1) tbjkids Meet Santa
Santa Claus is coming to Beijing on Dec 9! In a pre-Christmas visit, Santa will join tbjkids for a day of family fun at Le Cool Ice Skating Rink at the China World Shopping Mall. Enjoy a complimentary sandwich and cup of hot chocolate after a swirl on the rink. Plus, all kids will receive gifts! RMB 50 per person for 90 minutes of skating (includes skate rental). Ages 3 and up. Tickets are required and limited to the first 160 people that sign up before Dec 6. Event starts at 11am. Call Nancy Ding at 5820 7700 ext 853 or e-mail email@example.com to reserve a spot.
2) Take a Day to Volunteer
Although the significance of the holiday season varies for each family, there will undoubtedly be kids looking forward to the holidays. But Christmas is also a time for giving unto others, so whether you’re planning a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings or a day full of unwrapping gifts, why not remember to help out those less fortunate? Check out A Season of Giving, to find ways to make a difference this holiday season.
3) Go to a Christmas Party
Why not check out some of the fabulous Christmas parties going on around this holiday season? The British School of Beijing will have Christmas carols by candlelight on Dec 6; tbjkids columnist Sarah Cooper is hosting a special Christmas party on Dec 7; Ivy Bilingual School will have Ivy’s Winter Celebration with Christmas crafts, cookie-baking, caroling and more on Dec 15, and on the same day the International Center for Veterinary Services will be celebrating the holidays for pets and their people; the Bookworm will host a special Christmas Kids’ Club on Dec 16; Beijing World Youth Academy will be throwing a Christmas party at Children’s Palace on Dec 21; Golden Dancing Academy will have a holiday dance party on Dec 22. This month, meet Santa Claus, make New Year’s resolutions, sing Christmas carols, or dance the night away!
4) Kids Hanukkah Party
To celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, Dini’s Kosher Restaurant will be putting on a special meal for kids ages 12 and under: A set meal for RMB 120 includes special Hanukkah food such as latkes, levivot, donuts sufganiot and, of course, chocolate Hanukkah gelt. There will be a clown, magician and various Hanukkah games for children, and the first Hanukkah candle will be lit by a student from the Ganeinu International School, Beijing’s only Jewish School. Dec 4. 4pm-6pm. Dini’s Kosher Restaurant
5) New Year’s Eve
Even though the celebrations won’t be as raucous (or as loud!) as those for the Chinese Lunar New Year in February, there are still plenty of things for you and your kids to get up to on this last day in December. First, which kid in their right mind wouldn’t jump at the chance to stay up until midnight? Second, because the New Year is the perfect opportunity to make resolutions about the future, perhaps this is the time to set intentions about keeping bedrooms tidy or homework up to date. However you plan to celebrate, be sure to take advantage of the time together with your family.
6) Enjoy a Musical at ISB
Join the ISB Middle School in their performance of the musical BATS. This song and dance show features a cast of monsters including Transylvanian peasants, a Hollywood director, Dracula and his long-suffering wife. Witness dramatic moments on stage while enjoying the music and dance. Donations will go to the Roots and Shoots program. Dec 6-8. 7pm. ISB Theater, International School of Beijing www.isb.bj.edu.cn
7) Make Holiday Treats
Experience the thrill of making your own holidays cakes and cookies! Exquisite Bakery classes show you easy and rewarding step-by-step ways to bake and decorate cakes and desserts. Gain confidence and pride with each new decorating skill, as well as be able to share your delicious results with family and friends. December classes include Kids Candy Making, Kids Cookies Making and Decoration, Kids Cupcakes Fun and a Christmas Children Special Baking Camp. All classes are for kids ages 5 or up. Dec 18-29. Exquisite Bakery.
8) Skating on Houhai Lake
When the weather gets cold enough in Beijing for the lakes to freeze over, it means it’s time for outdoor ice-skating. Starting from mid-December, the local police will conduct safety inspections at outdoor ice-skating venues. Once confirmed safe and open to the public, Houhai Lake is the perfect spot for you and your kids to spend a day outdoors on the ice! Spin on the lake and visit the adorable duck island while enjoying a couple of sticks of chuan’r or tanghulu. When you’ve had enough fun on the ice, numerous restaurants and cafes await you with their exotic decor and varied cuisines. RMB 20 for two hours. Houhai Park (6612 7652)
9) Out on the Piste
One benefit of the plummeting temperatures is the opening up of Beijing’s ski resorts! If you’re a first-timer, check out Playing Outside for the lowdown on Qiaobo Indoor Ski Dome, a great place to learn the basics before heading onto the real thing. Nanshan Ski Village, with its ten well-maintained runs, offers plenty of opportunities for more advanced skiers and boarders to get their kicks. Qiaobo Ski Dome. Nanshan Ski Village. Admission RMB 20; rental RMB 100/2hr, RMB 150/2hr (weekends) or RMB 160/2hr (holidays). For tickets, call 6445 0990 ext 1316. Lodging available. Take the shuttle bus (RMB 40 round trip) from Dongzhimen, 8.30am every Sat and Sun. Shengshuitou Cun, Henanzhai Town, Miyun County
10) Eat at a Family-Friendly Restaurant
…and tell us about it! In the coming year, tbjkids will be looking for great family restaurants to feature in the magazine, so let us know your favorite place to eat in Beijing. When you and your family eat out, where do you go and why? Which restaurants have patient staff, a kids’ menu, a play area, highchairs and baby-changing facilities? Do you know of any hidden gems that aren’t yet listed in our directories? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the restaurant along with reasons why you and your family love it. Eat, drink and be merry!