The bowling alleys at East Gate Plaza Bowling Club in Dongzhimen is the most frequented by expats however the staff speaks Chinese only. Both places are clean, and there are packages available that include soft drinks and snacks in the price. Shoes rental is available at both locations.
Age suitability: 8-17
Price range: RMB 100-250
Mega-sized or itsy-bitsy, there’s a museum out there for everyone. China Science and Technology Museum is the stand out, with riveting interactive displays making it the best pick for kids both young and old. The China Railway Museum is also not to be missed. This warehouse-style building filled with older steam engines will bring Thomas the Tank Engine to life. Others worth a mention are Beijing
Planetarium, China National Museum (with different themed exhibitions every other month), and Shijia Hutong Museum which showcases hutong culture.
Age suitability: All ages
Price range: RMB 30-100
The oldie of the bunch is Fundazzle, a time tested play center that’s cheaper and can accommodate large groups. However, the staff mainly speaks Chinese and some areas are in need of a facelift. Other options include Wangjing-based Mitty Jump that although smaller has fewer crowds on the weekends. Family Box has several branches around town but staff only speak Chinese. Young kids can get their thrills at the career changing EE City at Joy City or Beyou World at Sanyuanqiao. Also see little oasis on p18.
Age suitability: 3-12
Price range: RMB 80-300
O’lé Climbing is the place for indoor rock climbing when colder temperatures set in. Climbing, bouldering, slacklining, and box climbing are available. All necessary equipment, including shoes, is provided.
Age suitability: 5-13
Price range: RMB 120-270
The World Trade Center Mall’s Le Cool Ice Rink is the most popular, with large crowds during the weekends and holiday season as it’s a family favorite. In Solana Mall, the All Star Ice Rink holds classes and other fun activities. Champion Rink has branches in Haidian and Chongwen districts. Shunyi’s Quanfa Garden has its own ice rink, Center Ice Asia which plays host to ice hockey practice and games. In winter, Dulwich College Beijing has an outdoor ice rink that’s open to the public in the evenings and on weekends.
Age suitability: 6-17
Price range: RMB 30-200
There’s always a karaoke (KTV) place nearby in Beijing, especially in the Chaoyang and Dongcheng districts. The only drawback is that in most places the staff speaks Chinese only. Try Party World, Chun K (Korean brand), and Melody (a chain with numerous locations).
Age suitability: 10-17
Price range: RMB 500-2,000
Originating in Japan, time sensitive and mentally and physically challenging, escape rooms are best enjoyed in teams of five to ten. There are two well known escape rooms service providers in Beijing: Omescape and Mr. X. Omescape has several locations, Mr. X is located at the Shimao Mall on Xingdong Lu. The prices are reasonable, but this activity isn’t suitable for younger kids as the themes in most rooms are a little scary.
Age suitability: 12-17
Price range: RMB 100-200
Kids can let their creative juices flow at Atelier, Blue Bridge, or the UCCA Creative Studio. UCCA Creative Studio located at the 798 Art District has programs and themed classes for kids age 3-12. Blue Bridge has two locations, in Chaowai SOHO and Lido, offering themed classes. Atelier offers art, photography, and other one-time classes at their Sanlitun and Shunyi locations. At all centers classes are available geared for beginners, intermediate learners, and those just looking for something fun to do on the weekends.
Age suitability: 3-17
Price range: RMB 200-2,000
Check our online directory for addresses, prices, and opening hours for the businesses listed above.
This article originally appeared on page 34-35 of the beijingkids November 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article has been updated as the Cosmic Bowling Club was shut down.
Photos: Scarygami, jonny2love, Derek Gavey (flickr) and courtesy of Omescape