When Shanghai is mentioned, we think modern business
hotels, intimidating skyscrapers, and bustling streets full of businessmen in
suits. As China’s biggest economic center, Shanghai is largely known as a
However, as sprightly bubble tea joints, modern shops, and
kid-friendly parks burgeon in the city, Shanghai becomes not just a place for
business, but also a place for families to explore and joy.
Not sure where to start? Check out these family activities
you can do in Shanghai. Don’t forget to scour for family
friendly hotel deals in Shanghai to maximize your stay.
at the Underwater Species at Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
When you want to see what’s lurking underwater in four
oceans across the world, there’s no better place to check out than the Shanghai Ocean
Aquarium. Here, you’ll get to meet over 15,000 marine organisms, from
poison dark frogs to emperor penguins, in a simulated natural habitat. The
creatures are housed in eight regional exhibit areas, including the Polar Sea,
the Amazon, and China Zone, which is the only aquarium of its kind in the
world. Kids will also love the 155-meter network of four submarine viewing
tunnels as they discover unique, live reefs and caves.
Because it’s the largest in Asia – and a favorite in the
Pudong District – the aquarium tends to be packed on weekends, so a weekday
visit is preferable.
After a day at the aquarium, swing by the Shanghai IFC Mall for
an upscale shopping experience.
The multi-screen Palace Cinema and IFC Residences, along
with luxury fashion boutiques like Hermes and Chanel, speckle this upscale
two-tower commercial complex in Pudong District. The north tower hosts business
offices and banks, while the south tower contains the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
If you ever get hungry, there are plenty of options at the
food court including Western steakhouses and restaurants serving traditional
Chinese fare. You can also find Happy Lemon here, a must-visit bubble tea cafe
that originated in China. Matcha shakes, anyone?
The mall is conveniently located near the Bund and the
Oriental Pearl TV Tower and has a connecting footbridge to the Lujiazui Central
Park. Maximize your Pudong District tour by adding these spots in your
itinerary du jour. For explorations outside the city, head to the
Luijazui Station, just beside the mall.
to Happy Valley
If there is one place in Shanghai that will surely brighten
your child’s day, it’s Happy
Valley. Children can explore seven themed zones, including a Typhoon Bay
with water attractions, and Gold Mine Town, which is inspired from the old
One of six in the Happy Valley Chain, this popular
amusement park offers thrilling rides including a rollercoaster that plunges
from 60 meters and Gyro Swing, which rises over 10 stories high. Families also
come here for festivals and magical performances.
The park is accessible via the metro rail. You can save
time if you acquire the pay-and-go Shanghai Public Transportation Card (SPTC)
beforehand. You can also use the SPTC for taxis if the train gets too crowded.
in French Architecture at the Old French Concession
When the hectic city scene becomes overwhelming, a visit to
the French Concession can help re-energize your spirits.
Built in 1849, the Concession used to be the foremost hub for residence,
retail, and Catholicism in China. Old Parisian houses and buildings line the
Lokawei stretch near the Zhaojiabang creek while high-end Russian-owned retail
shops are found mostly in Avenue Joffre.
For heartwarming family meals, there are several
restaurants and bars in Hengshan Road. At night, the restaurants convert to
nightclubs where live, upbeat music can be enjoyed.
There’s nothing more exhilarating than family adventures.
To ensure the best adventure with your little ones, include these activities on
your to-do list.