If there is one thing parents quickly learn, it is kids just wanna have fun. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for kids — and the entire family — to have fun during a visit to Taiwan, from seeing pandas to soaring high above the city.
Get your family’s creative juices flowing like the locals at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in the Zhongzheng District. What was originally built as the Taihoku Winery (a sake plant) has transformed into a space for art and cultural exhibitions and performances. Browse through the art galleries and cultural and creative stores and perhaps even catch a show. And when you get hungry, there are restaurants from which to order and nosh a bit.
Shilin Official Residence
The former home of the late President Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling partially opened to the public in 1996, and is a terrific place to take a peek into his life. With a European feel, the expansive garden is filled with rose beds and tree-lined paths, making it a terrific place to meander during an afternoon. Be sure to take the long flight of steps that leads to a panoramic view of Qixing Mountain. Additional buildings open to the public include the guesthouse, Victory Chapel and Ciyun Pavilion; take the free audio tour to find your way around.
If you have adventurous eaters in your family, a stop at the Shilin Night Market is a must. It is, after all, one of the largest, most popular night markets in all of Taiwan in regards to food. Follow the maze of alleyways and find local, traditional and international merchandise. When you are ready, make your way to the western edge of the market to the Shilin Night Market Food Court and let your taste buds run wild.
Ride in a space ship at the Taipei Astronomical Museum. Or, a virtual one anyway, via the Cosmic Adventure ride which consists of closed compartment, egg-shaped “spaceships” that travel along a 200-meter track. If space travel is not your family’s thing, check to see what is playing on the museum’s IMAX dome screen or 3D theater.
One of Taipei’s oldest districts is Ximending, and it is also the place to be as far as the youth of Taipei are concerned. Here you will find accessory shops, as well as kids dressed in cosplay and street dancing — Ximending is a place where they can express themselves freely. You may even spot a pop star on the weekends is in the area for some sort of promotion. For a peek into young Taipei, plan a visit to Ximending.