Family-friendly Activities In Shanghai
Bringing the kids with you to Shanghai? Luckily, the city makes it easy to plan your itinerary around their interests (and attention span). Dozens of fun and safe destinations will keep them entertained, from indoor circuses to riverside cruises, NBA players to great white sharks, and more. We've narrowed down the best of the lot.
A major attraction in its own right and the heart of the city since the 15th century, Yu Garden is a must-visit for families traveling to Shanghai. The pavilions, shopping bazaar, street performances, and carp-filled ponds will delight children, while adults might appreciate its Ming Dynasty history.
Be sure to try xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, while you're there. Vendors will sell massive palm-sized dumplings complete with a straw for only 10RMB.
Measuring 366,000 square meters, Changfeng Park can easily become a full day getaway. Fall back on fail-proof park activities like picnicking or exploring, but be sure to save time for some of the park's more unique offerings. Changfeng Ocean World (160RMB/adult, 110RMB/child) is home to 10,000+ marine specimens, while its sea life shows feature whales. There's also boating, go-karting, and a Jackie Chan Film Museum.
This is an obvious choice - and for good reason. Just over a year old, Shanghai Disneyland is the first new Disney theme park in more than a decade, and its attractions are reinvented, updated takes on classics like Pirates of the Caribbean. Distinct elements of Chinese culture and contemporary Disney favorites - Frozen and Star Wars most of all - are thoroughly incorporated throughout the park.
Tickets cost 499RMB for adults and 375RMB for children. Prices may vary on holidays or weekends.
Situated perfectly downtown in Xintiandi, the NBA Playzone is a basketball-themed entertainment and sports center intends to build up their Chinese fan base's appreciation for the sport. The NBA theme runs heavy: mascots and famous players can be found throughout the venue, while different play areas offer trampoline dunk zones, digital games, and ball pits.
Be sure to measure your wing span against the likes of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Yao Ming. Tickets are 188RMB for one adult and child pair. An additional child is another 188RMB, while an additional adult is 50RMB. Prices vary on weekends and holidays.
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
Great white sharks! Sting rays, emperor penguins, and more! Take our word for it - a day isn't enough time to see everything at Shanghai Ocean Aquarium - one of the largest in the world - has to offer. The exotic and wide variety of marine life (over 10,000 species!) come from far-flung places like the Nile and Australia, and there's a section dedicated to endangered Chinese marine life.
Kids will love the 120-meter-long underwater tunnel in particular, while adults will appreciate the proximity of the aquarium to other major attractions: the Huangpu Riverside, Oriental Pearl Tower, and more.
Huangpu River Cruise
Kick back after a full day's itinerary by cruising on the Huangpu River in the evening, when the Bund and the skyscrapers of Pudong are awash in colors. We recommend the 50-minute cruise, which passes by the Shanghai Tower (the second tallest building in the world), Jinmao Tower, Oriental Pearl, Yangpu Bridge, Monument to the People's Heroes, and more before finishing at the wharf.
Tickets are 120RMB per person; children under 1.3 meters can ride for free. Boats depart every half hour.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Animal World, Space Navigation, World of Robots, and more: take your pick at the Science and Technology Museum. Educational and interactive, this museum is sure to be a hit with children of all ages, who can compete against machines at Go, explore the rainforests of Yunnan, and try their hand at robotics.
We recommend the Light of Wisdom for its games and exhibits, especially the bicycles on a rope 15 meters in the air. Admission is 60RMB or 30RMB for children under 1.3 meters.