10 Great Things to Do This October

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1 Cycling Through Beijing Hutongs

Hutongs are a fading architectural legacy of Chinese culture. Join Unique Tour China for a leisurely cycle through some of Beijing’s oldest and best preserved hutongs. Learn the history of old Beijing, gain an understanding of hutong architectural features, even enjoy a home-cooked lunch prepared by one of Beijing’s friendliest hutong inhabitants. Suitable for kids 12 years and up. Contact reserve@utc88.com or phone 8097 8120 for a reservation. Daily. RMB 150 (includes bike rental, English-speaking guide and tea) www.utc88.com

2 tbjkids Family Fun Fest at A-Z Kids

Come and join Beijing’s first and finest monthly family magazine for a truckload of fun at A-Z Kids on October 14. Activities will include a delicious family BBQ for you and your crew, storytelling, an onsite Sunday market and Kids-Mart, a special play-zone for toddlers, plus loads of other things to keep the whole family enthralled for the entire day. Free to tbjkids readers. For tickets call 5820 7700 ext 851 or e-mail marketing@tbjkids.com. A-Z Kids, 4/F, Shang Jie Plaza (corner of Chaoyang Lu and Qingnian Lu), Chaoyang District 朝阳区青年路尚街4层

3 Trip to the Great Wall

The Great Wall’s natural surroundings, rich history and varying seasonal panoramas present the perfect destination for hikers. October at the Wall offers colorful leaves, warm autumn sunlight and ideal temperatures, and Beijing Hikers organizes hike tours to different parts of the Wall throughout the month. On October 27, a long and challenging hike embarking from the lesser-known segment of Gubeikou Wall traverses all the way to popular Simatai, passing through Jinshanling Park on the way (leave 7am from Lido, return approximately 7pm). Tickets are RMB 400 and include a late lunch, hiking snacks, park tickets and transportation. On October 28, take a hike up the once mighty White River to Yunmeng Gorge, following a goat’s trail up the mountain pass and into the open meadows at the river’s mouth, where lies an abandoned village (RMB 200, leave 8am from Lido). For more details of all the trips, see www.beijinghikers.com

4 Walk for Charity

GuluWalk is back in Beijing for 2007. Last year, Beijing participants in this charity walk not only drew attention to efforts to bring peace to northern Uganda, but they also contributed to the USD 500,000 raised worldwide for children’s programs in the war-torn region. This year, GuluWalk Beijing is hoping to have an even bigger impact. To learn more on how to volunteer or join in the walk, which will follow the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, contact Angela Fournier at guluwalk_beijing@yahoo.com. October 21. The walk begins at the International School of Beijing. Registration begins at 9am. Walk starts at 10am. The International School of Beijing www.guluwalk.com/beijing

5 Pick Red Leaves

In the third week of October, leaves from the trees of the Fragrant Hills (Xiang Shan) west of Beijing start turning red, a process usually lasting until mid November. The temperature is moderate, the air is fresh, and you can feast your eyes on the spectacular red and golden foliage covering the mountains. You can also collect leaves with your kids and make them into stylish bookmarks. Try to avoid weekends, as it is often packed with visitors coming to see the renowned xiang shan hong ye. Daily. 6am-7.30pm. Last ticket 6.30pm. Tickets: RMB 10 (half-price for students). Fragrant Hills Park, Haidian District (6259 1155) 北京西北郊西山东麓香山公园

6 Touch Your Toes

If your little ones consumed too many mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn festival, get them back in shape at Yoga Yard where, from October on, age-appropriate classes for children ages 4-14 will be offered. The fun and creative yoga sequences will help your kids to develop strength, flexibility, balance, concentration, coordination and body awareness. RMB 400 per session with courses lasting five weeks. Courses for 4-6-year-olds run from 4-5pm on Thursdays from Oct 11-Nov 8; for 7-14-year-olds, classes run from 4-5.15pm on Wednesdays from Oct 10-Nov 14 and 2.15-3.30pm on Saturdays from Oct 13-Nov 10. For information, contact Mimi Kuo at 6413 0774 or mimi@yogayard.com. Yoga Yard, 17 Gongti Beilu, Floor 6 瑜伽苑,工体北路17号6层,工人体育场北门对面 www.yogayard.com

7 Play with Clay

Young minds are naturals at playing with the earth, so for kids ages 2 and up, a fun and creative pottery class at the DIY Toy and Clay Store will help develop a sense of form and color, provide exercise for hands and fingers, broaden the imagination and heighten curiosity. If your child is too young for a long hike or the day turns chilly, get some clay at the New China Kids’ Store in Wangfujing. A big box of clay costs RMB 120 and includes a two-hour lesson on toy painting and clay arts. Daily 9am-10pm. Underground Entertainment Park of New China Kids’ Store, 168 Wangfujing, Dongcheng District DIY 陶艺店, 新中国儿童用品商店地下一层, 东城区王府井大街168号

8 Boating in Beihai

Legend has it that immortals once lived in secret mountains on hidden islands located in the middle of the East Sea of China, and the large lake of Beihai Park was built to represent this sea. On a blue-skied day, bring a packed lunch and climb aboard a boat with your family and enjoy a picturesque view of the White Pagoda on Jade Island at the lake’s center. Amongst beautiful surroundings and the sweet chirpings of birds, you can almost feel the touch of divinity. Rowboats with oars RMB 30/hour; pedal boats RMB 40/hour; electric boats RMB 60/hour for four people, RMB 100/hour for six people. Park tickets: RMB 10 (half price for students). Daily 9am-6pm. Beihai Park, 1 Wenjin Jie, Xicheng District (6403 3225) 北京市西城区文津街1号 www.beihaipark.com.cn

9 Friday Nite Lite

Let loose after hitting the books hard for a week at WAB’s Friday Nite Lites. Students from international schools across Beijing are welcome to attend the weekly social event for teenagers. Check out live music, get in on the one-on-one action on the basketball court, or chill out with like-minded young folks ready to start the weekend. Friday 5-8.30pm. For more information, contact Martin Halpin (8456 4155). Western Academy of Beijing, 10 Laiguangying Donglu (off the Airport Expressway), Chaoyang District 朝阳区来广营东路10号 www.wab.edu

10 Trick-or-Treat

Halloween is serious business for kids, so if you live in a community with other interested youngsters, celebrate this spooky evening with a supervised trick-or-treating session. Stop by your local supermarket and stock up on treats for the ghosts to be rapping at your door on October 31. Start your celebrations off early at A-Z on October 27 with activities for the entire family, or throw your own party by following tips in this month’s "Double, Double Toil and Trouble" feature in October’s issue.

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