Star Trooper Laser Tag
Indulge trigger-happy children with a game or five of laser tag. Think dark mazes, strobe lights and lots of excitement. This is a great option for birthdays or large groups (kids must be taller than 1.3m). Each game lasts 15 minutes. Groups of six or more can rent the entire venue for RMB 1,680 per hour.
RMB 40 (first game), RMB 30 (additional games). Wed-Fri 2-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm. B1/F, 316 Wangjing Xiyuan Sanqu, Chaoyang District (6475 8329, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.startrooper.net 朝阳区望京西园三区316号楼，地下1层
While not suitable for young children, go-karting is a blast for teens and adults. After you’ve satisfied your need for speed on the indoor 350m track, parents and kids can compare racing scores on their printed time sheets. The center also offers VIP rooms, as well as a game room with pool, foosball and arcade games. Satiate your hunger with pizza or a club sandwich, paired with a soft drink.
RMB 110 for 6min (non-members), RMB 77 for 6min (members), RMB 200 (yearly membership), RMB 1,280 (14 rounds with one membership card and a pair of gloves). Mon-Fri 1pm-1am, Sat-Sun 11am-1am. 1 Siyuan Bridge, Jingshun Lu (near Courtyard by Marriott Beijing Northeast Hotel), Chaoyang District (8472 9399, 136 0128 1318, email@example.com) www.u-speed.com 朝阳区四元桥一号(京密路进京方向辅路四元桥旁）
China Science and Technology Museum
An oasis of educational fun featuring hands-on exhibits, robots, optical illusions, IMAX films (Chinese only) and more. There’s a vast, well-equipped indoor play area on the third and fourth floors of Building B, which can be mobbed by rugrats, so exercise common sense by avoiding peak times. The museum has some food options, including a Chinese buffet and a small pizza joint, but they’re best reserved for emergency hunger pangs only.
Main Exhibition Halls: RMB 30, RMB 20 (students), free (kids under 1.2m). Science Paradise: RMB 10, RMB 20 (kids 3-10), free (kids under 1.2m). Tue-Sun 9am-4.30pm. 5 Beichen Donglu (close to Datun Lu), Chaoyang District (5904 1000) www.cstm.org.cn (Chinese only) 中国科技馆, 朝阳区北辰东路5号（近大屯路）
Rock Climbing at O’le
At this great rock climbing center, you’ll find friendly English- and Chinese-speaking instructors who are happy to belay and encourage first-timers and pros alike. Facilities include an indoor bouldering area as well as a 12-meter-high indoor wall for top-roping and lead climbing. You can bring your own gear or hire their top-quality equipment. A small café serves the basics but best to eat before you arrive.
RMB 50 (1 day), RMB 380 (10-climb card). Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm. 5 Dongshimencun Lu, Baiziwan Qiao, Dongsihuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (6776 4705) 朝阳区东四环中路百子湾桥东石门村路5号
798 Art District
This well-known arts hub now has stroller-friendly sidewalks, funky cafes and cool boutiques. Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) has regular kid’s workshops (check ahead for times and language of instruction). Avoid the throngs of tourists and head out mid-week instead.
Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA). RMB 15. Free for students and children under 1.3 meters. Tue-Sun 10am-6.30pm. Dashanzi art district, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District. (8459 9269) www.ucca.org.cn 尤伦斯当代艺术中心, 朝阳区酒仙桥路4号大山子艺术区
This park packs a surprising amount of child-friendly stuff into a limited space. The playground area includes an inflatable playhouse, large trampolines, a mechanical bull, and a merry-go-round with Technicolor unicorns. Other attractions include the fishing pond, climbing wall and mini-golf. If you need a snack, Schindler’s Tankstelle, the Stone Boat and Xihe Yaju all have terraces opening onto the park.
Free. Daily 6am-9.30pm. 6 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyang District (8561 6301)日坛公园, 朝阳区日坛北路6号
Bowling makes for an easy, no-fuss birthday party or family afternoon. Encourage some healthy rivalry and get other families involved for a day of competition.
Gongti 100. RMB 40/set, RMB 200(Fri-Sun night), RMB 180 (Mon-Thu night), RMB 130 (weekdays daytime), RMB 150 (weekends daytime). Daily 9-1am. 6 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District. (6552 2688) www.beijinggongti100.com 工体100，朝阳区工体西路6号
Beijing Eastern Garden International Conference Center. Mon-Fri 2pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 8.30am-midnight. RMB 35/set, RMB 248/hour. Beixiaoying Town, Shunyi District (6048 5588) www.bjegicc.com 北京怡生园国际会议中心，顺义区北小营镇
When in doubt, go to brunch. The food is plentiful, the environment is family-friendly, and it saves having to come up with an itinerary. Try one of these great brunches. See Feature (p62) for more hotel fun.
Bubbalicious Brunch. Sundays 11.30am-3pm. RMB 398+15% (free-flow champagne), RMB 368+15% (free-flow wine and beer), RMB 328+15% (free-flow soft drinks), RMB 188+15% (kids 5-12), free (kids under 5). 2/F, Westin Beijing Chaoyang, 1 Xinyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (5922 8888 ext 8102) 朝阳区新源南路1号朝阳威斯汀大酒店2层
The Orchard Brunch. Sundays 12am-3pm. RMB 180 (adults), RMB 100 (kids 4-12), free (kids under 4). Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Town, Shunyi District (6433 6270). From Jingshun Lu, turn west at the Shunbai Lu intersection (turn at the driveway just west of the Hegezhuang Village sign. 果园, 顺义区崔各庄乡何各庄村(过何各庄村路标往南转)
Doubletree by Hilton, Beijing. Sundays 11am-3pm. RMB 178+15%, half price (kids 6-12), free (kids under 6). All prices include pool acess. 168 Guang’anmenwai Dajie, Xuanwu District (6338 1999 ext 1628) 宣武区广安门外大街168号
Fizztastic Brunch. Sundays noon-3pm. RMB 388+15% (free-flow champagne), RMB 348+15% (free-flow beer and wine), RMB 308+15% (free-flow soft drinks and juices), RMB 194+15% (kids 6-12), free (kids under 6). 5/F, Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, 8 Wangfujing Dongjie, Dongcheng District (5812 8888) 东城区王府井东彺8号希尔顿北京王府井洒店5层
Mumm for Mum Brunch. Sundays 11.30am-3pm. RMB 368+15% (free-flow champagne), RMB 338+15% (free-flow wine), RMB 298+15% (free-flow juice and soft drink), RMB 149+15% (kids 6-12), free (kids 5 and under). Hilton Beijing Capital Airport. Terminal 3, Beijing Capital International Airport, Chaoyang District (6458 8888 ext 8001) 朝阳区北京首都机场三号航站楼
Originally from the US, Woodward has established its first youth action sports center right here in Beijing. Experienced skaters and BMX riders have free range of the bowls, ramps and railings – both indoors and outdoors. Eito Yashitoko, one of the best vertical inline skaters in the world will be holding a camp at Woodward this summer; details at etioyashitoko.com/camp. Check Woodward’s site for more upcoming events.
Daily 11am-7pm. RMB 68 per day (expect a slight price change in June). Xingming Lake Resort, Weishanzhuang, Daxing District. For details and directions, contact 8923 2289 or firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. www.woodwardbeijing.com 大兴区魏善庄星明湖度假村
Happy Valley Amusement Park
Located just outside the East Fourth Ring Road, Happy Valley sprawls out across a square kilometer of land. It offers 40 rides, an IMAX theater, more than 100 games and seven cinemas. The roller coasters are world-class and the park is well-maintained. Avoid long lines and opt for a weekday visit.
RMB 180, RMB 120 (kids 1.2m-1.5m), RMB 140 (students), free (kids under 1.2m with adult). Mon-Fri 9.30am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-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
Family Box Educational and Recreational Center
Kids (ages 0-12) can climb, crawl and splash around in the different areas of this huge complex. Let them explore the ball pits, slides and mini-climbing wall in the Monkey Frame, while younger children roam the Mickey Mouse play area and Sensory Room. There are also Water Play and Sandy Fun areas. Hungry kids and tired parents can fill up at the snack bar. Regular admission excludes use of the dance studio and swimming pool.
Price for one child and two adults: RMB 350 (weekdays), RMB 450 (weekends). Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm, Fri 10am-8pm. Bldg 4, 51 Wangjing Beilu, Chaoyang District (6478 6163) www.familyboxes.com.cn 朝阳区望京北路51号院4号楼
Houhai is the place to be when the summer sun is shining in Beijing. Pedal a boat around the giant lake and browse kitsch shops for Chinese trinkets. Finish off a leisurely day with some piping-hot eggplant pizza at nearby Hutong Pizza or dine alfresco, enjoying fresh mint shrimp rolls at Vietnamese restaurant Nuage.
Houhai. Dianmenwai Dajie (opposite 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
Nuage. Daily 11am-10pm. 22 Qianhai Dongyan, Xicheng District (6401 9581) 西城区前海东沿22号
Blue Zoo Beijing
Blue Zoo Beijing is not to be confused with the Beijing Aquarium or the Beijing Zoo. Situated in the heart of Gongti, Blue Zoo Beijing is an aquarium brimming with sealife: a coral reef, eels, tuna, sharks and stingrays. Gaze at these fantastic creatures through a 120m long underwater walkway – the longest in Asia. Early birds can catch the shark feeding at 9.50am, among other shows. See below for show times.
RMB 90, RMB 60 (kids above 1m and under 12 years), free (kids under 1m). Daily 8.30am-6.30pm. Scuba diving show all day (except noon-1pm); Turtle feeding 9.40-9.50am; Shark feeding 9.50-10am; Shark show 10.10-10.30am, 2.30-2.5pm; Ocean show 10.30-10.50am, 2-2.20pm; Mermaid show 11-11.10am, 1.30-1.40pm; Water ballet 11.10-11.20am, 1.40-1.50pm. Workers’ Stadium South Gate, Chaoyang District (6591 3397) www.blue-zoo.com 富国海底世界，朝阳区工人体育场南门
A Day in Chaoyang Park
Centrally located, cheap, and easy – this is a no-brainer. For a full guide to Chaoyang Park, see What’s Fun In.
Daily 6am-10pm (last entry at 9pm). RMB 5, RMB 2.5 (students), free for kids under 1.2m; boat hire starts from RMB 30 per hour (deposit required). 1 Nongzhan Nanlu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区农展馆南路1号
Beijijng Zoo and Aquarium
Make the most out of a day in Haidian by purchasing a combined ticket for both the Beijing Zoo and the aquarium located inside. Kids will love roaming the grounds, which has a playground and petting zoo. Come lunch time, there are plenty of grassy areas for a picnic, or opt for some pasta at the Australian café located near the kangaroo enclosure. There are clean, sit-down toilets, accessible for wheelchairs and prams. Families with small children are advised to bring a stroller, as there is a lot of walking. Alternatively, look for blue shuttle buses that can drive you around the zoo. At the aquarium, be sure to catch the daily Sea World-style shows, which feature friendly seals and dolphins.
Beijijng Aquarium. RMB 130 (includes Beijing Zoo), RMB 70 (kids less than 18 years old), free (kids under 1.2m). Daily 9am-5.30pm (Apr-Oct), 9am-5. pm (Nov-Mar), last ticket at 4.30pm. 18B Gaoliangqiao Xiejie, Haidian District (6217 6655) www.bj-sea.com 北京海洋馆，海淀区高粱桥斜街乙18号
Beijing Zoo. Apr-Oct: RMB 15, RMB 8 (students). Nov-Mar: RMB 10, RMB 5 (students), free (kids under 1.2m). Additional RMB 5 for Panda House. Daily 7.30am-5pm (winter), 7.30am-6pm (summer). 137 Baishiqiao Lu, Xizhimenwai Dajie, Haidian District (6831 4411) www.bjzoo.com 北京动物园,海淀区西外大街白石桥路137号
This Tibetan-Buddhist temple is a 15th century marvel of grand architecture, sculptures and calligraphy displays. Kids will love the 26-meter-tall Buddha statue carved from a single piece of wood. After a morning of zen, take your little Buddha to one of the many vegetarian restaurants that line Yonghegong Dajie.
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
If it’s an escape from the heat you’re after, head to The Familier – an indoor two-level play center. They offer various classes for children and art session for adults. Young visitors are also welcome to explore the ball pit, gym equipment and crafts at their own pace. Busy parents can drop the kids off for a half-day supervised session run by The Familier’s professionally trained staff. They also offer a full-service café with a menu of healthy options.
Two hours: RMB 50 (one child and one adult); All day: RMB 88 (one adult and one child), half price (additional siblings), free (kids under 12 months and one parent). Daily 9am-7.30pm. Ste 0753, Tower A, Chaowai SOHO, 6B Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (5869 2904, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.thefamilier.com
Magic Bean House
Touted as the first American-designed children’s museum in Beijing, Magic Bean House is a safe, clean environment with eight different play areas. Kids can explore topics like green foods, water and the mechanics of cars. They can also sit in on some storytelling in English and Chinese.
RMB 80 (one child and one adult), RMB 40 (child 6-24 months with one adult), RMB 40 (additional adult), free (child 0-6 months). Multi discount cards available. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9am-8pm. 7 Chaoyang Park Xilu, Chaoyang District (400 888 0722) www.magicbeanhouse.com 豆豆家科技馆, 朝阳区朝阳公园西路7号
Hit the Ice
Beijingers definitely have their choice of ice rinks, but we recommend kid-friendly Ice Zone in Shunyi and All Star Champion Skating Club in Solana. Both have some English-speaking staff on hand and beginners can inquire about classes offered in ice skating and ice hockey. Tired athletes can refuel at the snack bar. All Star Champion Skating Club even has hot dogs.
All Star Champion Skating Club. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm: RMB 30. After 6pm: RMB 40 (Mon-Thu), RMB 50 (Fri). RMB 50 (weekends and holidays). Price applies to 90min sessions. Time: 2 hours Daily 10am-10pm 1/F, Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6328) 全明星滑冰俱乐部，朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区首层
Ice Zone. RMB 30 (Mon-Fri), RMB 50 (weekends). Price includes unlimited skating, skate rentals and lockers (RMB 1 deposit). Mon, Thu Noon-5pm, Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun Noon-4pm. River Garden Clubhouse, 2/F, 7 Yuyang Lu, Houshayu, Shunyi District (8046 6092) www.icezonechina.com 冰点地带，顺义区裕京花园会所2楼(入口在裕京路)北京顺义榆阳路7 号