A thousand brands, 30 restaurants, and one skating rink
Solana, located near Chaoyang Park, is a newly opened lifestyle shopping center that boasts a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores (1,000 brands), small parks and an indoor skating rink. Nineteen Western-style buildings, surrounded by the Liangmahe river, provide families with great options for browsing clothes and jewelry, dining out or hanging out on a leisurely weekend afternoon. If you’re longing for the looks and tastes of home, you might just find them in shops such as Zara, Guess and the 30 restaurants offering different cuisines.
In the basement of the shopping mall, you’ll find a floor devoted to families: an early childhood education center, an arcade and several stores catering to children and mothers. Check out Mothercare, the go-to store for all things mother and child-related, Fuchi Principessa, where you’ll find ball gowns for junior royalty, MUMA Smart Toys, and Okaïdi, purveyor of casual French fashion for kids. beijingkids shows you where to head for healthy eats, necessities (as well as indulgences) for moms, fashionable accessories, and toys that might actually make your tots smarter.
Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6565) 蓝色港湾国际商区, 朝阳区朝阳公园路6号
Mothercare, the UK’s longest established and best-known shop for moms and kids has opened its first China store in Solana. The retailer sells hard-to-find clothes for kids 6 and younger, as well as a wide range of nursery furniture and equipment. Find maternity clothes, strollers, bedding, car seats, playpens, baby monitors, children’s clothes and other elusive products at this chain. Daily 11am-10pm. SMM-42, 1/F, Solana, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6134) 朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区SMM-42
Founded in Germany, Twice is a fashionable accessory store with goods to satisfy all the different style demands of young girls – not an easy feat. The German designers use materials such as alloy, latex, shell, stone, cloth and leather to create a wide selection of personalized barrettes, necklaces, and earrings at a reasonable price. The style motifs vary from avant-garde to cute, from the black-and-white rocky series to animal and fruit patterns. Each season, Twice launches a new colorful style, making this a popular destination for teenage girls. Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. A-17, Solana, Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6152) 朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区A-17店
All-Star Ice Rink
Lace up your skates and make like South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na ( she’s the current world champion in ladies figure skating, couch potatoes). All-Star Ice Rink was founded by Wang Rui, figure skating gold medalist in the 1999 Asian Winter Games, and Li Ning, the legendary gymnast who lit the torch in this summer’s Olympics Opening Ceremony. Located on the first floor of Solana mall, the ice rink covers 800 square meters and uses equipment that meets international standards, creating a rink fit for both recreation and professional competition. For adolescents new to the sport, All-Star offers classes. Especially precocious athletes can request coaches from the Chinese national skating team. Private lessons (Chinese only) are priced at RMB 135-300 per 90 minute-session. RMB 30, RMB 50 (weekends) for admission. Mon-Thu 11am-9.30pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. 1/F, Solana, Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6328) 全明星滑冰俱乐部, 朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区首层
Romana Italian Ice Cream
Originally founded in Italy in 1947, Romana Italian is now spreading the gospel of traditional gelato in Beijing. Its ice cream parlor features low-fat options and fresh treats in exotic flavors including lemon, mango, strawberry, tiramisu, chocolate, vanilla and Brazilian milk. If the trek to Solana sounds like too much trouble, they also deliver. Buon appetito! Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. SMM102, Solana, Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6229)罗马娜意大利冰淇淋, 朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区一栋广场层SMM102
MUMA Smart Toys
What could be better than toys that promote intelligence? MUMA Smart Toys, the Beijing-based toy maker, creates high-quality and colorful playthings fashioned out of wood and tailored to specific age groups. Toys are designed and packaged with the goal of environmental protection. These toys encourage creativity, visual perception and motor coordination – not to mention plain old fun. Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. SMM-20, Solana, Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6115) 木马智慧玩具, 朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区一栋广场层SMM-20
Finally, a healthy, all-natural food experience in the midst of incredible shopping. Take your children to Veg-On and nurture growing bodies with organic vegetables from a wide selection of both Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes. A restaurant with modern Chinese décor, Veg-On serves up a menu that includes fried vegetarian fish, taro with pine nuts, and sweet coconut sago with melons. Organic, all-natural food doesn’t have to mean bland! Get a sweet icy treat, made with all-natural ice, natural fruit and pawpaw sorbet. Daily 11am-10pm. Stall 98, 1/F, Solana, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District ( 5905 6301/6306)