How to Visit the Great Wall of China with Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

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.

Great Wall Family Tour

What is the Great Wall 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 the Great Wall of China? How tall is it? How long is it? And many more interesting questions.

Family Tour Great Wall

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.

Construction of the Great Wall of China

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.

Recommended Beijing Tour for Family with Kids:
5-day Beijing Family Tour: to Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Hutong...

Map of Beijing Great Wall Sections

What is Best Section of the Great Wall of China for Family with Kids

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.

Planning Your Trip

When traveling with kids, careful planning is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Consider the following aspects as you prepare for your visit to the Great Wall of China:

1. Timing and Weather:

Check the weather forecast and choose a day with comfortable temperatures for your visit. Avoid peak tourist seasons to minimize crowds and enhance your children's experience. You can consider visiting the Great Wall during off-peak seasons. This way, you can enjoy the scenic views and take photos without the crowds.

2. Prepare Essentials:

Pack essentials such as sunscreen, hats, comfortable shoes, snacks, and water bottles. These items will ensure the comfort and well-being of your kids throughout the trip. You can also bring a first-aid kit that includes necessary medication, band-aids, and insect repellent. This way, you can be prepared for any unexpected situation that may arise.

3. Plan Fun Activities:

To make the trip more enjoyable for children, plan fun activities and games that you can play while exploring the Great Wall. You can bring binoculars and encourage your kids to spot wildlife and interesting geological features. You can also play games like "I Spy" or "20 Questions" that will keep your kids entertained while learning more about the Great Wall.

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.

Warm Note:
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.

Toboggan Slide Down Mutianyu Great Wall

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...

Camping on the Great Wall of China

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.

Popular Night Tour to Simatai Great Wall:
3-day Classic Beijing and Simatai Great Wall Night Tour

Simatai Great Wall Night Tour

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.

Picnic on the Great Wall of China

Safety Considerations

Prioritizing safety is crucial when visiting the Great Wall of China, especially if you are traveling with children. Additional safety recommendations are provided below.

1. Don the right footwear

Make sure everyone in your party is wearing supportive, comfortable footwear. Good footwear is essential to prevent slips and falls as several portions of the Great Wall have uneven steps.

2. Use sun protection

To prevent sunburns and sweating from China's potentially harsh sun, be sure to pack hats and sunscreen. To avoid heat exhaustion, keep your children well-hydrated and covered.

3. Pack snacks

Considering how exhausting it can be to walk along the Great Wall, it is a good idea to pack food to keep everyone energized. To prevent sugar crashes, try to choose healthy options like fruit and almonds.

4. Review the History

Make the most of your trip by educating your children about the Great Wall's past. Make it an enjoyable and educational experience by engaging them in discussion and encouraging them to ask questions.

5. Make emergency plans

Even though it's unlikely, it's always preferable to be ready. Make sure everyone has access to emergency contact information and bring a basic first aid kit. Know the location of the closest hospital or medical facility in case of an emergency.
Remember that you can make your family's trip to the Great Wall of China safe and fun by taking the proper safety procedures and being prepared.

In conclusion, visiting the Great Wall of China with kids is an incredible adventure that combines education, exploration, and family bonding. By planning ahead, engaging your children with fun activities, and prioritizing safety, you can create lasting memories and inspire their curiosity about the world. The Great Wall offers a remarkable opportunity for kids to appreciate history, culture, and the beauty of one of the world's most iconic landmarks. Start planning your family trip to the Great Wall and embark on an unforgettable journey together.

Further Reading:

  • Unique Things to Do on the Great Wall of China
  • 13 Best Places to Visit the Great Wall of China
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