10 Great Things to do in May

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1. Mother’s Day! beijingkids lunch
It’s beijingkids’ favorite time of year, and we want to show moms just how
wonderful they are by treating them to a day of family fun and relaxation. First stop is Annie’s in Ritan for a delicious Italian buffet, then on to see Beijing Playhouse’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. To top it off, every mom gets a bunch of flowers and abox of yummy chocolates.

2. Assemble a Scrapbook
Are you coming to the end of your Beijing journey, or perhaps just starting it? Now is a great time to collect all of your treasured memories and interesting tidbits together into your very own Beijing family scrapbook. It’s a great way to spend a day with the kids, and will also help ease the repatriation blues. To read more about dealing with repatriation, see Parenting.

3. Row, Row, Row Your Dragon Boat
Head to Houhai every Sunday 3-5pm to see the famous dragon boats during this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival (端午节). The festival wouldn’t be coplete without zongzi (a sweet or savory glutinous rice treat), so make sure you pick some up from any large supermarket. See Lao YeYe for more dragon boat fare.

4. Flower Market Fun
Spring has definitely sprung. It’s time to put the finishing touches on your spring-cleaning efforts with a giant bunch or two of beautiful blooms. Where better to go for all your flower needs than Liangma Flower Market near the Lufthansa Center? You can also stock up on craft materials for the kids with organza at RMB 5 a meter, ribbon, cards, stickers, cello bags, printed wrapping paper and more. Delivery by bicycle costs between RMB 10-30, depending on the distance and your haggling skills.

5. Monsters vs. Aliens
Imagine you’re a normal girl and suddenly a meteorite strikes you from outer space turning you into a giant monster? In this 3-D flick, meet monsters who must combat aliens to save the world from imminent destruction. Star voices in the film include Seth Rogen, Reese Witherspoon and Stephen Colbert. In theaters around town including Wanda Plaza Cinema and the Megabox in The Village at Sanlitun.

6. Romeo and Juliet
There’s a little thespian in all of us, so why not take the family to see some Shakespeare that everyone can appreciate? Catch sword-fighting,, secret
potions and young love infused with some Chinese flavor in this production put on by Beijing Playhouse. Performances throughout May.

7. See Mime Magic
Check out Mummenschanz 3×11 for all of your wacky mime needs. Founded in 1972, the Mummenschanz troupe’s name means masquerade, and they
really do live up to the title. Their use of masks and props will keep you
mesmerized for the entire performance. May 22-24. 7.30pm.

8. Explore the Expat Show
The Beijing Expat show is a must-see annual event for any Beijinger. With exhibits on everything from food to health insurance, there’s something for even the most discerning expat. Head on down to China World Trade Center for a slice of the action. You’ll kick yourself if you have to wait a whole year for it to come around again.

9. Sign Up for Camp
It isn’t summer yet, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning ahead. Summer camps across Beijing run from the beginning of July to around mid-August. Like all things holiday-related, they tend to book up fast, so start organizing now to save yourself any last-minute headaches. Try Mikids Summer Camp for plentiful workshop options, contact Ms. Wang for details (8046 3935). For the littler ones, the Children’s Learning Center of Beijing (8046 7082) will offer morning and afternoon activities for children aged 2-7. Check out www.beijing-kids.com for more options.

10. Picnic in the Park
It’s time to dust off the frisbee and head out for a spot of picnicking. If you want a day away from the crowds, try the Shangzhuang Reservoir (上庄水库) just off the Badaling expressway (take the Beiqing Lu exit). With the mountains as your backdrop and the lake at your feet, you’ll love this little spot. Alternatively, there’s a reason so many people flock to the Summer Palace, which is unrivaled for its beauty. You can relax on the grass as the kids play beneath the willow trees. Daily 6.30am-8pm (6pm last ticket). RMB 30 during the spring and summer months, half price for students.

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

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