Raising house prices in Beijing were to blame for the shut down of the Magic Bean House which had been operating in the capital since 2010. Once located near the west gate of Chaoyang Park, Magic Bean House was a member of the Association of Children’s museum and a favorite spot for birthday parties. The themed parties were based on cartoon characters which were a big hit and will be solely missed.
The museum balanced a fun play area for younger children and educational center. It was a hands on place for children to develop their skills with a supermarket and mechanic’s garage role play area. The notice on their website (www.magicbeanhouse.com, Chinese only) says that they are looking for a new location to set up shop. This is now a wait and see what happens situation.
In the mean time, here is a list of indoor play centers around town to visit over the holidays, or during a smoggy day, and other birthday party venues to consider.
The newly opened play center at the Kerry Hotel features slides, climbing areas, toy cars, a snack bar and themed rooms that would make a nice destination to your kid’s next birthday party. This space is good toddlers to tweens. Located at the 3/F, in the Kerry Sports Center, Kerry Hotel, 1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (6561 3388)
朝阳区朝阳区光华路1号北京嘉里中心饭店3层 Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 9am-10pm. (http://www.beijingkerrycentre.com/adventure_zone.html).
The main features are a large scale climbing frame, Mickey Mouse play area, swimming pool, Sensory Room, Soft Island and Craft Room. Other services provided include: party hosting, catering, coffee shop, and crèche facility. Located in Wangjing at Bldg 4, 51 Wangjing Beilu and is open Sat-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri 10am-8pm. To find out more call 6478 6163 or visit www.familyboxes.com.cn.
The main areas of Mitty Jump are the tree house and swaying bridges, a spaceship, a squishy volcano with about a half dozen ball pits, Mitty’s home with a small vegetable patch, a bouncy castle, a mini train, and a mini football (soccer) pitch. Mitty Jump is located on the 4th floor of the Lotus Shopping Mall and Poly Wanhe Cinema on Futong West Street in Wangjing. For directions, pricing, and other info, visit www.mittyjump.com (Chinese) or call 8421-0908.
The main features are a huge two-story jungle gym, trampolines and a toddler area with small cars, swings, seesaws and toy houses. Fundazzle is located on Gongti Nanlu in Sanlitun near the Worker’s Stadium. It is open Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun and holidays 9am-7pm. Visit www.fundazzle-nc.com or call 6593 6208 for more info.
New City Center
Birthday party hosting and planners is the new face of the New City Center. They offer packages that are inclusive of decorations, games and activities, prizes, and child-approved food. They keep children busy on that special day with theme centered crafts and other activities. The NCC is located at 2/F, 112 Lize Xiyuan (above Yuan Art Museum), Guangshun Beidajie, Wangjing, Chaoyang District (6475 1066, Chinese: 150 1035 8799, English: 131 2661 1088) Tue-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 1-6pm. 朝阳区望京广顺北大街利泽西园112号楼2层（元典美术馆上面）www.thenewcitycenter.com
Photo courtesy of The Magic Bean House, NCC, Christopher Lay and Michael Wester