For those who are staying in Beijing, school is almost out and the question is upon us again: What’s something fun to do for all those hot days ahead of us? For children, there’s something special about splashing around in the water during the summertime. Whether it’s a blow-up pool or a sprinkler in the backyard, water play is a simple pleasure. Many of us may not have the luxury of backyards – or even bathtubs – but what we do have is fountains. Lots of them. If you’re feeling particularly daring, why not take a run through the water yourself? Just don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for both you and the kids.
With a futuristic style usually reserved for sci-fi films, Galaxy SOHO has kid-friendly fountains complete with water archways, mist, and light features. There’s also space for parents to sit down, making the location an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee from Santorini Coffee or Pacific Coffee Company while the kids cool off on a hot afternoon. However, note that the relatively new SOHO complex has otherwise limited dining options. If you’re in need of a bite to eat, fortunately, Raffles Mall, Oriental Plaza, and Ritan International Hotel are all close by – if you can manage to tear the kids away from the fountains, that is.
Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park
Solana has three fountains: one at the entrance in front of Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery and two in front of Zara. The two larger fountains are blocked off to prevent kids from getting in the water, but the smaller one is reserved for play. At night, the main fountain in the plaza out front features a water show with colorful lights and music.
Indigo Mall recently opened an outdoor garden and park on the east side of the building behind Blue Frog and Element Fresh, and with it, a brand new fountain. It features discreet nozzles that shoot out streams of water at varying heights. A playground is due to open soon next to the garden, though no dates have been released. Indigo is home to numerous stores and restaurants, including Counting Sheep, Kidsland, and Hercules.
Taikoo Li South
We can’t write about fountains in Beijing without mentioning Taikoo Li South in Sanlitun. Formerly known as The Village, Taikoo Li has one of the most recognizable fountains in the city. The wide, open space adjacent to Starbucks and the Apple Store is great for playing in as jets spurt water high into the air. Taikoo Li also has tons of restaurants and shops to choose from. Families can also visit bookstore Page One, or catch a movie at Megabox Cinema located in the basement. For a bite to eat, Element Fresh, Wagas, and Blue Frog are all located upstairs on the third floor.
Wangjing SOHO, the newest addition to the SOHO empire, has a huge fountain located on the north side of Tower 1. Stroll along the perimeter of the building and through the small garden path to reach it. Wangjing SOHO is also great for kids on wheels. The pavement provides a smooth surface for skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades. However, at the time of print, both Tower 3 and the park to the south were still under construction, and restaurants and adjoining businesses weren’t open yet. Until then, cross the street to find a Seven-Eleven, Costa Coffee, Obentos, Zoo Café, and Burger King.
Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park 蓝色港湾
Daily 10am-10pm. 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6565/68) www.solana.com.cn/english/web/index.asp 朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区
Indigo Mall 颐堤港
Daily 10am-10pm. 18 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (8426 0898) www.indigobeijing.com 朝阳区酒仙桥路18号
Taikoo Li Sanlitun 三里屯
Daily 10am-10pm. Sanlitun Village, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6417 6110) www.taikoolisanlitun.com 朝阳区三里屯路19号
Wangjing SOHO 望京SOHO
10 Wangjing Jie, Chaoyang District (400 815 9888) wangjingsoho.sohochina.com/en 朝阳区望京街10号
2 Nanzhugan Hutong, Chaoyangmennei Dajie, Dongcheng District (8610-5957) galaxysoho.sohochina.com/en 东城区朝阳门内大街南竹杆胡同2号