There are a number of parks for families in Shanghai.
These are places where you can freely roam and explore away from the stresses of city life are are perfect places for children in Shanghai to play at the weekend.
Gongqing Forest Park
Jungong Lu, near Yingang Lu
Gongqing Forest Park is well outside the downtown noise and commotion, but still close to Metro Line 8, making it convenient to visit. Though ideal for setting up a picnic and relaxing along the lake or on one of the lawns, there’s a day’s worth of activities in the park. There’s a small amusement park, a botanical garden and several playgrounds – not to mention the closest thing to a real forest you’ll find in the Shanghai metro area. You can spend the night there in one of the bungalows, which are fully equipped and comfortable.
Located between Jinshajiang Lu to the north, Guangfu Lu to the south and Zaoyang Lu to the east, next to the back entrance of East China Normal University (Huadong Shifan Daxue). Go by taxi, as the park is about a 20-minute walk down busy streets from Zhongshan Park Metro Station.
This park maintains a certain old charm, personified by the aging – yet entertaining – activities that go along with a nice lake and lawns. There are some classic amusement rides and families or couples can rent boats. The older version of Shanghai Ocean World displays colourful marine life and includes an ‘Inca temple’ and a ‘pirate ship’.
Pudong New Area, Metro Line 2
Sprawling Century Park is one of the biggest parks in Shanghai and probably has the cleanest air. This vast park at the end of Century Avenue covers 140 hectares next to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (see below). The open green lawns, woods and various facilities make it an ideal place for family weekend activities. From several vantage points there are breathtaking skyline views.
400 Pingxingguan Lu near Yanchang Lu Metro Station
Home to Shanghai’s annual Tea Culture Festival, Zhabei Park is quite different than other parks in Shanghai. It has beaches and carnival rides and is bustling with seniors socialising, dancing and singing. The park is near the Luochan seafood restaurant area, which has a wide variety of options for lunch.
Daning Lingshi Park
288 Guangzhong Xi Lu
Often overlooked, this walled park is worth visiting. It has a beach, fishing and boating and the pathways offer the opportunity to find some solitude. 1.5 billion RMB was spent renovating the park and the results are evident. It has more of a parkland feeling than any park in Shanghai whilst incorporating opportunites for children to be entertained.
The third largest island in China (after Hainan and Taiwan), Chongming Island lies off the Eastern Coast of Shanghai and is easily accessed by the bus within an hour. Soon to be part of the expansive metro network, the island offers respite from the sometimes chaotic city. With wetland parks and rural villages, Chongming is a great place to grab a bike and cycle around.