There’s no shortage of things to do in the vibrant city of Shanghai. The city is a genuine hotspot for tourists and provides oodles of activities and destinations for you to check out with your children. However, for those who live here a little longer, with children attending a Shanghai international school, the tourist attractions eventually lose their charm. Here are our top 5 picks of things we love to do in the city with kids and what to do when you start to get bored with them.
Take in the sights at Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower is the second-tallest skyscraper in the world and boasts the world’s highest observation deck — a staggering 552 meters up. On a clear day, you can see more than 30 miles across Shanghai. Kids will love looking down at their city and pointing out places they know from above.
The cost of admission is ¥180 for adults, which is the same or less than many other observation decks in the city. Tickets for children between 1 and 1.4 meters tall are ¥90, and kids under 1 meter tall go free! Book your ticket on Trip Advisor.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
This exhibition center was built to showcase the remarkable engineering and city planning feats of Shanghai. The venue’s main attraction is the expansive and beautiful 1/500 scale model of the city that should grab the attention of kids and adults alike.
The center also has fascinating exhibits on Shanghai’s history. Children can discover for themselves how their city came to be the way it is today. Incredible displays show how Shanghai has transformed from a modest trading town into a bustling multicultural metropolis.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall is closed for construction until January 2021. To avoid disappointment, call ahead to check when they will reopen their doors: +86 21 6318 4477.
Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
This tunnel takes you underneath the Huangpu River. While you travel in a cart, the tunnel is lit up with a colorful light display that transforms between a multitude of patterns and colors. This attraction is best suited for younger children, but older children and even adults will still find the display engaging.
The journey through the tunnel takes around 5 minutes and is a handy way to travel across the Huangpu. The price of admission is ¥50 one way or ¥70 for a return trip. It’s best to incorporate this attraction into additional plans such as visiting The Bund itself.
Huangpu River cruise
Take a break from sightseeing on foot and instead take a relaxing and beautiful cruise along the Huangpu River. The cruise takes around 50 minutes and gives you a perfect view of the city skyline.
Kids will love the novelty of traveling on a boat. There’s educational value in the cruise, too, since there’s a free narrationin Chinese and English about well-known landmarks and their history. Adult tickets cost ¥120, and kids under 13 go free!
Read more info about the cruise and where to board.
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
This is a perfect rainy day activity since you could spend hours upon hours here — it is the largest sea aquarium in all of Asia! The 168-meter walk-through tunnel is particularly impressive, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a child that isn’t fascinated by seeing sharks and other marine life glide over them.
The cost of admission is ¥160 for adults, ¥110 for children between 1 and 1.4 meters, and free for children under 1 meter!
Read more info about the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.
I’m Bored of the Tourist Stuff, Now What?
Of course, the tourist-stuff is all very well and good, but if you plan to live in Shanghai for a longer period of time, even those activities will eventually get worn-out. That’s why it’s a great idea to get involved in events in the community.
For starters, there are loads of WeChat groups for expat parents where you can find like-minded people setting up and organizing days outs, trips, and events for you and your kids. It’s an excellent way for you and your beloved to socialize, meet people, and make new friends!
Don’t forget to make the most out of school activities too! If your child is attending a good Shanghai international school, there’s sure to be plenty of activities in which they can get involved. WISS is an international school in Shanghai with seemingly countless activities for their students. From after-school extra-curricular activities such as robotics and taekwondo to organized trips and projects such as the coveted Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, your child is guaranteed to find something they’re passionate about!