German-born Nils van Doorn and Hainan native Lian Chen met in Beijing as students, got married in Germany, and returned to China in 2002. They are the founders of baby international, an online baby store based in China. Together with their 3-year-old son Vincent, the family divides their time between Shanghai and Beijing. Here are some of their favorite Beijing hangouts.
Favorite Family Restaurant
Element Fresh. They have kid-friendly choices (including great macaroni) and coloring books to keep kids entertained.
Rainy Day Activity
Watching a movie at Saga Cinema in Solana.
Favorite Way to Relax
A picnic at Qingnian Hu Park
Favorite Day Trip
We like going to the Great Wall, where you can still find a natural environment.
Favorite Places to Shop
We’re right next to The Place, so it’s a good spot for Lian to shop for clothes. She likes the Zara flagship store. It’s hard to find kids’ clothes without Mickey Mouse on them, so we’re currently launching our own line called Vogue Bebe.
Vincent Begs Us to Go to
Favorite Place to Play
Olympic Park (outdoors) and The Familier (indoors) – it feels less commercial than other play centers.
Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion
We often go to Charme (港丽餐厅) in Soho Shangdu. They serve a fusion of Western and Asian food.
Sanlitun and the nearby embassy area.
Date Night Spot
Houhai, because you can combine a candlelit dinner and a romantic walk by the lake.