Hit The Park
Activities in fun-packed Tuanjiehu Park center around the lake, which is popular with skaters in the cold months and boaters in the warmer ones. The sandpit just to the north of the east gate might seem a little old hat, but it’s great not having to worry while your little treasures throw stuff around, fall over and generally make an unholy mess. The best bet for spring, though, has to be the bumper cars (9.30am-5pm, RMB 5 for three minutes). These funky inflatable dodgem buggies are located at the northern end of the island in the center of the park.
Free entry. Daily 6.30am-9pm. Tuanjiehu Nanli, Chaoyang District (8597 3603) 团结湖公园, 朝阳区团结湖南里16号
Bowl ’em Over
Jinlandao Bowling Club is open 24 hours, so if your restless teenager gets the bowling itch at 6am on a Saturday morning, this is the place. It’s cheap too: RMB 5 per person before 4pm, and still only RMB 8 after that. Pingpong, snooker tables and an Internet cafe cater to the bowling-fatigued.
Jinlandao Bowling Club
(No English spoken.) Daily 24 hrs. 10 Tuanjiehu Dongli (south of the 20ft bowling pin, northeast of the Tuanjiehu Tianyu Market), Chaoyang District (8598 9317, 8596 5149) 金兰道保龄球馆, 朝阳区团结湖东里10号(团结湖天宇市场东南侧, 大保龄球雕塑南侧)
Roast Duck Blowout
Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant is one of the most delicious indulgences in town, and at RMB 98 for a whole duck, it’s a relatively cheap treat. There’s plenty to distract the little ones in this big joint, and high chairs are provided so no one has to miss out.
Da Dong Roast Duck.
(English menu, but no English spoken.) Daily 11am-10pm. Bldg 3, Tuanjiehu Beikou, Dongsanhuan Lu, SE corner of Changhong Qiao, Chaoyang District (6582 2892/4003) 大董烤鸭, 朝阳区东三环路长虹桥东南角团结湖北口3号楼
Shop it Up at Tianyu Market
Just upstairs from the Jinlandao bowling alley is this always-awesome market. Pick up a cute cuddly toy at Stall 100, or some kid-friendly stationery at Stall 095. Your little nanhai’r will like the toy cars on offer at stall 134, and there are Sony PSP players and computer games galore at stall 077.
Daily 9am-6pm. 10 Tuanjiehu Dongli, Chaoyang District (8598 0697) 天宇市场, 朝阳区团结湖东里10号
Tucked in the back of a Kodak photo printing store you’ll find Love You Baby Photo Studio, which can take charmingly posed pictures of your little angel (check out some of the examples at ainibaobei.com), and won’t charge hellish prices. The shop also contains a handy range of baby products.
Love You Baby Photo Studio
(No English spoken.) Daily 8.30am-9pm. 6 Tuanjiehu Donglu, Chaoyang District (8596 8317) 爱你宝贝, 朝阳区团结湖东路6号
Feast on Dim Sum
Kids will love the glass elevator that whizzes up and down the outside of Cantonese restaurant Jin Ding Xuan. The open kitchen also makes for an attention-grabbing tour. Plus, the dim sum menu is terrific value: only RMB 4.8 for a damn fine bowl of dandanmian!
Jin Ding Xuan
(English menu, but little English spoken.) Daily 24 hours. 15 Tuanjiehu Nanlu, Chaoyang District (8596 8881) 金鼎轩, 朝阳区团结湖南路15号