Beijing Zizhuyuan ParkWinter in Beijing leaves limited options for family-friendly activities, but one thing easily found and fun for kids is ice parks.

Most large parks will set up something, and the one nearest us is Zizhuyuan Park, next to China’s National Library at the Baishi Qiao intersection. It’s name is translated to English as the Black Bamboo Park, even though the “zi” actually means purple.

Activities here are limited and costly but there is an awesome ice slide. I went down with my 2 year old and he “wheee”d with glee the whole way down. That one costs 10 yuan (roughly $1.50) for one slide. Ice chairs can also be rented for about $3 an hour each chair. This is a lot of fun and pretty safe for kids. Though mine managed to find a small hill to slide down. It’s good exercise too for out-of-shape moms.
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 Probably the biggest park activities are held at Yuyuantan Park, which has fake snow for real sledding, and snow foxes to look at. $5 admission and activities cost extra. We didn’t make it there though before it closed at the official end of the Spring Festival period.
 
The Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium also generally hosts a snow park, and that is the more costly, though possibly more fun.

Jenny Lin is a writer/editor working in Beijing. You can follow her @twinlins or keep up with her cross-cultural familial adventures at beijingmom.blogspot.com.