The following guest post was excerpted from Sinosplice, the blog of Shanghai-based linguist and AllSet Learning founder John Pasden. One of his clients, Mary Ann Abejuro (who is herself a mother), suggested some family-friendly activities for John’s parents to do in Shanghai. Written in the form of quick notes to a friend, the round-up is re-posted here as a list.
Urban Planning Museum
I find it interesting, and I think most people who like cities are usually into it. The top floor now shows a short movie which shows a 360 panoramic view of Shanghai from Hongqiao to Pudong. I haven’t seen it, but my kids and visitors have and everyone has liked it.
"Ghost Market" is the antique market on early mornings on Saturdays and Sundays near Yuan Gardens. I find it fascinating that so many people come to Shanghai from the countryside to sell ceramic shards. I like to watch the background social scene, but picking through some of the stuff is fun too.
Old China Reading Room on Shaoxing Lu
Restful place to browse books and drink tea (nice Austrian cakes at Vienna Cafe nearby)
Glasses Market above the Railway Station
Since your parents aren’t shoppers, the one market that they might be able to get something at and take part in Shanghai commerce madness is the Glasses Market. They should bring a prescription with them from the US and get some glasses made. People with glasses can always use a spare and much much cheaper than in Europe, I’m assuming the same in the U.S. My friend’s ophthalmologist sends all her patients to Bright Eyes Optical (stall 4056). I have taken people to get glasses done there and they were all were happy afterwards. Speak to Linda; she speaks English (in case your parents go on their own).
Historic Houses On and Around Sinan Lu
Visit the ones converted into museums.
I’m insisting on this! And no, you can’t walk them around with an app instead. All parents like this sort of thing. Of course, skip the cheesy ones but do go for the historian-led ones, or at least the ones led by guides with more street cred. The highly recommended guy who does the tours of the Jewish Heritage sites is an Israeli journalist/historian who runs shanghai-jews.com.
Foot Massage or Other Treatments at Xiaonanguo (Hongmei Lu).
The spa part of it has all spa typical treatments available, plus there’s entertainment, which I think is daily. It’s a great place for a foot massage while watching a show of Russian dancers. Why, you may ask? Well … why not? Sounds kooky, but that’s the point. Anyway, it’s supposed to be pretty affordable.
Propaganda Poster Museum
I accidentally came across a place in the Old Town, where they sell books by weight.. Could be a hoot if you’re in the area.
Spin Ceramics on Kangding Lu
Something for themselves or for a gift. Do you know this place? Fab stuff at great prices. (Ed’s note: There’s a Spin Ceramics in Beijing too, located right around the corner from the Element Fresh in Lido.)