While Zhuhai may be a pearl of a city, sadly, it doesn’t boast of a cornucopia of kid-friendly locations. And after you’ve visited all of the conventional places a couple of times, you may find that the city lacks that usual array of activities that a bigger city might offer. But not to worry! I’ve scoured the city “trying out” all sorts of unorthodox places for child entertainment and education, from the playground and crafts corner in the Jiuzhou Cheng mall to the Art Gallery. Check out these five cool places worthy of your attention.
1) Haibin Park 海滨公园
Haibin Park is right across the winding road from the “symbol of Zhuhai” – the fisher girl statue. This park features a vast area with well-kept lawns and a system of lakes. It is perfect for flying kites, which can be purchased in the park for 5-40 RMB. This park is a great place for picnicking, strolling, playing ball or plain frolicking in the grass. Much to your child’s delight, there are a number of rides that are a one-minute stroll away from the main lawn, including chopper rides, shoot-a-seal-with-your-water-gun rides, plane and car rides and our favourite: a choo-choo train ride. You may purchase singe ride tickets or get a pre-paid card (each ride is 3-8 RMB depending on the type of ride. For 6 RMB per kid you can visit a large playground with a sandpit, a tot-size version of a rock-climbing wall, swings, slides and more.
Getting there: Ride No. 2, 3, 3A, 4, 13, 20, 26,43, 69, 206, 605 bus to the Haibin Gongyuan stop
2) Dance classes and other “edutainment”
We’ve all heard the old adage about “all work and no play”, but it is equally important to be aware of the dangers that the opposite entails. Perhaps some fun-filled education with no long-time strings attached suits your needs. There are several brave expat mothers who have taken education of their kids and those around them into their own hands.
Alla Mansour, a professional ballroom dancer, offers lessons in ballroom, Latin and other dance styles in her dance studio. You may choose to give your kid away for an hour and get her back to only see how she cuts the rug to both classical and modern tunes. Or you may join the class together and brush up on those hip moves you thought you have forgotten. For schedule and options write to: email@example.com
Another expat-owned club tends to the needs of a younger generation. Varya Sanina-Garmroud, a certified educator and mom, offers a variety of workshops, such as Infant and Baby Massage; Yoga; English Fun for toddlers, pre-schoolers and teens; Cultural Awareness Playground; Bambino Latino Dances; Workout for Moms and kids; Sensorial Development and others. For details and inquiries visit her webpage http://www.zhuhaifamily.com.
3) Zhuhai Agricultural Science Park 农科奇观
While not intended solely for the kids, the Zhuhai Agricultural Science Park is a great play to introduce your child to the wonders of nature. The park contains hectares of green houses with all kinds of plants, fruits and veggies, fountains and orchards. Walk the paths among watermelons and gourds, tomatoes and pumpkins, strawberries and apples. Across the road from the park, you will find a horticultural market selling all kinds of plants. If you are looking to bring a little bit of nature home with youcross the street and check out the rows of green houses that are selling palm trees, roses, bamboos and bonsai trees – everything you need to create your little home garden.
Add: 2068 Luyou Lu, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai
Getting there: ride No. 26 bus to Nongkeqiguan
4) Qi’ao Island beach
As Zhuhai is a coastal city, it could be a lot of fun for kids to visit one of the smaller beaches – and I don’t just mean building sandcastles. Ride along the Lovers’ Road to spot those tiny strips of sand where the fishermen dry their nets. Your kids can see the fishing boats, fishing gear, various kinds of nets and rigging (and if the owner is not looking, even touch them). But once he spots you, you will find it hard to escape a lecture on the finer points of the fishing business – in Cantonese. At low tide you can walk side by side with the catchers in the brine, collecting mussels and crabs. Some beaches feature those nifty net-raising gismos with a set of levers and pulling hoists – a mesmerizing sight when they pull the net up and you root for the catch!
Qi’ao Island beach (淇澳岛)
Getting there: ride No. 85 bus to Jinpingguoleyuan (金苹果乐园). Walk down a small road past the International School of Zhuhai.
5) Local Kindergartens
Finally, if you are really hard put for a new place to take your kid to play, here is a nifty trick I’ve learned while living in Zhuhai. Your child may find it exciting to explore the playgrounds of local kindergartens, which you can do by either visiting various kindergartens on their “Open House” days, or by going to the kindergartens as prospective clients - crashing the gate and playing your hearts out (of course it will not work in all kindergartens as some function as clandestine lodges not letting anybody cross the threshold). You might indeed stumble on a place you would like to check your kid in, so you are actually “browsing your options” and not just abusing their facilities. It is impossible to list all kindergartens here – just keep your eyes open for the ones in your neighbourhood or establish a network of similar families to share information on the “open house” days in kindergartens across the city.
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Keywords: Zhuhai parks children Zhuhai family friendly Zhuhai family beaches Zhuhai children’s classes
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