Alternate Routes: Old, but Not Precious - Changping Park’s stone petting zoo

Among my kids’ favorite things about our corner of Beijing is Changping Park. It is modest, but it has its attractions: we can walk to it, for one. It also has some Chinese park essentials: rickety carnival rides and a small pond for pedal-boats, with a bonus not often seen in other gongyuan, the section called, “The Stone Inscription Garden.”

Throwback Thursday: What's Fun In - Confucius Says; Good eats, vintage stores, and winding hutongs in Yonghegong

The area around the Lama Temple (or Yonghegong) is a mix of modern and traditional, featuring both rich historical sights and cutting-edge boutiques. Families will find lots to do in the little alleys and back streets criss-crossing Yonghegong Dajie: Wudaoying Hutong, Guozijian Jie, Fangjia Hutong, and more. Tune up your bicycle, pack a few snacks, and bundle up; Yonghegong has just as much to offer in winter as it does in warmer climes.

From Our Archives: The Emperor’s New Digs - Escape to Chengde’s Mountain Resort

Until it was plucked from obscurity in 1703, the city of Chengde was not oft-visited. But when Qing emperor Kangxi visited on a fated early 18th-century hunting trip, he saw so much potential in the area that he chose it as the location of his summer palace. Thus began an 89-year construction project that turned the area into a sprawling imperial compound now known as Mountain Resort, which features lakes, plains, hills, temples, halls, and a hunting area. Kangxi’s grandson, Emperor Qianlong, benefitted especially from the resort, spending extended periods of time there. Little did they know that, 200 years later, their palace would become a popular tourist attraction and an idyllic trip for families looking to escape the clamor of Beijing.

From Our Archives: Away From it All - Beijing’s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Retreats


After a long week in the city you sometimes just need to get away from it all. The good news is that you don’t always need to travel too far to lose yourself in a tranquil restaurant retreat.
The suburban districts of Beijing are filled with hidden gems, serene enough to feel like you’re out of the capital but with plenty of outdoors space and activities for kids. So the editors of our sister publication jingkids, have put together some out-of-town restaurants for those looking for a lunchtime getaway.


Beijing Baba: Choose Your School - Picking just the right place to send our kids

I never thought I would be writing this, but choosing a school from amongst the multitude of Beijing’s international and public schools proved far simpler than the task of selecting the right public school for my kids back in the US. If we were relocating to my hometown, the selection process would be simple since there are only three elementary schools in the entire place. Unfortunately, we are moving to the Redmond, Washington area and neither Savvy nor I know anything about the neighborhoods or schools.

At a Standstill: Beijing Public Parks Close, 256 Bus and 10 Subway Lines Disrupted, Sep 2-3

Here's a good rule of thumb for September 2 until the evening of September 3: wherever you're going, call first to make sure it's open. And if you're thinking of taking any public transportation to get there, you may wish to plan a back-up route, or borrow, buy, or rent a bicycle.

Going for a walk in the park? Leave that contraband at home. According to Beijing News, from September 1-5, "strict" inspections of everyone entering any of the city's major public parks will be conducted. "Tourists will be required to open bags and packages for inspection, with the seizure of contraband, focusing on firearms, ammunition, explosive, knives, toxic and hazardous and other dangerous items," the News reported. Then again, don't sweat it: Chaoyang Park, Longtan Park, Taoranting Park, Pioneers Park (Honglingjin Park), and Yaowahu Park will be closed until 2pm on September 3. Yuyantan Park will be closed from 10.30pm on September 2 until 2pm on September 3.

Shunyi Happenings: New Fitness Classes, Water Sports and Survival Camps, French Classes, and Photography Workshops

Human in Motion: New Class Schedule
September sees the introduction of new classes and new instructors, at the Human in Motion (HIM) fitness studio. Additional spin classes and yoga now join a packed schedule, which includes circuits, kid’s taekwondo, and salsation. And from October, step aerobics and pilates classes will also be offered. For their latest group class schedule, click here. HIM also offers some of the best personal training in Beijing, with coaches that can train in both English and Chinese. Contact the studio for more details (8470 3616, and to set up a free consultation session.

Health: Change for Children - Beijing LIH Olivia's Place Pediatric Clinic puts China on the map

It’s possibly the most exciting clinic-opening of the year, because Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place Pediatric Clinic’s mission is unprecedented in China: it strives to bring high quality, developmental and behavioral pediatrics and pediatric therapy to local and expat children. Americans Nelson and Quynh Chow are the founders of the facility, partnering with Chinese investment firm and consultant group LIH (Long-term Investment in Healthcare). The Chows are the parents of a daughter and son; Olivia (age 7) and Peyton (5). Olivia, who has Down Syndrome, is the namesake and inspiration for both the new Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place and Shanghai-based Olivia’s Corner. The Beijing branch of Olivia’s Place, Eliott’s Corner, will join forces with LIH Olivia’s Place in its new 980sqm facility. We sit down with Nelson Chow to find out more about the new clinic, its initiatives, and the necessity for raising the status of therapy services in China.

THIS Reporting: A New Year at Tsinghua International School

On August 17, Tsinghua International School (THIS) students eagerly gathered at the front of Building N, the school’s main structure, to reunite with friends after a summer of fun.With a new year comes new students, new staff, and many changes. Read on to learn about some of the changes and upcoming events for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Primary School Gets Bigger and Better
This year’s THIS primary division is bigger and better than ever, including two first grade classes – that’s 44 new friends! Other grades also have larger classes, so be on the lookout for more exciting primary school events.

Downtown Momma: Grandma in Beijing

My mom arrived for a week's visit this past Sunday. The pleasure of having her in town is immeasurable. Seeing her hold my son Kai invokes feelings in me I have never felt before: happiness in its purest form. I am so fortunate and grateful that Kai has family that truly love him. In her first couple of days we wanted to take it easy on my mom, and give her time to recover from her jet lag; here's the rundown on our lazy, local, downtown itinerary.

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