Top Ten Things to Do in October

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1. beijingkids Little Pirate Hunt
Avast, me mateys! beijingkids is calling all little pirates and treasure seekers on Saturday, Oct 25 from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and a hunt for precious booty at Ritan Park. If it’s a swashbuckling pirate’s life for you, then come eat, swig some kid-friendly grog, enjoy the sunshine (before winter sets in!), and play games to win gifts and other exciting prizes. Forgot your eye patch or pet parrot? Don’t worry, me hearties, we’ll paint you up like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean – but we won’t make you walk the plank! For families with kids ages 3 to 10. Space is limited to the first 100 pirates that sign up by Oct 22; RMB 80 per person. For more information, contact Serena Li at 5820 7700 ext. 853 or email .

2. Make Like a Real Beijinger 
New in town? beijingkids can hear your cry for help. How do you talk to a taxi driver? How much should a bottle of water cost? What should you look for in a language partner? How do you get a custom-made qipao? beijingkids answers these questions and more in our feature “Beijing 101”, a compilation of lessons learned by veteran expats in our fair city. Find out how to choose the perfect Chinese name, how to interview an ayi, where to recycle, and how to camp at the Great Wall. These 18 lessons will have your family looking like lao Beijingren in no time.

3. Hunt for Red October
Finally – fall has arrived. Crisp air has replaced humidity, a chill has snuck into the early morning, and most importantly, maple leaves are transforming into splendid hues of red, yellow and orange. With the air fresher than ever, families can head to Xiangshan, Fragrant Mountain, on the northwestern outskirts of the city to experience the annual Xiangshan Red Leaf Festival, a showcase of arts, crafts and food. Hike up the mountain to hunt for red leaves – it’s a Beijing tradition to usher in autumn. See Daytrip for more details on trails to take, what to expect, and some history on Xiangshan.

4. Mee-Shee: The Water Giant
This film, based on folklore from Canada, showcases mystical water creatures that befriend humans. After 9-year-old Mac’s father cancels their anticipated trip to Disneyland, the two head to Canada for his father’s work. Soon, they encounter the mee-shee creatures and embark on an adventure to protect the creatures from evil oil drillers. Catch the magical friendship between Mac and the mee-shees in theaters around town.

5. Step Into a Glass Slipper
A fairy godmother, a magic pumpkin, and glass slippers make Cinderella one of the most enchanting tales. Check out this classic fairytale on Oct 24-30, now with song and dance, in a production from Broadway Star Musical. Viewers will be enthralled by the magical costumes, familiar as they may be with the story. See an international cast of actors perform this musical. In English. RMB 100-1,280. Tickets at 6417 7845. 7.30pm. Beijing Exhibition Theater (6835 4455).

6. Take the Stage 
Blue about missing your chance at the latest talent contest? Want to brush up on your gospel singing skills? Kid and adults should get their vocal pipes ready for workshops from voice coach Janne Wind. The best part? Participants perform in a concert later that day. Workshops include a half-day class for children on Oct 12, 1-5.30pm (children must be able to read), followed by a concert the same day at 7-9pm. Half-day workshop for adults on Oct 18, 1-5.30pm, followed by a concert at 7-9pm. For more details, see Events.

7. beijingkids Halloween Party
Dressing up as ghouls and witches, carving pumpkins and telling scary ghost stories – Halloween is the holiday kids look forward to all year! Come to the beijingkids Halloween party on Nov 1 from 3pm to 6pm at A-Z Kids (just east of Chaoyang Park) and show off your costume. Play games, eat candy, win prizes, and meet fellow witches, princesses, ghosts and mummies. For free tickets, fill out a survey at Four tickets per family. For details, contact Serena Li at 5820 7700 ext. 853 or e-mail Don’t know where to find the hippest costume in Beijing? Make your own Halloween costumes in “Hocus Pocus”.

8. Architecture Extraordinaire
Beijing is the city for traditional Chinese as well as modern architecture – and we’re not just talking about the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube. Behold the new CCTV tower, the radically shaped skyscraper that resembles a pair of pants. Catch a show at the Egg, also known as the National Centre for the Performing Arts, a dome of titanium and glass resting in an artificial lake just west of the Forbidden City. Interested in the minds behind these structures? Meet a real-life architect in When I Grow Up. Want to see what Beijing will look like in a couple of decades? Get a bird’s eye view of Beijing’s cityscape by standing above a massive scale model in the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall near Qianmen.

9. Green Cow Harvest Festival
Usher in the autumn season by spending a Sunday afternoon playing in the crisp weather. Families can participate in potato sack races, corn maze, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow dressing on Oct 12, 11am-5pm at the Green Cow Harvest Festival. Located at the Green Cow Organic Farm. Donggezhuang Village (village north). Houshayu Town, Shunyi, Beijing. Near organic farmer’s market. RMB 50. For more information e-mail For directions and rain date, call 139 1088 3775.

10. Build Your Chinese Pantry
Stock up on Chinese ingredients and create a bonafide Chinese pantry – the Beijing City International School presents a series of cultural orientations designed to help participants learn more about China. The main topic this month is “Build Your Chinese Pantry – a Market Tour.” Tour local Chinese markets and learn how to identify and use local spices at the best price. Basic food language sheet and market guide provided. 10am-noon. For more information, e-mail Beijing City International School,

Readers are encouraged to double-check event details as dates and locations may change.

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