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Top 9 Destinations in China for Family with Kids

China boasts a diverse range of remarkable destinations that cater to abundant tastes and interests, from historical wonders to modern entertainment, from cultural explorations to captivating landscapes. With so many options offered, how to choose the most suitable destinations for family vacations in China might be a real headache for most tourists. In this article, we’ll introduce 9 most family-friendly destinations in China for your reference, which promise an unforgettable experience for every member of your family.

1. Beijing: Exploration of Imperial Past & Colorful Cultural Activities

Forbidden City in Beijing
Forbidden City

As the capital of China, Beijing is always the first choice when speaking of family vacation destinations in China. The glamorous past as the center of feudal dynasties has left the city with numerous historical relics and imperial wonders, which will amaze your children with their splendor and widen their sights. Besides, Beijing is also home to famous amusement parks, where you can spend a wonderful day with your children and gain great pleasure.

Recommended Hands-on Cultural Activities:

  • Explore Imperial Grandeur Beijing is endowed with countless imperial landmarks built during Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911), such as Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Yonghe Palace. It will be interesting to inspire your children to imagine the luxury life of ancient royal families while visiting.
  • Great Wall Hiking Tour– Badaling and Mutianyu are recommended Great Wall sections for China family tours, both of which feature well-preserved ramparts and beacon towers, as well as perfect facilities such as cableway and tram.
  • Rickshaw Tour in Hutongs –Taking a rickshaw to shuttle among ancient alleys and courtyards offers a special sightseeing trip and enables you to have a glimpse of traditional lifestyle of Beijingers.
  • Recreational Life at Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven used to be a place for emperors to practice sacrificial rituals. Today, you can not only enjoy grand buildings, but also find many locals doing exercise there. You may join them to fly kites or learn a few Tai Chi movements to experience the recreational life of locals.
  • Themed Amusement Parks– Happy Valley and Universal Beijing Resort are the most popular amusement parks in Beijing, that provide a wide variety of thrilling entertainment facilities and will bring you into a dazzling fairy-tale world.

Best Time to Visit: April – November

Recommended Tour: 5 Days Beijing Family Tour

2. Chengdu: Paradise for Panda Lovers and Gourmets

Chengdu Pandas
Baby Pandas in Chengdu Giant Panda Base

Speaking of China, the first thing that pops into most children’s minds must be the lovely giant pandas. Therefore, seeing giant pandas in Chengdu – the home of these adorable creatures – is always on the must-do list for family trip to China. Chengdu is also the paradise for gourmet tours, treating foodies with authentic Sichuan cuisine, such as Kung Pao Chicken, Mapo Tofu and spicy hot pot. To enrich the night, you can pick a tea house at Jinli Street to enjoy traditional Sichuan opera with face-changing performances, fire-breathing, and puppetry.

Recommended Hands-on Cultural Activities:

  • Meeting Giant Pandas– Located in the suburb area, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, housing over 100 giant pandas, is the best family holiday destination in China to observe giant pandas in a semi-natural habitat.
  • FaceChanging in Sichuan Opera The face-changing technique is the most wonderful part of Sichuan Opera. Opera actors change their mask in a blink of an eye, which is really incredible. It will be fun to discuss with your children to find out how they manage to do it.
  • Cooking Class of Sichuan Cuisine The spicy flavor and fiery appearance make Sichuan Food have a place in 8 major cuisines of China. The cooking class at Sichuan Cuisine Museum offers you a hands-on experience to make popular Sichuan dishes by yourself.

 

Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – November

Travel Tips:

If you want a more intimate contact with giant pandas, you may attend the volunteer project at Dujiangyan Panda Base to look after these animals under the direction of professional keepers.

Recommended Tour: 3 Days Chengdu Family Tour with Panda Volunteering & Cooking Class

3. Sanya: Get Close to the Beautiful Ocean

Sanya Atlantis
The Lost Chambers Aquarium in Sanya

Sanya, situated on Hainan Island, beckons families with its stunning beaches and tropical charm. It will be good idea to have a wonderful time with your kids along the city’s beautiful coastline. Besides, you should never miss Atlantis Sanya Resort during your family tour to China, which offers diverse water recreation and brings the mystical underwater world to life.

Recommended Hands-on Activities:

  • Beach Tour– It is highly recommended you spend a half-day playing with your children on a beautiful beach in Sanya. Yalong Bay and Wuzhizhou Island are both nice choices that will entertain you with tranquil ocean views, interesting water sports, and soft sandy shores.
  • Atlantis Sanya Resort– You can experience abundant water recreational activities, snorkel with expert divers for a close interaction with sea animals, and unveil the grandiose underwater world at the Lost Chambers Aquarium.

Best Time to Visit: All year round

Recommended Tours:

Sanya Beach Holiday: 6 Days Surf Class Coffee Factory Tour

4. Dengfeng: Feel the Charm of Shaolin Kung Fu

Dengfeng Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Temple

No one can resist the charm of Chinese martial arts after seeing movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Shaolin Kung Fu, as a representative school of martial arts, attracts numerous travelers to explore Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, where they can see the Kung Fu show live. The nearby Mount Song is also worth visiting. You may set out a hiking tour with your kids to stop by ancient temples and buildings in the mountain.

Recommended Hands-on Cultural Activities:

  • Shaolin Kung Fu– At the theater inside Shaolin Temple, you will witness thrilling Shaolin Kung Fu performance very closely. You may also have a chance to participate in basic training sessions to learn a few movements from warrior monks.
  • Songyang Academy– Songyang Academy, nestled at the foot of Mount Song, tops the four greatest academies in the past, enabling kids to learn about the educational system in ancient China.

Best Time to Visit: April – May, September – October

Recommended Tour: 2 Days Luoyang Highlights Tour with Shaolin Temple & Longmen Grottoes

5. Xi’an: Delve into Timeless Treasures of the Ancient City

Make Mini Terracotta Army Xian
Make Mini Terracotta Army

If your children take a great interest in history, a visit to Xi’an will definitely cater to their needs and make this China family travel worthwhile. As the capital city of 13 dynasties, Xi’an is no lack of historical wonders, such as Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Huaqing Palace, for your kids to delve into the splendid history of the city. Among them, the world-renowned Terracotta Army is really an archaeological wonder and showcases the superior craftsmanship of Qin Dynasty (221-207BC).

Recommended Hands-on Cultural Activities:

  • Terracotta Army& DIY Class – You will witness over 8,000 life-sized terracotta soldiers, horses and chariots made more than 2,200 years ago, standing before your eyes. It will be fun to make a mini terracotta warrior with your kids to feel the charm of this ancient handicrafts.
  • Cycle along Ancient City Wall– You can rent a tandem bike to cycle with your children along the Ancient City Wall built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). On the way, you can have a panoramic view of the ancient city of Xi’

Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – November

Recommended Tour: 3 Days Xi’an Private Trip: History Exploration & Tang Costume Experience

6. Guilin: A Picturesque Haven of Karst Landscapes

Guilin Pebble Painting
Chinese landscape painting with pebbles in Guilin

For families preferring natural beauties, the surreal karst landscapes in Guilin will surely make for a memorable sightseeing experience. The picturesque city offers multiple ways for nature lovers to get entertained, including Li River cruise, bamboo rafting on Yulong River, and countryside cycling around Yangshuo. Besides, an exploration to minority villages enables your kids to feel unique ethnic customs, trek among large-scaled terraces, and learn about local peasants’ life.

 

Recommended Hands-on Activities:

  • Li River Cruise During the cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, you will feel like being in the midst of an endless landscape painting with lush karst hills and tranquil waters around you. Just encourage your children to catch all the beautiful views with the camera.
  • Bamboo Rafting in Yangshuo In Yangshuo, you may consider taking a local bamboo raft down the Yulong River to enjoy picturesque river views in a different way.
  • Cycling Tour in Yangshuo It is highly recommended you rent a tandem or a scooter to cycle along the country road all the way to the Ten-Mile Gallery to take in the idyllic scenery around Yangshuo.
  • Exploration of Ethnic Culture Longji Terraced Fields boasts distinctive rural landscape with countless terraces cultivated along the mountains just like giant staircases. The nearby villages of Zhuang and Yao minorities will captivate your kids with distinctive ethnic traditions and customs that have been practiced for centuries.
  • Cultural Exchange Programs Your kids will have a chance to attend featured classes while in Guilin to experience Chinese painting, calligraphy, and landscape painting with pebbles.

 

Best Time to Visit: April – November

Recommended Tour: 5 Days Guilin, Yangshuo & Terrace Field Photography Tour

7. Guangzhou: Fusion of Modernity and Tradition

Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park
Embark on a thrilling safari on wheels in Chimelong Safari Park

Guangzhou seamlessly blends modern skyscrapers with historical gems, making it an engaging destination for family travel to China. You can delve into its splendid past at Museum of Nanyue King’s Mausoleum, Chen Clan Academy… And a cruise along the Pearl River reveals the stunning skyline in front of you. Most importantly, don’t forget to savor the traditional Dim Sum during your trip to Guangzhou, which is considered an essential part of the day by locals.

Recommended Hands-on Activities:

  • Chimelong Tourist Resort– The resort creates a giant realm of happiness and joy, mainly housing five themed districts: Chimelong Safari Park, Chimelong Paradise, International Circus, Water Park, and Birds Park. Both you and your children will get great pleasure in this magical world.
  • Night Cruise on Pearl River –The symbolic Canton Tower and skyscrapers along the Pearl River will be illuminated in changing colors at night. Take a cruise with your kids to enjoy the dazzling night scenes and light shows that usually appear on movies and animations.
  • Cantonese Dim Sum –Pick a crowded tea house in Guangzhou to enjoy the traditional Dim Sum which is served on exquisite dishes but with great varieties. The exquisite appearance and fresh fragrance of the dishes will definitely leave an unforgettable culinary experience.

Best Time to Visit: March – May, October – December

Recommended Tour: 4 Days Family-Friendly Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park Tour

8. Zhongwei (Ningxia): Adventure into the Vast Desert

Shapotou Camel Ride Ningxia
Experience camel riding in Shapotou

It will be a unique experience to venture into the vast deserts of Zhongwei in Ningxia when you travel in China with kids. Throughout the whole region, Tengger Desert and Shapotou Scenic Area offer the best views as well as abundant desert activities, such as camel riding, sand gliding, dune surfing, and motorcycle riding. You can dress up along with your children in red skirt or as western cowboys to capture great photos on the golden desert.

Best Time to Visit: May – October

Recommended Tour: 3 Days Ningxia Desert Tour with Winery Experience

From the historical wonders of Beijing to the tropical allure of Sanya, and the captivating landscapes of Guilin to the martial arts heritage of Dengfeng, China boasts a diverse range of family-friendly destinations. Each locale weaves a tapestry of experiences, offering something special for every member of your family. Whether you’re immersing in the culture, exploring nature, or indulging in modern entertainment, these 8 destinations stand as testaments to China’s rich tapestry of tradition, innovation, and adventure. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an unforgettable journey through China’s most captivating family destinations.

9. Yunnan: Picturesque Ethnic Realm & Top Hiking Trails

Yunnan is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in China, where spring stays all year around. It is also a colorful realm gathering multiple ethnic minorities in China, offering a great chance for your children to learn about distinctive outfits, architectural styles and customs of different minorities. Yunnan also boasts several world-famous hiking trails, making it the paradise for nature lovers and hikers.

 

Recommended Hands-on Activities:

  • Ethnic Ancient Towns Visiting ancient towns in Lijiang and Dali is the best way to immerse in local lifestyle. You and your kids will feel like being in an enchanting and romantic kingdom with distinctive ethnic buildings adorned with leafy trees and colorful flowers along the cobbled streets.
  • Hiking to Tiger Leaping Gorge It is a magnificent valley with the largest vertical drop in the world, and is listed in the 10 most classical hiking routes on the earth. Follow the trail to take in unraveled natural views consisting of precipitous cliffs, giant river tides and grandiose Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.
  • Handicraft Classes Experience the making process of traditional handicrafts with your children, such as making tie-dyed accessories or Dongba tambourines.

 

Best Time to Visit: All year round

Recommended Tour: 9 Days Yunnan Family Tour

All of the listed destinations are nice choices for families during spring break. You may like to learn more on How to Plan a Family Trip to China? If you want a tailor-made itinerary, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Popular China tour packages to the 9 most family-friendly destinations in China:

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