Editors' picks: top Sunday activities

Time Out editors pick their favourite things to do on a Sunday

From Atlantis-themed crazy golf to virtual big-game hunting and wet-market wandering,Time Out editors share their favourite things to do on a Sunday in Shanghai

Associate editor Sam Gaskin recommends...


Shooting virtual animals at an amusement arcade
While Winnitron 1000 fencing simulation Nidhogg (2011) is the best arcade game in the city, it’s only available at Fuxing Xi Lu cocktail lounge Arcade, which is closed on Sundays. Instead, I might visit the new Zhantai Games (50 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Dongtai Lu, 186 0173 1819), which has a good selection of new racing, dance and drum games, with more on the way. Alternatively, the options at the palatial Tom's World (Ninth Floor, New World City, 58 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xizang Bei Lu, 5302 0196) include a punching machine, a huge multiplayer football game, and a Hummer racer.

But by far the most fun Sunday arcade game is the environmentally sustainable but nevertheless wrong Big Buck World (2010), which I’ve only found at Joy Kingdom (自游玩国, literally ‘self amusement land’) in Pudong. Using a bright green pump action rifle, you Hemmingway the bejesus out of your chosen breed (ox, wildebeest, etc) – taking care not to hit the females – before lining up an invariably endangered ‘trophy’ animal, such as a lion or an elephant. Shoot well, and a local informs you that ‘you will be paid in meat’. Between rounds, girls in bikinified safari suits pose with large guns and smile approvingly. You can play alone or with a friend, and it’s only 2RMB/game.

Joy Kingdom Second Floor, Huashen Building, 1085 Pudong Nan Lu, near Shangcheng Lu.See full address details



Senior writer, Selena Schleh recommends...


Raiding bargain rails
I’m a big fan of fashion one-offs, which is why I’ll happily spend a whole afternoon browsing the various branches of Star Place, rather than head to crowd-pleasing H&M or Zara. This Korean chain houses dirt cheap (from 150RMB), one-off garments of the ‘fallen-off-the-back-of-the-lorry’ ilk, and while 99 per cent of the stock represents the worst excesses of fast fashion – animal-print Lycra vests, faux fur-trimmed parkas and cheap stretchy denim – a dedicated sift through the rails often turns up a cut-price gem. While the name’s not on the storefront, shops are all over town and are easy to identify: look for a strip-lit, bare white interior, and racks and racks of mismatched clobber. Tip: avoid at all costs on a hangover.

Another favourite Sunday pastime is wandering round the Yu Garden Trims & Accessories Market, an Aladdin’s cave of ribbons, buttons and sequins. For just a few kuai, we can spend the rest of the day indulging our frustrated creative side by laboriously fashioning our purchases into works of ‘art’. There are pretty brocade trims that can be easily stitched onto a pet’s collar (our creation is now the envy of our dog- and cat-owning friends), bunches of pheasant feathers to jazz up a plain fedora, and strands of faux pearls to fashion a unique headband.

Star Place 64 Xinle Lu, near Xiangyang Bei Lu. See full address details

Yu Garden Trims & Accessories Market Renmin Lu, near Henan Lu.See full address details



Web editor, Claire Slobodian recommends...


Curling up in a relaxation pod by The Bund
When the weather goes cold and the heating in my apartment takes an unreliable turn, I might take an indulgent step up from a day on the sofa, with afternoon tea at Quay in Hotel Indigo. Make sure to book early to bag one of the two futuristic TV pods – large egg-shaped private rooms, with a family-sized comfy day bed on which you can laze with the daily papers, squashy cushions and a wide screen TV on which to watch HBO or DVDs from the hotel’s library across the corridor. 

Even better, they allow you to bring your own movies so I’ll stop off at my favourite DVD shop on Xinle Lu to pick up the latest releases first. When you need to stretch your legs, head over to the self-serve afternoon tea bar which offers some quirky alternatives to the traditional scones with jam in the form of mini roujiamo, dim sum and adorable jars of sweets and vats of every kind of tea from the local Bund Tea company.

Afternoon tea is 2-5pm Saturday-Sunday, 128RMB/person (plus 15 per cent) at QuaySixth Floor, Hotel Indigo, 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Dongmen Lu.See full address details



Food editor, Crystyl Mo recommends...


Strolling through a wet market
On a bright winter Sunday we lounge around the house for the morning sipping French press coffee and then get bundled up for a walk. With our seven month old daughter in her stroller we head for Xuhui Park to watch the kids on their rollerblades with grandparents clapping and encouraging from the benches. We wind through the park to see the black swans gliding on the pond. 

Then we head down to 153 Guangyuan Lu, a small, well-organised wet market with a terrific selection of vegetables, pork, seafood and live chickens. For a snack we buy a fabulous crispy pancake from the vendor at the front. Inside, we ask the fishmonger to cut a few fat slices of frozen salmon.Spinach is in season so we pick up a bundle. On the way home we browse the second hand store at 606 Jianguo Xi Lu which is crammed with curios and weathered furniture. 

Back home we oven roast our salmon with thin-sliced lemons and onions and a lashing of olive oil. We sauté the spinach with garlic and a shake of curry and cumin. With the house oven-toasty, we all sit down to eat with NPR live streaming on the radio. Our daughter gets some bites of fish and spinach, plus half a banana for dessert. It all makes for the perfect lazy day.



Features editor, Charlotte Middlehurst recommends...


Lock and load in Pudong
For Puxi-ites, one stop east of Lujiazui, might seem a long way to go for a game of anything but newly opened Big E is worth it. It’s the only place in China where you can play nine-hole crazy golf, underwater, while drinking a pina colada. There’s also a 2,000sqm laser tag deck: a 3-D intergalactic starship rendered in acid neon that segues into an Avatar-style jungle; no exaggeration, artist Chris Gadd, whose worked for Disney and Alton Towers, was flown in for the paintjob. 

You can play straight up tag or fiddle with the 20 different player modes, the best being ‘Zombie’, where the aim of the game is to commit all moving humanoids to your flesh-eating ranks. Come early, ignoring the 7/11 smell when you enter the World Plaza building, and you’ll find a kid-friendly zone – though please note: the bar is open from midday (beers 35-45RMB, cocktails 50-80RMB). Or come late, when the hip hop cranks up a notch, and the atmosphere becomes distinctly grown-up. There are snacks to keep you going all day, night and morning (crisp/15-30RMB, grilled squid/15-30RMB, chicken feet/30-50RMB and fruit plate/50-80RMB).

Big E B2, World Plaza, 855 Pudong Nan Lu, near Dongchang Lu. See full address details



Deputy editor, Alexander Barlow recommends...


A photo trek in old Shanghai
For me, as a slightly better-than-hopeless amateur photographer, the great relief of shooting in Shanghai is that the city is so unerringly photogenic starter snappers don’t need a Cartier-Bresson-style stake-out resolve to find alluring people or places to shoot. The other plus is that, on the whole, Shanghai is fairly open to photographers (although, of course, sensitivity is recommended when covering poorer, run-down neighbourhoods). 

The former French Concession is an obvious score, streets such as Yanqing Lu have a market-like feel on Sundays and with the overhanging trees, laundry out to dry and secret nooks and lanes offer a classic Shanghai scene. One of the better, less obvious areas is around Xiaonanmen, best visited at this time of year a couple of a few hours before dusk, to make use of the changing light. Exit the Line 9 station and use Wangjia Matou Lu as a starting point to explore any number of lanes in the area (the point is not to have a route, but drift north, which will eventually take you to old town proper, south of Yu Garden). 

Also a favoured area of mine, is Hongkou, particularly Shanyin Lu, near Luxun Park, which has a number of well-preserved shikumen lanes (Lane 57 and Lane 69 are best). Alternatively, for a guided beginner photography course this month, try Shanghai Flaneur’s.

Contact Shanghai Flaneur at http://shanghai-flaneur.com/

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