Playtime SOS Part 2

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11. Fundazzle
Fundazzle makes young kids squeal with delight, while it makes their parents wince (because it smells of feet), then gasp (at the size of the plastic-ball-filled pool) and finally sigh (as they realize that for a few precious hours, the furniture in their home is safe). This cavernous, indoor playground has a huge two-story jungle gym, trampolines and a toddler area with small cars, swings, seesaws, toy houses and so on.

RMB 30 (kids); adults free (Mon-Fri), RMB 15 (Sat-Sun). Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun and holidays 9am-7pm.
Gongti Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6593 6208) 朝阳区工体南路

12. Horse Riding The Asgard Horsemanship Club near Shunyi is run by husband-and-wife team Daisy and Ren Yake. In addition to stables, Asgard features a soccer field, children’s playground, a fishing and duck pond, petting zoo and a fruit orchard. Accommodation is available for RMB 300 a night.

RMB 380 for a 45-minute single lesson. Memberships available for RMB 2,400 (10 sessions), RMB 6,600 (30 sessions) and RMB 9,800 (50 sessions). Tue-Sun 7am-7pm. Shunhuang Lu (just west of Danshui Restaurant), Chaoyang District (8459 5908); 亚萨园乡村俱乐部.朝阳区顺黄路淡水餐厅西边

 13. Happy Valley Amusement Park
Beijing’s best amusement park sprawls out across a square kilometer of land outside the East Fourth Ring Road. It offers 40 rides, an IMAX theater, more than 100 games and seven cinemas. The roller coasters are world-class, the park is well-maintained, and the lines for rides are fairly reasonable.

RMB 160 (Apr 1-Nov 14); RMB 120 (Nov 15-Mar 31). Half-price for kids 1.2-1.4m, free for kids under 1.2m. Daily 8.30am-10pm. Wuji Beilu, Dongsihuan Lu, Chaoyang District (6738 9898 ext 0, 6205 0088) 朝阳区东四环路小武基北路

14. Lama Temple
Built in the 15th century, this Tibetan-Buddhist temple boasts grand architecture, sculptures and calligraphy displays. Don’t miss the 26-meter-tall Buddha statue carved from a single piece of wood. If the tribe is hungry, try Xuxiangzhai Vegetarian Restaurant, just across the road from Guozijian, for a healthy all-you-can-eat buffet that even carnivores will scarf down (lunch RMB 48, dinner RMB 58).

Lama Temple RMB 25 (student discount available). Daily 9am-4.30pm. 12 Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng District (6404 4499)雍和宫, 东城区雍和宫大街12号
Xuxiangzhai Vegetarian Restaurant. Daily 9.30am-10pm. 26-1A Guozijian Dajie, Dongcheng District (6404 6568) 叙香斋素食,东城区国子监大街甲26-1号

15. Magic Water World, Ditan Park
More of a kids’ playground than swimming pool. Parents should expect to get splashed at this water park that features a water "disco," a 5-a-side-soccer pool, air castles and heaps of other wet and wild activities to keep the kids amused.

RMB 60, free for kids under 1m. Daily 10am-6pm. (Aug 9-24: 10am-8.30pm.) Northeast corner of Ditan Park (just north of Lama Temple subway stop), Dongcheng District (8262 4677)奇幻飙水乐园, 东城区地坛公园的东北角安定门外大街甲2号

16. Family Box
A British family center combining education and recreation. Children (ages 0-12) and their families have more than enough space to play in the 6,000sqm, three-story building. Kids will enjoy the large-scale climbing frame, Mickey Mouse play area, swimming pool, Sensory Room, Soft Island and Craft Room. Other facilities include: party hosting, catering, coffee shop, and crèche.

RMB 320 (2 adults, 1 child). Bldg 4, 51 Wangjing Beilu, Chaoyang District, Chaoyang District (6478 4629) www.familyboxes.com.cn 朝阳区朝阳区望京北路51号院4号楼


17. Splash Recreation Club
A great place to bring your kids on a hot summer day. Splash has 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. Inquire with the hotel about their shuttle bus service.

Weekdays: RMB 80, RMB 40 (children), free (children under 4). Weekends: RMB 130 (adults) RMB 60 (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

18. A-Z Kids
A cleaner, pricier version of Fundazzle, A-Z features a multitude of play equipment including a maze, an art corner, a play supermarket as well as bilingual staff and entertainers to ensure your kids are never bored. Best suited for kids between 0-12. A-Z features a restaurant where parents can keep a watchful eye on their little ones. They also host birthday parties.

Weekdays: RMB 60 (kids under 3), RMB 90 (kids over 3), free (adults).Weekends and holidays: RMB  80 (kids under 3), RMB 100 (kids over 3), free (adults). Daily 9am-8pm. Room 101, Bldg 21, Pinnacle Avenue, Linyin Lu, Shunyi District (8559 2883/6) www.a-zkids.cn
顺义区A-Z英伦创意园,顺义区林荫路荣和广场21号楼101

19. Stroll Around Houhai
There’s a lily-filled lake, two boat rental stations, stalls filled with kitsch and a Starbucks. What more does a Beijinger need? Stroll around the large lake before snaking your way through the surrounding hutongs, then head over to Hutong Pizza or Café Zarah for some family-friendly dining.

Houhai. Dianmenwai Dajie (across from the north gate of Beihai Park), Xicheng District 后海地区,西城区地安门外大街(北海公园北门对面)
Hutong Pizza. Daily 11am-11pm. 9 Yindingqiao Hutong, Xicheng District (8322 8916) 西城区银锭桥胡同9号
Café Zarah. Daily 9.30am-midnight. 42 Gulou Dongdajie, Dongcheng District (8403 9807) 东城区鼓楼东大街42号

20. Blue Zoo
Not to be confused with either the Beijing Aquarium or the Beijing Zoo, the Blue Zoo is actually an aquarium with an enormous coral reef tank containing eels, tuna, shark, stingrays and (we swear we’re not making this up) the occasional underwater marriage ceremony.

RMB 85, RMB 55 (kids under 12), free (kids under 1m). Daily 8am-7.30pm (summer), daily 8.30am-6.30pm (winter). Workers’ Stadium South Gate, Chaoyang District (6591 3397) www.blue-zoo.com 朝阳区工人体育场南门

Don’t forget to check out Part 1 of this post.

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