With its reputation for smog and high-brow culture, people often make the mistake of thinking that there aren’t many activities for kids in Beijing to enjoy.
For many expat families, the differences in culture and surroundings mean that even attractions which aren’t necessarily aimed at children can be appealing.
Children moving to China, like their parents, have major challenges to overcome, especially in terms of the language barrier and culture shock. But parents will be pleased to know that the country ranks especially high when it comes to child safety and the affordability of childcare.
Activities for kids in Beijing
Thankfully for expat parents, there are a host of attractions in and around Beijing to keep children entertained and interested, with the added benefit of helping them integrate into their new surroundings.
Popular activities for expat kids include field trips to major attractions such as the Great Wall of China, the Underground City and the Forbidden City. Others prefer taking advantage of modern offerings such as the interactive Sony ExploraScience Museum.
A day out at the Shijingshan Amusement Park is another popular activity for families. Themed after Grimms' Fairy Tales, parents will enjoy spotting where many of the park’s characters get their inspiration from, while kids can enjoy a range of attractions, such as rafting, the Ferris wheel and the Shenzou Coaster.
The China Science and Technology Museum is a national tourist attraction, with the famous mirror dome that contains its 360-degree cinema attracting thousands of visitors every year. Full of interesting exhibits that educate while entertaining, the museum is great for parents too, who can enjoy the offerings of the main exhibition hall or explore the scientific amusement park with their children.
Parents who want their kids to explore nature without heading out of the city have several options too. The Beihai Park, north of the Forbidden City, is perfect for picnics, paddleboat rides and curious exploration through what is one of the largest and most historic gardens in China. Milu Park is also a popular attraction, housing a selection of endangered species in what used to be imperial hunting grounds. The Milu deer is the most popular among these, becoming extinct in China in the 19th century before being reintroduced from Britain in the 1980s.