Immerse yourself in a good book, learn Mandarin, get cultured
The summer holidays are a great time to beef up your Mandarin skills. If your kids need a little boost over that language barrier, try a Chinese language summer camp. Check out summer camp options at Mandarin House (5203 6550) www.mandarinhouse.cn, or The Bridge School (8451 7605) www.bridgeschoolchina.com.
The Peony Pavillion is a Ming dynasty opera performed in the kunqu style (a form older than Peking Opera), and is one of China’s most beloved classical operas, touching on dreams, love, the afterlife, and the customs of the imperial court. Many Chinese theater luminaries have taken it on, from early 20th-century Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang to Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun. Currently, the Imperial Granary holds weekly performances.
Imperial Granary, Nanxincang, 22 Dongsishitiao, Chaoyang District. (6409 6477/99, 1360 0125 9568) 皇家粮仓, 朝阳区东四十条22号南新仓
Kids of all ages are sure to love this technologically sophisticated museum’s interactive displays, including robotic dogs who play soccer, musical sculptures, sound and light distortion machines, soap bubble rings and much more. The staff regularly hold hands-on demonstrations and live science shows in Chinese. RMB 30 (adults), RMB 20 (students), free (kids under 1.2m); buy your tickets at the museum booth outside the park’s south or east gates and you won’t have to buy park tickets as well.
Tue-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6.30pm, closed on second Mon and Tue of each month. Inside Chaoyang Park (near the south gate), Chaoyang District. (6501 8800) www.explorascience.com.cn 索尼探梦, 朝阳区朝阳公园里（南门）
Kindermusik with Sarah
Innovative music and movement classes for children ages 0 to 5. Licensed Kindermusik educator Sarah Peel Li leads parents and children in English. If you’ve got a crew of six or more, Sarah can travel to you for private lessons. Approx. RMB 60-120/class.
501C Hongjiu Bldg, 27 Xidawang Lu, Chaoyang District. (139 1062 5893, email@example.com) www.kindermusikbeijing.com 朝阳区西大望路27号宏久写字楼501C
For other place to buy children’s books, visit Garden Books, the Wangfujing Foreign Language Bookstore and Chaterhouse Books. For gorgeous picture books in Chinese, English and Japenese, visit Poplar Kids Republic. You can also find used books at markets around town. These books (pictured) were purchased for 5-7 kuai each at Panjiayuan Market.
Bookworm Kids Club Sunday reading group
Spend a lazy Sunday at the Bookworm. Relax with a coffee and a book, while the little ones enjoy a story or two from The Bookworm’s huge collection of modern and classic children’s tales. From 11am. 1) The Bookworm, Sanlitun, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (6586 9507). 2) Shunyi North, The First Courtyard, Hegezhuang Village, Shunyi District (6431 2108)