1. Gobble Up Turkey for Thanksgiving
The season of thanks is upon us again! This year, American Thanksgiving falls on November 22, with many dining events extending into the weekend. In addition to roast turkey, traditional fare includes pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and butternut squash soup. For ideas on where to go, see our Events.
2. Dine for a Good Cause
Now in its fourth year, Chi Fan for Charity (CFFC) brings together around 40 of the city’s best restaurants for one night of charity dining. On November 10, each participating restaurant will donate a table with a special menu and wine selection. Tables will be hosted by local personalities, associations, and groups of friends. This year’s edition will benefit Little Flower Projects and The Starfish Project. For a list of participating restaurants, click here.
3. Get Informed at Health Talks around Beijing
This November is a great month for parenting-related health talks and seminars. International SOS returns with its popular Parentcraft series, featuring topics like food battles, toddler taming, toilet training, healthy snacking, and nutrition for babies and young children. Eliott’s Corner is also holding seminars on autism, multilingual speech and language development, and tummy time. Plus, Shanghai AWB Health Management is hosting a nutrition talk called Smart Food for Smart Kids at Swissotel Beijing. For details, see Events.
4. Get a Head Start on Christmas Shopping
Christmas is still one month away, but schools and other organizations are already organizing seasonal bazaars for early shoppers. Look out for events organized by The Children’s House International Montessori Kindergarten, the Canadian International School of Beijing, Rotary Club of Beijing, Western Academy of Beijing, and British Embassy Beijing. For a complete roundup, click here.
5. Wander Through Wangfujing
Your first instinct may be to dismiss Wangfujing as a tourist trap, but there’s more to this area than you think. Apart from St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Wangfujing Bookstore, the area is also home to time-honored tea shops, arts and crafts markets, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. For a walking tour, see our November 2012 issue.
6. Pick up a Mallet at a Polo Club
Polo is one of the fastest-growing sports in China, and now you can get in on the action too! This “sport of kings” is offered at two clubs in Beijing – Sunny Time Polo Club and Tang Polo Club – and one in Tianjin: Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club. Polo is a great way for kids to develop communication skills, teamwork, and self-confidence. For more on Tang Polo Club and other facilities, see our November 2012 issue.
7. Escape to Chengde
Formerly the summer abode of Emperor Kangxi and his grandson Qianlong, Chengde has a long history as an ideal weekend getaway. November is your last chance to visit Chenge before temperatures drop to freezing. Located only 200km away and a less than RMB 100 train ride, the mountain resort is the perfect place to take in the last of the autumn leaves. For details, see the November 2012 issue.
8. Make Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup
Starting to feel that winter chill? Until the city turns on the heat on November 15, stay warm with a piping hot homemade batch of delicious pumpkin soup. Sous Chef Thomas Giese from Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center shares an easy but decadent recipe that includes fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, chicken stock, coconut milk, and whipping cream. For step-by-step instructions, check out our November 2012 print edition.
9. Warm Up to a Bag of Chestnuts
The end of fall signals the arrival of fresh-roasted chestnuts! If you’ve never had these toothsome snacks before, you’re missing out; not only are they delicious, but chestnuts (called banli or 板栗 in Chinese) also contain no gluten, no cholesterol, and very little fat. They’re sold on street corners and market stalls for around RMB 10-15 per jin, depending on the size of the chestnuts; one jin is more than enough to share. Crack the shell with your front teeth, peel away the exterior, and bite into the firm, golden nut within.
10. Stock Up on Winter Gear
Brrrrr! It’s already getting blustery in Beijing. Steel yourself against the cold by picking up woollens, padded coats, mittens, hats, and scarves. Outfit the entire family at Decathlon, Reima, Uniqlo, Yashow Market, Silk Market, Solana Lifestyle and Shopping Park, or Sunny Gold Market. If you’d prefer a custom fit, get a coat made at one of the stores beside Yashow Market or even at supermarket chain Jingkelong, which can tailor padded winter jackets.
Photos: patti haskins, Courtesy of Chi Fan for Charity, Alex E. Proimos, Courtesy of Stage One Productions, Lova, Littleones Kids & Family Portrait Studio, Jacopo, Judy Zhou, Oxfordian Kissuth, gelatobaby