Christmas Day is finally here! Work off last night’s gastronomic debauchery with some fun and creative family activities. With art galleries, play centers, and restaurants galore, Beijing has plenty to offer even on a holiday. Here’s a selection of events taken from both beijingkids and our sister publication, the Beijinger.
If you’re over the holiday season (like I am), visiting an art gallery can be a restorative experience. Exhibitions are relatively uncrowded spaces, with lots of art to puzzle, provoke, and fascinate older kids and teens. Event details are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to call ahead. For more art exhibitions, visit the Beijinger’s Events page.
- Fantasy of Childhood: This free exhibition features paintings and sculptures by six young Chinese artists, in which they express their childhood dreams.
- Hao Shiming’s Art Exhibition: The Hilton Beijing’s contemporary art gallery features works by the Chinese ink painter, Hao Shiming. His paintings deal with the shifting social positions of women in a rapidly-changing country.
- World’s Shadows: In his latest work, artist Zhang Dali experiments with cyanotypes, a creative process that experiments with shadows of different forms. The resulting ghostly images are beautiful and haunting.
Films and Performances:
Let someone else take the reins for a while with a Christmas Day show or movie.
- The Taming of the Shrew: The Bayerische Staatsballett presents William Shakespeare’s classic play on the battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew. Tickets range from RMB 100-580 and the play takes place at the National Centre for Performing Arts.
- Modernista Cafe and Bar is screening the classic Guys and Dolls, a 1955 musical starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, and Frank Sinatra. The movie will be in English with English subtitles.
- For some touristy fun, catch Tiandi Theatre’s Acrobatics Show, featuring acrobats, contortionists, and jugglers. Tickets cost RMB 180-680.
- Whether you love it or hate it, Beijing opera is undeniably an experience. For RMB 200-580 a pop, you can see performers from the Beijing Opera Institute of Beijing at Liyuan Theatre.
Festive Brunches and Dinners
If last night’s festivities weren’t enough for you, many hotels and restaurants are offering special Christmas brunches and set menus. Some of these may already be booked solid, but it’s worth calling and giving it a shot. For more ideas, visit the Beijinger’s Events page.
- At China World Hotel, there’s Christmas brunch with carved ham, roast turkey, seafood, and a flute of Moet & Chandon champagne at Scene a Café for RMB 388 per person.
- If you’d prefer Chinese food, the Ritz-Carlton Beijing has a Christmas Day dim sum brunch for RMB 388 per person.
- In the Shunyi area, Hilton Beijing Capital Airport has a festive brunch with turkey and trimmings, Christmas pudding, honey-glazed ham, minced pies, and more for RMB 348-418.
- Swissôtel Beijing’s Cafe Swiss offers a five-course meal with cheese fondue, roasted duck breast, Gravad lox, turkey, and more. Vegan options are also available. Prices are RMB 388-488 per person.
- The Filling Station in Shunyi offers a four-course traditional Christmas dinner with smoked salmon, roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and more for RMB 280 (adults) and RMB 140 (kids). Vegetarian options are also available.
For play centers, museums, and more, visit the beijingkids Directory.