Celebrate Halloween With beijingkids
For ages 2-12. Gather your witches, ghosts and goblins and head to the annual beijingkids Halloween Party. This Saturday, October 30, enjoy a full buffet brunch at the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing while the kids have fun trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and getting face painting. For details, see October 30 listing.
Smell the Flowers
Early October is the best time to visit Beijing’s Botanical Garden as the crowds are thinner and the trees put on an impressive autumnal display: Cherry Valley will be tinted with red from the leaves of the Amur maple. A pleasant escape from the Beijing bustle, kids will love roaming the 400 hectares of trees, flowers and greenery. See Playing, Day Tripper, p40.
The Green Cow Annual Harvest Festival
On Saturday, October 30, join in the festivities of The Green Cow 5th Annual Harvest Festival. Highlights include a farmers’ market with organic food, games and activities for kids, as well as folk art demonstrations. Fun and games include: a pumpkin rolling contest, coffee-sack race, corn relay, three-legged race, and tug-of-war. Have some old clothes you need to get rid of? Bring an old outfit for the scarecrow dressing competition. Planned demos include broom making, thread spinning, cloth weaving, stone grinding, corn milling, and peanut shelling. 11am-5pm. Tickets available at Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels. Group tickets can be purchased by e-mail two weeks prior. Green Cow Organic Farm (8046 4301, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paint To Your Heart’s Content
Let your young ones (ages 4 and up) explore their artistic side. Beijing Color Studio will be offering Toddler Drop-In Painting Sessions on weekdays. As long as your kid can hold a paintbrush, they’re welcome to join. Alternatively, try The Familier Center’s afterschool art program with art, music and open play activities supervised by staff. For details, see All Month listing.
An Autumnal Day Trip
Great Wall Fresh is a Chinese guesthouse and tour organizer located in the pretty rural area of Chenjiapu (陈家堡), just an hour outside Beijing. Go on a hike along a section of the wall that is rarely disturbed by tourists, then head to Great Wall Fresh’s organic restaurant to enjoy homemade dishes of fresh vegetables. Great Wall Fresh also offers affordable overnight accommodation should you wish to enjoy the fresh Autumnal air for an extra day. Contact Mr. Chen at (0313) 684 8161, 136 1126 4212 (Chinese only) or e-mail email@example.com. www.greatwallfresh.com
Bowl a Strike
Looking for some family fun and friendly competition? Take the brood out for a night of strikes – bowling, that is. Gongti 100 is Beijing’s bowling hot spot. A five minute walk from Blue Zoo Beijing aquarium, packing both into one day is guaranteed to wear the kids out. After working up an appetite, enjoy pepperoni pizza with fresh salad at Pizza Buona. Gongti 100, RMB 35/set, RMB 200/hour. 6 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District (6552 1457) www.beijinggongti100.com. Pizza Buona, Daily 10.30am-midnight, 7 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District (6551 3518)
Say "Hello" to a Panda
The Panda House at Beijing Zoo is sure to delight a child of any age. Catch these furry creatures playing in their outdoor playground or laying low in the shade of a tree. Other places to discover inside the Beijing Zoo include the Children’s Zoo, the Golden Monkey House, and the Education and Conservation Center, where kids can make crafts, play arcade games or check out the giant butterfly display. RMB 15, RMB 8 (students). Daily 7.30am-6pm (summer), 7.30am-5pm (winter). Beijing Zoo, 137 Baishiqiao Lu, Haidian District.
Look Out for Leaves
In the third week of October, leaves from the trees of Fragrant Mountain (Xiang Shan), located west of Beijing, start turning red. Lasting until mid November, now is a good time to take your young ones out for a hike to see the transformation.The temperature is moderate, the air is fresh and fragrant, and you can feast your eyes on the spectacular red and gold foliage covering the mountain. Collect these beautiful leaves with your kids and put them to good use with an afternoon of arts and crafts. Daily 6am-6.30pm. RMB 10, RMB 5 for students and children. Fragrant Hills Park, Haidian District (6259 1155)
Be a Ballerina
Become a graceful ballerina or even a handsome ballerino (the Italian name for a male ballerina). Your child doesn’t need to become a professional dancer to enjoy the music, movement and rhythm of this graceful form of dance. For details on ballet classes, see Playing Inside, p34.
Spend a mild afternoon strolling through Ritan Park. Adults and older kids can enjoy the rock climbing wall, while the little ones will love the fishing pond. Your miniature fishermen may not bring home a giant trout, but they will have fun trying. Pack a picnic to eat on the large smooth rocks, or drop by the Stone Boat for a steaming bowl of jiaozi. For details, see Playing, What’s Fun In, p30.