10 Fun Things to Do in Beijing with Family

With a 3,000-year-old history, Beijing, the Capital City of China, has many fun things to do for tourists from all over the world. On the one hand, as an international metropolis, Beijing equips with modern architecture and lively air. On the other hand, the traditional customs and heritage buildings add cultural atmosphere to the city. What fun things to do in Beijing with family? Here under is a list, which h you have unforgettable memories during the journey.


Take Dang-dang Sightseeing Bus to Visit Downtown Beijing

To explore popular attractions in Beijing in a fun way, Dang-dang sightseeing bus is highly recommended for travelers who desire a one-day or two-day city tour. As one of fun things to do in Beijing China, tourists can have a deeper understanding about history & stories behind the attractions because the bilingual audio guide in Chinese and English are provided on each bus. The buses are decorated in the old Beijing style, full of traditional atmosphere. Passengers taking it seem like taking a time machine, traveling back to the past to visit the time-honored architecture such as Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beihai Park, Zhongshan Park, Wangfujing... There are two loop Dang-dang bus lines serving the public all year around.  

 Ticket Fare: CNY15/person in cash; CNY10/person via Beijing Transportation Smart Card
 Frequency: 5-10 minutes
 Boarding Sites: Line 1: Yongdingmen Gate Tower; Line 2: Qianmen (close to the Arrow Tower of Zhengyang Gate)

 Note: Dang-dang Bus are not hop-on hop-off ones. Once getting off, tourists need to pay again.

Tour Around Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best-preserved sections, has dense watchtowers and splendid natural scenery in all seasons, which attracts tens of millions of tourists every year. The scenic area is equipped with advanced cable car, chairlift and toboggan, which can meet different demands of family members. Toboggan Ride, like a super long slide from Great Wall top to its bottom, wins high popularity among children and young people and should be on the list of “Fun Things to Do in Beijing with Family” It is an exciting and energy-saving way to get down from Mutianyu. Notice that little kids should be accompanied by adults when taking Toboggan.

 Recommended Tour:   Beijing Mini Group Day Tour to Mutianyu Great Wall from $149

Have a Visit to Beijing Zoo & Beijing Aquarium

Beijing Zoo and Aquarium are highly popular among children and young people in these years. Besides, seniors can also have great fun when touring around. Tourists can see more than 450 different species and 5,000 animals in Beijing Zoo. You should not miss Panda House. Getting intimate with cute pandas is one of the most interesting things to do in Beijing. The Aquarium is located at the north zone of the zoo, which you can follow the clear English signs and find it easily. As the largest inland aquarium in the world, it contains thousands of aquatic species. People shouldn’t miss the animal shows here, such as White Whale Performance and Feeding Elephant Seal Performance. One day’s sightseeing time is totally enough.

Have Fun in Happy Valley

Being one of fun stuff to do in Beijing, tourists can gain a lot of fun in Happy Valley. Various interesting recreation facilities can help people get relaxed and get rid of fatigue. Happy Valley is divided into 7 theme parks which can adapt for different requirements of different ages. If you want to experience some exciting facilities, you are advised to go to Atlantis Theme Park. It is equipped with Crystal Wing Roller Coaster, the only flying one in Asia, and other facilities such as Energy Collector, Water Gambol, Holy Crystal Castle, Giant Derrick, Happy 66 and Magic Theater. For children, the Dessert Kingdom Theme Park is highly recommended. They can see cute figures here, including Sheriff Biscuit, Cop Cookie, Princess Croissant and the evil Robber Berry Cookie. In addition, some thematic leisure activities such as Pop Music Festival, Maximal Exercise Festival and International Magic Day would leave people a deep impression.

A Rickshaw Tour along Beijing Hutongs  

On the list of Beijing Fun Things to Do, it certainly has one item: a rickshaw ride along Beijing Old Hutongs. Hutongs are must-see places in the city, which show the old lifestyle of ordinary Beijingers. On both sides, there are traditional Old Beijing Courtyards, called Siheyuan. If you want to explore deeper local culture and customs, you are highly recommended to experience this. Nowadays, over 1,000 Hutongs are left. Most of them gather around Shichahai and Bell/Drum Towers.

 Recommended Tour: 
 Beijing 1 Day Tour with Hutong from $149

Boating in Beihai Park

Going to Beihai Park for boating is another fun thing to do in Beijing with family. The park, also called Northern Sea Park, is one of the largest, oldest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China. It has a very large water zone, and many ancient architecture. The symbolic White Dagoba seen in many photos is located inside Beihai Park, which you shouldn’t miss. You can leisurely paddle a boat to appreciate the waterscape and traditional buildings, and enjoy the quiet & relaxing atmosphere in the gentle breeze. 
Watching beautiful natural scenery of the city via Imperial Water Cruise should be added on the list of interesting things to do in Beijing. Planted with willows on both sides, it used to serve the royal members only. The waterway cruise is 9.5 kilometers (6 miles) long with the duration of around an hour, passing by Beijing Exhibition Hall, Beijing Zoo, Beijing Aquarium, Zhenjue Temple, Purple Bamboo Park, Wanshou Temple and Summer Palace. If tourists prefer a leisure sightseeing time, joining in this waterway cruise is a wise choice.

 Boarding Sites: 
Emperor’s Boat Pier in Beijing Exhibition Hall; 
Ziyuwan Pier in Purple Bamboo Park; 
South Ruyi Gate Pier in Summer Palace
From Emperor’s Boat Pier: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, and 19:00
From Ziyuwan Pier: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13;30, 14;30, 15:30, and 16:30

See Kung Fu Show at Red Theater 

For those interested in Chinese Kung Fu, the Kung Fu Show at Red Theater is no wonder one of the interesting things to do in Beijing with family members. The show, named ‘The Legend of Kung Fu’ has 6 scenes, involving many Kung Fu moves. There is no need to worry about the language problem because the screen will display English subtitles to help you fully understand the Kung Fu culture. There are two shows every night at 17:15 and 19:30 with 80 minutes’ show time. Don’t forget to take photos with actors after the show.
China Ethnic Culture Park, also named China Ethnic Museum, is a worthy place to visit if you want to explore colorful Chinese ethnic groups’ culture. For a family trip, this arrange can be regarded as one of fun things to do in Beijing China. Besides the ethnic characteristic architectures and plants, there are also serial ethnic minority culture exhibitions, which display relics, stories and history of different Chinese ethnic groups. The staffs always wear folk costume, which adds more fun when touring around. There are also many kinds of fun performances inside the park, such as greeting guests, worship, harvest celebration and wedding celebration.
Referred to the top Beijing fun things to do, visiting Museum of Natural History should be mentioned. First opened in 1959, it was the first comprehensive natural science museum in China, which contains more than 100,000 artifacts, specimens and fossils. Especially for large-scale paleontology mammal fossils, the collection here ranks No.2 in the world. Ancient Elephant Fossil of the Yellow River and dinosaur fossil are always popular with children. 

 Further Reading:
9 Most Romantic Places in Beijing for Couples
7 Unusual Things to Do in Beijing Especially for Return Visitors
- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2023 by Catherine He -
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