchen at Huaihai Lu(1487 Nong -40, Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhonglu淮海中路1487弄40号,近乌鲁木齐中路) offers a home-style cooking approach in pretty much any style you want. Local and international chefs guarantee that you’ll whip up something tasty in no time! 

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