The summer is beginning to wind down, with school just a few weeks away. This might be the time when, if you have children, they are starting to appear a little antsy. Suddenly the neighbourhood park has lost its allure, and the indoor pool is no longer the crowd pleaser it was in June.
Well never fear, brave parents. Shenyang and its neighbouring cities, offer a wide array of interesting family friendly outings that will have your children smiling in no time; they range from Ziyan Manor, a lavender garden, to amusement park rides at the Shenyang Horticulture Exposition and the Royal Ocean Theme Park, located between Shenyang and Fushun.
1) Ziyan ManorView In Map
Shenyang recently opened this park, which is the largest lavender park in the world and the size of 150 football fields. According to the press release, the lavenders will blossom out from June to October every year, and the growth height can reach 50 cm high. However, and let me repeat this, this is not an amusement park or a theme park, in the traditional sense. I read the press release and saw the words “theme park” and assumed there would be rides. I was wrong; there were no rides.
Still, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking: There are rows of beautiful lavender, red and yellow flowers with tiny butterflies darting through them; and in the background are green majestic rolling hills. There is also a large white “LOVE” statue that is ideal for posing on or near. Still, beauty will only hold a child’s attention for so long. With that in mind, it is a good idea to pack bicycles or playing balls to keep the children occupied. With the beautiful scenery, this park would be ideal for a late summer family bike ride topped off with a picnic lunch.
Add: Ma Gang Xiang, Shenbei New District, Shenyang
Price: 60 RMB for an adult ticket; free if less than 1.3 meters
Additional Costs: If you want to take a tram through the park, its 40 RMB roundtrip
Opening hours: 09:00-19:00 daily
Getting there: Take the 383 bus from Xin Cheng Zi. It is 5 RMB. Otherwise, the taxi is 115 RMB.
2) Shenyang Horticulture Expo (Amusement Park Rides)View In Map
The Shenyang Expo is huge. It has international gardens, live shows and a beer garden. However, for the purpose of family friendly fun, we are going to focus on the most important thing for the kid in all of us: the rides. Located to the south of the park, the amusement park section offers a great a selection of rides. A personal favourite was a huge green and yellow rollercoaster (50 RMB). After getting strapped in, your adrenaline will be racing as you zip around death defying turns and plummet down freefalls. This is a good ride for older children and adults.
However, if roller coasters are too daunting, or it’s family battle time that you’re after, a good ride is the floating bumper boats (30 RMB). On this ride, each person is equipped with a water gun. The floating bumper boats are situated in the middle of a man-made lake, and you are free to squirt at the other boats at will. Lastly, another good ride is the water slide (30 RMB). If you’re not interested in getting wet, then they will equip you with plastic bags that you can wear to protect your clothes. The ride starts off slow as you and your boat slowly ascend a huge ramp, then twist along to the mouth of the slide. The drop is intense and will leave you soaking wet, if you’re not wrapped in plastic bags. With the rollercoaster, bumper boats and water slide, the Shenyang Expo Amusement Area is a wonderful experience for the whole family.
Add: 301 Shuangyuan Lu, Shenyang
Tel: 024 8802 8300, 8803 8035
Price: 35 RMB for an Adult Ticket
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Getting there: Take the 168 (formerly 330) bus from Ma Lu Wan or Da Shuai Fu for 5 RMB.
3) Royal Ocean WorldView In Map
This fun-for the whole family theme park is located in between Shenyang and Fushun. It is actually home to three different parks: Hawaii Water Park, Narnia and the Aquarium. A single park ticket can cost 130 RMB, so it’s a good idea to purchase a package deal with entrance to all three parks at 244 RMB a person.
Since Hawaii Water Park has the longest lines, it might be a good idea to hit it first. The indoor water park contains four death defying water slides. One of which has you spinning down in circles, like you’re going down a drain. In addition to the slides, there is a shallow wave pool complete with fake sand. In addition to the water park, there is an expansive aquarium, which has a vast array of exhibits and is sectioned off according to theme. Some of the sections include the following: Reptile, pre-historic section, featuring dinosaurs and a Great Barrier Reef section featuring tropical fish.
The last park is Narnia, which is where the animal shows are held. Strangely enough, the human cast for the animal shows consists of Europeans speaking German. One highlight of the seal show was watching the seals do math. The instructor would put up blocks creating a mathematical equation and the seals would find the answer. With water slides and arithmetic seals, Royal Ocean World is fun for the whole family.
Add: 104 Provincial Road, Shenyang
Tel: 41 3611 8888, 24 8271 1236
Price: 244 RMB/person package deals, 130 RMB per/person for Hawaii Amusement Park
Opening hours: Hawaii 08:15-17:30; Aquarium and Narnia 08:15-16:30
Getting there: Take the No. 2 Bus from the South Train Station for 10 RMB; it takes about an hour and a half to get there.
As the end of season approaches, these parks, rides and water parks will give you an excuse to break out of the end of the summer doldrums – to create one more fun in the sun summer memory with your family.
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Keywords: family friendly fun Shenyang Horticulture exhibition Shenyang children activities Shenyang amusement parks Shenyang
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