Looking to take the kids on an adventure? A family trip to China is just that, though it's important to keep this adventure a fun one, and not a stressful ordeal, resulting from activities that are boring or inappropriate for children. Here are seven fun family activities that you and the kids will love.
Family Activities in China
1. Taste All Kinds of Creepy Food at Snack Streets
Almost every city has a snack street. Bring the kids to a snack street to see all kinds of creepy crawlies being served on a stick. Kids will have fun daring each other to try the scorpion, spiders, and other exotic menu items. Tamer options include thin Chinese pancakes, often filled with ground meat and/or vegetables, and of course dumplings.
See China's top 8 food streets in Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Changsha, and Chongqing.
2. Meet Lovely Pandas and Take Photos with Them
Visits to the giant panda bases are suitable for all ages. Giant pandas are one of the cutest animals in the world. Kids will definitely love to see them. The best places to see giant pandas are the three panda bases around Chengdu, the "hometown of giant pandas". But if your itinerary doesn't include Chengdu, you can also see this cute animal in other zoos in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
See top places to see giant pandas in China for more information.
3. Rickshaw Rides in Hutong
One fun way to keep kids engaged in exploring the sites is to take a rickshaw tour. These old-fashioned bicycle-propelled carriages traditionally navigated through the winding hutongs and remain a scenic way to get around in many Chinese cities. Rickshaws are easily found around major historic sites around the country, but be sure to bargain in order to avoid being overcharged.
See Beijing Hutong walking day tour planning for inspiration.
4. Explore the Great Wall and Toboggan Down
The Great Wall of China is a must-visit China attraction. Families can hike the gentler sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, such as Mutianyu, which is fully restored and less crowded. After a strenuous hike up the wall, take the easy — yet far more exhilarating — route down to the bottom on a toboggan. Shoot down the slick metal course in a one-man bobsled for an exciting end to your Great Wall visit.
Get more ideas on visiting the Great Wall with kids.
5. Countryside Cycling in Yangshuo
Besides gazing at, or even climbing, Yangshuo's amazing toothy peaks, it's fun to enjoy some cycling time with your kids in the karst countryside. You can easily rent bicycles.
Biking leisurely by the rice paddies, fruit orchards, karst hills, and tranquil villages gives you a fascinating insight into China's rural life. You may also visit the local farmers' houses. You can take your time taking photos of the rice paddies, the old rural architecture, and the swimming water buffaloes. Just chatting with the rustic local people, with your tour guide's translation, is a lot of fun.
Or get more China cycling ideas for Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Xi'an.
6. Relax or Seek Thrills in China's Top Water Parks
The Water Cube is fun any time of the year, as this water park is indoors. See the pool where Michael Phelps' made history shattering world records in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and do some swimming of your own.
Small children can enjoy the tame wave pool and kiddie pool with multiple slides that are safe for the whole family, while adolescents and adults will enjoy the AquaLoop, an enclosed slide with a trapdoor that sends you careening into a 360-degree loop that will surely take your breath away.
Research more of China's Top Water Parks.
7. Shadow Puppetry and Paper Cutting in Xi'an
In China's longest standing ancient capital children can enjoy entertainments and crafts over 2,000 years old. What kid doesn't enjoy making shadows on the wall move and cutting up paper?
It may be interesting for kids to watch shadow puppetry, as something different to the TV. You and your children can learn how to put on a Chinese shadow show yourselves.
Paper cutting is one of the most popular decorative Chinese handicrafts — and it's easy to learn. Your kids can learn to create cool Chinese designs with a piece of paper and a pair of scissors.
Most Popular Family Tours
Want an itinerary crafted by a family tour expert? See our recommended tour itineraries below for inspiration:
- 9-Day Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai Family Tour — China's classic family tour
- 12-Day Beijing, Chengdu, Yangtze River Cruise, and Shanghai Tour — Best for teenagers
Not interested in the above tours? Just tell us your interests and requirements and we will customize a perfect family tour for you and your kids.
You Might Like to Read
- China's Top 7 Theme Parks
- How to Plan a Family Tour in Beijing
- Things to Do with Kids in Shanghai
- How to Plan a Family Tour of Hong Kong
Back to China Family Travel Guide.