Kids and Family in Beijing
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 means that even attractions that 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 highly when it comes to child safety, the affordability of childcare, and the cost of education.
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 Explora Science Museum.
A day out at the Shijingshan Amusement Park is another popular activity for families. Officially themed after Grimms' Fairy Tales, parents will enjoy spotting where many of the park’s characters get their inspiration from, while kids can enjoy riding inside a giant bok choi in the Dream Land section.
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, parents can enjoy the offerings of the main exhibition hall or explore the museum’s scientific amusement park with their children.
Parents wanting their children to explore nature without heading out of the city have a number of options too. The Beihai Park to the northeast of the Forbidden City is perfect for picnics, paddle boat rides and curious exploration through what is one of the largest and most historic gardens in China. Milu Park is also popular, 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.