Sometimes the urge to exercise in air conditioned spaces trumps an appreciation for the great outdoors. We get that. Here are some places in town to do that -- whether it's shitty weather, extreme humidity, or pollen that you're escaping...
Rockclimbing: Yanwu Space Rockclimbing Center
Rock climbing makes for a solid workout, and is a cheap alternative to Shanghai’s more expensive gyms and classes. Both Yanwu Space Rock Climbing Center and the Shanghai Stadium Rock Climb Sports Centre are good, though Yanwu is cheaper and tends to be a little less packed. It's also a little further out and feels a bit older, though.
Both venues have classes for complete beginners to advanced climbers. There are a number of great climbs with varying levels of difficulty, plus several bouldering walls for less harrowing climbs. Bouldering is where you climb without a harness and support, but the walls don’t top more than three meters and the floor is padded, so if you fall, you won’t die. These are great for practicing the more complex routes and building your forearm and finger strength.
General Prices: Mon-Fri, 60rmb and Sat-Sun, 70rmb. Unlimited time; costs includes equipment
Address: Rm 105, 128 Jingxiang Lu, near Huayuan Lu / 花园路128号105室, 近景祥路
Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm
Phone: 135 6435 3349
Slamball: Slamball China
It might take a one hour trip into to Minhang, but if you'd like to dunk basketballs from a trampoline, then here's the place to do it. Slamball is an alternative / extreme / fringe sport, based on basketball with elements of hockey and American football. Players bounce around on "competition springbeds", or "tramps", often getting higher than the rim, and try to score just like in regular basketball.
It's fun, and you will sweat. If you've never played slamball before, note that anything goes outside of the springbed area. No blood, no foul. Once a player enters the springbed zone you can't touch them, but elsewhere on the court, it can get pretty physical. Right now there's a good number of professional development players using the space, so they might be open to teaching you a thing or two about how to play too. Note: You could definitely twist an ankle playing this -- be careful. For some pictures and videos of the court, check out our feature article.
General Prices: 150rmb/hour per person (special 150rmb/two hours until October 2015). Book half court 800rmb for two hours or full court 1600rmb for two hours.
Address: 646 Jianchuan Lu, near Hujin Highway / 剑川路646号, 近沪金高速
Hours: Daily: 9.30am-6.30pm
Phone: 5109 0980
Shooting Guns And Arrows: ES Shooting & Archery Club
If you're a serious shooter with experience handling several types of guns, then you'll likely find this place a bit anti-climactic. ES has an air rifle and a handful of .22 caliber handguns on offer, and they're not cheap to shoot, either. There's a so-called instructor on hand to show you how to position your body and shoot properly, if you want it.
In addition to the guns, you can dabble in archery (instruction included), billiards, darts, KTV, massage chair relaxation, foosball, board games and browse the internet. All under one roof. Take a look at this article for photos of the entire place. One important note: if you go, be sure to bring your ID or passport, or they won’t let you in.
General Prices: Expect to pay 150–200rmb per hour. Guns are 10rmb/shot. Archery is 25rmb for 12 shots
Address: 663 Hongqiao Lu, near Panyu Lu / 虹桥路663号, 近番禺路
Hours: Daily: 10am–11pm
Phone: 6280 0677
Sword Fighting: Z Fencing
If you're new to fencing, then expect a history and sporting lesson in one -- the history, etiquette and rules of sportsmanship are just as important in fencing as learning the footwork and proper body positioning. That, and how not to kill each other with sharp, pointy pieces of metal.
Founded by fencing expert Sean Mei, this center is top-notch: it’s staffed with bilingual instructors and provides all the swords, masks and electrified vests that you’re going to use. Everything's orderly and clean, including the showering facilities -- but you’ll need to bring your own towel. And despite popular misconceptions, those who have tried fencing know that it’s a very physically demanding sport. Note: reservations are necessary before going in.
General Prices: Reservation is mandatory. Courses are 300rmb/hour, with four people total in the class. Serious sword-fighters can pay 12,000rmb for 48 sessions. If you need to buy equipment, that will run you 3088rmb.
Address: 4/F Ascendas Plaza, 333 Tianyaoqiao Lu, near Nandan Lu / 天钥桥路333号 腾飞大厦4楼419 近南丹东路
Hours: Daily: 10am-9pm, open to adults during the day on weekdays, and in the evening on weekends. Other classes are for the youth.
Phone: 6426 1113
Batting Cages: Cages
Cages is absolutely massive. More than just batting cages, they also have squash courts, a full field for five-a-side soccer and dodgeball, an area for professional darts, a private space for events, more TV screens than a Best Buy, and just everything else one would put in a giant sports cave. The entrance is near the corner of Jiangning Lu and Wuding Lu, near where some sketchy clubs used to be. The elevator there goes up to the third floor.
General Prices: 20rmb/15 balls. Squash courts are 180rmb for a full hour. Darts, pool, and ping pong are free.
Address: 3/F, 428 Jiangning Lu, near Wuding Lu / 静安体育中心, 江宁路428号3楼, 近武定路
Hours: Daily, 9am-2pm
Phone: 3112 2950
Indoor Go-Karting: Stampede Karting
Stampede only has an indoor track, in a parking garage under a huge mall. The place markets itself as Asia's largest indoor Go Karting track, at 5000 square meters. They also have a full bar, KTV and pool tables for those who don't want to drive. This track has a lot of sharp turns and barriers, but the drive here still feels pretty slick. It's ideal for those who want something a little more raw and not too tame.
The cars here are fairly fast. Some do not have seat belts. For videos from this track and three others in Shanghai, check out our feature article.
General Prices: Standard cars are 90rmb for seven minutes; "pro cars" are 120rmb for seven minutes. Kids pay 80rmb. They offer discounts and deals regularly. Bar, KTV, and other activities are extra.
Address: Section C, Basement, 1288 Zhenguang Lu, near Meichuan Lu / 真光路1288号C区地下室, 近梅川路
Hours: Daily, 2pm-2am
Phone: 6139 5095
Squash & Tennis: East Asia Tennis & Squash Court
The city's squash courts are few and far between. Most of them are single rooms in sports complexes and high end apartment complexes, like the ones at Grand Plaza Club House (bring your own balls and rackets) and the Spring Gym Center (equipment rental available; very basic, and ceilings are half the standard height).
The facilities at East Asia Tennis and Squash Courts do contain a dedicated space for squash -- four courts total. The floors feel a bit worn out, but the place is clean and suits just fine for casual games with friends. Equipment rental is pretty cheap, and this is where you're most likely to run into other squash enthusiasts in Shanghai in case you're looking for people to play with. The outdoor tennis courts are here are excellent, though often packed. Try to reserve a court well in advance.
General Prices: For squash, court prices range from 35–50rmb per hour, depending on which time of day you go (mornings are cheaper). Ball and racquet rental is an extra 5rmb/item.
For indoor tennis on weekdays, it's 40rmb/hour from 6am-8am, 50rmb/hour from 8am-6pm, and 100rmb/hour from 6pm-10pm. On weekends that goes up to 50rmb/hour from 6am-8am, 80rmb/hour from 8am-6pm, and 120rmb/hour from 6pm-10pm
Address: 800 Lingling Lu, near Zhongshan Nan Er Lu / 零陵路800号, 近中山南二路
Hours: Daily, 6.30am-10pm
Phone: 6426 6666 ext 2552
Bowling: Orden Bowling Center
Orden's already a popular spot for bowling, but it's hard to beat a combination bowling alley and arcade that's open 24 hours a day. The place has 16 lanes, which they’ve got outfitted in those colorful club-like LED lights. There are pool tables too, and a bar serving beer, liquor and snacks.
Fair warning, though -- the place gets pretty crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, and later into the night on weekends, you might see some loud jackasses who went in straight from the clubs (Phebe is right around there).
General Prices: 1am-12pm 18/round, 12pm-6pm 25/round, 6pm-1am 35/round. Prices slightly higher on weekends.
Address: 10 Hengshan Lu, near Gao'an Lu / 衡山路10号, 近高安路
Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Phone: 6474 6666
Indoor Golf And Laser Tag: Big E
Just across the river, beneath the Dongchang Lu metro station on Line 2 is a place that looks like a cross between a second-tier boom boom club and an early '90s rave. This is the Big E, the only place in town with a putt putt mini-golf course. They also have a full bar, KTV, pool tables, air hockey, and laser tag.
The lazer tag and mini golf are both glow-in-the-dark, with lots of trippy paintings on the wall that look like something a college Phish fan might have in their dorm room. Not the best mini golf, but not a bad time. Quirky place that could be good for teambuilding, birthday parties, and other group activities. Lots of decent restaurants nearby on Dongchang Lu as well.
General Prices: Golf is 70rmb per person per nine-hole round, and laser tag is 70rmb per person for a fifteen minute sesh. Pool and air hockey are free. They often have specials like ladies night and more, so check ahead in our listings.
Address: In the basement of the Dongchang Lu metro station on Line Two. World Plaza, B2/F, 855 Pudong Nan Lu, near Dongchang Lu
Hours: Mon-Fri, 12pm-2am, Sat-Sun, 10am-2am
Phone: 400 030 9992
Ice Skating: Shanghai Century Star Skating Club
If you've got time to make the trek, then this 1,025 square meter ice skating rink in Pudong is a good one. Located in the basement below the basement of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, this is the place to go if you want to be able to make some serious twists and turns. A weekday afternoon or evening is the best time to go, as the rink tends to become crowded during weekends.
The rink has a nice bar / lounge section, a changing room, and though built in 2010, still feels pretty new. There are skating rink versions of lifeguards who figure eight their way around the rink to make sure people are playing safe, and coaches are available for all levels of skating lessons.
Another good one is Feiyang Skating Center, also in Pudong, which is especially popular among families and people looking for hockey and figure skating instruction.
General Prices: Skating costs around 60–75rmb per two hour sesh, depending on which time of day you go. You can also pay 480rmb/month, 1280rmb/three months, or 2898/year.
Address: 1200 Shibo Da Dao, near Shangnan Lu / 奔驰文化中心, 世博大道1200号, 近上南路
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2-9pm and Sat, Sun, Holidays: 10am-9pm
Phone: 2025 5831
Trampolines: Jump 360
This is a massive trampoline park in a 6000 square meter building with basketball and volleyball courts, a water slide, an obstacle course, and of course, a ton of trampolines. You have to sign an injury waiver and go through a stretching session before they let you start jumping.
More pictures and details in our Jump 360 article.
General Prices: Entry is 198rmb for two hours or 118rmb for one hour. They require a 100rmb cash deposit and socks with rubber grips, which you can buy for 10rmb.
Address: Area C4, 258 Changjiang Lu, near Jungong Lu / 长江路258号城智谷园C4区, 近军工路
Hours: Daily, 10am-9pm
Phone: 5182 8806
As always, information in this city changes on the fly, so call ahead to confirm prices and times before going.