A surprise upon returning from holiday break — A-Z Kids has apparently closed its doors. Located in the Pinnacle Avenue area of shops and restaurants, A-Z was a popular birthday party destination and a nice option for indoor activity during the cold winter months. They even hosted various holiday events and started a homework club over the past couple of years.
However, the doors are chained shut and the inside is dark, with no phone number or sign indicating what happened. Calls to the business number go unanswered, so it remains a mystery. So, now where to go with young children? Here are a few options, for weekend activities or party venues.
*Happyland Pottery is one constant that has remained during my five years here, and they’ve actually grown! Paying by the hour, kids can choose whatever craft activity they like – from a clay pottery wheel, to beadwork, to making small shaped soaps and more. It’s a great place for a birthday party (they will also come to you), and they have a cotton candy machine available. Happyland is also the one to call for bouncy castle rentals, should you need one. Call 8046 4055 or 136 6104 5892.
*Stella’s Shop with Woodcarver Zhang is mostly noted for the wood carved nativity sets and other Christian artwork. However, there is a small room off to the side outfitted with craft materials such as stamp art. I have heard that they are happy to host small birthday parties there as well. Contact Stella Zhang at 8146 1284 or 136 9334 0571.
*Small World Kid’s Land hair and photography studio on the 5th floor of Euro Plaza has recently changed its name to Viva Xiao – still tailored to children and offering special events with hair and nail treatment for little girls. I hosted a birthday party there for my daughter when she turned 7, and many friends have followed suit as it was a unique way to celebrate. Call 8046 1603 for specifics, or 136 9109 1046 for English inquiries.
*Capital Paradise still has a small bowling alley available for use, either with small groups or for birthdays. Granted, it’s gotten a bit worn and isn’t exactly league quality, but it’s an option for something different to do. Call the clubhouse reception at 8046 3666.
*For younger tots (130cm or below, or approximately 8 years and younger), on the 5th floor of Euro Plaza is Myoyo – a play place that ONLY children may enter (the area is wide open if there are any problems on the play structures). From a sand pit to small tower structures, this location is always busy with little ones. You can purchase tickets per visit or in multi-session packages for a discount.
*Ice skating on the frozen Dragon Bay Lake is now open and ready for a fun day out on the ice. Rental skates are available, as are ice chairs. Pay by the hour (RMB 30); call 8042 2396.
*If the family wants to enjoy a nice weekend brunch at the Hilton Capital Airport 360 restaurant, there is a fabulous, large play area to keep the kids entertained for hours. It houses a merry-go-round type of tree like A-Z Kids did, and I see a range from toddlers to pre-tweens enjoying their time there. Bonus: staff ayis will watch the kids as you enjoy your meal.
Feel free to add to this list, offering venue options for those in the Shunyi area. Things come and go quickly here, so it’s always good to have a handy list of options available!