Fun in the Sun
Paddle boats, fishing ponds, go-karting, a zoo, an organic farm and amusement parks. With an endless number of activities, Crab Island is an ideal locale for a day of fun in the sun. For details, see What’s Fun In.
Offer up some of your free time for a worthy cause. From Wokai to Roots & Shoots, there are organizations to suit every interest. See Feature to find out which
volunteer groups need your help.
Take advantage of Beijing’s bike-friendly terrain and embark on a two-wheeled trek around the capital. Not only is bike riding an eco-friendly mode of transportation,
it’s great fun for the whole family. From cruising along the awe-inspiring Great Wall to pedaling through the city’s narrow hutongs, there are trips to suit all
fitness levels. For information about tours, guides and bike rentals, check out Day Tripper.
Located just outside of Shunyi, Butterfly Valley is a great excuse for a day trip. Admire the flowers, learn about the center’s 30 different species of butterflies and spend time in the craft tent. When you’re done, enjoy a picnic in the park or head to The Orchard for a countryside lunch. For details, see Playing Outside (p32). For listings, see Directroy.
Beijing’s hutongs are ripe for exploration. Begin your day with a family brunch at Vineyard Café before soaking up some local color in Beijing’s
narrow hutongs. Then, give your landlegs a rest and hop on a paddle boat in
Houhai. Shopping more your style? Check out NLGX (Nanluogu Xiang) Design’s flagship store where a new line of Beijing-inspired kids tees awaits you. For tips on where to find the best hutong eats, see Top 5.
What’s Old is New
Who said old-school crafts are a thing of the past? The Hutong are hosting a 10-week course designed to teach kids (ages 12-18) some serious hands-on skills, including knitting and how to make pop-up cards. See Sep 3 listing.
Sign Up for Girl Scouts
Is your daugther a wild adventurer or craft fanatic? Sign her up for Girl Scouts Beijing. Each troop molds their own agenda, be it centered around hiking, projects to benefit the community or crafts. Parent volunteers can get involved too. To pre-register for the 2011-2012 year, see the Sep 6 and Sep 7 listings.
The Last Installment of Harry Potter
The long-awaited premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two is set to open in China’s cinemas August 4. Escape the extreme summer heat (and smog) and find refuge in an air-conditioned theater with Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the Hogwarts gang. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some buttery popcorn.
Cold as Ice
Whether you have serious skating skills or you’re the amateur clinging to the wall, cooling off with some rink time is a great way to survive the heat. Family-favorite rinks include All Star Champion Skating Club and Ice Zone. See Directory for listings.
The Natural History Museum
It’s back-to-school time! Give your brain a kickstart and head to Beijing’s Natural History Museum. An educational experience, it’s also an excuse to linger in air-conditioned environs. Check out the woolly mammoths, camels, rabbits – and of course, the dinosaurs. See Directory for listing.