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China can be a great country for family vacations. There are many things to do in China with kids, such as taking care of giant pandas in Chengdu, learning Mandarin in Beijing, and making mini terracotta warriors in Xi’an. We have selected the following eight fun and safe destinations for family-friendly trips in China.
In Beijing there are abundant fun activities and attractions to keep your kids entertained. They will marvel at the impressive historic sights, and will be very proud to tell their friends that they climbed the Great Wall.
We recommend the Great Wall at Mutianyu, which is the most child-friendly section. It is easy to climb and both parents and children can experience an exciting toboggan ride down the Great Wall.
Besides the ancient attractions, remember to add some fun activities just for them. Take a rickshaw ride in the hutongs. Explore Beijing using public transportation. Visit a local family and learn Chinese calligraphy with them.
It is also a good opportunity for kids to learn some Mandarin through the family tour in China. Your guide will teach your kids to talk to the waitress in Mandarin and order food from the Chinese menu, and your kids will also learn how to ask for directions when exploring the city.
In Shanghai, there are lots of places for your kids to explore, from the top of the Shanghai Tower (the world's second tallest building) to the numerous theme parks.
You can also experience the superfast, magnetically-levitated trains and the best circus in the world. Children’s preferred attractions include Shanghai Disneyland Park, Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom, and Shanghai's 3D Magic Fun House. Remember to add some kid-centric activities, such as watching an acrobatics show in Shanghai Circus World, so you'll all enjoy Shanghai.
Traveling in Guilin is mostly about natural beauty and leisure. Guilin has the most famous karst landscape (spiky peaks) in the world, with limpid rivers and lakes, verdant hills, jagged rocks, and mysterious caves.
Touring the karst countryside of Yangshuo by bike, hiking Longsheng's rice terraces, cruising along the Li River, and visiting minority villages offer so much breathtaking scenery and so many new experiences that no child could be bored! Visiting a local market and learning to cook a Chinese dish are also fun activities.
There are special activities that can keep your kids away from their iPads and gain an unforgettable experience. Learn how to make tofu or to roast sweet potatoes and try some farming activities, such as planting vegetables or plowing a field. Create a piece of artwork using pebbles and stones handpicked from beside the Li River, which can be taken home for decoration.
Xi'an is famous for its historical sites. You may worry about your kids being bored there but, besides the awesome Terracotta Army, there are lots of fun things for kids to see and do in Xi'an.
Your kids can make mini terracotta warriors. You can enjoy cycling on the ancient wall. Your family can also learn the Chinese art of paper cutting and create your own oriental decorations. Dress up in Hanfu, the traditional dress of the Han Chinese people, and take a family photo. Make dumplings and enjoy a family meal with a local family.
Hong Kong is a perfect destination for family tours with parks, peaks, and nature reserves galore. It's China with a Western quality and safety standards!
Children will have fun meeting cartoon characters in Hong Kong Disneyland, taking a boat ride in a fishing village, and riding the tram up Victoria Peak. Hong Kong's beaches and hiking trails are perfect for escaping the bustle of the city.
When talking about Chengdu, people usually think of the spicy hot pot and giant pandas. It's a good city to visit with your kids. You can see the lovely pandas and take care of pandas in a volunteer program.
Your kids can watch sugar painting on the street, have an adventure at Chengdu's last remaining farmers' market, use Chinese to purchase some delicacies, and master the art of bargaining. Chengdu has even more to offer kids in the form of some top amusement parks.
If your family loves nature, journey out of the city to see the fairyland scenery of Jiuzhaigou.
Hangzhou is a magical city where people of all ages can have fun. West Lake is a must-see. Adults can relax by the lakeside and enjoy afternoon tea. Children can ride a bike alongside the lake. Families can go boating in the lake together.
Hangzhou is not only famous for West Lake but also for its Longjing tea. A fun activity is to experience the Chinese tea culture. Visit Meijiawu Tea Plantation with your kids, pick tea leaves, stir-fry tea, and appreciate a Chinese tea performance.
There are also many parks for kids to enjoy, such as Hangzhou Paradise Park and Xixi National Wetland Park.
You may have seen many movies with Chinese kung fu. Shaolin Kung fu is the most famous type. The Shaolin Temple is the cradle of Chinese martial arts. It's the best place for your family to see kung fu displays and even take a kung fu class.
In Zhengzhou, you should see the Yellow River, China's "mother river". There's a riverside park where you can appreciate the world's muddiest major river, and you can learn about the area where Chinese civilization began. There's also stunning gorge scenery at Yuntai Mountain Geological Park.
China is fun and exciting for families. If you are planning a family tour in China, please see our recommended family tours below for inspiration (they’re all customizable):