Ritan Park is a green oasis in the middle of the CBD’s concrete jungle. It’s a great place to let kids burn off their energy and learn about history and culture. One of Beijing’s four historic altars, Ritan Park was first constructed in 1530. There are some modern-day touches, like a climbing wall and playground, and some relics of the past, like the Stone Boat Cafe, a fishing pond, and the pavilion for sacrifices.
Daily 6am-10pm (May 1-Sep 30), daily 6am-9pm (Oct 1-Apr 30). 6 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyang District (6502 1743) 朝阳区日坛北路6号
Le Cool Ice Rink 国贸溜冰场
The search for decent air conditioning stops at Le Cool ice rink, where you and your kids can get your exercise without the risk of heat stroke. Break out some pants, hats, and mittens and hit the ice rink, which has a total area of 1,4550 sqm. The rink can get crowded at peak times, like the weekends. But with skate rental and proximity to shopping and the metro, it’s the ideal escape from much of the CBD noise.
Mon-Fri: RMB 30 for 90 minutes (10am-6pm), RMB 40 for 90 minutes (6-10pm). Sat-Sun: RMB 50 for 90 min. Skate rental included. Daily 10am-10pm. B2/F, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6505 5775, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.lecoolicerink.com 朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸地下2层
Poplar Bookstore 蒲蒲兰绘官
Browse children’s book at this funky bookstore tucked away in the residential section of Jianwai SOHO. Poplar has plenty of carpeted nooks for kids to curl up with books, and they have a large selection of Chinese books and a decent section of English books for early and intermediate readers. They also have regular reading events, including English storytelling every Saturday from 1-3pm and Sunday from 10.30am-12pm at RMB 100 each time.
Daily 10am-6.30pm. Rm 1362, Bldg 13, Jianwai SOHO, 39 Dongsanhuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (5869 3032, email@example.com) www.poplar.com.cn 朝阳区东三环中路39号建外Soho13号楼1362
Let your kids get their hands dirty at the Beijing branch of Singapore’s leading art education brand. ArtBug has a number of regular art programs such as Power Drawing and Acrylic on Canvas, as well as dance education and speech and drama classes. There are also some summer camps like sculpture, drawing for those who think they can’t, and painting. And if you’re jealous of all the cool things your kids are doing, there are adult courses as well. ArtBug ensures a healthy environment, using air purifiers in the classrooms and flooring and carpet imported from the US.
Rm 753, Tower A, Chaowai SOHO, 6 Chaowai Dajie, Chaoyang District (5900 0270) www.artbug.com.cn 朝阳区朝阳区朝外大街乙6号朝外SOHO写字楼A座753
Sofitel Wanda Beijing 北京万达索菲特大饭店
This luxury hotel has a great Sunday brunch at Vic that features modern cuisine, seafood, breads, pastries, and more. With a children’s corner featuring games, toys, and DVDs, everyone will enjoy themselves. Spend the rest of the day at Sofitel’s pool, relaxing by the water or splashing about in the pool.
Brunch Attitude at Vic: RMB 408 (soft drinks and juices), RMB 438 (wines, beers, soft drinks, juices), RMB 498 (champagne and all beverages), free for children under 6, half price for children 6-12 years old. Pool (non-guests): RMB 400 per person (non-member), RMB 300 per person (member). Tower C, Wanda Plaza, 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (8599 6666) 朝阳区建国路93号万达广场C座
Wanda International Cinema 万达国际电影城
When the summer blockbusters hit the big screens, a day at the movies is one of the best ways to spend the dog days of summer. This cinema has nine theaters, including an IMAX screen.
Daily 9am-10pm. 3/F, Bldg B, Wanda Plaza, 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (5960 3399) www.wandafilm.com 朝阳区建国路93号万达广场B座三层
Parkview Green 芳草地
Beijing’s greenest mall is also one of the most luxurious. With environmentally-friendly design and purified air, Parkview Green is a great go-to place to spend a cool, clean afternoon indoors. Though much of the shopping is very high end, there are a number of dining selections including sushi, salads, British pub food, and Din Tai Fung; a City Shop; and a cinema. Plus, there’s lots of contemporary art installations scattered throughout the mall, saving you a trip out to 798.
Daily 10am-10pm. 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (6500 5511) 朝阳区东大桥路9号
Photo by Sophie Zhu
This article originally appeared on p57-58 of the beijingkids June 2013 issue.
Check out the PDF version online at Issuu.com