While Beijing is steeped in culture and Shanghai is synonymous with style, Xiamen stands out as a charming city with a small town feel. In fact, life in laid-back Xiamen makes it one of the most child-friendly cities in China.
If you walk along the streets, you will find children as young as seven years old walking to school or taking the public bus on their own. If you ride on the public bus with a baby or young child in tow, you will find at least three people standing up to give up their seat for you. And as a booming town with a young population, Xiamen has a lot to offer young families with kids.
If you're looking for the proverbial "village" to raise your child, then Xiamen is that village.
1) A walking adventure at Gulangyu Islet (鼓浪屿)
The crown jewel of Xiamen, take a breezy, ferry ride at Lundu Ferry Terminal (轮渡码头) or hop on a speedboat for a round-the-island trip. At Gulangyu, buy a "passport", a cute souvenir from the street vendors, for kids to collect stamps at almost every stop on the islet.
The Xiamen Underwater World has a dolphin and sea lion performance and a glimpse of around 400 types of marine life from around the world. Live seafood displayed in front of seafood restaurants, a hike up Sunlight Rock (日光岩), the highest point of the island, a piano museum and quaint little shops selling Chinese handicraft – kids will have lots to explore around the twisty, cobblestone streets under shady banyan trees of this islet.
Xiamen Underwater World (厦门海底世界) View In Map
Add: 2 Longtou Lu ,Gulangyu Islet, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 2069350, 2069365, 2571623
Opening hours: 08:30-18:00
Price: 70 RMB (adults), 50 RMB (children above 1.4m)
2) Wild rides at Guanyinshan (观音山) Water Park
Currently the rage for pre-schoolers to teenagers, Fujian's largest water park draws thousands of visitors every day. Located at Guanyinshan Beach, the park has a wave pool, which creates seven types of wave effects that promise a turning, tossing and tumbling thrill for kids. The water park also has "The Tornado", a hair-raising water ride that accelerates down a steep tunnel at speeds of 11m/s before entering the base of the tornado funnel. In addition, it is also equipped with a 10-lane swimming pool, spa, fitness clubs and hydrotherapy centre. Visitors can also do a spot of shopping and grab a quick bite at the various eateries.
Guanyinshan Water ParkView In Map
Add: 17 Shangye Jie, Guanyinshan, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 5888863
Opening hours: 11:00-20:00
Price: 120 RMB per person. Senior citizens aged above 60 and visitors measuring below 1.4 metres are entitled to a 50% discount.
3) Eco-friendly tour at 10,000 Rock Botanical Garden (万石植物园)View In Map
A part of Dongping Mountain Park, the green lung of Xiamen, the 10,000 Rock Botanical Garden has rocks and charming trails winding among biodiversity-rich nurseries for the young ones to get in touch with nature.
Children will benefit from the cool and refreshing natural landscape in this urban park and discover over a thousand flower and plant species at the Flower Exhibition Hall, Conifer Garden, Bougainvillea Garden, Palm Garden and Rose Garden. Don't forget the Butterfly Village where they can walk among 30 kinds of endangered butterflies and experience a butterfly's lifecycle, particularly during the months of June and July.
Add: 25 Huyuan Lu, Siming District, Xiamen
Price: 40 RMB
Opening hours: 5:30-18:30
Tel: 0592 2024 785
Getting there: take bus No. 87 to Zhiwuyuan stop
4) Xiamen Science and Technology Museum (厦门科技馆)
After a few days outdoors, tone down the tempo with an educational trip to one of the most comprehensive and interactive museums within the region. Spread across 12,000 sq m, the museum features five exhibition areas where young explorers can interact with a variety of fun gadgets like cranks, life-sized chair pulleys, glowing balls and water jets that help bring the basic principles of mechanical science, marine life, robotics and electricity to life. Young visitors can also experience a "live" earthquake or typhoon and watch a humongous Van de Graaf static electricity generator. The museum also has a 4D theatre and an indoor playground with a ball pool, a trampoline, a giant play structure with padded steps and pillars for younger children to crawl, climb and slide around.
Xiamen Science and Technology Museum View In Map
Add: 95 Tiyu Lu, Siming District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592-5147555, 5148666
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00 (closed on Mondays). Ticket booths close at 16:00.
Price: 30 RMB for entry into the main exhibition halls; 20 RMB for the 4D Theatre.
5) Indoor skating
Xiamen also offers a number of indoor skating rinks, namely Alaska Ice Rink (阿拉斯加真冰溜冰场), China City Skating Rink (中华城滑冰场), and Venice Ice Rink (威尼斯溜冰场). Most of the indoor skating rinks are open all year round and admission fees range between 10 RMB – 50 RMB per person. Most ice skating rinks offer figure skating performances and professional coaching sessions for ice hockey and figure skating classes.
6) Apple Tree Children's Library (厦门市少年儿童图书馆)
One of the oldest parks in Xiamen, Zhongshan Park (中山公园) is a sprawling park of bridges, rivers, pavilions and willow trees for children to explore and run around. On the left hand side of the park entrance in front of the Gongyuan Zhan (公园站) bus stop is the Xiamen Municipal Children's Public Library. On the fifth floor is the Apple Tree Children's Library, founded by overseas Chinese living in the United States in collaboration with the public libraries of China and the United States. Toddlers, pre-schoolers, teenagers and even adults will be able to find a good selection of English books for their reading pleasure.
Passports are needed to apply for a library card, which allows borrowing based on cash deposits of 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 800 and 1000 RMB.
Apple Tree Children's Library (厦门市少年儿童图书馆)View In Map
Add: 2 Gongyuan Nan Lu, Xiamen
Opening hours: Wed and Fri, 12:00 -18:30; Thurs, 15:00-18:00; Weekends and holidays, 8:00-11:45, 15:00-16:00 (closed on Mon and Tues)
7) Haicang Safari Park (厦门海沧野生动物园)
The first wildlife zoo in Fujian, the safari park has more than 100 species and over 2,000 rare wild animals from all over of the world such as antelopes, flamingos, gazelles, kangaroos, ostriches, rhinoceros, white tigers and zebras. Domesticated wild animals like lesser pandas, red crowned cranes, and black bears are also available to look at and to feed.
Children can also get close to bears, lions, tigers and wolves or watch live animal shows featuring bears, lions and sea lions performing various stunts.
Haicang Safari Park View In Map
Add: East Section of Jiaosong Dong Road, Haicang District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 6895999
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Price: Adults, 60 RMB; Students, 40 RMB, Senior Citizens above 60 years, 40 RMB; Children under 1.1 m, Free
8) Xiamen Firefly Park
Last of all, young nature lovers will enjoy the wonder of watching more than 10,000 fireflies illuminate the dark night at the firefly park. Children will also learn the roles fireflies play in maintaining the ecology by controlling the populations of pests such as slugs and snails. Most importantly, they will learn about increasing threats of environmental degradation towards the fireflies' natural habitats.
Xiamen Firefly Park (厦门萤火虫公园)View In Map
Add: Yiqing Valley, Wenzeng Road, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 3190000 (call to reserve - maximum of 300 visitors allowed daily)
Opening hours: 19:30 - 21:30
Price: Free for children up to 16 years old
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Keywords: kids in Xiamen Gulangyu attractions fun things to do Xiamen family activities Xiamen activities Xiamen
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