Kids and Youth.
Whether stomping around local creeks searching for tadpoles, running around the city getting lost on the bus, or playing shoot ‘em up video games, exploration and adventure, whether virtual or real, are common activities for young people the world over. That being the case, Beijing is no exception. In addition, Beijing offers its fair share of international and Montessori schools, cheap and quality child care, and a deep well of international talent for teaching any and all extracurricular activities.
Beijing has one of the lowest crime rates of the world’s largest cities, while maintaining its edge as a growing metropolis. With a public transportation system that extends to the farthest corners of Beijing, there is ample opportunity for teenagers to safely explore the city. Whether wandering through Beijing’s open air markets, cultural heritage sites, hutongs, or Beijing’s numerous parks, teenagers will never complain about there being nothing to do.
Most of, if not all, the western youth activities can be found in Beijing, including youth football and basketball leagues, skate parks, art classes, piano lessons, and the like. Yet, with tens of thousands of documented foreigners from all over the world, there is bound to be someone to teach your child whatever obscurity you were afraid wouldn’t be offered outside of your native country. In addition, Beijing offers its youth a plethora of eastern activities seldom found in the west.
According to the World Health Organization, “Air pollution is a major environment-related health threat to children and a risk factor for both acute and chronic respiratory disease... second-hand tobacco smoke and certain outdoor pollutants are known risk factors for acute respiratory infections.” Unfortunately, what Beijing lacks in crime is made up for, plus some, in air pollution and cigarette smoke. Nasty for even the healthiest of adults, Beijing’s air can be incredibly harsh for youngsters, especially those who suffer from some sort of respiratory illness. If it’s absolutely necessary to relocate to Beijing with children that have breathing conditions, be sure to pick up a couple of boxes of 3m’s new face masks before you depart.