Exhausted by all of Beijing’s usual attractions and looking for somewhere new to visit in Beijing? Well, as China’s first and only state run museum devoted to women and children, The Chinese Museum of Women and Children is one of Beijing’s biggest and most exciting new museums, and with free admission what more could you ask for?
Just a 5 minute walk from the north-east exit of Dongdan subway station （东单地铁站）, just off Zheng Xie Lu （政协路） you can find the rather impressive looking Chinese Museum of Women and Children. Upon entering the museum, head upstairs to begin your exploration through time. The museum spans 6 floors, each floor exploring a different theme. The first 3 of the 6 floors, focuses on children and is aptly named the Hall of Children, while the remaining 3, the Hall of Women, focuses on Chinese women and their influence throughout history.
The museum boasts 30,000 cultural relics; amongst them are porcelain, jade artefacts, some costumes date as far back as the Neolithic period. Arriving at the Hall of Children in Ancient China on the 2nd floor, you will be greeted by various artefacts spanning across the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, such as a collection of children’s exam papers and a cotton padded jacket, both from the Qing dynasty. The exhibition then continues onto the 2nd and 3rd floor, exploring modern and contemporary China in the Hall of Contemporary China, which focuses on the course of Chinese children’s development and the Hall of Children in Modern China which includes exhibits on the living and education condition of Chinese children.
Then, on the 3rd floor, the main highlight of the Hall of Children is the Hall of Children’s Toys and The Children’s Experience Hall, where children are welcome to play and have fun with the toys on display. The toys are replicas of toys from primitive society to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Hall also features some fun interactive games, such as virtual ball games that even adults will want to have a go at!
Coming up next is the Children’s Experience Hall, which offers a hands-on experience and features various interactive games and some informative videos too. The hall also has a section dedicated to educating children about environmental protection.
Moving onto the 4th floor is the Hall of Women in Ancient China which explores women and their roles and achievements from the Neolithic age and traces their development throughout history, eventually leading to the Hall of Women in Modern China. The development of women in Chinese history is then highlighted further in the Hall of Women in Contemporary China display, which features artefacts relating to media, sports and healthcare, and the Hall of International Friendship which features some bright and colorful tapestries and other art pieces and gifts from various countries.
Finally, on the 6th floor, is the piece de résistance of the Hall of Women: the Hall of Women’s Fashion, and the Hall of Women’s Art which house various striking exhibitions from displays of a variety of ethnic costumes to some traditional embroidery and paper crafts.
The museum has toilet facilities conveniently located in well posted locations on each floor and also has a snack bar situated on the 1st floor, so you can take a break and refuel after all the exploring! Note that a lot of the interactive games and videos are in Chinese, though information for the exhibits is displayed in both English and Chinese.
How to get there:
For transportation take subway line 1 to Dongdan (东单) .
23 Jianguomennei Dajie, Dongcheng District
6526 9678, 6526 9456
Photo courtesy of Hudong website.