While nightclubs litter the Gongti area, it still remains a great family-friendly destination during the light of day. Kite flyers can be found at the north entrance of Workers’ Stadium in the summer and the stadium itself has hosted crowds of enthusiastic fans cheering for the local team Beijing Guoan Football Club. If you’re looking for an easy-to-plan afternoon, the Workers’ Stadium is your giant playground. Browse a wide selection of French films and books, say hello to marine life at Blue Zoo Beijing and get the family into some healthy bowling competition at Gongti 100. From hot dogs and pizza to crepes and croissants, there’s also plenty of kid-friendly fare to keep the clan energized for the day’s activities.
Begin your exploration of Gongti at Dongsishitiao subway station (Line 2). From here, take exit C and walk east, turning right on Gongrentiyuchang Xilu. Continue walking south to the French Cultural Centre (1), where you’ll find a library full of French magazines, newspapers, movies and books. Watch a film with French or Chinese subtitles at one of the viewing stations. In addition, the center has a wellstocked bookshop with an extensive collection of French books, a movie theater (check their website for upcoming films), and a cafe serving croissants (RMB 8) and other snacks.
Enter through the south gate of Workers’ Stadium to reach the next stop: Blue Zoo Beijing (2). Explore the 7,800sqm aquarium, with over 6,000 species of marine creatures, including sharks, piranhas, starfish and lobsters. Within the aquarium’s underwater walkway, watch out for the occasional scuba diver, as well as turtle and shark feedings and the mermaid and water ballet shows. Check the timetable to avoid missing any of the action!
Swing around the Workers’ Stadium towards the East Gate and grab a quick bite to eat at Stadium Dog (3). At the toppings bar, accentuate your hot dog and nachos with cheese, salsa, olives, sour cream, mustard and more.
Next, head out of Workers’ Stadium East Gate and let your kids run wild at Fundazzle (4). This indoor activity center consists of a large play area, complete with a ball pit, slides, tunnels, a two-story jungle gym and an area for toddlers. One round costs RMB 50 per child and lasts for three hours. It is free for parents on weekdays and costs RMB 15 on weekends and holidays. The center also has a considerable collection of toy stands at the entrance.
After playtime, find your way back to Gongrentiyuchang Xilu and swing by Pizza Buona (5), where the family can refuel with some hearty American-style pizza for lunch. Located beside Hotel G, Pizza Buona offers a wide variety of tasty thick crust pizzas (including the classic pepperoni and an extra cheesy cheese pizza), salads, soups, and sides. Pies come in sizes of 9, 12 and 16 inches and prices start around RMB 40. The restaurant also provides a great free delivery service (call for delivery areas), so pick up a delivery menu on the way out.
Once you’ve satisfied your pizza craving, cross back towards Workers’ Stadium and get active at Gongti 100 (6), which is home to a whopping 100 bowling lanes. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, this is something that the whole family can enjoy. Each game costs RMB 40 per person, and there is a charge of RMB 5 for renting shoes, which are required.
If everyone is still up for it, finish the day with a delicious crepe at Jaya Crepes (7) in Sanlitun Village South. Walk east along Gongrentiyuchang Beilu until you come to Sanlitun Lu. Located in the basement, Jaya Crepes has a mouth-watering selection of both sweet and savory, and hot and cold crepes. Prices start at RMB 20. If you’re not keen on shopping, exit Sanlitun Village and head back along Gongrentiyuchang Beilu towards Tuanjiehu subway station (Line 10).
French Cultural Centre 法国文化中心
Daily 9am-6pm. Monthly fee: RMB 50, RMB 25 (students). 1/F, Guangcai International Mansion, 18 Gongrentiyuchang Xilu (6553 2627) 朝阳区工体西路18号
Blue Zoo Beijing 富国海底世界
Daily 8am-7.30pm (summer), daily 8.30am-6.30pm (winter). RMB 90, RMB 60 (kids under 12), free (kids under 1m). Scuba diving show 8-9am, 1-2pm; Turtle feeding 9.40-9.50am; Shark feeding 9.50-10am; Shark show 10.10-10.30am, 2.30-2.50pm; Ocean show 10.30-10.50am, 2-2.20pm; Mermaid show 11-11.10am, 1.30-1.40pm, 3-3.10pm, 4-4.10pm; Water ballet 11.10-11.20am, 1.40-1.50pm, 3.10-3.20pm, 4.10-4.20pm. Worker’s Stadium South Gate, Chaoyang District (6591 3397) 朝阳区工人体育场南门
Daily 10am-2am. Gate 10, Workers’ Stadium, Chaoyang District (6546 8364) 朝阳区工体东路工人体育场东门内10号进口
Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. RMB 50 for children (for 3 hours), RMB 15 for adults (weekends). Gongrentiyuchang Nanlu (6593 6208) 朝阳区工体南路
Pizza Buona 百好乐
Daily 10.30am-midnight. 7 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District (6551 3518) 朝阳区工体西路7号
Gongti 100 工体100
Daily 12pm-11pm. RMB 40 per game, RMB 5 for shoe rental. 6 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District (6552 2688) 朝阳区工体西路6号
Jaya Cafe 三轩茶屋
Mon-Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sun 11.30ammidnight. SLG53, B1/F, Sanlitun Village South, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6416 2966) 朝阳区三里屯路19号三里屯Village南区地下1层SLG53