The 10 Best Vacations for Kids in China

China is a magical place, offering the traveller a wealth of possibilities. From the spectacular to the sublime, people of every age will find something to discover in this colorful country. With so many options, finding the best vacations for kids in China can be a daunting task, so we have pulled together a few of the best places, providing you with a starting point to plan your family adventure.

1. Xi’an

best vacations for kids in China
Ancient tower on city wall in Xi’an at dusk. Photo: chuyu

There’s lots to see and do in Xi’an, and its long history means that historical sites are plentiful. Biking on the ancient City Wall will take you on a 14 kilometre journey around the city, offering a stunning view from above. The Terracotta Army is also worth checking out – the findings of an archaeological excavation from the 20th century, and one of the Eight Great Wonders of the World. The museum contains a wealth of pottery soldiers, chariots and horses.

Where to Stay:

Shangri-La Hotel Xi’an
This hotel has a really modern feel, but overlooks the Xin Ji Yuan Gong Yuan Park. Floor-to-ceiling windows and city views, along with Wi-Fi, minibars, and coffee machines, rooms and suites provide a premium base for families. 3 elegant restaurants serving European and Japanese food are also within the hotel.

Jin Jiang International Hotel Xian
Providing 5-star luxury, this hotel offers views of Bahe River, and spacious rooms provide a comfortable place to stay for families. Packed lunches can be made daily, and a restaurant and bar serves delicious food onsite.

2. Guilin

best vacations for kids in China
Bamboo rafting in Li River, Guilin. Photo: rigamondis

There’s so much to do in Guilin, so it’s advisable to have a well-planned itinerary to make sure you don’t miss out. Head for a cruise on the Li River, tour the breath-taking Yangshuo countryside by bike, shop at West Street’s global village, and take a bamboo raft on the Yulong River. Classes in Chinese calligraphy, painting, and cookery also add to the many experiences enjoyed by families on vacation here.

Where to Stay:

Shangri-La Hotel Guilin
This spectacular hotel showcases classic Chinese architecture, and is set alongside the Lijiang River.

The White House Hotel Guilin
This hotel has a homely feel with exemplary customer service. In addition to a central location, the hotel has a fitness center, sauna, spa, and even a babysitting service. Set on the river’s edge, this hotel has a relaxing, comfortable feel.

3. Beijing

best vacations for kids in China
Beijing cityscape at dusk with traffic. Photo: chuyu

With so many things to do, it’s not hard to see why Beijing is a favorite among those traveling with children. Whether taking in the historic sights, or climbing the Great Wall, each day brings a new adventure, and a number of breath-taking backdrops for those memorable photographs! Beijing Zoo is a big hit with families, home to a number of rare and endangered species. Beijing Happy Valleys’ Ant Kingdom is a unique attraction, with a number of projects designed in an ant’s view, so everything is miniature, even to children. For those looking to make a splash in Beijing, Asia’s largest indoor water park, the Water Cube, is the place to head to.

Where to Stay:

Ritz Carlton Financial Street
This stunning hotel is set within a high-rise building with curved-glass façade. Located just 1km from Fuxingmen metro station, and 4km from Tiananmen Square, the hotel has a wealth of dining options for families staying here, with 4 eateries and 2 bars onsite.

The St Regis Beijing
Located in an embassy district, this hotel has a number of modern rooms and suites, perfect for families. Many of the suites have separate living areas, providing added space, and 2 bars and 2 restaurants can be found onsite.

Shangri-La Hotel Beijing
This luxury hotel is centrally located, with 4 restaurants and 3 bars onsite. A gym, heated indoor pool, and a spa are also located in the hotel, which features a range of comfortable rooms with plush beds, free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers and minibar.

4. Shanghai

best vacations for kids in China
Traditional YuYuan district in Shanghai. Photo: Sean Pavone

While Shanghai is home to a busy financial business district, the city is a true tale of east-meets-west. A visit to the world’s longest underwater tunnel at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is a must. Home to a children’s recreational area, small beach area, musical theatre, and outdoor space to let off steam, Century Park is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. In addition, a climb to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower or the Shanghai World Financial Center Observation Deck is perfect for those with a head for heights.

Where to Stay:

Grand Hyatt Shanghai
The hotel is set in the 88-story Jin Mao Tower, within the financial district. Located just 4.6km from downtown Shanghai, the hotel welcomes families and business residents alike.

Four Seasons Shanghai
This is the ideal hotel for those looking to stay right in the heart of the hustle and bustle. Just a few minutes from the city’s best shopping and entertainment, the Four Seasons has a host of fitness, dining and spa facilities onsite.

5. Hong Kong

best vacations for kids in China
The famous Hong Kong harbor. Photo: Iakov Kalinin

Hong Kong is easily one of the most popular destinations for families in China. Children (and adults) of every age will enjoy the magic of Disneyland, with a unique Chinese twist, and the Ocean Park theme park also provides an action-packed day of entertainment, education and conservation. A ride on the Victoria Peak Tram allows for a view of Hong Kong from above, and the Big Bus Tour of Hong Kong Island gives a more intricate, up close view of the city’s hustle and bustle.

Where to Stay:

The Peninsula Hong Kong
Overlooking Victoria Harbor, this historic hotel is just a short walk from the Hong Kong Observatory. 2 bars and 6 restaurants are contained within the hotel, and many classic rooms come with city views.

JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
Situated above a mall, this high-rise, glass-fronted hotel has mountain views and is just 4km from Victoria Harbor. Flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and 8 eateries are among a number of features that make this hotel popular with families.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
This hotel is ideally located overlooking Victoria Harbor, and provides a luxurious place to stay. Ideal for those traveling with older children, each room comes with a Nespresso machine and free Wi-Fi, and suites come with separate living areas.

6. Chengdu

best vacations for kids in China
The beautiful city of Chengdu. Photo: 4045qd

Home to some of the most spectacular rural areas, Chengdu is particularly popular for those seeking the best vacations for kids in China. A visit to the Panda Breeding and Research Center is a must. Located on the Futoushan Mountain, the center is the ideal place to see pandas in their natural habitat. Other attractions include the Wenshu Temple – the largest and best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu.

Where to Stay:

The St Regis Chengdu
This upscale hotel has a modern, contemporary feel, and is located within the business district.

Kempinski Hotel Chengdu
This spire-topped hotel is 5km from the Jincheng Palace of Fine Arts and provides stylish accommodation for families. Upgraded rooms have 2 bedrooms, dining areas and even private saunas, ideal for families. 3 restaurants and 3 bars add to the attraction of this hotel.

7. Dengfeng

best vacations for kids in China
Traditional boat on a lake in Dengfeng. Photo: Sanchai Loongroong

From the narrow streets of the Old Town District, to the sculptural spectacle of The Longmen Grottes, and from the serenity of the King City Park, to the White Cloud Mountain National Forest Park, beautiful views come as standard. The Shaolin Temple is another for the to-do list – the cradle of Chinese martial arts. Whether watching a kung fu display, or having a kung fu class, the kids will be kept entertained for a few hours.

Where to Stay:

Songshan Dihao Grand Hotel
Offering a warm welcome to families, this hotel is extremely comfortable. Many visitors note the delightful beds, and grand interiors. A number of children’s activities take place daily.

Yongtai Jingshe HotelComfortable, basic rooms are ideal for those families looking for a base, and the restaurant serves tasty food in Buddhist style. The hotel is set in a beautiful environment and has a temple feel.

8. Yunnan Province

best vacations for kids in China
Stunning scenery in Yunnan Province. Photo: santuxiucai

Yunnan Province is ideal for those seeking the best vacations for kids in China. There is so much to see and do, from the Stone Forest, where kids can explore endless mazes of rock formations, to Dali, an old town offering a taste of Chinese culture. An outdoor show in Lijiang is hugely entertaining, and takes place on a large stage at the Jade Dragon Mountain. The Shuhe ancient town is perfect for exploring, both on foot, on wheels or on horseback.

Where to Stay:

Banyan Tree Lijiang
Quaint bridges arch over neat water canals and cobblestone streets surround this resort, and comfortable, relaxing accommodation is popular among families.

Ideal for families with older children, the accommodation is arranged around calm courtyards, and the suites offer a luxurious taste of China. A number of wellness offerings including spa treatments, feature alongside highly regarded restaurants.

9. Yangshuo

best vacations for kids in China
Moon Hill in Yangshuo. Photo: Sean Pavone

Situated in Southern China, the city offers everything from river swimming to nightly excursions to see the local wildlife. The Impressions Liu Sanjie Light Show, coordinated by the creator of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, is also one for the to-do list. Local cookery classes also take place at the Yangshuo Cookery School.

Where to Stay:

Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel
This hotel is located at the foot of the Green Lotus Peak, in stunning landscape. Rooms are fairly small, but the hotel is ideal for a base, and a pool, fitness center and restaurant are also onsite.

New West Street Hotel
Just a 4-minute walk from the center of Yangshuo Park, this hotel is well located for families wishing to experience all the local area has to offer.

10. Harbin

best vacations for kids in China
Ice balls at sunset in winter in Harbin. Photo: Michael Borgers

Tucked away in the northeast of China, Harbin encounters extreme temperatures during the winter months, often dipping to a staggering -40 degrees Fahrenheit. During those winter months, the Ice Festival is full of dazzling ice structures and has a number of attractions for children. Horseback riding and sledding provide further opportunities for a winter getaway.

Where to Stay:

Sofitel Wanda Harbin
This hotel is situated in a sleek glass tower, and overlooks the Harbin International Golf Club. Within walking distance of a number of attractions, the hotel is popular with families.

Shangri-la Hotel Harbin
Overlooking the Songua River, the modern hotel is central to the area’s top attractions, and provides a sophisticated setting to enjoy a stay of any length.

Ready to try one of the best vacations for kids in China?

Whether looking for an outdoor adventure, or a city break in a sparkling metropolis, there’s lots to be found by those seeking the best vacations for kids in China.

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