Choose Your Own Shanghai Adventure

Shirani ShanghaiWOWeng 2018-11-30

So you have guests in town with their young children, what do you do besides taking them to Disneyland? If you're looking to skip out on the whining while walking through temples, or trekking endlessly through Xuhui, this is for you.

Featuring some of Shanghai's best sightseeing highlights - with a little food culture thrown in - you can present these options to the family for a 'choose your own adventure' style day. That way, the kids have a little control over what they would like to see or do, and you can avoid the moans of boredom - it's a win-win situation! So, let the adventures begin.

1. An Incredibly Instagrammable Exhibition OR a Really Cool Rain Room

When: Friday, June 1st to Sunday, October 15th

Address: How Art Museum, Lane 2277, 1 Zuchongzhi Lu

Price: RMB 100


We can guarantee that the kids will go wild with the large-scale exhibits, while the adults can snap away at some pictures to share on the 'gram later. A winner for all. Featuring over 30 pieces of work, 'Construction of Reality' is an exhibition by Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich. Witness his attempt to create illusions and disillusions of our daily experiences through the manipulation of space. 

Random International – Everything & Nothing

When: April 20th - October 14th 2018

Address: Yuz Museum, 35 Fenggu Lu

Price: RMB 150

If you're all looking to avoid the rain (but still weirdly want to marvel in the beauty of nature) then you've chosen the right place. As Random International’s first solo exhibition in Asia, the exhibition will feature five new post-digital era items, and the largest “rain-house” will return with an upgrade, providing visitors with an interactive and immersive experience. It'll be a truly magical experience as your kids run in awe of their surroundings!

2. Zotter Chocolate OR One of Shanghai's Oldest Arcades

Zotter Chocolate Theater

Address: Shanghai International Fashion Center, Bldg 9, 2866 Yangshupu Lu, near Neijiang Lu, Yangpu District

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10am-7pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am-10pm

This is one for all the chocolate monsters out there. One of the world's top eight chocolate manufacturers, Austrian brand Zotter has its own unique chocolate theatre here, located inside a heritage-protected factory in Yangpu District. Join the tasting tour, where you also learn about chocolate production, plus there is a chocolate shop and a Viennese style café. The shop offers a huge selection of chocolate, from classic flavours to more crazy combinations like ones with Baijiu inside. Chinese tours start every half hour, while English tours start every hour.

Liehuo Arcade

Address: 4th Floor, 77 Jiangning Lu

Tel: 021 62177018

Hours: Daily, 1pm-9pm

If you're trying to steer clear of sugar-induced sleepless nights, perhaps an afternoon at one of Shanghai's oldest arcades will do the trick! Liehuo Arcade has almost 100 old and trendy games from the 90s. Most of the machines still have Japanese instructions (as they were imported from Japan. But you don't have to worry, because if you ask nicely, the staff there will patiently teach you how to operate them.

3. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel OR Ferry

Photo credit: Flickr user Wenjie, Zhang

Address: 300 Zhongshan East First Road (Puxi)

Hours: May 1st to October 31st, 8am-10:30pm; November 1st to April 30th, 8am-10pm

Admission: RMB 50 /person one-way and RMB 60 /person for a round trip 

It's pretty hard to avoid showing people the Bund, no matter their age, given that it's one of Shanghai's best-known landmarks! Start off with a morning walk on Puxi side and stop to take photographs against the Pearl Tower and Pudong's epic skyline. With plenty of space to run around and pose, the kids can definitely enjoy this one. If, or when, they start to get a little tired of the view, you can hoard them off quickly for a unique underwater tunnel experience or take a ferry ride over to Pudong.

Photo credit: Flickr user Curt Smith

The Tunnel: Extending under the Huangpu River and connecting the Bund to Lujiazui in Pudong, this is one exciting concept for the kids to wrap their heads around. One of the main features of this 646.7-meter long tunnel is the multimedia experience you get while traveling on the Maglev train. With compartments that are completely transparent, you'll all be treated to 3-5 minutes of incredible scenery changes and surround sound effects.

The Ferry: If you think that the tunnel might be too dark and scary for the little ones in your group, opt to take the ferry across the Huangpu River instead. There are two options for pedestrians - air-conditioned or 'normal'. We definitely recommend taking the former, as the latter can become quite overcrowded with scooters and bikes - not so much fun on a hot summer's day and restless kids.

Bus: If opting for the air-conditioned means of transport, you'll need the Dongjin Line on Jinlingdong Lu Ferry Pier (127 Jinling Dong Lu). This will take you to Dongchang Ferry Pier (1 Dongchang Lu) in Pudong and costs RMB 0.5 or RMB 2 for the air-conditioned option.

4. Hide from the Rain in Brut Eatery's Third Location OR Watch an Incredible Acrobatic Show

Located inside the Zendai Big Thumb Plaza, this is their first location in Pudong and they've created a welcoming space for both families and individuals. Besides their signature brunch, they've strengthened their dinner menu with more sharing munchies and big plates. Some popular dishes include Korean-style Organic Pork Ribs and Crispy Chicken Bites. With hearty comfort food and a beautiful children's play area, your kids will be happy to spend hours here as you all hide from Shanghai's plum rains in a lovely, relaxed environment.

Address: Yung Feng Theater, 1700 West Beijing Road, Jing’an

When: until July 31st

Price: RMB 180 – 380

If you can feel boredom edging its way back into you big day out, then an action-packed show is what you need instead. Consistently voted as one of the best acrobatic shows in the city, Spiral is THE show to watch for total immersion. Taking inspiration from modern life, this world famous acrobatic troupe will definitely be astounding every single person in the audience as they use dance and acrobatics to craft the show – you’ll see everything from high-flying trapeze acts to bowl balancing and more!

Extract the QR code to book now!

5. Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC) OR the Oriental Pearl Tower and Museum 

Shanghai World Financial Centre

Address: No.100, Century Ave., Pudong New Area, Shanghai, near Dong Tai Road

Opening Hours: 8am-11pm (the ticket office is closed at 10pm) 

Tel: 4001-100-555 

Admission: RMB 150 /person for all observation floor RMB 120 /person for just floor 94. 

Arguably, no visit to Shanghai is complete without going up a tall skyscraper or two. From the Dongchang Lu Ferry Terminal it's only a 10 to 15-minute walk to the Shanghai World Financial Center - affectionately nick-named the 'bottle opener'. As the tallest building in Shanghai (even taller than the Dubai Tower!), it offers boasting rights for the kids to claim they have been there. There's no doubt that they'll love learning how it only takes an estimated one minute to reach the 95th floor at the speed of 10m/s.

Alternatively, you can visit another Shanghai icon instead - the Pearl Tower. Located a little further from the ferry drop off point in Pudong, it's a 20 to 30-minute walk (or you can get a taxi). With a height of 468 meters (1,535 feet), it was once the tallest structure in China before it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Centre in 2007. 

Oriental Pearl Tower

Address: 1 Century Avenue, near Lujiazui Huan Lu 

Opening Hours: 8:30am-9:30pm 

Admission: RMB 220 / person for all three spheres + Shanghai History Museum; RMB 160 / person for the first and second spheres + Shanghai History Museum, or RMB 120 / person for the second sphere + Shanghai History Museum. 

Little ones will enjoy heading up to the highest sphere here, called the 'Space Module', that will give them a beautiful bird's-eye view of the city. Glass bottomed floors are always a hit (unless you have a fear of heights). Afterwards, head on over to the Shanghai History Museum to learn about just how Shanghai has evolved over time.   

*Note that for both these tower attractions you should choose a clear, unpolluted day or you won’t be able to see the views. 

6. Lunch at Din Tai Fung OR the Revolving Restaurant at the Pearl Tower

Din Tai Fung

Address: Shanghai World Financial Center, 3/F, 100 Century Avenue, near Dongtai Lu

Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm

Tel: 6877 6886

Pearl Tower Revolving Restaurant

Address: Inside the Pearl Tower

Hours: Daily, 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm

Tel: 5879 8888

No trip to Shanghai is complete without dumplings, and Din Tai Fung is about as child-friendly as you can get with a hygienic environment and plenty of food choices - think a varied menu ranging from 'plain' dumplings to gourmet truffle options. Additionally, they provide high chairs, kids cutlery and entertainment with an open view of the dumpling making area of the kitchen. Watch your lunch being made right before your eyes and see if you can pick up any tricks of the trade to try at home! 

If you (they) chose to go to the Pearl Tower, the revolving restaurant in the second sphere offers a buffet lunch with Chinese and Western food.

7. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium OR Century Park 

Photo credit: Flickr user tab2_dawa

Shanghai Aquarium

Address: 158 Yincheng Bei Lu, near Lujiazui Huan Lu

Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm

Tel: 5877 9988

Admission: RMB 160 / adult and RMB 140 / child between 1m - 1.4m

Now that the sightseeing is out of the way, treat your kids to some underwater fun! The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is the largest in China and houses 10,000 varieties of sea creatures. It also has the longest underwater tunnel in the world with jellyfish, stingrays and sharks - these are bound to fascinate young ones and you'll easily spend an entire afternoon here.

Photo credit: Flickr user tab2_dawa

If a bit of outdoor time is in order after spending a day in towers and lunches, head to Century Park to let the kids run around after lunch. With an area of 346 acres (140 hectares), Century Park is divided into seven parts which include the Lakeside Scenic Area, the Forest Landscape Area, the Amenity Grass, the Nature Reserve, the Folk Village, the Exotic Zone, and the Mini Golf Course. 

Photo credit: Flickr user lwtt93

Century Park

Address: 809 Huamu Lu near Haitong Lu

Hours: March 16th to November 15th, 7am-6pm, November 16th to March 15th, 7am-5pm

Admission: RMB 10 and free for children under 1.3 meters (4.3 feet). 

Numerous facilities are provided for tourists in the park and you can feed pigeons, go fishing, row a boat, peddle along on a bicycle, or just have fun in the green maze! If you go at the right time of year, the plum blossom show will wow kids and adults alike as there are more than 3,000 blossom trees in the park. 

8. Dinner back in Puxi OR Disneytown!

By now, the kids should be on their way to a good night's sleep but, depending on their age, you might need to stay out and feed them some more, If you're planning on staying in Puxi, head back and stop off at the Bund once more. For food that will please the masses, as well as with beautiful terrace views, head over to POP American Brasserie.

If you're feeling brave, or want to really treat the kids for an awesome day out by fulfilling their Disney needs, head over to Disneytown. You'll have options ranging from dim sum and fast food to healthy eating options too.

Want to connect with other families in Shanghai? Extract the QR code below to join our WOW! Families WeChat group!

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