In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on an exhilarating journey through Family-Friendly Activities in Shanghai that are sure to leave both kids and adults in awe.
From exploring fascinating museums and strolling through picturesque parks to indulging in mouthwatering local delicacies, get ready for unforgettable adventures that will create lifelong memories.
Introduction to Shanghai and its family-friendly atmosphere
Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”, is one of China’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. Located on the central coast of China, this bustling metropolis is a perfect blend of modern skyscrapers, traditional Chinese culture, and international influence. With its rich history, diverse population, and endless entertainment options, Shanghai has something to offer for everyone in the family.
The city’s family-friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for families with children of all ages. From educational attractions to fun-filled activities, there are plenty of things to do in Shanghai that will keep both kids and adults entertained.
Top Attractions for Families in Shanghai:
Shanghai is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, making it an ideal destination for families. From ancient temples to modern amusement parks, the city offers a diverse range of attractions that will keep both children and adults entertained. If you’re planning a family trip to Shanghai, here are some top attractions that you should not miss:
The Bund, also known as Zhongshan Road, is a waterfront area in central Shanghai that stretches along the western bank of the Huangpu River. It is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks of the city, offering a blend of historical architecture and modern skyscrapers. The Bund has been an important symbol of Shanghai’s development and prosperity since the early 20th century.
A stroll along The Bund is a must-do activity for families visiting Shanghai. It offers stunning views of both sides of the river, with Pudong’s futuristic skyline on one side and historical buildings on the other. The best time to visit The Bund is during sunset when all the buildings light up, creating a picturesque scene that will leave you in awe.
One of the most popular attractions on The Bund is its colonial-era buildings which feature various architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Deco. These buildings were constructed by different foreign countries who had concessions in Shanghai during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some notable ones include the Peace Hotel, Bank of China Building, Customs House, and HSBC Building.
Families can take a leisurely walk along The Bund promenade while admiring these beautiful buildings. There are also benches along the way where you can sit and enjoy the view while taking a break from your exploration. For those looking for some thrills, there are several boat tours available on Huangpu River that depart from The Bund. These tours offer a
Located in the heart of Shanghai’s Old Town, Yu Garden is a must-visit destination for families looking to experience the city’s rich history and culture. This traditional Chinese garden is a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling streets of Shanghai and offers plenty of activities to keep both parents and children entertained.
History buffs will appreciate the origins of Yu Garden, which dates back over 400 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. It was originally built as a private garden for Pan Yunduan, an imperial minister, who wanted to create a peaceful retreat away from the chaos of city life. The name “Yu” means peace and comfort, reflecting its purpose as a place for relaxation and contemplation. Today, it is one of the most well-preserved classical gardens in China and has been designated as a national monument.
As you enter Yu Garden, you will be greeted by stunning traditional architecture, intricate pavilions, winding pathways, and lush greenery.
The garden is divided into six main areas:
- Sansui Hall (Three Tasting Pavilion)
- Wanhua Chamber (Chamber for Viewing Beauty)
- Dianchun Hall (Hall of Vigorous Advancement)
- Huijing Hall (Hall of Cherished Scenery)
- Yuhua Hall (Jade Magnificence Hall)
- Inner Garden
Each area has its own unique features but all are interconnected in a seamless flow that creates an immersive experience.
Shanghai Disney Resort
Shanghai Disney Resort is a must-visit destination for families looking for a fun and magical experience in Shanghai. Located in the Pudong New Area, this world-class theme park is the first Disney resort in mainland China and offers an immersive experience with its unique blend of Chinese culture and classic Disney storytelling.
The resort covers an area of 963 acres and is divided into two main areas: Shanghai Disneyland Park and Disneytown. Shanghai Disneyland Park features six themed lands – Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Adventure Isle, Treasure Cove, and Tomorrowland – each offering its own distinct attractions and experiences. From thrilling roller coasters to enchanting musical shows, there is something for everyone at this theme park.
One of the standout features of Shanghai Disneyland Park is its use of cutting-edge technology to enhance the guest experience. This includes the highly popular TRON Lightcycle Power Run ride which combines high-speed roller coaster thrills with stunning visual effects. Other must-try rides include Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Soaring Over the Horizon, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Aside from rides, visitors can also enjoy live performances throughout the day such as Mickey’s Storybook Express parade featuring beloved Disney characters on colorful floats. There are also several meet-and-greet opportunities where guests can take photos with their favorite characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and more.
Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Shanghai, known for its unique architectural design and impressive height. Located in the bustling Pudong district, this tower stands at 468 meters tall, making it the sixth tallest tower in the world. It is also a popular family-friendly attraction, offering a wide range of activities that cater to all ages.
One of the main highlights of visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower is taking a ride on its famous glass-bottomed observation deck called “the Space Module.” This breathtaking experience allows visitors to step onto a transparent glass floor and feel like they are floating above the city. The observation deck offers stunning panoramic views of Shanghai’s skyline and is an ideal spot for taking memorable family photos.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, another must-visit activity at the Oriental Pearl Tower is its thrilling indoor roller coaster ride called “Space Flight.” This simulation ride takes you on a virtual journey through space and time, providing an exhilarating adventure that will leave both kids and adults wanting more.
In addition to these exciting attractions, there are also several interactive exhibitions inside the tower that offer educational experiences for children. The “Space City” exhibition takes visitors on a futuristic journey where they can learn about space exploration and technology. There is also the “Old Shanghai” exhibition which showcases traditional Chinese culture and customs through various displays and artifacts.
Zhujiajiao Water Town
Located just 1 hour away from the bustling city of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao Water Town is a popular tourist destination for families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This ancient water town dates back over 1,700 years and is known as the “Venice of Shanghai” due to its intricate network of canals and bridges.
One of the main attractions in Zhujiajiao is its picturesque scenery. With traditional buildings lining the canals and beautiful stone bridges connecting each area, visitors will feel like they have stepped back in time. The town also has a tranquil atmosphere, with locals going about their daily lives as visitors stroll through the narrow streets.
Families can take a leisurely boat ride along the canals, which offers a unique perspective on this charming water town. The boats are operated by local boatmen who often provide commentary on the history and culture of Zhujiajiao, making it an educational experience for both parents and children.
In addition to boat rides, there are several other activities that families can enjoy in Zhujiajiao. One popular option is renting bicycles to explore the town at your own pace. There are designated bike paths that lead you through different areas of Zhujiajiao, providing an up-close look at local life while enjoying some exercise.
For those interested in learning more about Chinese culture, there are several museums in Zhujiajiao that showcase traditional art forms such as calligraphy and woodcarving
Shanghai is a bustling metropolis that offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and family-friendly activities. From exploring historical landmarks to enjoying the natural beauty of the city, there are plenty of ways to get outside and make the most out of your trip. Here are some top outdoor activities in Shanghai that you won’t want to miss.
Located in the bustling Changning district, Zhongshan Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. This spacious and well-maintained park offers a welcome escape from the fast-paced city life of Shanghai, making it an ideal spot for families to spend quality time together.
One of the highlights of Zhongshan Park is its beautiful lake, which is surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant flowers. Families can take a leisurely stroll around the lake, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and taking in the picturesque views. For those feeling more adventurous, paddle boats are available for rent to explore the lake at your own pace.
Aside from its natural beauty, Zhongshan Park also offers various attractions that are perfect for families with children. The Children’s Amusement Park within the park features a variety of rides such as carousels, bumper cars, and mini roller coasters – sure to excite kids of all ages.
For nature lovers, there is also a small zoo located within Zhongshan Park. Here, families can see various animals including monkeys, peacocks, and even pandas. Visitors can also interact with some of these animals through feeding sessions or animal shows.
The park also has multiple playgrounds scattered throughout its grounds where children can run around and play freely while parents relax on nearby benches. These playgrounds are equipped with slides, swings, climbing structures and more – providing endless hours of entertainment for little ones.
Century Park is a must-visit destination for families looking to experience the best of Shanghai’s natural beauty. Located in Pudong, this expansive park covers an area of over 140 hectares and offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, relaxation, and fun.
One of the highlights of Century Park is its diverse range of flora and fauna. With over 200 species of plants and trees, including rare flowers like Chinese wisteria and camellias, the park provides a stunning backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with your loved ones. In addition to the beautiful plants, you can also spot various bird species such as egrets, herons, and swans in the park’s lakes.
For those seeking more active adventures, Century Park has plenty to offer. The park features an extensive network of walking trails that lead through lush greenery and around serene lakes. You can rent bicycles at various locations throughout the park or bring your own to explore its vast expanse at your own pace.
Families with young children will particularly enjoy the Children’s Playground in Century Park. This large playground is divided into different zones suitable for kids of all ages. From slides and swings to climbing structures and sandpits, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. The playground also has shaded areas for parents to relax while keeping an eye on their little ones.
Huangpu River Cruise
Huangpu River Cruise is one of the most popular and must-do activities when visiting Shanghai. This iconic river runs through the heart of the city, dividing it into two parts: Puxi (the older side) and Pudong (the modern side). A cruise along this river offers a unique perspective on Shanghai’s skyline and allows you to soak in the city’s rich history, culture, and architecture.
The cruises usually depart from either the Bund or the Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong. The Bund is a historic waterfront area that offers stunning views of both old and new Shanghai, while the Oriental Pearl Tower is an iconic landmark with its distinctive shape and observation deck.
There are several options for Huangpu River Cruises, ranging from basic sightseeing tours to more extravagant dinner cruises. For families traveling with young children, it is recommended to choose a daytime cruise as they tend to be less crowded and offer better visibility compared to evening cruises.
One of the highlights of a Huangpu River Cruise is passing under some of Shanghai’s most famous bridges such as Waibaidu Bridge, Yangpu Bridge, Nanpu Bridge, Lupu Bridge, and many others. These bridges not only add to the scenic beauty but also hold significant cultural importance in Chinese history.
Indoor activities in Shanghai offer a diverse range of options for families to enjoy, regardless of the weather. From cultural experiences to exciting entertainment, there is something for every age group and interest. Here are some top recommendations for indoor activities that will keep the whole family entertained during your visit to Shanghai.
Shanghai Natural History Museum
The Shanghai Natural History Museum is a must-visit destination for families looking to learn more about the natural world. Located in the Jing’an District, this impressive museum showcases an extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and preserved animals.
Established in 1956, the Shanghai Natural History Museum has a rich history and is one of China’s largest natural history museums. It covers an area of 44,520 square meters and consists of four floors filled with interactive exhibits that cater to visitors of all ages.
Upon entering the museum, families will be greeted by a life-size replica of a dinosaur skeleton, showcasing the vast diversity of these prehistoric creatures. The first floor also features an exhibit on human evolution, which includes replicas of early hominid species such as Australopithecus and Homo erectus.
Moving on to the second floor, visitors can explore different habitats found across China. From alpine forests to tropical rainforests and even deserts, this section provides an immersive experience through realistic dioramas complete with sound effects and interactive displays.
One highlight that cannot be missed on the third floor is the “Treasures from Nature” exhibit. This section houses some of the most valuable treasures discovered by Chinese scientists throughout history. These include rare fossils like feathered dinosaurs and ancient marine reptiles.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Located in the bustling city of Shanghai, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is a must-visit destination for families looking for an educational and fun experience. It is one of the largest science museums in China and attracts millions of visitors every year. From interactive exhibits to thrilling shows, this museum offers a wide range of activities that will keep both kids and adults entertained.
The museum covers a massive area of 68,000 square meters with over 14 permanent exhibition halls featuring different themes such as space exploration, robots, energy, transportation, and more. Each hall is designed to engage visitors through hands-on experiments and demonstrations, making learning about science an enjoyable experience.
One of the main highlights of the museum is its impressive collection of over 10,000 artifacts from various fields such as astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, and technology. These exhibits offer unique insights into how these scientific concepts shape our daily lives.
For those interested in space exploration, the Space Navigation Hall is not to be missed. Here you can learn about China’s advancements in space technology through interactive displays and even get a chance to control your own spacecraft simulation! The Earth Exploration Hall also offers fascinating exhibits on natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons.
Another popular attraction at the museum is the World of Robots exhibit which showcases robots from different eras including ancient Chinese automatons to modern-day humanoid robots. Kids will love interacting with these futuristic machines while also learning about their history.