Shop, eat, play and primp
Pizzas don’t have wings, but you can still watch them fly at this newly opened Mr. Pizza joint. The restaurant’s big shop window lets you peer in at the pizza making process and watch staff in chef hats toss dough to astonishing heights. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, sit down for a hearty bite: a regular pizza costs about RMB 60, and a pie filled with cheese will set you back RMB 83.
(A little English spoken; English menu with pictures.) Daily 11am-10pm. 1/F, Zonghe Lou, Area 4, Wangjing Xiyuan, Chaoyang District (8471 8486) 米斯特批萨, 朝阳区望京西园4区410综合楼一层
Offerings from Fisher-Price, Chicco, Lego and Playwell make Beijing chain store Leyou a hit with toy-hungry tots. The huge Wangjing outlet is the store’s flagship branch, and it’s packed to the gills with all sorts of kid supplies. Baby carriages, cradles, highchairs, and all kinds of daily-use items are also available for a fair price.
(One English-speaking staff member at the information desk.) Daily 9.30am-9pm. 203-204, Area A, Wangjing International Commercial Center, 9 Wangjing Jie (right by the intersection for Jingshun Lu), Chaoyang District (5920 3191) 乐友儿童用品，朝阳区望京街9号望京国际商业中心A区203-204 (京顺路路口附近)
Swedish Shopping Spree
Easy, fun shopping is a given at Ikea, where strollers, children’s meals and baby care facilities are provided for a pleasant shopping afternoon with the kids. The onsite playground Smaland is a magical forest (with all Ikea wood, of course) where your little ones (ages 4 and up) can burn off steam while mom and dad talk coffee tables and storage solutions. The Ikea family shop offers cabinet locks, safety gates, and other tools for a safer home.
(English spoken.) Daily 10am-10pm. 1 Taiyang Gonglu, Dongbahe (northwest corner of Siyuan Qiao), Chaoyang District (800 810 5679) 宜家家居, 朝阳区东坝河太阳宫路1号（四元桥西北角）
Fun in the Sun
Sun Garden Palace Park is a good choice for some family sun worshipping. Enjoy a long walk, rent a boat and go for a paddle, or stop for a (big kid) drink in the small beer garden. If the kids get tired of walking, small, colorful electric cars will come to the rescue (RMB 20/half-hour, RMB 40/hour).
Sun Garden Palace Park
Free entry. 5.30am-10pm. 6 Taiyanggong Zhonglu (near Wangjing Qiao), Chaoyang District (8457 4426) 太阳宫公园, 朝阳区太阳宫中路6号(望京桥 附近)
Teenage girls who want to turn heads should take their own to Casting Hair Salon, where South Korean coiffeurs work trendy hair magic. If she’s stumped on the style front, your daughter can choose a new look from one of the many catalogs. If your son is ready for something a little bold (and you’re not a parent who’s opposed to hair dye!), he will be well served here, too. A calm atmosphere and soft music work wonders on the nerves (yours, not the kids’). A basic haircut costs about RMB 80.
Casting Hair Salon
(Only Korean and Chinese spoken.) Daily 9.30am-10pm. 1/F, Bldg 415, Area 4, Wangjing Xincheng, Guangshun Beidajie, Chaoyang District (6475 0432) 凯思汀, 朝阳区广顺北大街望京新城4区 415 楼1层
Art Star Stock-Up
Do you have a little Da Vinci or Picasso on your hands? If so, Küelox is just the place to get him fully equipped. This small shop opposite the Academy of Arts is stuffed with all kinds of pens, paints and paper, and everything is offered at a reasonable price, even imported goods from Europe and Japan.
Küelox Stationary Co., Ltd.
(No English spoken.) Daily 8.30am-8.30pm. 201, Bldg 14, Huajiadi Beili, Chaoyang District. (8610/6474 5385, 136 0119 4422, 139 0108 0582) 北京高乐美术用品全店, 朝阳区花家地北里14 号 楼2 层 201室 (中央美院对面)
Pick Up a Book
While away a lazy afternoon at Beijing Star Kids, the area’s one and only English-language bookstore for little bookworms. With a range of imports from big-name international publishers, kids of all ages will find something to tickle their literary fancy.
Beijing Star Kids Children’s Bookstore
(English spoken.) Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm. 1205, Block D, Xingyuan International Apartments, 222 Wangjing Xiyuan, Chaoyang District (8472 7131, 136 9114 3572) 北京市佳星孩趣儿童书店, 朝阳区望京西园222号星源国际公寓D座1205室