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Top Activities for Kids in Shanghai

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Shanghai has a lot to offer your kids when they get tired of being dragged to another classical garden, one more Chinese meal or another shopping market. If you're bringing your kids to China, then it's easy to make Shanghai about them. Between watching the kites fly in Century Park to checking out the Pandas at the Shanghai Zoo, you'll be able to entertain your kids for an afternoon or two, and probably be able to bribe them into coming with you to one more Buddhist temple while you're at it.

1. Aquaria 21 and Changfeng Park | (长风公园 | Changfeng Gongyuan)

  • Description: Large underwater aquarium
  • Address: Located at Gate 4, Chang Feng Park, 451 Da Du He Road, near Ji Sha Jiang Road
  • Opening hours:: daily 9am-5pm
  • Admission: different for adults and children. Children under a certain height are free (call Shanghai (021) 5281 8888 for up-to-date rates)
  • Getting there: No metro stops
  • Comments: Read the full profile here.

2. Century Park (世纪公园 | Shiji Gongyuan)

  • Description: Shanghai's largest park
  • Location: Pudong
  • Opening hours: early morning until sundown
  • Admission: sometimes the park is free for entry, sometimes you have to buy a ticket - it depends on different times of the year, government "tourist festivals" and all kinds of arbitrary rules.
  • Getting there: metro stop Shiji Gongyuan
  • Comments: read the full profile here.

3. Dino Beach Water Park

  • Description: Shanghai's largest water park
  • Location: Puxi outer suberbs
  • Opening hours: Summer mid-June through early September, generally 10am-10pm but it's best to check the website as hours are different on certain days of the week.
  • Admission: dependent on day of week, time of entry, age and gender (complicated, right?)
  • Comments: read the full profile here.

4. Eday Town

© 2009 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
  • Description: education / entertainment center themed around real occupations
  • Address: 5/F, Zhongsheng World Mall, 5001 Dushi Lu, Minhang (near Chunshen Lu, Metro Line 1 Xinzhuang Station) // 都市路5001号仲盛世界商城5楼近春申路, 地铁1号线莘庄站
  • Opening hours: Daily 10am - 2pm / 3:30-7pm
  • Admission: from 130rmb
  • Comments: Though advertised for 3-15 year-olds, I think it's ideal for 3-8 years. Kids get to role-play, dress in costumes, earn Eday "money" and actually learn something about each occupation under the guidance of adult helpers. Parents: take a book to read, there's not much for you to do. Note - activities are in Chinese. See full description.

5. Fuxing Park (复兴公园 | Fuxing Gongyuan)

  • Description: lovely small park in the former French Concession area
  • Address: Fuxing Road at Chong Qing Road
  • Opening hours: early morning until sundown
  • Admission: free (yay!)
  • Getting there: no metro
  • Comments: read full profile of the park.

6. Huang Pu River Cruise

© 2007 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Description: Short boat ride along the Huang Pu River
  • Address: Buy tickets on the west side of the river promenade (Bund)
  • Comments: This activity is great for everyone. Take a break from walking and see the buildings on both sides of the river from a tourist boat. Boats leave all day (last one around dusk) and kids usually love the novelty of riding on a boat.

7. Jin Jiang Amusement Park

  • Description: large children's playground and amusement park
  • Address: 201 Hong Mei Lu
  • Opening hours: daily 8am-9pm summer, 8am-5pm winter
  • Admission: 60rmb, includes 8 rides
  • Getting there: no metro stops
  • Comments: ride choices include carousels, roller coasters, log rides and bumper cars among many.

8. New World Ice Skating Rink

© 2012 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
  • Description: Small all-year indoor ice skating rink
  • Address: Located on the 6th floor of the New World Department Store, 2 Nanjing Xi Road next to Xizang (Tibet) Zhong Road | 新世界百货,南京西路2号,近西藏中路
  • Opening hours:: daily 9:30am-10pm
  • Admission: 60rmb for 1.5 hours including skate rental
  • Getting there: People's Square Station | 人民广场站
  • Comments: Read the full profile here.

9. Ride a Double-Decker Sightseeing Bus

© 2009 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Description: Inexpensive ride on the open-top bus
  • Address: Several routes, a good place to catch one is on the north side of Huai Hai Middle road between Shaanxi Nan Road and Xiang Yang Road.
  • Comments: This is a fun, cheap activity that doesn't require much planning. All you need is some time and a nice day.

10. Shanghai Luwan Sports Center (上海卢湾体育馆 | Luwan Tiyuguan)

  • Description: sports center with outdoor soccer pitch and 400m track - a great place to go running safely away from traffic (for kids and adults)
  • Address: Jianguo Xi Road 135 (near Shaanxi Nan Road)
  • Opening hours: daily 6-9am and 6-9pm
  • Admission: free
  • Getting there: Metro Line 9, Dapuqiao Station
  • Comments: read the full profile.
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