beijingkids’ Santa on Ice
On December 18, beijingkids hosts a fun-filled afternoon of skating with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the China World Trade Center’s ice rink, Le Cool. There will be hot chocolate, Christmas treats, gifts, Santa hats, picture opportunities, and more. For details, see listing.
From December 20-28, Jewish families will gather to observe Hanukkah. Also known as the Festival of Lights, the holiday is observed for eight days and nights. Every night, a light is kindled on the Menorah, a special nine-branched candlestick. To learn more about Hanukkah, see Feature.
Catch a Christmas Play
From December 2-18, catch Beijing Playhouse’s pantomime version of Cinderella. Audiences are encouraged to cheer, boo, and hiss along with the story in true British fashion. To see what all the fuss is about, see Feature.
Pick Up Holiday Treats and Decorations
December 25 is fast approaching. Still don’t know where to find that scrumptious roast turkey or spot-on Christmas gift? beijingkids has you covered with a round-up of places to buy presents, feast items, decorations, lights, Christmas trees, and more. For more information, check out Feature.
Play Inside at Joy City Chaoyang
For those positively blustery days, take the fun inside at the Joy City mall at Chaoyang Beilu. For kids, the mall offers a huge role-playing center called EE City. Adults will enjoy browsing the 230,000 square meters of shopping, with popular stores like H&M, Sephora, MaxMara, and more. For more information, check out What’s Fun In.
Get Crafty For the Holidays
Christmas doesn’t always have to be about buying, buying, buying. Slow down and share the simple pleasure of making things by hand. Learn how to make a snowman decoration for Christmas. For step by step instructions, check out Kid Craft.
Take a Load Off at the Hot Springs
Don’t forget to recharge your batteries between work, Christmas shopping, and life’s other hassles. There are several hot spring resorts and hotels around Beijing that are perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. Get messy with a mud bath or sink into a medicinal pool. To find out more, read Day Tripper.
Sip Some Hot Chocolate
Locals recommend drinking hot tea to keep warm, but who says hot cocoa won’t do the trick? In Shunyi, curl up with a mug at Bon Moment or Mrs. Shanen’s. Within the city, there are expat stalwarts like Colibri Cafe, Zarah Cafe, and Comptoirs de France.
Alternatively, buy your own at Jenny Lou’s and mix it up at home. Try Ghiradelli Chocolate Hazelnut mix (RMB 53.90 for 454g) or Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation (RMB 23.90 for 283g).
Organize a Donation Drive at School
With winter coming up, many charities will need an extra hand getting supplies for disadvantaged Chinese children and their families. Items like blankets, warm clothing, and coal to heat orphanages will be in especially high demand. Students can help by spreading the word, organizing a donation drive for at their school, and encouraging family and friends to volunteer at a children’s charity. For more ideas, see Feature.
Sign Up for a Winter Camp
Are you worried that your kids won’t have enough to do over the winter holidays? No worries; there are plenty of winter camps to choose from. Whether they’re interested in football, basketball, taekwondo, writing, cartooning, or painting, winter camps are a fun way to develop skills, make new friends, and keep fit. For a list of winter camps, see Dec 19 listing in Events.