Opened in 1996, the Shanghai Children’s Museum claims to be the first museum in China created just for children, and is built on Soong Qingling’s belief that China should be ‘giving children the most valuable things’ (her mausoleum is next door on Songyuan Lu).
The exhibits are mostly in Chinese, with a good mix of fun and education, but there’s enough to see that non-Chinese-speaking kids can have fun, too. The sea area features a play submarine (with periscope); the space area has rockets and a moon room where you can stand on a rocky surface and look out into space at the Earth; and the information area teaches children how emails work. This month, a new environment protection area is set to open.
On the second floor, there’s a play town for kids under six, with a play dentist, fire station, pet shop and tree house. There’s also a crafts area that’s open every weekend, a reading room, video room, and an e-reading room with both kid’s books and cartoons.