Ring In the Year of the Dragon
From January 23-February 6, celebrate Chinese New Year by setting off firecrackers, wearing lots of red, putting the fu (福) character on your door for good luck, and passing out red envelopes to the wee ones. Your neighborhood market will have Chinese New Year supplies like red envelopes, paper fu, and Chinese couplets to mount around your door.
Take In a Temple Fair
Temple fairs, or miaohui (庙会), are traditional events with live performances, regional snacks, and arts and crafts for sale. Temple fairs are usually held from the eve of Chinese New Year to the seventh day of the holiday, which falls from January 22-29. The following locations contain some of Beijing’s biggest temple fairs. Schools like YCIS and BCIS will also hold their own miaohui. For details, see Events. Also, check www.beijing-kids.com for a complete list of Beijing’s temple fairs.
RMB 10. 9am-5pm. Ditan Park, Andingmenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District (6421 4657) www.dtpark.com地坛公园，东城区安定门外大街
RMB 10. 9am-4.30pm. Changdian Temple Fair (Taoranting Park), 19 Taiping Jie, Xuanwu District (6358 8801) www.trtpark.com 厂甸庙会（陶然亭公园），宣武区太平街19号
Price and time TBD. Chaoyang Park, 1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6506 5409) www.sun-park.com 朝阳公园，朝阳区朝阳公园南路1号
Eat Dumplings for Good Fortune
Boiled, steamed, or fried, jiaozi are a must during Chinese New Year. Due to their
resemblance to Ming Dynasty gold ingots, dumplings have come to symbolize
prosperity. Many families eat jiaozi at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve – but
why stop there? Buy frozen ones, make your own, or try out one of the following
restaurants: Mr. Shi’s Dumplings, Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu, Xian Lao Man, Green Bites, or
Dongbei Ren. See Directory for complete listings.
Karl Jenkins Visits the ISCMS Music Festival
On February 18, internationally renowned Welsh composer Karl Jenkins will lead
students in a gala concert for the fifth annual International Schools Choral Music
Society Music Festival, hosted this year by Dulwich College Beijing. For more information, visit the ISCMS website at www.iscms.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snow Fun at the Bird’s Nest Snow Festival
Tickets for the third annual Bird’s Nest Snow Festival are now on sale. The festival runs until February 29 and features 57,000sqm of winter-themed games for kids and
teens. Activities include a snow maze, snowball fights, snow soccer, and more.
RMB 140. 10am-7pm. Bird’s Nest National Stadium, 1 Guojiatiyuchang Nanlu, Chaoyang District (400 678 6016) www.shuiniaoticket.com 鸟巢欢乐冰雪季，朝阳区国家体育场南路1号
Pick Up Discount Books at the Roundabout Book Fair
On January 14, Roundabout will once again host a charity book fair at Beijing Rego British School. There will be big discounts on second-hand books, including kids’ books as low as RMB 1, paperbacks at RMB 10, and hard covers at RMB 20. Roundabout’s first book fair in November raised RMB 50,000 to purchase coal for Chinese orphanages in need. For more information, see Events.
Hit the Slopes Around Beijing
Whether you’re looking to get out of the city for a day or a weekend, there are
several places around Beijing to go skiing or snowboarding. Many ski resorts feature
accommodations, ski schools, a host of kids’ activities, and Western dining. For a
roundup of locations, check out Day Tripper.
Discover a New Restaurant or Two
This month, we spotlight the 50 most family-friendly restaurants in Beijing. The write-ups are divided by area and contain practical information on pricing, bathrooms, seating, best dishes for kids, and more. New additions to the list include Hello Kitty Dreams, the pinktastic restaurant that just opened in Sanlitun’s Shimao complex. For the complete lowdown, go to Feature.
Go Ice Skating at Houhai Lake
Houhai Lake is finally frozen over, prompting Beijingers of all stripes to bundle up and hit the ice for that most nostalgic of winter activities. When you’re done skating and trying out Houhai’s peculiar ice bikes and other contraptions, hit a cafe nearby for some hot chocolate or walk through the quiet hutongs in the area. For more ideas, see What’s Fun In.
Attend a Class, Workshop, or Sports Camp
It’s easy to get bored if you’re staying in Beijing for the holidays. Take advantage
of the winter lull to visit that play center, community center, indoor sports venue, or
studio you’ve been meaning to check out. A newcomer to the family scene is the New
City Center in Wangjing, which offers workshops and classes for kids and adults. See
what’s out there in Events.