There is no doubt about it, most people’s favorite activity in Shanghai is eating and drinking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we have a serious list of contenders of other fun activities that’ll get you active and moving.
There are many different types of trampoline areas that Dole Island offers. Whether it be attempting to dunk a basketball, doing flips into the foam pit, or jumping off trampoline walls, you’re sure to get a workout, so be sure to wear something in which you don’t mind getting sweaty. Prices vary from ¥90-170 depending on when you go (day and time of year) and where you buy tickets (online or at the desk).
If you love strategy games or puzzles, you’ll love Mr. X. After being locked in a room, you and seven others have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles that will unlock various doors, passages, and other clues, all of which will ultimately lead you to your release. Each room is based on a different theme, and there are various levels of difficulty. It’s no surprise that this place has become quite popular, so it is recommended to buy tickets beforehand to ensure you get your desired time slot. It’s open daily from 10am-3am and costs ¥120 per person.
You can experience for yourself the fun of Bubble Ball Soccer at JinQiao Arena. It’s a great way to try something new, get a good workout, and knock your friends around a bit. Plus, it’s indoor, so rain or shine, you still get to play. The cost is ¥100 per person for 90 minutes of Zorb ball and turf rental. Up to 8 people (4v4) can play at one time.
Rock climbing at Heng Yi | Courtesy of Janai Wallace
Play Laser Tag at The Big E
The Big E Entertainment Center is perfect for larger group events where you want to get competitive while also having a space to just hang out and talk. Located in the basement of World Plaza in Pudong, this place offers a large laser tag arena, a small glow-in-the-dark mini golf course, KTV, a bar, air hockey, foosball, and more. Laser tag allows up to four teams and various types of challenges. For those competitive people who need the addition of individual competition, you’re in luck. Each player gets a print out showing their personal shooting score, so even when you lose, you can talk about how you ‘really‘ won.
While many people initially think of rock climbing as an individual activity, it’s actually much more fun when experienced as a group. When climbing as a group, you can encourage one another to give that hard route one more try, figure out a difficult move, or belay one another for the higher top-rope climbs (‘belay’ refers to securing the rope while your partner climbs, so if they fall off the wall, the rope will catch them). There are two gyms in Shanghai (one on each side of the Huangpu river), and due to their friendly and helpful staff, they are some of Shanghai’s top spots to get active.
There’s something so satisfying about shooting an arrow and seeing it hit its mark. Likewise, there is something so frustrating about shooting an arrow and seeing it bounce off the back wall and slide across the floor. Head to Daoshun Archery and find out which feeling you’re most likely to experience. At least with all the gear (finger guard, chest guard, arm guard, bow and arrows), you’ll feel like a pro for a bit no matter where the arrow lands.
For those who think that laser tag is for sissies and want something that really gets your adrenaline going, try Shanghai Paintball. Various outdoor courses provide space that’s fun for both small and large teams. Camo gear, face masks, guns and paintballs are provided. The course is open year-round, but be careful going on a hot summer day; between the heat, the full-body camo gear, and running for your life, you’ll work up a sweat.
If you miss driving, head out to Disc Kart Indoor Karting. During an eight minute round, you’ll compete with nine others to see who can complete the most laps before the time is up. Karts vary in performance, so watch a round or two before choosing which kart you want. An upstairs loft provides not only a drink and snack bar with booths to sit at but also a place to get away from the loud noises of the go-karts and the pervasive gas smell that comes from gas-powered karts. One round is ¥80, but groups can get discounts by buying ticket packets.
Whether trying to cool off on a hot summer day or really trying to get into the feel of winter, ice-skating is a great outing anytime of the year. Shanghai Century Star, located in the basement of the Mercedes Benz Arena at the old Expo site, is accessible for both those coming from Pudong and Puxi and is the nicest rink you’ll find in Shanghai. A giant LCD screen loops inspirational footage from professional competitions just long enough to make you believe that you can do that triple lutz — or, at the very least, a single.
Just outside of Shanghai is the Xin Dong Li Outdoor Racing Park. This is a great day outing for anyone looking for something bigger and more extreme than go-karting. Race around the dirt track and over hills to see which of your friends is the toughest of them all.