After days of heavy rain, the summer sun is back to tell kids and parents to go out and enjoy that long-awaited break. If you haven’t decided what to do, here’s one excellent place where tons of books and science stuff await the nerdy, the cool, and everyone in between!
These little fellas above and the programmable android in the featured image are just a few of the tons of awesome things that will welcome you at the Beijing Science Festival and China Children’s Book Expo, which are happening simultaneously at the Beijing Exhibition Centre in Xizhimen.
There are hundreds of good reads, from Chinese culture and fiction to comics to learning materials for studying Mandarin or English – name it and you’ll find it at the book expo (on the left side of the center). To make reading more exciting, several exhibitors are organizing mini-events like cosplay and face painting for kids and the young at heart.
All sorts of good science stuff like robots and building blocks, a mini biodome and terrariums filled with Venus flytraps and pitcher plants, and even small race cars, are on display on the left side of the center.
Many of the activities at both the book expo and the science festival are in Chinese, but there are a few English-speaking staff and expat organizers who can guide parents in the exhibition halls. Kids who can speak Chinese can enjoy everything there!
As the next few days promise to be clear, expect to see this majestic view of Beijing Exhibition Centre (by the entrance road and just before you pass the ticket booths):
Public toilets are near the entrance (on the left side) of the center. If you get hungry, don’t worry as there are a lot of food vendors and refreshment areas where you can buy ice cream and water.
And make the most our of your visit to Xizhimen. Less than a mile from Beijing Exhibition Centre is Beijing Zoo, and in front of it just across the main road (Xizhimen Outer Street) is Beijing Planetarium. Just be aware that a lot of people will visit both attractions so it would be wise to plan ahead for your trip.
China Children’s Book Expo & Beijing Science Festival, Jul 7-16
All ages. Already in its third consecutive year, the China Children’s Book Expo is back and this year’s event is combined in one space with the Beijing Science Festival. Browse and buy children’s books from over 40 children’s publishers, and participate in a wide range of interactive activities themed around children’s books and science. Once you’ve explored children’s books to your heart’s content, move on to discover a whole world of science fun! RMB 120 per person, free entry for children under 0.9m tall. 10am- 5pm. Beijing Exhibition Center. 135 Xizhimenwai Street, Xicheng District. 西城区 西直门外大街135号.
How to go there?
Option 1: Take Line 4 and get off at Beijing Zoo Exit C2 (northeast). Walk straight from the exit for 600 meters (about 6 min) and you will see Beijing Exhibition Centre on your left side.
Option 2: Take Line 6 and get off at Chegongzhuang West Exit B (northeast). From the exit, walk the opposite side and take the first right street (Zhanlanguan Road). Walk for about 1 km (about 15 min) and cross the main road (Xizhimen Outer Street Road). You’ll see the spire of Beijing Exhibition Centre on the way.
Option 1: Take Line 15 bus toward Dongwu Yuanshuniu Zhan or Line 26 bus toward Erlizhuang and get off at Beijing Zhanlanguan. Walk for about 400 meters (about 6 min) and cross the main road (Xizhimen Outer Street Road). You’ll see the spire of Beijing Exhibition Centre on the way.
Option 2: Take Line 27 bus toward Andingmen Wai and get off at Xizhimen Wai. Walk the opposite side of the road for about 350 meters (about 6 min) and you’ll see Beijing Exhibition Centre on your right.
By Didi/car-hailing app
Beijing Exhibition Center is in 135 Xizhimenwai Avenue, Xicheng District 北京展览馆剧场 西城区 西直门外大街135号. Type in 北京展览馆剧场 (Běijīng zhǎnlǎn guǎn jùchǎng).
Photos: Andy Penafuerte III