Travelling is an excellent way to experience life by broadening your horizons and learning things, which applies to both adults and kids. Therefore, for the rest of the year, why not thoroughly plan and take your kids on a vacation they'll never forget?
The Great Wall of China, known as one of the Seven World Wonders of the World bearing exceptional testimony to the ancient Chinese civilizations, is always considered as the essential part of the best family tour to China. Its grandness and magnificence will impress everyone at first glance and show children an unparalleled achievement in human history! Click to see the best Great Wall Tours of China.
The Great Wall of China is a series of defensive fortifications built against the nomadic groups from the north, some of which can be traced back to the 7th century BC during the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period. Later, Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and the first emperor of a unified China, had these earlier walls joined together and extended. At this point, the Great Wall made its debut as a whole.
The Great Wall of China has on and off been rebuilt and enhanced ever since then, until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. The Ming constructed walls to prevent itself from Mongolian invasion.
When facing a defensive structure like the Great Wall, children will be excited to learn about its function, military strategy status, legendary history, as well as the building and engineering skills 2000 years ago. The Great Wall of China is indeed an architecture of curiosities. The children may wonder how this great project was built? Who built it? How tall is it? How long is it? And many more interesting questions.
The Great Wall of China stretches 21,196 km (13,171 mi) through deserts, grasslands, mountains, and plateaus from Liaodong in the east to Lop Nur Lake in the west, from the present-day Sino-Russian border in the north to Taohe River in the south. Some walls are now in ruins or have disappeared.
It is mainly made of rammed earth, stones, and wood in the early times. In the Ming Dynasty, bricks and tiles were also used to build the Great Wall, especially for areas with rougher terrain. The construction demonstrates the wisdom and perseverance of the ancient Chinese. However, to build it, the human cost was huge, as hundreds of thousands of workers died.
Strolling on the Great Wall, the horse tracks, watchtowers, garrison stations, shelters, and fortresses and passes along the Wall can still remind us of the cries of battle. When children are encouraged to explore it, what is likely to come to their minds?
Many parts of the Ming Great Wall are located in the north of present-day Beijing and have been renovated and open to tourists, including Juyong Pass, Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai. An exploration to the Great Wall is definitely the highlight of any family tour to Beijing.
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Among all, Badaling Great Wall is the most well-preserved but with daunting crowds. So we suggest families traveling with children visit the Mutianyu section, an hour north of Beijing, featuring delightful pastoral scenery. Or go to the remote Jinshanling section of the Great Wall with striking mountain views.
Simatai section of the Great Wall is more authentic, as it reminds what it looked like 500 years ago. You can also consider visiting the Great Wall in winter. Children will definitely love this magnificent construction in the snow! Moreover, visiting Beijing in winter is more budget-friendly.
Top 4 Things to Do at the Great Wall with Kids
Besides hiking, there are plenty of interesting things you can do with kids at the Great Wall. Below, we take you through some of the best and most interesting kid-friendly family activities the Great Wall of China has to offer.
1. Slide Down from the Great Wall
Visit a less-crowded Great Wall section at Mutianyu, which is regarded as the most beautiful section of the Great Wall of China. It can be hard to engage children in history, but a toboggan ride will surely make them excited.
You can take a cable car up or walk uphill, have some walk on the wall, and enjoy a toboggan slide ride down to the bottom of Mutianyu Great Wall. With a total length of 1,580 meters, the slide rail can take about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your speed.
Children under the age of 10 have to be accompanied by a parent, and the double toboggan is available for one kid and one adult.
2. Camp on the Great Wall
An overnight camping trip on the Great Wall of China is a real adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experience your children will never forget. Instead of a busy day trip to a touristy section, camping on the Great Wall of China gives you enough time to be amazed at the spectacular panoramic view of the Great Wall ridges with no crowds. Sleep in your tent on a watchtower, watch sunset and sunrise, enjoy the stars at night...
3. Walk on the Great Wall at Night
Most people who visit China simply take a quick day tour to the popular renovated section of the Great Wall. If you are looking for some cool and unique Great Wall activities for both adults and kids, a night tour to Simatai Great Wall is your way to go. It offers you a chance to experience one of the wonders of the world different from the daytime. Lit up at night, the Great Wall at Simatai becomes a glittering dragon in waves. You can also appreciate the stunning scenery of the brightly lit Gubei Water Town.
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4. Picnic on the Great Wall of China
There are limited choices for restaurants when visiting the Great Wall of China, especially if you are hiking on a remote and wild section of the Great Wall. It would be an authentic experience for you and the little wanderlusters to soak in the view and have a picnic on the Great Wall. Touring with Easy Tour China, our tour guide will help prepare some packed foods, fruits, and drinks for you to enjoy on the Great Wall.