When I was a kid, "young learners" didn't have their own summer camps. There was preschool and kindergarten that continued over the summer in the service of working parents, and then there were half-day classes for a number of activities for parents who stayed home (but wanted to send their children out). Yet, those existed all year long and were not especially designed for summers.
Today, and especially here in Beijing, schools are out for the summer, but offer a variety of different ways to keep your child busy without being in a "school" environment. As a new parent, I see this as a chance to allow our children to experience new activities, to try out new schools and campuses, and to discover where my child's natural interests take him. Summer is the best time to dapple in activities before making them year-long (or life-long) hobbies!
Shunyi Happenings: Art and Culture Talk, Fashion, Triathalon, Action & Adventure and Cooking lessons.
This week’s Shunyi Happenings promises something for everyone in the family. Read through to discover what perks your interest and where you’ll be this week! If you want to promote an event, store opening or closing, sale, and any other fun family friendly event taking place in Shunyi, please get in touch with our Shunyi Correspondent Anjana Kainikkara by emailing email@example.com
Art, Culture and Charity Talk at Ricamo Art Gallery, May 5
Shell's Outpost’s events for Shell partners, brings together two amazing women to share their stories and creativity. Du Juan is a Chinese Embroidery artist and owner of the amazingly beautiful Ricamo Gallery. Over the past 10 years she has worked with highly skilled embroidery craftswomen in the rural villages around Suzhou to produce high quality, stunning works of embroidery based art. She is an expert on the historical and aesthetic roots of Chinese embroidery, and her pieces are widely collected internationally as well.
Student Life: Meet Alex G. - Pop quiz with an American Grade 12 student at International School of Beijing
How do you relax?
I walk my dogs or watch Downton Abbey.
What is your most treasured possession?
The first medal I won in a swimming competition ten years ago.
What sound or noise do you hate?
The cheers at Donald Trump rallies. Pretty disturbing stuff.
Last year, when some friends of mine left, I was welcomed into the world of private tutoring via the students they left behind. These students needed a qualified English and music teacher, and they live in the compound beside mine. I reluctantly offered to take them on, but I have no regrets. Almost a year later, I have become “part of the family” to the degree that I was invited to attend a birthday celebration for the family’s grandmother. Little did I realize it would include a live performance by a trained Peking opera professional.
If you have a head for heights, then Beijing has a new challenge for you! The world’s largest (and perhaps scariest) glass-bottomed viewing platform has opened at the Shilinxia Scenic Area.
The platform, dubbed “the flying saucer,” is a circle of glass and metal jutting out over a 1,300 foot drop. At 107 feet, it’s half as long again as the Grand Canyon Skywalk. To make it both light and safe, the same titanium alloys were used as in aircraft construction. The numbers and technology are impressive then, but only pictures really capture the extraordinary and terrifying views from the platform:
As long, long time ago, I also attended summer camps (to give my parents a break). I attended girl scouts camps, YMCA camps, educational day camps, and one year I even went all the way to Sweden to attend a Chinese culture camp organized by Taiwan's overseas division.
In the beginning, camps were literally camps. We had tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, huge backpacks, flashlights, flasks, pocket knives, and everything else in the camping checklist from our trusted scout handbook. Then, as I grew older, suddenly we had these day camps where I still had to rise dreadfully early and travel to the middle of nowhere to explore nature and make friendship bracelets--all to ensure that I was properly socialized during my summer break.
The last summer camp I attended was the Chinese culture camp, and despite my initial revulsion for it (I was in middle school by then), the traditional dances, martial arts, and top spin training all turned out to be pretty fun in the end. So, why was it my last then? I became more independent and began traveling with friends (instead of family), so the ultimate goal of my going away and getting out of everyone's hair was still met.
Asia Life Images, founded by New Zealand native Debbie Beck, tailor makes montage artworks from a selection of their customer’s favorite photos. The company also supplies a range of bold and unique greeting cards celebrating life in Beijing.
For someone who has lived in Beijing for over five years, my knowledge of contemporary Chinese history is woefully lacking. Thus, it was with but a passing familiarity with the name "Song Qingling" that I visited the former residence of one of the most powerful women in Chinese history a few weekends ago.
For this week, we’ve included where you’ll see beijingkids staff, free events, family friendly events, and five extra events for next week. There’s plenty to do in Beijing! For Mother’s Day Events on May 8, check out our ongoing roundup here.
Where beijingkids Staff Will Be This Week
Editors Andy Killeen, Jessica Suotmaa, and Vanessa Jencks will be available for a meet and greet at 1pm on May 8 before the Beijing Playhouse’s first ever children’s show, Rapunzel. We’ll be bringing along our own families and promise some great pre-show laughs.
Beijing Playhouse presents Rapunzel, May 8
Ages 6-12. It’s more than just a fairy tale. An inspiring rendition of a traditional story, this performance is especially for children. RMB 80 (children), RMB 150 (adults). 2.00-3.00pm. Eagle International Performing Arts Center, International School of Beijing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beijing Playhouse’s first ever children’s show Rapunzel debuts May 8, and beijingkids will be hosting a pre-show meet and greet!
We suggest families have a lovely brunch in the Wanjing area and then stop by at the Eagle International Performing Arts Center by 1pm. Editors Andy Killeen, Jessica Suotmaa and Vanessa Jencks will be available for chats, questions, hugs, and silly faced photos with rambunctious children.
The editors will bring along their favorite portable games, from Jenga to card decks for Go Fish, so kids will be happy to have come along so early to meet new friends, too.