One of the most family-friendly establishments in the city, the Four Seasons Pudong extends its warm hospitality to their young guests instead of treating them like mere extensions of their parents.
Kids at the hotel get their own welcome letters, sweet treats and age-appropriate amenity packages – which include a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and even stuffed toys – after check-in. Other amenities in the rooms include kid-friendly DVDs and a popcorn maker that’s sure to keep the young ones fascinated.
On the 41st floor, the 150m infinity pool offers stunning views of the Shanghai cityscape and is expansive enough for the whole family to enjoy a dip, while the Camelia restaurant in the lobby has a dedicated kid’s menu that features Chinese cuisine as well as classics like pasta and sandwiches.
Parents who are looking to enjoy a night out in the city can even engage the hotel’s babysitting services which are provided by certified professionals.
210 Century Ave
2. NBA Playzone
The first of its kind in the world, this newly opened entertainment centre in Shanghai’s Xintiandi area offers children as young as two a chance to experience basketball in clean and safe environs. All parents here are tagged to their children with matching RFID bracelets, ensuring that the little ones don’t wander offsite or leave the premises with strangers.
NBA Playzone features different areas, including In The Paint, a space for kids to create their own artworks, Halftime Live, a digital interactive area where kids get to play a gesture-controlled digital game, as well as Mascot Training Ground, a huge play area filled with slides and a ball pit.
The centre also comes with a cosy party room that’s perfect for throwing birthday celebrations, a food and beverage corner, a nursing room as well as a merchandise store.
Level 2, Hubin Dao Shopping Mall, 150 Hubin Rd
3. The Place (Nanfeng Mall)
Unlike most of the glitzy malls in downtown Shanghai that are filled with luxury boutiques, The Place (or Nanfeng Mall) is a one-stop destination for families.
To call this place child-friendly would be somewhat of an understatement – there are more than five indoor play centres, including a three-storey-high obstacle course in the mall’s south wing, an amusement park and a slew of shops selling children’s clothing and toys spread across two wings. In addition, the kids can also don adorable chef hats and aprons and learn how to make their own soya bean drink at the beautifully decorated Taoyuan Village (above), located along the public square between the two towers.
For the grown-ups, the shopping, retail and dining options are pretty impressive as well. Boxing Cat Brewery offers a good selection of craft beer, The House of Lily serves exceptional Cantonese cuisine and the Subconscious Day Spa would be the perfect place to unwind – if you can strike a deal with your spouse regarding childcare duties.
150 Zunyi Rd
Here, children can play hopscotch, unleash their inner chef at the kiddy cooking station, play with a variety of toys and puzzles and build sandcastles at the outdoor sand pit (above). For some quiet time, they can also pick from a selection of books at an endearing little corner of the cafe that has been styled to look like a tree house.
Opened by a pair of mothers who work as designers, the cafe also serves affordable and hearty fare that includes pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and a tantalising selection of sweet treats.
Unit 1-103, Lane 19, Ronghua Ave
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This US$55-million marine life facility, which ranks among the largest aquariums in the world, never fails to excite the kids with its collection of more than 10,000 species of sea creatures.
Visitors kick off their tour of the aquarium in the China Zone where they can see marine life such as the Yangtze Alligator, the Chinese Giant Salamander and the Chinese Sturgeon, before heading into other zones where the spotlight is cast on the great white sharks, giant stingrays and emperor penguins.
The tour ends at the aquarium’s showpiece – a 120m observation tunnel that takes visitors through different marine environments featuring coral reefs, kelp caves and a shark cove.
One way to end the day would be to visit the neighbouring Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the iconic Bund area from the observation decks and dine at the revolving restaurant.
1388 Lujiazui Ring Rd
6. Century Park
Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, this park in Shanghai’s Pudong district is a perennial favourite with families thanks to its scenic boulevards, tree-lined lakes and lush open spaces where the kids can run to their hearts’ content.
Having cost $1 billion RMB to build, this 140ha park is the largest of its kind in the city and features beautiful landscaping styles that combine Chinese, Japanese and British elements. Within, there are various zones that families can explore, such as forested areas, colourful flower gardens, a bird sanctuary and an amusement park with fun rides for the kids.
Families can also rent bikes and kites, go on a short boat trip on the lake and visit the handful of museums and stores in the park. The best time to visit is during the months of March and April when the cherry blossoms blanket the park in spectacular shades of pink.
1001 Jinxiu Rd
– TEXT BY ALYWIN CHEW
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.