KATHY’S RECOMMENDATIONS: THE BEST THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN TAIPEI
①EXPLORING NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
The National Palace Museum sounds daunting, but it’s one of the most scenic places to soak in Chinese culture and it’s surprisingly kid-friendly. You can easily spend an hour or two browsing the incredible museum exhibits, making it the perfect place to go on a rainy day. The indoor Children’s Gallery has plenty of hands-on activities, plus film screenings. The kids-only space means they are free to run and scream at the same time. We love coming for half-day trips. (Read more: Honoring Children’s Day in Taiwan, Taroko Gorge to be Child-Proofed)
②EAT AND PLAY THROUGH THE NIGHT MARKETS
No visit to Taipei is complete without a trip to one of the famous night markets to try classic Taiwanese snacks like stinky tofu, pepper buns, sweet potato balls and fried chicken. Raohe Street Night Market (饒河街夜市) and Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) are always popular with visitors, but there are smaller ones like Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市) and Linjiang Street Night Market (臨江街夜市) that are equally popular with locals. After trying all the snacks, make sure to check out the claw machines and other games at the market.
③SPEND A DAY IN HUASHAN 1914 CREATIVE PARK
Grouping activities together is priceless when you’re with the kids. A foolproof itinerary for us starts with traditional Taiwanese breakfast of soy milk and rice balls at the famous Fuhang Soy Milk (阜杭豆漿) breakfast stand, then a stroll over to Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914文化創意產業園區) across the street. There’s lots to explore for kids in this renovated industrial complex, including Wooderful Life & Land, a play center where everything is wood and therefore analog, meaning the entire environment encourages kids to watch, listen and feel. (You might also like: How to Have the Perfect Picnic in Taipei)
④HIKING IN XIANGSHAN
The hike up Xiangshan, or Elephant Mountain (象山), will reward you with arguably the best view of Taipei’s skyline. Start early in the morning to avoid the midday heat and make sure to pack hats and plenty of water. Or for a different vibe, go in the early evening to watch the sunset over the city. It only takes 30 minutes to reach the top, which is manageable for kids of all ages.
⑤BEATING JETLAG WITH STORYTIME
If you just had a long flight and the kids can’t sleep due to the time difference, the 24-hour Eslite Bookstore (誠品書店) in Xinyi District will save your family from jetlag, no matter how hard it hits. If the kids wake up too early and nothing else is open, pack them up and head over to Eslite. You’ll find a great children’s book zone with plenty of books, board games and toys.
MUST-TRY TAIWANESE ICE AND DRINKS FOR SUMMER
When the temperatures get high, it means it’s time for your family to take a break and enjoy a refreshing ice dishes and drinks. These are our favorites in the summertime, for kids and adults.
①MANGO SHAVED ICE
There’s nothing better during the Taipei summer than having a big heaping bowl of mango cubes with shaved ice and condensed milk or mango ice cream. Try the busy shops on Yongkang Street (永康街), in Ximending (西門町) or an Ice Monster location for this beloved dessert. As it’s usually a big bowl, the whole family can enjoy one together. (Read more: 4 Classic Ice Cream Shops in Taipei)
In case you didn’t know, Taiwan is where bubble tea (or boba milk tea) was invented. There are thousands of bubble tea shops throughout the city. You can compare the classic franchise chains with the newer brands that offer fruity bubble tea flavors served with toppings like jelly, pudding or even cheese. Try to limit your kid to one a day; the sugar high is no joke!
③SOYMILK SOFT SERVE
Soymilk soft serve is a vegan alternative to dairy ice cream. At one of the top-rated soymilk stores, Soypresso (二吉軒豆乳), it comes in original soymilk flavor or black sesame flavor. Both are equally delicious.
Every kid in Taiwan grows up drinking sweet, ripe papaya and fresh milk blended into a smooth and refreshing smoothie. Taipei Milk King (台北牛乳大王) is the chain most locals remember fondly, but you can also find papaya milk sold at the night markets. The sweet frothy milk is an instant flashback to childhood. There are so many things you can enjoy in Taipei with your family. From the exciting food culture to the amazing transportation system, this hidden gem in Asia will never stop surprising you and your kids with its lovely people and kid-friendly environment, whether you’re a first-time visitor or building a long-term life in the city.
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A friendly reminder: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there might be safety/hygiene measures enforced at each destination, such as the mandatory wearing of masks or temperature check.
This article is reproduced under the permission of TAIPEI. Original content can be found at the website of Taipei Travel Net (www.travel.taipei/en).