Home China Guide Beijing Tour Planning How to Plan a Family Trip to Beijing

How to Plan a Family Trip to Beijing

Beijing family tourEnjoy a private guided tour to avoid the crowds and enjoy your trip at your own pace.

Beijing, combining a long and rich history with modern life, is a welcoming China tour destination for travelers of all ages, and suitable for family tours.

We, at China Highlights, have provided some suggestions to help plan your Beijing family tour, including:

Things to See and Do

Beijing is filled with parks, museums, and historical sites. Your children will enjoy an unforgettable tour with a lot of fun and knowledge.

the great wallTake a toboggan down the mountain from the Great Wall with your kids.

Historical Sites Recommended for You and Your Kids

  • The Great Wall: The section at Mutianyu is child-friendly. You can have fun with your kids by exploring the battlements and watchtowers, taking a cable car up or down, or taking the cart rollercoaster down the mountain.
  • The Forbidden City: It is one of the masterpieces of Chinese architecture, and a great place to show your kids what a Chinese imperial palace looks like.
  • The Summer Palace: It was once an imperial garden and a summer retreat. It is fun to take a dragon boat ride with your kids.
  • Temple of Heaven Park: It is a good place for flying kites (the best times are in spring and autumn) and learning tai chi.
  • The hutongs: You can pay a visit to a traditional hutong and learn to apply facial makeup for Beijing opera. You can also try your hand at Chinese calligraphy and making kites, dough figurines, and dumplings.

The Zoo, Museum, and Ski Resorts

pandaSee giant pandas in Beijing Zoo.
  • Beijing Zoo has a large number of animals, including pandas, giraffes, and some rare species. The dolphin and other ocean star performances in the zoo’s Ocean Park are must-see shows.
  • The China Science and Technology Museum exhibits ancient Chinese technology, such as astronomical devices, compasses, and gunpowder, as well as new sci-tech products and innovations.
  • If you travel in winter, taking your children to a ski resort will enrich your winter holiday in Beijing. The most popular ski resorts in Beijing are: Nanshan Ski Resort, Badaling Ski Resort, and Yuyang Ski Resort.

How Long to Stay

You could easily spend five days to a week exploring this big city, known for its palaces, temples, and parks.

We suggest you have a flexible itinerary and try not to overschedule your days. We recommend you complete just one or two major activities or outings every day.

Here is a sample itinerary for inspiration:

Family tour on the Great Wall

Day 1: Beijing arrival
Day 2: AM: the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square; PM: the hutongs
Day 3: AM: the Great Wall at Mutianyu; PM: the Temple of Heaven
Day 4: AM: the Summer Palace; PM: Beijing Zoo; evening: a kung fu show
Day 5: Departure from Beijing

Click to see our handcrafted itinerary with detailed descriptions and vivid pictures as a starting point for your tailor-made tour.

The Best Time to Visit

Regarding the weather in Beijing, autumn (September to November) is the best time to visit the city as there is less rain and mild temperatures. It is comfortable to do outdoor activities for children.

No matter when you go to Beijing, you’ll never lack things to do and will have different experiences. The table below details some seasonal activities you can enjoy.

Season Temperature Season Features Things to Do in Beijing
Spring
(March–May)
11°C–24°C (52°F–75°F) Cool/warm and fresh Enjoy blossoming flowers in the parks (the Cherry Blossom Festival in Yuyuantan Park)
Summer
(June–August)
30°C (86°F) Hot and crowded Take a leisurely boat trip on Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace
Autumn
(September–November)
8°C–18°C (46°F–64°F) Cool and clear Ride a rickshaw to visit the hutongs; fly kites at the Temple of Heaven; see the red leaves at Fragrant Hill
Winter
(December–February)
Below 0°C (32°F) Cold, windy, and less crowded Enjoy Chinese New Year; enjoy skiing at ski resorts

Please Book Well in Advance If Visiting During Chinese Holidays

The Great Wall Travel with our private tour to give you and your kids a enjoyable trip.

Please book well in advance because train/flight tickets and hotels are sold out quickly during the Chinese holidays as listed below:

  • China's summer holiday season (July and August)
  • Labor Day is on May 1st–3rd
  • National Day is on October 1st–7th
  • The Spring Festival is held around late January or early to mid-February

Travel with our private tour to give you and your kids a comfortable trip. Your guide will help you skip the lines at scenic spots, lead you to avoid large Chinese tourist groups, and keep you refreshed with ice water and wet wipes.

Child-Friendly Restaurants

Beijing roast duckBeijing roast duck

What if your children don't like Chinese food? Don't worry.

There are plenty of child-friendly foreign restaurants and Western restaurants with good English service, such as KFC and McDonald's, which can be easily found on the streets, especially near the attractions and shopping malls. We have listed several recommended Western restaurants in Beijing for you.

The most representative food in Beijing is roast duck, and most children and adults enjoy that.

Local snacks can be found in the ancient snack streets. Please see best food and restaurants in Beijing’s hutongs.

Child-Friendly Hotels

Beijing is full of international hotel chains, such as Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, and InterContinental. It is easy to find a child-friendly hotel.

If you want to experience the idiomatic Beijing lifestyle of the past, choose a siheyuan in the hutongs. The ancient Chinese houses retain a quiet charm.

Red Wall Garden Hotel (红墙花园) and Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel (阅微庄) are two exquisite hotels with a rich ancient Chinese atmosphere. They are located in the hutongs, where you can enjoy a great experience of the local lifestyle.

Tips for Planning a Family Tour

packingPack a bag of surprises for your kids.

Planning

  • 1. Involve your children in the tour planning. Find out what your children want to see and experience in Beijing.
  • 2. Share some background information about Beijing with your kids. Encourage your children to read some books or watch movies relevant to Beijing.
  • 3. Have a flexible itinerary. If one goal doesn’t look doable that day, just move on to the next one.

Packing

  • 1. Take medicine. It may be hard to find a good hospital or the correct medicine at a pharmacy during your trip, so take what you think you might need.
  • 2. Pack a bag of surprises: games, books, toys, and snacks to keep your kids entertained during the trip.
  • 3. Take tissues/toilet paper. Most public restrooms don't supply toilet paper, so take some with you when you leave your hotel.

Enjoy a Hassle-Free Beijing Family Tour with Us

Make dumplings in BeijingLearn to make dumplings at the hutongs. Get in touch with Chinese culture.

It is advisable to enjoy a private tour if traveling with children. You do not need to be part of a larger group. 

The idea of being packed into a bus and driven around for long periods of time sounds terrible for anyone, but is particularly unsuitable for families with kids.

Using a local agency like us can be a great option for families planning a trip. Your travel specialist will take care of the details for you from planning the tour to returning home.

Here are our Beijing tours for inspiration. They can be tailor-made based on your interests and requirements to match the energy levels, curiosity levels, and attention spans of your family members.