Keeping the Kids Happy: 8 Entertainment Options in Suzhou

Keeping the Kids Happy: 8 Entertainment Options in Suzhou
By Patrick Donahue , eChinacities.com

Honey, can you take the kids today? When you hear these words… don’t panic! The October break is coming and the colder, wetter weekends of winter are on their way… and you have the kids. What are your options in Suzhou? Answer: plenty! Your teenagers can take care of themselves. It’s the 2 to 12 year olds that are looking to you for guidance and entertainment. Here are some of the most popular venues to spend an afternoon at!

1) Suzhou Amusement Park 苏州乐园View In Map
One of the best value-for-money “kid pleasers” is the Suzhou Amusement Park in the New District. You pay one entrance price and you have a full day of rides, shows, water fountains to run through, boating and even a descent in a delta plane. You have to pay extra for some of the rides but there are plenty of free activities to keep the kids busy without having to reach in your pocket each time. This option is good for kids of all ages and the roller coaster is a thriller! 

Add: 87 Jinshan Lu, New District, Suzhou
地址:苏州市新区金山路87号
Tel: 512 6825 6453
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Price: 130 RMB

2) Suzhou Water Park 苏州水上乐园View In Map
Right around the corner to the south on Yushan Lu is the Water Park. World-class in scope, it contains a wave pool, inner tube rides along the canals and a hold-on-for-dear-life shot down the slide into the funnel-of-fun with water cascading everywhere. Unfortunately this great venue closes end of August, even though it could offer great relief in still stifling September heat of Suzhou. Don’t forget it for next summer!

Add: Junction of Shishan Lu, New District, Suzhou
地址:苏州市新区狮山路口
Tel: a512 6825 3409
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Price: 95 RMB

3) Suzhou Ferris Wheel苏州摩天轮乐园View In Map
The newest and perhaps most spectacular addition to the Suzhou amusement scene is the Suzhou Ferris Wheel Park on the east side of Jinji Lake. You can’t miss the 120-metre (390 ft) tall giant – the wheel doubles as a huge T.V. screen/billboard. It has 60 passenger cabins, a maximum capacity of 300 passengers, and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete each revolution. The site has other rides too, including a neck-snapping roller coaster. So ignore the kitschy castle décor surrounding the park, summon up your courage and go for a spin!

Add: South of Xiandai Xiuxian Square, Wuzhong District, Suzhou
地址:苏州市吴中区现代休闲广场南侧
Opening hours: 9:30-17:30
Price: 105 RMB
Getting there: Bus 923 to Guandu Bei Lu Stop

4) Suzhou Science and Cultural Centre苏州科技文化艺术中心View In Map
Conveniently situated just north of the giant wheel is the Suzhou Science and Cultural Centre. It’s worth a visit just for its location on the lake and its futuristic architecture that incorporates a waterfall from the roof. Inside there are art galleries and shops for your personal enjoyment, while the kids will be occupied with a 3D theatre that runs all the latest flicks.

Add: 1 Guanfeng Street, Suzhou Industrial Park District, Jiangsu Province
地址:江苏省苏州工业园区观枫街1号
Tel: 512 6237 3737
Opening hours: 24 hours
Price: 200 RMB
Getting there: Bus 28 to International Expo Centre stop

5) Suzhou Taihu Lake Water World AquariumView In Map
Moving from Jinji Lake to Taihu Lake you can take the family to the new Suzhou Taihu Lake Water World Aquarium. This also houses a diving centre and a marine theatre. It features Suzhou, Yangtze River and Taihu Lake Basin freshwater fish as well as a marine section where you can observe sea creatures from the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, South Pacific and elsewhere around the world. The aquarium boasts an underwater transparent pedestrian tunnel and a maritime museum.

The indoor Diving Centre holds 1,800 tons of water and has a depth of 15.8 metres. It mirrors the original ecology of the Maldives coral reef environment at 40-60 metres’ depth and also has an area where visitors can swim and dive with the fish. In addition to animal shows, the Ocean Theatre also stages water ballet, acrobatics, dance and other types of aquatic performances, enough happening to fill up a whole day.

Add: Inside the Taihu Lake National Tourist Vacation Zone, Wuzhong District, Suzhou (the resort area is located 15km west of Suzhou’s ancient city)
地址:苏州市吴中区苏州太湖国家旅游度假区中心区内 (度假区位於古城苏州西侧 15公里)
Tel: 512 6938 0999 or 512 6938 1000
Opening hours: 09:30-17:00 (Mon-Fri); 09:00 - 17:30 (Sat & Sun)
Price: 130 RMB, 90 RMB for children between 1 and 1.4 metres. Free for children less than 1 metre.
Getting there: Bus 69、58、691 to Taihu Lake Mingzhu Tourist Vacation Zone

6) The Suzhou Zoo 苏州动物园View In Map
An inexpensive favourite with our family is the Suzhou Zoo. It was considerably upgraded last year and the animals have new and interesting living environments. There is a rare Yangtze turtle and some very naughty monkeys. You can also rent the electric boats, picnic on the banks of the city moat or spend some time in the kiddie ride area. It’s a whole afternoon of entertainment and is easily accessible.

Add: 1 Baita Dong Lu, Suzhou
地址:苏州市白塔东路1号
Tel: 512 6727 5937
Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
Price: 40 RMB for adults, 20 RMB for children
Getting there: Bus 305 to Dongyuan Stop

7) Pet Street 花鸟市场View In Map
Another spot for animal lovers is Pet Street (Hua Niao Shichang), one block north of the Mystery Temple on Guanqian Lu. Here you can buy everything from St. Bernards to maggots. We got Ham and Cheese, our hamsters, there three years ago and they still entertain us to this day.

Add: 172 Pishi Jie, Suzhou
地址:苏州市皮市街172号
Getting there: Bus 1

8) Roller skating
If your kids want wheels, take them to one of the roller skating venues. These include the big outdoor arena at the Sports Centre on just east of where Sanxiang Lu crosses the Grand Canal. The S.I.P. Central Park and Time Square are also popular with skaters. If you want lessons go to Jinji Lake by Rainbow Walk or Rainbow Shopping Centre on Suxiu Lu on weekends and some of the young experts can give you and your kids in-line lessons. Except for JinJi Lake and Central Park, all of these places have covered areas. If you want an indoor rink try The Athlete Skating Club in Kunshan City, on the Suzhou City Ring Road (Tel: 0512 5753 7610).

The S.I.P. Youth Centre on 288 Nanshi Jie (Tel: 0512 6999 5288) has everything to keep the children entertained. There is a swimming pool, computer challenge room, ping-pong, mechanical skill building room and sports simulation games. They also give lessons in martial arts and music. It is surrounded by a large park with three great play areas for kids of different ages!

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