Expat parents should understand that Chinese students normally have almost zero activities after school – they leave their schools at 5 to 6 pm, and go home to eat. After dinner, they do their extensive homework.
There are, however, many activities for expat children after school. This includes trips to parks, special classes, such as studying for the SAT, going to gyms, or playing sports on amateur teams.
A good place to start is:
- Active Kidz Shanghai
Room 601, TaiHao building, 3211 Hong Mei Lu
Active Kidz provides sports and recreational programs for expat youngsters in Shanghai. Toddlers to early teens can choose from dance classes, martial arts, hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball and arts & crafts. Courses run throughout the year. Over the summer there are several camps for longer stints away from home.
Below is a list of the various parks and attractions that children could visit after school. In addition, see the section on “Sports” for more information on sports team activities for kids of all ages.
- Century Park: This is one of the best parks in Asia and has many activities for children. Century Park is located at the east end of Century Boulevard and is currently the largest ecological park in Shanghai. The Park, designed by the British LUC, is a modern Chinese Garden covering 140.3 hectares that embodies the integration of between Oriental and Occidental cultures and between man and nature. It mainly consists of large lawns, forests, and lakes. There are a number of beautiful scenic areas such as the Central Lake Island, the Huiwu Square, the Rural Garden, the International Garden, and the Thin Forest Lawn. Bird Protection, experiencing scientific advances, scientific experiments and children’s amusement facilities are available at the Century Park in Shanghai.
- Dino Beach
Water activities for all ages
78 Xin Zhen Lu
Qi Bao Town
Tel: 6478 3333
Miniature city built for children 6 months to 8 years.
3211 Hong Mei Road, 4F (Above City Super Market). Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-6:00pm. Admission: 120 RMB per child (can come in and out all day).
The park includes a fire station, police station, home, beauty parlor, park, supermarket, theater, construction site, school, hospital and art room. It also offers free classes in Cooking, Arts/Crafts, Music/Movement, Story Time and Kids Yoga. Expect large crowds for such a small area.
- Shanghai Wild Animal Park
178 South Road Nanhui, Pudong. Drive-through “safari” wildlife park with ability to purchase live prey to feed animals. Children who may not be able to handle the sight of live chickens being tossed to hungry tigers may prefer the Shanghai Zoo.
Opening hours: daily 8am-5pm. Admission: 80 RMB, 40 RMB for kids under 1.2 m (4 ft)
Tel: 5803 6000
- Shanghai Oriental Land Campsite
Biggest Campsite of China
6888 Huqingping Gong Ly
Tel: 5932 3000
http://en.ogb.com.cn. This park has camping, hiking, boating, and team activities for children and adults.
- Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
158 Yincheng Bei Lu, Pudong
Tel: 5877 9988
Admission: 110 RMB adults, 65 RMB seniors over 70, 70 RMB children under 1.4 m (55 in.), free for children under 80 cm (32 in.) This aquarium is a great experience for kids, especially the walk-through glass observation tunnel where kids can see massive fish and sharks swim overhead. Try not to be offended at the special shark exhibit where the video shows you how shark’s fin soup is made.
- Meadowbrook Equastrian and Rural Activity Center
3088 Shenzhuan Gong Lu
Tel: 6983 0022
http://www.meadowbrookshanghai.com/. A professionally managed equestrian and outdoor activity center, a great getaway for recreation, horse riding, and camps.
- Jingjang Amusement Park
201 Hongmei Lu
Tel: 5420 4956
- Gongquing Forest Park
2000 Junggong Lu
Tel: 6574 0586
- China Welfare Institute Children’s Palaces
64 Yan’an Xi Lu
Tel: 6249 8661
- Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Century Avenue (Shiji DaDao) 2000, Pudong (north side Century Park). Opening hours: daily 9am-5:30pm (last ticket sold at 3:30pm). Admission: 60 RMB adults, 45 RMB high-school students, 20 RMB children under 1.2 m (4 ft.)
An inspiring science museum for people of all ages that has a great smaller kids’ play areas with toddler size construction site. Also, check out their 3-D and IMAX movies.
- Fuxing Park
Bumper Cars, jumping beds etc. As with most Chinese parks, there is a section just for kids with amusement activities, such as bumper cars, air castle, paddle boats, etc. It’s fun to wander around the park watching locals enjoying themselves on a nice day. Parents can enjoy a latte at one of the cafés on the park’s edge.
2 Gaolan Lu
Tel: 5386 0662
- Guyi Garden
Ming Dynasty Garden
218 Huyi Gong Lu
Tel: 5912 2225
- Jing’ An Park
1649 Nanjing Xi Lu
Tel: 6248 3238
- Lu Xun Park
146 Donijanwan Lu
Tel: 6540 0009
- Renmin Park
231 Nanjing Xi Lu
Tel: 6372 0546
- Shanghai Botanical Garden Park
1111 Longwu Lu
Tel: 5436 336
- Shanghai Children Museum
61 Songyuan Lu
Tel: 6278 3127
- Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom
1 Fenghe Road, around corner from the Oriental Pearl Tower, Pudong
Opening hours: daily 9am-5pm. Admission: 35 RMB adults, 20 RMB children, kids under 80 cm (32”) free
Getting there: no metro stops
The first floor has a fun open area with fish to feed and snakes to watch. Go downstairs to see the turtles and lizards, as well as a fishing area where kids rent a net and catch goldfish.
- Shanghai Modern Children Imagination Art Centre
no 4, Lane 681 Fahuazhen Lu
Inside Primary School
TeL 6294 1150
- Zhongshan Park
780 Changning Lu
Tel: 6210 5806
- YK Pao Summer Camp Program
14 day Chinese immersion programs for 7-12 year olds (July-August)
YK Pao School Campus, Jiangsu Road
Admission: 8,400 RMB for a two-week program
This program is ideal for students who are just moving to China, families who are interested in having their youngsters learn Chinese or for families on an extended holiday or work assignment and want their children to learn Chinese. YK Pao is one of the 2 international primary education facilities in Shanghai that offer students a fully bi-lingual education program and it has a very good reputation. Students combine learning through practical activities including exploring Shanghai and the area.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Xiangyang Park
1008 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Tel: 5404 2208
- Traffic Park
Electric vehicles drive the “streets” of Shanghai
101 Zunyi Lu
Tel: 6259 9446
- Shanghai Zoo
2381 Hongqiao Lu
Tel: 6268 77
Opening hours: daily Nov-Feb 7am-4:30pm, Mar & Oct 7am-5pm, Apr-Sept 6:30am-5pm
Admission: 30 RMB, free for children under 1.2 m (4 ft.) Getting there: no metro stops
Typical animal zoo plus Ferris wheel and other amusement activities. The animals are treated rather well in this zoo, unlike other zoos in Asia. It’s not a world-class zoo, but it is decent. Most of the time, kids have a good time.
There are two pottery studios that accept kids as participants:
- Hands in Clay Pottery Studio
No. 1, Lane 210 Taikang Lu at Ruijin Lu
Tel: 5465 4042
- Hanguang Pottery Studio
15 Lane 188 Changshu Lu
Tel: 5403 9440
Parents interested in boy or girl scouting for their kids should contact the following organization:
- Shanghai Scouting