An Apple for Teacher
September 10 is a lucky day for teachers, or laoshi in China. Instead of a single apple, present your teacher with a whole hand-picked bushel! Fenghuangling in Haidian is a national park full of apples, pears and red dates perfect for plucking in September and October. To get there by bus, take No. 346 from the Summer Palace to the Fenghuangling stop. If you’re traveling by car, take the Badaling Expressway to the Beiqinglu exit, then head west on Beiqing Lu until the road ends. Turn right and then follow the signs to Fenghuangling. Entrance fee: RMB 25 for adults, RMB 13 for students and ages 70 and up, free for children under 1.2m. Call ahead. (6245 5933/9492) www.bjfhl.com凤凰岭,海淀区
Witness Magic at ISB
All families and students are invited to the Magic Hospital Magic Show on September 12. This show will feature magic by magician Li Zhongbao and acrobatics by the Jin Ling Yiyun Troupe. Other activities include face painting, hand shadow puppets and more. Lollipop Bakery cupcakes for sale. All ticket proceeds go to Magic Hospital, a local non-profit organization that runs quality of life programs for orphaned, sick and at-risk children in Beijing. RMB 100 for adults, RMB 50 for children. Tickets sold at ISB box office (open Mon-Fri, 8.15am-3.30pm) or call 8046 2345 ext 2045. Show starts at 3pm. ISB Theatre, 10 Anhua Jie, Shunyi District (186 0129 2287, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.magichospital.org 顺义区安华街10号
Read Roald Dahl
On September 13, celebrate the birthday of Roald Dahl, the mastermind behind James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Choose your son or daughter’s favorite Roald Dahl book from a bookstore and read together. Plan a day of fun and games for your child and friends. Create quizzes based on different Roald Dahl books and reward the top scorer. Another idea is to hold a costume contest, where kids can dress up as one of Dahl’s characters, from Charlie to Matilda. Check out www.roalddahlday.info/Resources.aspx for more ideas. For bookstores, see Directory under Bookstores. For a chance to win a Roald Dahl box set, see Beijing News Bites.
Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
On September 22, get into the spirit of this festival of abundance and togetherness that dates back over 3,000 years to the Zhou Dynasty. Traditionally, family members gather under the bright harvest moon and eat rich moon cakes – round pastries filled with everything from nuts and jam to lotus seed and egg yolk (symbolizing the full moon), and etched with the Chinese characters for harmony and longevity. Try all different types – sweet, spicy or salty – and remember the legend of Houyi the archer and his beautiful wife, Chang’e, who swallows a magic pill, is separated from him and must live on the moon.
Admire Marine Life
Wander through Blue Zoo Beijing, which is filled with 3.5 million liters of salt water, and spot stingrays, eels, coral reef fish, sea horses and more. Catch divers feeding fish and sharks twice a day. Adventurous admirers should consider a class with SinoScuba for the chance to get up close and personal with marine life. They can play with a turtle, pet a shark or scrub a fish with rocks, otherwise known as a "fish shower." Kids as young as 10 years old can join a Fun Dive. Younger kids, ages 8 and up, can sign up for scuba diving lessons that start in the pool. To learn more about SinoScuba, check out Playing Inside, p34. Blue Zoo Beijing: RMB 85, RMB 55 (kids under 12 years old), Free for kids under 1m and ages 80 and up, www.blue-zoo.com
Put on Your Hiking Shoes
Head to the mountains while the sun is warm and the air is fresh. Join Beijing Hikers on one of their family-friendly hikes. On September 18, join them on a day trip to a Ming village in Cuandixia. Explore the 500-year-old Ming dynasty village and enjoy country-style food. RMB 320 (includes lunch). (6432 2786, email@example.com) www.beijinghikers.com
Get Movin’ at Woodward
Woodward, an American youth action sports camp has opened its first international location right here in Beijing. Skaters and BMX riders can cruise the bowls, ramps and railings. The camp has both an outdoor and indoor street plaza. Classes for skating, BMX riding, cheering, gymnastics, photography, videography and more are coming soon. Remember: be safe and wear a helmet and other protective gear. Daily 11am-7pm. RMB 68 per day. Xingming Lake Resort, Weishanzhuang, Daxing District. For details and directions, contact Joey at 134 8870 8076 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. www.woodwardbeijing.com 大兴区, 魏善庄, 星明湖度假村
Eat, Pray, Love near Ditan Park
Explore Yonghegong with the kids. Yonghe temple is home to the unusual Tibetan-style statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), carved from a single piece of white sandalwood. After exploring the Tibetan Buddhist monastery, be sure to visit the less-crowded Confucious Temple and wander through Ditan Park to find the historical Temple of Earth. For food, try Vineyard Café for western options or dive into Cantonese fare at Jin Ding Xuan. For more details, see What’s Fun In.
Slip ‘n Slide
The National Aquatics Center (a.k.a. the Water Cube) officially opened to the public last month as a water park, or Happy Magic Water Cube, as the Chinese name translates. The park has 12,000sqm of water fun with 13 water slides and rides, a wave pool, a lazy river and even a spa area. Lockers are available for RMB 20 with an RMB 80 deposit. Daily 10am-9.30pm. RMB 200, RMB 160 for children. Olympic Park, 11 Tianchen Donglu, Chaoyang District 朝阳奥林匹克公园天辰东路11号水立方嬉水乐园
Bike Around Town
Take advantage of the weather and explore the nooks and crannies of old Beijing by bicycle. Check out the hutongs of Nanluogu Xiang or loop around Houhai Lake. When you need a break, stop by one of the quiet cafes for a light snack and some tea. Or simply choose a destination across town for a late lunch, taking in the sights on the way. Remember to carry a map and stay hydrated along the way. Contact Chinese Culture Club for details.
Have a family-friendly event coming up next month? E-mail the details to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 13.