Don’t miss this week’s four excellent events that are fun for the whole family. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get each issue sent to your inbox. Check the beijingkids website for full event listings, www.beijing-kids.com.
Thurs 31: Countdown 2010 at The Westin Beijing Financial Street
Start your night off with an impressive seafood buffet. As your savor your third lobster tail, the little ones can enjoy strolling entertainment and live music from the Sound Forge Band. If mom and dad are sans kids for the evening, why not put your dancing shoes on and join in the countdown party? A free glass of bubbly will help night owls get the festivities started. Buffet dinner at Senses and Prego: RMB 428, RMB 228 (kids); 6.30-11.30pm. Plush countdown party: RMB 100 (includes a glass of champagne); 11.30pm-2am. Westin Beijing Financial Street (6629 7810)
Don’t Forget: Bring a coloring book and pencils for restless little ones.
Friday 1: Brand new start
Kick your long weekend off with a new year’s project for the kids. Collect all the craft materials you can muster (glitter, A5 sheets of thick paper, markers, pencils, stickers) and gather the clan around the kitchen table – it’s time to make your plan for 2010! Get the kids write down everything they want to do in this year on their A5 posters; they can then have fun personalizing their new creations. With some input for mom and dad, the list can even include learning to fold the washing, drying the dishes, or tying their shoelaces. When you’re done, stick the posters to the back of your child’s bedroom door – this way they can always see what they want to get out of their 2010.
Don’t Forget: Kids should wear an old T-shirt or smock to save good clothes from glitter and glue.
Saturday 2: Daytrip to Nanshan
Make the most of the cold weather and head for the hills. Beijing is surrounded with ski resorts but your safest bet for all-round skiing and snowboarding is Nanshan Ski Village. Serious skiers and boaders can take advantage of the half pipes and slopes, while kids will adore the 1,318m long toboggan run and the snow football pitch (“he slips, he slides, he scores!”). If you’re in need of some help on the slopes, Nanshan has many ski and snowboard instructors – some trained by the Austria Snowboard Association.
Entrance RMB 20. RMB 100/2 hrs (Mon-Fri) RMB 150/2 hrs (Sat-Sun), RMB 140/4 hrs (Mon-Fri) RMB 200/4 hrs (Sat-Sun), RMB 220/ full day (Mon-Fri) RMB 360/full day (Sat-Sun). Sledding is RMB 50/30 mins. Lodging available (RMB 320-360). Daily 8.30am-5.30pm. Shengshuitou Cun, Henanzhai Town, Miyun County (8909 1909) www.nanshanski.com; 密云县河南寨镇圣水头村
Don’t Forget: First timers can check out Qiaobao Ice and Snow World, Beijing’s only indoor ski park, conveniently located in Shunyi. No entrance fee, 2hrs RMB 180 (Mon-Fri), RMB 230 (Sat-Sun). Daily 9am-10pm. Inside Chabai River National Forest Park, Mapo, Shunyi District(8497 2568) www.qbski.com
Drive along Jingshun Lu to Mapo Roundabout in Shunyi, turn right and drive 1km east to the first intersection, then turn left and drive another 3km north; it’s on the right (east) side of the road.
Sunday 3: Booked
Here’s a way for your kids to stay indoors without becoming couch potatoes. The Learning Center has launched the Beijing Book Race for kids ages 6 to 13. Running until March 5, young readers are in a race against time to see how many books they can devour. Their feats of reading strength won’t go unrewarded, with prizes on offer for each age group. If it’s time to restock the bookshelf, check out Charterhouse Books in the basement of The Place in the CBD; The Bookworm in Sanlitun; or Garden Books above Seqouia Café in the CBD.
Don’t Forget: The race started in mid December, but there’s still time register. Visit www.thelearningcenter.cn for details and registration forms.