Last winter, beijingkids Club hosted an awesome event at the Family Box to give members a chance to check out the facilities – especially the three-story monkey room and giant slide. Ever since attending the event, Reina talked about wanting to return for another day of fun – she even kept the brochure as a constant reminder. “Hey Baba, remember that day we went to the Family Box? When can we go again?” she would ask me at least once a week.
If you have never heard of or been to the Family Box, it is an amazing place to take children but there is one minor hitch that keeps us from returning often – the price. Admission for the first child and is RMB320 and each additional child will set you back an additional RMB320. Personally, I don’t know that I could bring myself to shell out that much bank for two or more kids, but since we only have one child, we rallied up some friends, scheduled a play date and descended on the Family Box for a full day of madness. Price aside, we were not disappointed.
Since visiting a year ago, the place has held up well and although there is a higher price printed on the tickets now, it was still only (only?) RMB320 to get in. There were plenty of kids running around, but it didn’t feel crowded and Reina and her friends kept a brisk pace as they went from the water play station, to the sandbox, the mini grocery store, and, of courses, up the monkey room and down the slides for what felt like an endless number of times to this parent. I like a slide as much as the next person, but chasing half-pints through a jungle gym designed for kids can provide a cardio-workout and the occasional bump to the head if one is not careful.
Unfortunately, even if you go on a weekday, the extra activities (dress up room, ballet room, art room, and swimming pool) are not open to those using a day pass. They make up for it though at their drink bar by not charging much for their made-to-order fresh juice, coffee, and tea, which is priced much more reasonably than a beverage from Starbucks; Reina enjoyed the watermelon juice and I drank a couple iced lemon teas.
To get a complete account of the services available at the Family Box, check out this story from 2010 by our own Kara Chin here.