4 Reasons To Visit Chengdu, China With Kids

Chengdu is the vibrant and beautiful capital of Sichuan and is known for its relaxed vibe and amazing food.  It’s also home to the only research center in the world that focuses on the endangered giant panda.  Giant pandas call the mountain ranges surrounding Chengdu home, and the city is known as the “Panda Capital of China”.  We decided to spend 3 days in Chengdu with our kids to explore the city on our multi-city trip to China with kids. We found some spicy Sichuan food and visited with red and giant pandas. In fact, a visit to Chengdu with kids means “pandas!”

Here are our four favorite things to do in Chengdu!

Chengdu, China with kids - the giant panda bear breeding center

1. Visit Chengdu Panda Research Base

This facility is the only research center that focuses entirely on the critically endangered giant panda.
Kids love exploring the Chengdu Panda bear breeding center
We arrived early in the morning around 8:30 am with out boys to catch the pandas eating their breakfast, Getting there early was important as we learned that the pandas sleep most of the day, and we wanted to see them in action.

Chengdu panda bear breeding center - keeping quiet is sometimes difficult for excited kids but the pandas appreciate it
Keeping quiet is sometimes difficult for excited kids, but the pandas appreciate it

The center is well organized and there are many pandas to see from babies to adults. It helps that description of the pandas is in Chinese and English.

Watching pandas playing and munching bamboo was amazing, and the maternity wards with the babies were so fun to visit.  We saw these pandas who were just 3 days old!

There are also much smaller red pandas in the sanctuary which are quite different and entertaining. They do not seem bothered by people at all – it’s their home.

There is a huge area where the red pandas can roam free, and they ended up running across the walkways ahead of us and hanging out really close to the paths.
A giant panda relaxes at the chengdu panda bear breeding center

2. Appreciate Delicious Sichuan Food

In the capital city of Sichuan its notable cuisine is everywhere… in restaurants and small hot pot shops, and market stalls scattered all around the town.

Since it’s located in Sichuan Province, Chengdu’s local specialties are famous for their delicious spiciness and our favorites were the dumplings and the spicy noodle dishes!

3. Visit People’s Park with Kids

People’s Park is a beautiful Chinese park in the center of Chengdu where there are people of all ages enjoying the space. We entered from a busy road and immediately felt relaxed and calm in these tranquil settings.  We spent a couple of hours wandering through the pathways, and exploring the traditional Chinese culture.
chengdu china peoples park panda bear

We found the bonsai section, the amusement park for kids, buildings with Chinese architecture and also a group of people practicing Tai Chi.  The boys had a great time trying to perfect this.

People's Park in Chengdu, China. Line dancing for the kids.
Two of these things are not like the others… 😉

chengdu peoples park

In China, ear cleaning is not just a part of daily grooming, the process is considered by many as an enjoyment – thanks to the country’s professional ear cleaners.  Having your ears cleaned in the park is a popular pastime… these guys will walk around and clean the wax out of ears all day for $2 a person…. Julian was the only taker, and said it ‘felt good!’ 

There are many places to stop, sit, and enjoy the views and local delights.

Peoples park - his man is practicing his calligraphy with water.
This guy is practicing his calligraphy with water.

4. Wenzhou Temple and Teahouse

The Wenzhou Monastery is a quiet refuge within the bustling city of Chengdu. The monastery is free to enter, and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a traditional monastery.
chengdu china peoples park panda bearchengdu china peoples park panda bear
It’s a popular place for locals to pray and is quiet and calm. The scent of burning incense fills the air and you can’t help but feel a sense of peace just by being on the grounds.

The entire place is beautiful. The buildings, shrines and temples are obviously very old but very well cared for. The grounds are wonderfully landscaped and manicured to perfection.
Kids posing with a dragon in the monasteryMore fierce dragons and lions
Did we miss anything in Chengdu that we need to catch the next time?

We visited Chengdu on a whirlwind 2-week tour of China. We traveled with our kids to Bejing, Xian, and Chengdu, then to Lhasa Tibet, and ended our adventure in Shanghai.

About The Author


I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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