It’s no secret that autumn is one of the best times to be in Beijing. Though the days are winding down, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy some outdoor fun. Tucked away in the northeast of Beijing between the Airport Expressway and the Fourth Ring Road, the area around Si’de Park in Lido is ripe for exploration. The presence of several hotels, international schools, and foreign companies make this a popular spot for expat families. Though small, this diverse and laid-back neighborhood is dotted with restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Before heading into Si’de Park, stop by Maan Coffee (1). Kids will love the Korean cafe’s heaping Belgian-style waffles (ranging from RMB 28-62). Maan Coffee also offers bingsu (shaved ice bowls), sandwiches, salads, and coffee. However, avoid the greasy breakfast plates at all costs. The cafe occupies two floors and boasts inspired decor: floor-to-ceiling windows, lots of wood, glass chandeliers, and a large tree sprouting from the ground floor. There’s also a nail salon called Nail Mania within the building. Another bonus is that the Lido branch of Ai Jiang Shan, arguably one of the best Korean chains in town, is located right next door.
Walk off those waffles and head to Si’de Park North Gate (2). At 167,000 square
meters, Si’de Park is modest by Beijing standards. However, the impeccably landscaped grounds and range of facilities attract locals and foreigners of all ages. After entering the north gate, turn right and follow the park’s circular path. You’ll come across a children’s amusement park, complete with an inflatable castle, tiled playgrounds, merry-go-rounds, and all kinds of colorful rides. The amusement park is open every day from 9am-7pm to children 8 years and younger. Each rides costs around RMB 5-15.
Keep following the circular path and you’ll come across ping-pong tables, tennis courts, and a soccer field. There’s also a fishing pond in the middle of the park where you can get a tiny restaurant to cook your catch onsite, but that’s probably not a good idea (unless food poisoning is a highlight of your weekends). Keep a look out for the black swans living along the edge of the pond.
Then circle back to the North Gate. Just outside Si’de Park, there’s Parkside Bar & Grill (3). Don’t be intimidated by the restaurant’s gastropub feel; Parkside has a friendly staff and a classic Western menu with kid-friendly choices like burgers, sandwiches, and pasta.
If you prefer quieter spaces, Lido Park (4) lies just north of Si’de Park. The park’s main gate is right behind the Rosedale Hotel, about a five-minute walk away. There’s not much to do within Lido Park, especially for small children, but its various teahouses make it a suitable place to wile away the afternoon.
Eudora Station (5), just outside Lido Park’s west gate, is a popular hangout spot for Lido residents. Though the quality of the American-style food is just so-so, Saturday brunch in the restaurant’s back garden is a pleasant experience. The extensive menu of pizzas, pastas, soups, and salads should satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Just around the corner on Jiangtai Lu, there’s the Lido branch of Element Fresh (6). It’s hard to find an expat who hasn’t been to the Sanlitun location of this healthy eatery, but locals know that the Lido Element Fresh is bigger and quieter. The sun-soaked rooftop patio is perfect for those beautiful, clear days. Throw in one of the restaurant’s delicious smoothies or huge salads with your entree, and you’re good to go.
Round off your day with some shopping at the ridiculously cute Les Petits Dara (7). Just down the street from Element Fresh, this children’s home furnishing store is an offshoot of Dara, a homegrown company with a showroom in the 798 Art District. The prices are decidedly on the steep side, but there’s a well-curated selection of fabrics, furniture, clothes, toys, and accessories for kids.
Unless you live nearby, getting to the Si’de Park area can be a bit of a hassle, since it’s not located conveniently close to a subway station. A taxi from either Sanyuanqiao or
Liangmaqiao subway station should cost around RMB 13-16. Several buses also serve the area, including the 104, 111, 405, 416, 421, 657, 682, and 707.
Maan Coffee 漫咖啡
Daily 9am-midnight. 9-7 Jiangtai Xilu (North Gate of Si’de Park), Chaoyang District (8457 3470) www.maancoffee.com 朝阳区将台西路9-7号（四得公园北门）
Si’de Park (North Gate) 四得公园（北门）
Free. Daily 6am-9pm. 9 Jiangtai Xilu, Chaoyang District (6438 4057) 朝阳区将台西路9号
Parkside Bar & Grill 园景
Brunch: weekends 10am-2pm; Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; Happy Hour: daily 3pm-8pm; Dinner: daily 6am-11pm. Patio available. 9-6 Jiangtai Xi Lu (opposite Rosedale Hotel), Chaoyang District (6444 6555) www.parksidebeijing.com 朝阳区将台西路9-6号（北京珀丽酒店对面）
Lido Park 丽都公园
Free. Daily 6am-9pm. 6 Fangyuan Xilu, Chaoyang District (6615 8233) 朝阳区芳园西路6号
Eudora Station 亿多瑞站
Daily 11am-2am. Patio available. 6 Fangyuan Xilu (opposite Beijing Lido Place), Chaoyang District (6437 8331, 6437 8334) www.eudorastation.com 朝阳区芳园西路6号(北京丽都广场对面）
Element Fresh 新元素
Daily 8am-10pm. Patio available. 6 Jiangtailu, Chaoyang District (6433 5058)
Les Petits Dara
Daily 10am-8pm. 6 Jiangtailu, Metropark Lido Apartments, Bldg 9, No. 104, Chaoyang District (6437 6330, email@example.com) www.dara.com.cn 朝阳区将台路6号，丽都饭店公寓9号楼104号