Whether you’re free to do as you wish, or stuck within the city’s borders this holiday (teachers/parents of school-age children), there's plenty for you to do during Golden Week.
For the Eaters
1. Do a full day in K-Town and gorge on Korean-Chinese comfort food. Or, if you don’t feel like binge-eating solo, UnTour run guided Koreatown tours.
2. Here are 20+ places for all-you-can-eat.
3. Boxing Cat Brewery, Yongfu Lu, is running a two-hour free flow of BBQ and soft drinks for 228rmb per person every day during Golden Week, 4-11pm.
4. Finish Shanghai’s biggest bowl of noodles.
5. Do you brunch? Do you not know where to brunch? There are so many places to brunch. In fact, here’s the full SmSh list. But if you want to be really fancy, schmancy, you could eat brunch and sip free-flow wine with three friends 47 floors up at the Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai for 3,054rmb (763.5rmb per person) or 3,654rmb for free-flowing champagne (913.5rmb per person). Click here to book.
6. For fans of whodunits and Poirot re-runs, Funkadeli, Yanping Lu have a murder mystery dinner on Friday, October 2.
7. Jiashan Market runs on October 3.
8. Munch on some pretzels, sauerkraut and sausages at this year's Oktoberfest at Paulaner Brauhaus. Deals and group packages here.
Music and Parties
9. Plenty of free time for partying? Rum N’Tings – Caribbean Carnival means wine and beer and rum stations plus soca, reggae, dancehall, and Afrobeats.
10. Soak up some of the last of Shanghai's balcony weather at Kartel, where they are running free-flow BBQ and drinks and music from DJ Steph and DJ Trav for 288rmb. Friendly for meat-lovers and vegetarians.
11. Of the more refined variety, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai will have a two-night Shanghai Melody concert covering Shanghai jazz from the roaring 20s. Performers will include well-known vocalists, Wang Yegang, and Shi Shanfei. Tickets booked via Smart Ticket will get you entrance plus a snack platter for 180rmb.
12. Not quite drawing the line-up it has in past years, but JZ Festival is back over the holidays. Good festival even if you’re not a jazz fan.
13. Shanghai Big Band: In Front of The Lane, happening on October 5, is a mish-mash of local musicians playing a cocktail of rock, punk, folk, and electronic beats, singing about traditional lanehouse life in Shanghainese. Expect familiar faces like Lu Chen, Cotton, Peng Peng, Qita, and long-time Shanghai folk singer Zuo Mingliang.
14. Alter. will run a Golden Week special, with DJ Diamond playing 90s style synth stuff and atmospheric soundscapes on October 1, from 3-10pm at Kee Club. Free entry before 5pm.
15. For something recognizable, The Pearl is putting on A Night of Music from Adele and Ed Sheeran starting October 7.
See all the events happening in Shanghai right here!
Travel But Not Too Far
Itchy feet? Six months of travel ban will do that to you. There's good news on that front, but if you're not ready to skip out of the country just yet, there's…
16. A 30-minute high-speed train ride away. If your ideal vacation involves new food and comfy hotels, read our longform guide to Suzhou’s neighborhood scene.
17. There’s lots of things to do in this super green, mountainous area. We spent a full week in 2019 exploring Shanghai’s worst-kept secret for the Moganshan guide.
18. Other than Sanya, where do you go for dip in the ocean? According to one man and his tent, it’s Zhoushan.
19. Six fantastic things for you to go do/eat/see/experience during Golden Week in Zhejiang, Suzhou, Shantou in Eastern Guangdong and more.
For the Pilgrims
20. Wutaishan, North China’s highest point, is where you go for space and quiet, Chinese history or to cross a UNESCO World Heritage Site off your list. Hiking, the outdoors, temples, and monks. For the what-do-I-bring and how-do-I-get-there details, take a look at our Wutaishan article.
See more travel stories and guides beyond Shanghai's borders via our Outbound column
21. For a quiet, alternative take on a holiday, there’s a serene farm run by a Shanghainese couple on Chongming where you can camp — we went, and it's great.
22.If your heart is set on Hangzhou, the Cirque De Soleil: Land of Fantasy offers a date-night suitable treat of theatre and luxury. If you book through Smart Ticket, you can grab a cheeky hotel + ticket package.
23. If Suzhou is too far, visit a different water town. There are a few, but the most recognized is likely to be Zhujiajiao.
24. Shanghai has its own beach in Jinshan.
25. Explore Songjiang. There's the Xiangwei Rose Manor, the Sofitel Hotel — with its own "beach" — Beer Lady’s giant beer kingdom, and the Guangfulin Relics Park.
Arts and Culture
26. Christian Dior - Designer of Dreams includes original Dior sketches and 275 Haute Couture pieces, and will be on display until October 4 at the Long Museum.
27. Check out the psychedelic art installation teamLab Borderless Shanghai, with its illumination tunnels and immense waterfalls made of light. You will take lots of photos. Good for kids four and up too.
28. Running until October 15, "Encounter 2020" is a group exhibition showcasing six young, local artists in a variety of styles, including photography, acrylic, lithographic, video and sculpture.
29. Even if you don’t have kids, the The Natural History Museum is a fun experience. Plenty to learn — even some dinosaur animatronics! — and the stuffed animals are great, if a bit giggle-worthy.
30. Unappreciated and deserving of far more love, the Shanghai Municipal History Museum under the Pearl Tower is all about Shanghai’s history.
31. For a more personal way to learn your Shanghai history, Historic Shanghai are running four different tours to celebrate the National Holiday. October 2 is the Revolutionary Shanghai tour through some milestones on China’s path to revolution and understanding how Shanghai played its part. The Secrets of Route Frelupt–West on October 3, ambling along Jianguo Lu — once a hotspot of wicked action. An exploration of Xiaodongmen peers in some forgotten historical neighborhoods, and there's a big tour of The Historic Theater District on October 7.
32. Creep yourself out with a bunch of celebrity waxworks at Madame Tussauds Shanghai.
33. Catch a movie with your furry pal at Abbey Road's Outdoor Movie Night, happening October 7.
34. Disneyland. You probably won't be the only one. We've made an essential guide to Disney with things like what to expect and how to get the most out of it, even when there are crowds.
35. Smurf Land Theme Park is one for the hardcore Smurf fan or families with young children. It’s fun in a ridiculous sort of way. Here's what to expect. Suitable for ages three to nine.
36. There’s also the Happy Valley theme park, Shanghai Zoo, Shanghai Wild Animal Park, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, and, if all else fails, Haichang Ocean Park.
All work and no rest makes you a grumpy, knot-ridden monster. Do your body a favor and take care of some of those things.
37. Try a Floatasian soak
A niche experience for sure but worth trying at least once for sure just for the feeling of weightlessness — it’s kind of like lying in a really small, warm sea. Tickets on SmartTicket get you 20% off.
38. Have a spa day
Pool, gym, sauna, thermal bath, facials, massages, chill, and relax… If you can drop a bit more cash, here are seven of Shanghai's fanciest hotel spas.
Click here to see more Shanghai spas.
39. Visit the pools before they close…
If the weather holds up there are outdoor pools. If not, there’s always Xuhui Youth Aquatic Sports Gymnasium , Shanghai Swimming Pool, New Star Spa, and Ambassy Club, plus numerous hotels like the Holiday Inn Kangqiao, Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai pool, and W Shanghai for swimming indoors.
For The Kids
40. The Craft’d three-day Golden Week Camp is the solution for kids that love arts & crafts projects. Choose either to do half days for 1,200rmb or full days for 2,100rmb. Projects include decorating a mosaic lamp, baking mermaid cupcakes, sewing a dress and more.
41. International Family Day, running October 1-3, is a three-day event packed with kid-friendly things: live shows, games, learning tech demonstrations, workshops, forums, and board games, as well as archery, face painting, arts & crafts, science experiments, robotics, coding and yoga. Entry is free.
42. Pistolera, have a Kids' Cooking Class happening on October 4.
43. Here's some fun, 20 meters in the air: Magic Jungle is all enormous slides, giant swings, and crazy tightrope walks. Kids must be a meter tall or above. Tickets cost 90rmb per person on SmartTicket.
44. Take them to an indoor playground to burn off some of that excess holiday energy.
45. If all that isn't enough, there’s always go-karting the adorable yet odd Peppa Pig World of Play, or the bouncy wonderland Jump 360.
For more inspiration, visit our Kid-Friendly listings directory.