If you’re not willing to brave those nippy winter days, The Familier is a good place to wile away the afternoon. Though prices can be a bit steep (RMB 70/two hours or RMB 100/full day), this 530sqm indoor playcenter has plenty of activities, games, and classes for ages 2-8. The Familier encourages parents to join the fun, with specially-developed programs in English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
There are two locations: the original is next to the Place and Central Park, while a second venue just opened in September at 798 Art District. The center has a Western-style cafe that serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and tea sets with healthy options designed by nutritionist (and beijingkids columnist) Olivia Lee. As a bonus, play time is free for parents and kids 12 months and under with a cafe purchase.
The Familier has three activities lined up for today:
- 1:1 Mandarin Playground: In the 1 to 1 Language Playground Program, kids are immersed in Chinese or English through fun activities and games. (9am-6pm, RMB 150/session)
- Creative Art: Budding artists explore painting, drawing, sculpture, handicrafts, and pottery. This week, participants will use DeltaSand, a special Swedish craft material that has the consistency of wet sea sand and never dries out. Includes an hour of playground admission. (11am-1pm, RMB 120/session)
- Yes, Science: In this ongoing series, kids learn about science and problem-solving through creative projects and exciting experiments. Materials are included in the price. (4-6pm, RMB 800/4-week term)
During the rest of the week, the center offers a host of other events and activities, including oil painting, kung fu, Beijing Mamas meetings, winter school, treasure hunts, survival Chinese lessons, music and movement, and paper cutting. Find out more at The Familier’s website.