You don’t want your kids to turn into summertime slugs, so keep them active in the heat with a trip to a local water park. If you’ve suffered too many sunburns already, the indoor H²O fantasyland Merry Water World offers plenty of activities for kids of all ages – including multiple waterslides, a pool, and a calm river. Parents can enjoy a relaxing time poolside while the little ones attack the tube slide again and again. If you’re seeking a little vitamin D and a beach-like feel but can’t make it up to Qingdao, head instead to Crab Island, where you can pick a spot on the sand “beach,” float on the artificial waves or mosey down the lazy river. Big kids will thrill to the waterslides, and little ones can tear things up in the large kiddie section. You can get wet just outside the confines of the Third Ring Road at Tuanjiehu Park, which features a wave pool and other aquatic fun.
Merry Water World
Weekdays: RMB 98, RMB 60 (kids under 1.4m), free (kids under 1.2m). Weekends: RMB 138, RMB 60 (kids under 1.4m), free (kids under 1.2m). Mon-Fri 1-10.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-10.30pm. Jinzhan, Dongweilu, Chaoyang District. (Take the Airport Expressway to the Weigou Exit. Turn left at the first stoplight, right at the second, and then go straight.) (8433 0606 ext 5104) www.yujinxiang.com.cn 郁金香花园, 朝阳区东苇路金盏
Also known as City Seaview, this enormous resort – purportedly 1 million square meters – has a substantial fake beach with nice sand and parasols overlooking a large pool. After a swim and a game of beach volleyball on one of the local courts, visit the concession stand to pick up beers, drinks and chuan’r to barbecue on the on-site grills. The resort also contains guesthouses, a convention center, bowling lanes, private KTV rooms, a sauna and several restaurants, as well as a lake stocked with fish and crabs.
RMB 38. Daily 8am-1am. 1 Xiedao Lu, Chaoyang District. (Take the Weigou Exit off the Airport Expressway and follow the signs.) (8433 5566/5588) www.xiedao.com 蟹岛绿色生态度假村, 朝阳区蟹岛路1号
Pool opens June 1. Prices and hours to be decided.. 16 Tuanjiehu Nanli, Chaoyang District. (8597 3603) 团结湖公园, 朝阳区团结湖南里16号
It’s important to drink your water, especially in the summer, but it’s way more fun to play in it. Pools serve several important functions: They get the kids out of the house, offer a chance for some exercise, and can cool you down, even on the hottest of days. If you’re after some outdoor swimming, try Splash Recreation Club near the airport – you can sip cocktails from the poolside bar while your kids play Marco Polo. In the city proper, there’s an outdoor pool at Chaoyang Park and tons of indoor pool options – many offer swim clubs if your child is thinking of getting serious about his breaststroke.
Chaoyang Park Outdoor Pool
RMB 18 (park gate), RMB 15 (pool). Daily 9am-6pm. 1 Nongzhan Nanlu, Chaoyang District. (6506 5409) 朝阳公园, 朝阳区农展馆南路1号
Ditan Indoor Swimming Pool
RMB 30 for unlimited pool use. Mon-Fri 8.30am-3.30pm, 6.30-10pm, Sat-Sun noon-10pm. 8 Anwai, Hepingli Zhongjie, Dongcheng District. (6426 4483) 地坛游泳池, 东城区安外和平里中街８号
Splash Recreation Club
A great place to bring your kids on a hot summer day, Splash boasts a large outdoor/indoor pool, a sand volleyball court, playground, gym, ping-pong tables, a poolside bar and a restaurant with a decent menu of salads, pastas and sandwiches. The hotel also has squash and tennis courts, a sauna, a masseur and more.
RMB 80, RMB 40 (children), free (children under 4). Daily 6am-10pm. Sino-Swiss Hotel, 9 Xiao Tianzhu Nanlu, Shunyi District. (6456 5588 ext 1217) www.sino-swisshotel.com 浪花俱乐部, 顺义区小天竺南路9号国都大饭店