My husband and I are taking the kids to Beijing to visit a family member who is working there. We just started planning the trip and need some suggestions for areas to stay as well as kid-friendly activities in the city. Thanks!
I am a local Beijinger and would recommend Chaoyang area for your family's stay. It's the most western friendly area with all embassies, foreign cuisinses, western style supermarket (Walmart) and easy access to the sight seeing places. For kid-friendly activity, I would recommend the National Museum of China. It's an interesting place to embrace the culture and arts with central location and easy access and has places and activities for kids as well.
The website: http://en.chnmuseum.cn/
If you want to visit your friend a lot, it's also important to try to stay nearby his/her place to avoid unnecessary trafic jam.
We are also an Airbnb member and we have a nice place in very convenient location, please check it out:
Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven Park should be interesting to you. Both are historical chinese buildings in giants parks. There is a lot of place to run around. The Summer Palace specifically even has a lake and gardens.
For a fun indoor activity, I'd recommend the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics (http://www.chaoyangacrobaticsofficialweb.com/).
You may also be interested in the Kung Fu Show over at: http://theatrebeijing.com/shows/kung_fu/ (disclaimer: I didn't go to the Kung Fu Show)
Hope you find this useful!
Depending when you go, the Great Wall Of China and Tiananmen where the Forbidden City situates, is a must. BUT my favourite museum in Beijing has to be the Capital Museum. Beijing as a city has its history for over 3,000 years. I got to know more about the city and China from a couple of visits to the Capital Museum. In turn, it made me appreciate the city where I was living a lot more. As for kids activities, it is probably a lot richer nowadays, so probably you can check out the different expat sites (which I am sure your family member would know as well). For example: http://www.beijing-kids.com/magazine/PLAY. Hope you have fun.
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