It may seem early to start thinking about Christmas, but by the end of this month, the festive season will be up and running, with holiday activities everywhere! Christmas in Beijing may not have the same warmth that we would feel back home, but at least there are bazaars and performances across the city that bring those Yuletide vibes, some of them with a Chinese spin.
BSB Shunyi Christmas Fayre & German Market, Nov 24
Enjoy the sights and flavors of a traditional German Christmas market at The British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi. Watch out for the highlights of their annual Christmas Fayre: a concert from BSB choirs and orchestras, the lighting of the tree that will definitely have you singing along to the holiday music, and a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus. All ages. Free admission. 4-8pm. The British School of Beijing, Shunyi.
MCF Christmas Bazaar, Nov 24
The Migrant Children’s Foundation (MCF) once again holds their annual Christmas Bazaar at Beijing City International School. Feel extra good when you stock up your bags with holiday goods, because the bazaar is also a fundraiser, aiming to help MCF send migrant children for a much-needed medical checkup. Last year’s event raised money for the checkup of as many as 60 kids! All ages. Free admission. 10am-2.30pm. Beijing City International School Main Campus.
WAB Winter Charity Bazaar, Nov 24
Considering a winter fiesta? Then head to Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) for their Winter Charity Bazaar, which ushers everyone into the festive winter season, complete with a fair full of handcrafted goods and gifts from dozens of local vendors and non-profit organizations, holiday food and drinks from around the world, and entertainment throughout the day. All ages. 11am-3pm. Western Academy of Beijing.
Riviera Christmas Market, Nov 25
Come out to Beijing Riviera Country Club in Shunyi exactly a month before Christmas for a market where you can have a sip of hot mulled wine, get authentic food delights, and enjoy special offers on Christmas gifts sales from many vendors from Beijing. All ages. Free admission. 10am-6pm. Beijing Riviera Country Club.
Cafe Zarah’s “My Christmas Cookie for You” Cooking Baking Party, Nov 25
Grab your cookie cutters and come to Cafe Zarah to craft cookies for you and the kids supported by the Migrant Children’s Foundation (MCF) as a Christmas gift. Part of the participation fee (RMB 250 per person, RMB 150 for kids 6-11, free for kids below 6), goes to MCF for their initiatives for migrant kids. All ages. The fee includes ingredients for cookie baking, Christmas dinner buffet, one drink, and an MCF apron. 5pm. Cafe Zarah. (RSVP: 8403 9807, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Krismas sa Pinas: Filipino Christmas Holiday Bazaar, Dec 1
Filipino community group Kusina ni Kabayan shares the Philippine-style Christmas festivities with everyone in Beijing at their Krismas sa Pinas holiday bazaar. Get a taste of traditional Christmas delicacies while you enjoy the sights of bright parol (Christmas lanterns) around the Christmas tree. Kids can decorate the Christmas tree as well! All ages. RMB 20 (ages 16+), RMB 5 (ages 4-15, with a Christmas tree ornament), free entrance for kids ages 0-3. 3-7pm. Plan B, Shuangjing. (WeChat ID: Kusina-ni-Kabayan, email@example.com)
3e Charity Christmas Bazaar, Dec 1
3e International School welcomes everyone to their annual Charity Christmas Bazaar, where everyone can buy handmade Christmas gifts or enjoy creating holiday crafts and activities for the whole family. There’s a raffle draw too and its proceeds go to the charity initiatives by the school. All ages. Free admission. 10am-noon. 3e International School, Lido Campus.
Rumble in the Jumble, Dec 1
Rumble in the Jumble is what happens when British jumble sales, American thrift shops, and Chinese markets gloriously collide. In time for the Christmas season, the organizers have brought together vendors from different countries, each touting their handicrafts, delicious foods, and vintage or second-hand items good for Christmas gifts. There’s also a surprising selection of services, from tattoos to storytelling. Adults. Free admission. Noon-6pm. Modernista.
18th German Charity Christmas Bazaar, Dec 1
The 18th German Charity Christmas Bazaar, a delightful and popular holiday fair where over 40 stall holders and market sponsors donate their time and revenue, will be held at the German Embassy Beijing from 11am to 6pm. Visitors will delight in delicious traditional German food items, festive music, books, beautiful handmade Christmas decorations, activities for the children, a gigantic raffle with valuable prizes and more. All visitors are asked to bring a valid passport or ID-card along with their tickets. All ages. RMB 100 (adult tickets), RMB 10 (children tickets). See this page for the locations where you can buy tickets. 11am-6pm. German Embassy Beijing.
BSB Sanlitun Christmas Cracker, Dec 2
The British School of Beijing (BSB), Sanlitun will hold its Christmas Cracker on December 2 from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Come along and get in the festive spirit. Do your Christmas shopping, make some seasonal arts and crafts, meet Santa and enjoy some delicious food and drinks. All ages. Free admission. 10.30am-2.30pm. The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun.
CISB Charity Bazaar, Dec 2
Canadian International School of Beijing’s annual Charity Bazaar is back! Get all of your holiday shopping done and support worthwhile charities while you do it. Get holiday gifts and food, and enjoy music, arts and crafts activities. All ages. Free. 10am-3pm. Canadian International School of Beijing. (admissions@CISBeijing.com)
Festive Family Day at Hilton Beijing, Dec 2
Get what you’ve always wanted for Christmas at the Festive Family Day bazaar, organized by Hilton Beijing. It features over 40 Christmas vendors and activities to get everyone into the spirit of the holiday. All ages. Free admission. 2-8pm. 3rd Floor of Hilton Beijing.
Christmas Stories with the Beijing International Chamber Orchestra, Dec 2
The Beijing International Chamber Orchestra (BICO) stages their Christmas Concert, featuring Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s enchanting musical tale, Peer Gynt, and his much-loved Piano Concerto. This performance continues BICO’s longstanding tradition of presenting entertaining and educational concerts for the family. There’s a special guest too, Santa Claus, who will tell interesting stories and will bring a gift for every child! All ages. RMB 250 (adults), RMB 150 (children). 4-6pm. Canadian International School of Beijing. (158 1124 3143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carols for a Cause: The MCF and Riviera Christmas Fayre 2018, Dec 9
Head to Beijing Riviera Country Club and sing along at Carols for a Cause 2018, a charity fair and holiday market hosted by Beijing Riviera Country Club and the Migrant Children’s Foundation (MCF). The market happens from 11am to 4pm on December 9, with activities including carol singing for both kids and adults. All ages. Free admission. 11am-4pm. Beijing Riviera Country Club.
2018 Christmas Factory at Atelier, Dec 9
Atelier Art School transforms into a Christmas Factory where visitors can celebrate the holidays with artsy-crafty activities, mulled wine, and French crêpes, and also discover the works of Atelier students. All ages. Free admission. 3-6pm. Atelier Art School Sanlitun. (WeChat ID: atelier_apas, 6416 1614, email@example.com)
The Bookworm Christmas Market, Dec 9
The Bookworm hosts a Christmas market on December 9, featuring 35 vendors offering different products, handicrafts, home decor, food and beverage, and more surprises! All ages. Free admission. 4.30-9.30 The Bookworm. (JC Zhang: 158 1071 3743, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tis the Season: Moka Bros Christmas Celebration, Dec 15-16
Moka Bros celebrates the most wonderful time of year with a Yuletide fête for the whole family. Merry activities for all ages are available: sip hot chocolate while decorating a gingerbread man, or help Moka Bros staff adorn their Christmas tree. All ages. RMB 40. Noon-3pm. Moka Bros Shuangjing event on Dec 15. Moka Bros Solana event on Dec 16. (email@example.com)
CISCA Annual Gala Performance of The Nutcracker, Dec 15-16
Join the Conservatory of International Style and Cultural Arts (CISCA) in their gala performance of The Nutcracker. Student performers showcase their technical skills to give the audience an unforgettable experience. The gala aims to raise funds for the Tian Art Foundation, which helps highly talented, but underprivileged children in their development within the performing arts. All ages. RMB 280-1,000. 2-5pm. Canadian International School of Beijing. (188 8883 2623, firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is an updated version of an article that appeared in the beijingkids November 2018 Beijing Makers issue.
Photos: Courtesy of WAB (featured photo) and event organizers