Things to Do Sat 10 – Sat 17
Burton King of the Park – Sat 17
Get ready for the winter snowboard season with the first snowboard event of the year. If your kids consider themselves to be ski whizzes, let them test their skills at this friendly competition. Each participant gets one hour to show off their skills and win fame, fortune and prizes. This event is best suited for teenagers with some snowboarding experience. From 1pm. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Burton Qiaobo Mellow Park, www.mellowparks.cn
Dulwich 8 ½ Community Film Festival – Sat 10 until Sun 18
Film buffs, rejoice! It’s time to enjoy some cinematic classics at the Dulwich Film Festival. Old favorites on show include: Casablanca, Grease, Strictly Ballroom and many more. All films are kid-friendly, but it’s best to check the classification before you go. Films in English or with English subtitles. Shown at two venues: RMB 20 at Dulwich College Legend Garden Campus (includes one soft drink and popcorn), RMB 100 at Green T House (includes one glass of wine, green tea Coke, iced tea and coffee, and popcorn). Tickets available from all Dulwich College campuses. Screening times vary. Details at 6454 9000 (English and Chinese). Green T House, www.green-t-house.com; Dulwich College, www.dulwich-beijing.cn
Check out the new Science and Technology Museum
This revamped five-floor museum is located inside the National Olympic Green and has five themed exhibition rooms, including a Children’s Science Paradise designed with kids aged 3-10 in mind. Little ones will love the helium-filled “flying dinosaurs.” English signage (some Mandarin-speaking skills may be needed to buy tickets). RMB 30, RMB 20 (students). Details at 5904 1000 (Chinese). China Science and Technology Museum, www.cstm.org.cn (Chinese)
Things to Do Sun 18 – Sun 25
Bowling & Hot Dogs
The heading pretty much says it all. First stop is Gongti 100, the massive bowling alley at the east gate of the Worker’s Stadium. They have everything you need to satisfy your bowling needs, including snacks, refreshments, and a decent bathroom. Once you and the kids are all bowled out, take a short stroll to Gate 10 of the Workers’ Stadium for some of Beijing’s best hot dogs. The newly opened Stadium Dog takes this American classic very seriously offering a range of sauces, toppings, and even a veggie dog. This small eatery has stools and a bathroom, but no counter seating. Stadium Dog is best for daytime snack stops as there is a bar attached to the rear that can get a little smoky and rowdy at night. RMB 65 gets you a three-dog combo plus a soft drink. Stadium Dog, Gate 10 (inside the East Gate) Workers’ Stadium (6546 8364, Chinese); Gongti 100 (6552 2688, Chinese).
Green Cow Harvest Festival – Sun 25
Last year this organic farmers festival was a hit with Shunyi families, and we expect it to be just as popular this year. This family-friendly romp in the fields will include organic farmers’ stalls, pumpkin rolling and potato sack racing. Sample local honey, Yellow Valley artisan cheeses and Arabica Roasters organic coffee. You can also bring some old clothes and join the scarecrow-dressing contest, as well as enter your ticket stub to win organic products and produce. Tickets from Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels (8046 4301) or e-mail email@example.com. RMB 50. 11am-4pm. For directions to the venue, call 139 1088 3775 (English and Chinese).
Climbing the Walls
Take advantage of the temperate weather before it gets too cold, by spending an afternoon rock climbing. Try O’le near the East Fourth Ring Road for their excellent rock climbing facilities and professional staff. When the kids get tired of playing spider monkey, they can kick a ball around one of O’le’s soccer fields. O’le is used to accommodating expat groups, so speaking English isn’t a problem. RMB 50 (1 day), RMB 380 (10-climb card). O’le. Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm. Dongshimencun Lu (just outside East Fourth Ring, off Baiziwan Lu), Chaoyang District (5128 2825, Chinese and basic English).
Things to Do Mon 26 – Sun 1
The Perfect Pumpkin
Halloween is upon us. Time to pick up your broomsticks and fly over to Sanyuanli market. Search for the perfect pumpkin to transform into a scary jack-o-lantern at one of Beijing’s last inner city farmer’s markets. Sanyuanli market is bursting at the seams with fresh produce, and you may even find a genuine organic veggie or two. Bring your camera so you can take photos of the kids standing beside bustling fruit stalls, cheerful fishmongers, and of course, their pumpkin of choice – the family back home will love it! We recommend bringing some extra money for all the lao Beijing snacks you’ll want to buy. Daily 5am-7pm. Sanyuanli (opposite Jingkelong supermarket, west of Sanyuan Dongqiao), Chaoyang District.
beijingkids Halloween Costume Brunch Ball – Oct 31
Come to Beijing’s biggest and best family Halloween party. Enjoy a full buffet brunch, along with trick or treating, pumpkin carving, and bobbing for apples. Little ones can get their faces painted and prizes go to the best costumes. Price RMB 250, RMB 150 (kids 12 and under); beijingkids’ Club members RMB 200, RMB 100 (kids 12 and under) . 10.30am-2pm. Hilton Beijing Wangfujing (5812 8888 ext 8411)
Moon on the Water
This week is about all things spooky, so why not keep the theme going and check out Beihai Park at night. Start from the northern gate located on Di’anmen Xidajie, near Houhai. From the entrance, walk over low bridges and through weeping willows until you reach the lake. The moon reaches its full phase this week, so you should get some beautiful reflections on the still water. If you’re lucky, you’ll see groups of Beijingers singing from inside one of the many stunning lakeside pavilions. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate, a torch, and blanket. Settle yourselves in your pavilion of choice, and get ready for a session of creepy story telling and hot cocoa drinking. Beihai Park. Daily 6am-8.30pm. RMB 10 (Apr-Oct), RMB 5 (Nov-Mar), students half-price.
Things to Do All Month
Early Music Makers with Toning School of Drumming – Every Sat
Explore new ways to make music with these classes designed specifically for parents and children ages 1-8. Use percussion instruments like drums, shakers, sticks, bells, and chimes to create a chorus of sounds. Little kids will jump at the chance to create some noise, and you’ll love meeting other parents. Taught in English. Bookings required. For details, call Tony Webb 159 0117 9007 (English) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. RMB 150 (family of 3). 11am-noon. Toning Drum Centre, The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun Campus
Writing on the Road – Every Wed
Take some time out for yourself and join this creative non-fiction workshop run by Susan Conley. In each workshop you will follow a set of fun, innovative prompts that aim to engage your five senses and get your creative juices flowing. In every session, students will work towards a finished piece of writing that can be published at the end of the course. Susan Conley is a writer, teacher and co-founder of the Telling Room, a creative writing center in Portland, Maine. RMB 2,000 (8 classes; includes the book Bird by Bird). Starts Oct 14. 9-11.30am. The Yin Yang Community Center (6431 2108) www.yinyangbeijing.com
Musical Theatre for Dummies: Junior Workshop – Every Sun
Kids get to perform all the old favorites, including songs and dances from Oklahoma, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and many more. This 12-week musical theater workshop will have them swinging around lamp posts in the rain, breaking into song at the dinner table and snapping their fingers in unison as they walk down dimly lit alleys. The workshop culminates in an original performance. Instructors speak both Chinese and English. For kids ages 13 and up. Kids ages 8-12 can check out the Voice and Stage Acting Junior Workshops every Saturday. RMB 150/session (family discounts available). Sep 27-Dec 6. 10am-noon. Fu Cafe (south entrance of Nanluogu Xiang, first hutong on the right) (6403 3595) www.fucafe.jimdo.com