A family holiday in China is not only educational, but also character-building. It can promote mutual understanding and interaction between you and your children, and between your family and a foreign culture. China has some great destinations for family holidays, which are fun, safe and full of interesting and child-friendly activities to keep the children entertained.
Follow us to learn about how to make your family trip to China exciting, memorable, and hassle-free.
1. Consider the Best Destinations for a Family Tour
If you have no idea about which places to visit with your kids, we have recommended eight cities that are filled with interesting activities for families to do, and have provided you with the recommended time to visit each destination.
1) Beijing (3 days): Beijing is the best gateway to learn about China. You can take a cable car to explore the Great Wall or toboggan down it with your kids. It’s interesting to take a rickshaw ride in the hutongs (old alleys).
2) Shanghai (3 days): Have fun in Disneyland Park. Visit Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom to see beautiful butterflies or creepy crawlies. Cruise on Huangpu River with your family. You can also experience the superfast bullet trains.
3) Hong Kong (2 days): See animals and enjoy rides in Hong Kong Ocean Park. Take a selfie with cartoon characters in Ani-Com Park. Have fun at Hong Kong Disneyland with your kids.
4) Guilin (3 days): Appreciate the beautiful natural scenery via a cruise, on a raft, by bike, and by going on a hike. Visit the breathtaking Li River and rice terraces. Create a piece of artwork using pebbles and stones handpicked from beside the Li River.
5) Xi’an (2 days): Visit the Terracotta Army — you can even make a mini terracotta warrior there. Enjoy a Chinese medieval banquet and entertainment, and learn the ancient art of paper cutting.
6) Chengdu (2 days): There are many lovely giant pandas in Chengdu. Meet them, take a photo with a cub, or even look after them in a volunteer program.
7) Hangzhou (2 days): Enjoy relaxing family activities around West Lake: take a boat trip, have delicious dessert, and ride a bike. Visit a tea plantation and experience the tea culture. Have fun in Hangzhou Paradise Park.
8) Dengfeng (1 day): If your kids are older than five years old, Dengfeng is a ideal place for your family trip. Kids can watch kung fu shows and also take a kung fu class in the world-famous Shaolin Temple.
See more details about The Top 8 Family Tour Destinations in China.
If you have a short vacation (3–5 days), we recommend Beijing or Shanghai. If you have a relatively long vacation (5–9 days), we recommend a combination of Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Shanghai are recommended for a longer vacation (9–14 days).
If you are not a first-time traveler, Guilin, Hangzhou, Yunnan, and Guizhou may give you a fresh look at China with some pastoral scenery and minority cultures.
2. Find Interesting Things to Do with Kids
It might be stressful, and sometimes it can be a challenge to your patience, when traveling with kids. However, you can find some fun things to entertain them and make your family trip happier.
There are many interesting activities to do in China with children. Experience riding a rickshaw in Beijing’s hutongs and a toboggan ride at the Great Wall. A bit of cycling on Xi’an City Wall will blow the cobwebs away from your family tour. Make mini terracotta warriors. Be a panda keeper for the day to get close to some cute pandas in Chengdu. Learn some farm activities in Guilin. Visit a tea plantation and experience the lifestyle of a tea farmer in Hangzhou.
In addition to these interesting activities, your kids can learn some Chinese culture and language in the tour. You can take your kids to learn some traditional Chinese handicrafts, such as paper cutting, painting an opera face mask, and Chinese calligraphy. Your guide will teach your kids Mandarin. They can use what they learn to order dishes, ask for directions, and have a simple conversation with the locals.
3. Useful Travel Tips
Here are some travel tips to make your trip a perfect one!
Book a Private Tour
We firmly believe that a local travel agency that customizes private tours is the best option for your China family trip. You will encounter problems with transport, the language barrier, and cultural differences when traveling with kids in China without a guide. A private tour with your own guide and driver will ensure you enjoy a well-managed, hassle-free, and relaxing trip.
Our travel experts know China very well and will fully consider the interests and needs of parents and children when designing the itinerary. A considerate guide will accompany you all the way, helping you deal with any issues encountered, giving you more time to look after and be with your kids.
It’s hard to settle the date for a longer family trip when your kids are in school and you have a limited holiday allowance. Schools will recommend you plan your family trip for school holidays. The school holiday may be the peak travel season in China. A private tour can optimize your trip with your kids and help you avoid the crowds. With the professional travel advice you are given, your worries will be alleviated about traveling in China with your kids.
Food and Drink
Never drink tap water in China: You can use a kettle for boiled water, or buy bottled water from supermarkets. Recommended brands are Wahaha, Nestle, Watson's, Robust, and Nongfu Spring. There are also some imported foreign brands of bottled water available in larger supermarkets.
Food allergies: If you or your children have allergies to certain foods, tell your travel advisor, your guide, and the restaurants. More on Traveling in China with Food Allergies.
Don't let your children eat food purchased from street vendors if their stomachs get upset easily.
There are KFCs and McDonald's in almost every city, and the tastes will be fairly familiar for your kids if they grow tired of Chinese meals.
Family Discounts and Special Arrangements
Check out preferential measures and discounts on transport fares and admission fees for families. Contact your travel advisor to discuss and arrange for the special needs of your children.
Recommended China Family Tours
Want a family itinerary crafted by an expert? Try one of these fully-customizable, pre-planned family vacations and book the vacation of a lifetime.
- 9-Day Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai Family Tour — classic China for all ages
- 10-Day Beijing, Guilin, and Hong Kong Tour — more nature and fun parks
- 13-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Shanghai Family Vacation — a Chinese language and culture immersion tour