Now that the holiday season is upon us, and temperatures are dropping, the song, "Baby, it's cold outside" has been playing in our homes and in our heads. And while it does a good job of putting us in the spirit, it's also a reminder that winter in Shanghai is unfortunately more than just snow and Santa Claus. PM2.5 pollution levels are a real concern, especially for families. Thankfully, the quantity and quality of indoor play areas has boomed in the last few years, giving everyone more to look forward to when it's cold outside. We've put together a list of the best indoor play areas--most of which are best for ages 2-7, with the NBA Playzone catering to children up to nine, and the trampoline parks suited for everyone (even adults)!
There are a few E Cube Club branches across the city, each with its own specialty. The Changning venue includes Transformers, My Little Pony and Play'doh themes, while the Yueda Mall in Northern Jing'an has a wide variety of play such as battery-powered cars, moveable/rideable toy animals, 'building' type play and much more.
2/F, Yueda 889 Plaza, 889 Wanhangdu Lu
2/F, Ruihong World, Lane 280 Tianbao Lu
3/F, The Place mall, 100 Zunyi Lu
Cost: ¥135 for children under 12 on weekdays for a day pass/¥90 for morning or evening pass. Accompanying adult: ¥50/¥40. Weekends ¥160 for children under 12/¥115 for mornings or evenings. Weekend accompanying adult: ¥60/¥50.
Little Bugz has two air-filtered locations in Xuhui and Jing'an. Both have food and drinks and a unique sprawl of running, climbing and swinging spaces — with sitting areas for parents (and good WiFi). They also run regular special activities such as story time, arts & crafts, seasonal camps and do excellent party plans.
Addresses: 667 Changhua Lu, 285 Jianguo Xi Lu
Cost: ¥120 per child
The first NBA Playzone, a basketball-themed family entertainment center, has opened in the Hubin Dao Shopping Mall, just east of Xintiandi. NBA Playzone has a big play area good for ages 4 to 9, a smaller play-course suitable for ages 2 to 4, and other areas for shooting hoops, trampolining and more.Snacks are served inside, while Hubindao Mall has a good food court on B1/B2 and is a five minute walk to Xintiandi.
Address: 2/F Hubindao Mall, 150 Hubin Lu, near Jian Lu
Cost: ¥239 for one adult + one child entry, with ¥50 for additional adults. Discounts are possible when buying 20 entrances or an annual membership.
This is one of the newer enormous trampolining spots in the city. Dole Island Trampoline Park is divided into dodgeball zone, marine bubble zone, dunk zones, free trampoline area, climbing area and a few more. Generally suitable for ages 5 and up, they even do company gatherings for adults. It's great for parties or just letting off some steam.
Address: 4/F, 65 Haiyin Lu, near Yixian Lu, www.duoleto.com
Cost: Mon-Thurs ¥109 pp, 1 adult and 1 child ¥159, and 2 adults and 1 child ¥199. Weekends ¥169 pp, 1 adult and 1 child ¥269,2 adults and 1 child ¥299. Package discounts available.
Jump 360 is a massive indoor trampolining facility that also includes free running platforms, obstacle courses, and family-friendly areas to keep the little ones safe and entertained. Perfect your double back flip, jump into a foam pit and dunk a basketball, or explore the non-trampoline offerings like bubble football and archery. They also do party packages for both kids and companies.
Addresses: 1408 Jidi Lu (near Jizhan Lu), 258 Chang Jian Lu (Elite Valley No. 4) www.jump360.co
Cost: ¥196 pp for 2 hours