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Shanghai is a family friendly city with a number of places to enjoy as a family. The Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe performs at the Shanghai Center Theater and at the Shanghai Circus World. These performances are not to be missed.
A walk along The Bund and cruises along the river are good family activities. A few blocks in from the Bund, the People's Square area offers a number of attractions for families. Nanjing Rd. pedestrian mall is lined with huge department stores and specialty shops, but two notable ones are New World (Xin Shi Jie), which features a huge playpark on the 8th floor. Here, kids can jump, slide, bounce and swing while mom and dad shop or take a breather. The playpark is supervised so kids can be left here for up to 2 hours. Another store on Nanjing Rd. worth noting is Bao Da Xing, a 4 story department store devoted exclusively to kids apparel, toys, and accessories. Just off of Nanjing Rd. are two excellent museums, the Shanghai Museum notable for its collection of ancient artifacts, and the Urban Planning Exhibition Center, with a huge scale model of Shanghai 2010, a virtual reality theater, and other kid-friendly exhibits.
Across the river, a trip to the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower gives a great view of the whole city. The basement of the tv tower houses the Shanghai History Museum, and next door is the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. Combo tickets are available for the tv tower and the aquarium. Super Brand Mall, another huge shopping mall, is across the street from the Pearl Tower. It houses Shanghai's first Toys 'R US, an ice rink, and Tom's World, a big noisy arcade. Also in Lu Jia Zui, the Nextage shopping center Zhang Yang Road has a play area and a bowling alley.
Pudong also offers the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum with many hands on exhibits and IMAX theatre. Century Park is a well landscaped park where you can rent tandem bicycles and enjoy the children's play area. Both the Science and Technology Museum and Century Park are easily reached by subway.
Aside from the museums, children will also enjoy the buildings and treats in Yu Yuan Gardens.
Out by Pudong Airport, the Shanghai Wild Animal Park offers a drive through exhibit of lions, zebras, and other wild animals, and the adjoining zoo has well-done displays including a few Pandas.
In the warmer months, Shanghai's Dino Beach is a fun water park with a large wave pool, several water slides, a river with rapids, and organized games. The park is located outside of the city center in Minhang, and there are shuttle buses from Shanghai Stadium and the Xinzhuang subway station.
Regardless of weather, those itching for snow can check out the Yinqixing Indoor Ski facility on Shanghai's far west side. Here you pay a set price and get equipment and clothing rental and ski down a very gentle climate-controlled bunny hill. The slope won't challenge anyone but rank beginners, but if you or your kids have never skiied before, it's a great place to learn.
And if the children are tired of all the action, take a trip to one of the many watertowns near Shanghai. These traditional watertowns are famous for their very old houses lined up along canals with plenty of bridges criss-crossing them. The children might enjoy just walking around the town or riding a boat through the canals. Here is more information about Water towns near Shanghai