Hangzhou is the "most splendid and luxurious city in the world", said Marco Polo (1254-1324), a famous Italian traveler in the 13th century.
It is a picturesque city located in the central part of China.
It was once the capital city of the Song Dynasty. Its natural beauty and history enthrall visitors from all over the world.
Different people have different feelings about this city. Aged people find relaxation there, young people experience romance there and children get joy there. No matter what age people are, they all love this city. If you are visiting Hangzhou with children, below are some highly recommended activities that you can do.
West Lake is the most beautiful attraction in Hangzhou. It is a must-see attraction for both the young and the old. You will see exactly what is depicted in the Chinese paintings. There are several ways to visit it. Visitors with kids can rent a bicycle or take a tram as the lake is quite big.
It is interesting to rent a bicycle and ride around the lake with your kids, enjoying the view, taking pictures, and stopping for coffee or tea.
Taking a boat on the lake is also fantastic. If you happen to know the story of the White Snake, you can tell the kids as they enjoy fairy tales.
If you do go on the Su Causeway, near the south end you will see a bridge going west to a park known as the Flower Pond (花港). It's really beautiful and worth a visit. You can see lots of golden fish and there are kiosks that sell fish food for 3 yuan a bag. Buy some and feed the carps with your kids; it is fun to watch the golden carps go crazy over the food. The best place to feed the carps is on the bridge.
Hangzhou Paradise Park
It is a good place for kids to have fun. There is an Adventure Island, Fairyland, Maya Tribe, Water Park, Moon Slope, Rafting River and Jungle Party. Kids can go on the roller coaster, pirate ship, Samba balloon or anything else that they are interested in.
Among all of those amusements, the water park is quite popular. The swimming area is kept pretty clean and the water slides are not very steep, especially for children over 1.5 meters. You can play with your kids and can try most of the activities inside, especially on a hot summer's afternoon. When kids go on some adventures they may scream out, but as long as you are with them, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Next to the water park, there are a few small restaurants, which serve pretty good food so you can enjoy a meal there.
Location: 92, Xianghu Road, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou. It's about a half hour drive from the center of Hangzhou.
Xixi Wetland Park
Xixi Wetland Park is a good place for relaxation and to have fun with your kids. It is about 15 kilometers from downtown Hangzhou. It is an oasis of nature surrounded by an urban development.
There are good walkways and kids can play in the water there. There is also a village with a pagoda to climb and see the view from all directions. What is more, you can see the traditional local version of the Peking Opera performances. Most of the area is covered by water; there is not much land.
It is very green in summer time, the view is beautiful and the water is clean. It is suitable for families with kids to spend a lovely day there.You can take a boat, stroll around or have a barbecue there which would be lots of fun with kids.
Tips: Please do remember to watch the kids all the time due to the narrow bridges and low fences, as they could easily get hurt.
Best times to visit: from March to April or from September to the end of October are the best times to go there.
Location: It is five kilometers from West Lake, about 15 kilometers from downtown Hangzhou.
The Song Dynasty Town
The Song Dynasty Town is the biggest and the most popular theme park for Song Dynasty (960-1279) cultures in China. It is located in the south-west area of West Lake. There are lots of different areas for different activities and performances.
Visitors with kids can go to the children's recreation area. Kids can play on the merry-go-round, search for treasure on the beach, go to the adventure island, or experience the sea rover. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy different performances there.
Location: in the south-west area of West Lake
Hefang Ancient Street
Hefang Ancient Street is a typical pedestrian shopping street in the old town of Hangzhou. It contains many attractions. The street is full of shops, selling mostly locally made items, from tea to cakes, swords to chopsticks. Mixed with the sound, noise, color, foods and souvenirs, the street looks very interesting.
In a Tai Chi Teahouse, there are six tea masters in the same location representing six generations. You can see the Kung Fu tea demonstrations and experience a tea ceremony.
If you go to the far eastern end you will find a narrow alley crowded with snack shops. Sample some with your kids, they will love it.
Location: Hefang Street, Shangcheng District, about 15 minutes' walk from West Lake.
Recommended Hangzhou Tours
4-Day Essence Tour of Hangzhou: our top recommendation
Experience the 1-hour bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, and then discover Hangzhou's natural beauty and long history, with a day trip to Wuzhen Water Town.
Back to China Family Travel Guide.