This is the second part of a two part series. Click here for part one.
Ages 5+. Kids who love hands-on activities should head to Hegezhuang-based JOP Pottery to shape their own ceramic creation. For a half day (1.30-4.40pm), workshops cost RMB 180 person or RMB 400 for one adult and one child; for a full day (10.30am-4.30pm), they cost RMB 280 per person or RMB 500 for one adult and one child. The price includes 3-5kg of white clay, 5kg of rough stoneware, and a chance to fire two to five pieces (depending on the group’s size).
Ages 5-13. Rock climbing is one way to shake off the winter blues. Try O’le Climbing, a sports center operated by the same people behind Trash Bash. The indoor rock climbing wall offers different degrees of difficulty for groups of 4-20 kids. Activities include climbing, bouldering, slacklining, and box climbing for RMB 120-270 per participant. The price includes a bilingual instructor and all the necessary equipment.
Ages 3-12. Only after the initial euphoria wears off and your child realizes that the only way down is though a series of elevated ropes will the mental and physical challenges of an obstacle course truly sink in. When the weather is nice, head to Let’s Go in Wangjing and Dashanzi or Happy Gorilla Tree-Top Adventure Park in Chaoyang Park and Shunyi. Let’s Go is smaller but has an indoor branch at Indigo Mall while Happy Gorilla has zip lines and birthday packages. Let’s Go charges RMB 80 per child for the obstacle course while Happy Gorilla charges RMB 2,800 for eight kids and RMB 280 for every additional participant. Call each venue for detailed prices.
Ages 6-16. Does your child want to live out a pirate fantasy? Both Imagine and Aofan Sailing Club offer pirate-themed packages at Shunyi Olympic Water Park. Kids are divided into teams and get to engage in a pirate battle on the water. Aofan offers a birthday package for RMB 3,000 (maximum 8-10 kids) that include a one-hour party with pirate accessories such as eye patches, bandanas, treasure maps, and life jackets. Imagine charges RMB 2,800 for two hours (up to eight kids). Add-ons include a pirate-themed birthday cake (RMB 350), party supplies (RMB 250), and other water-based activities (RMB 1,000).
Ages 1+. In Shunyi, Happy Land offers pottery, weaving, paper sanding, candle making, painting, and other creative activities for RMB 80 per child (up to 30 guests). The center can also provide entertainment and equipment rentals like bouncy castles. If you’re willing to splurge, UCCA Creative Studio also offers art-centric birthday parties ranging from RMB 2,500-7,000 with decorations, seating, party hats, and balloons, teachers, games, art activities, and party favors included.
Ages 1-7. The New City Center in Wangjing has birthday packages that include use of the facilities for two hours (three if you use their catering), a decorated party room, games and activities, prizes, and child-approved food for RMB 1,000 (maximum eight kids) or RMB 1,300 (maximum 12 kids). One of Beijing’s oldest play centers, Fundazzle, just got a much-needed facelift and can be rented for birthdays. Use of the playroom costs RMB 500 for two hours or RMB 600 for three hours while use of the corridor costs RMB 400 for two hours or RMB 500 for three hours. Groups are limited to 25 kids for the playroom, but unlimited for the corridor.
This article originally appeared on p56-59 in the November 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here (insert the link where the word-here- is http://issuu.com/beijingkids/docs/beijingkidsnov2014) To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.