Top 5 Reasons Mutianyu is Best to Entertain Your Kids
While it can be hard to please everyone in the family when trying to make the best decision as to which section of the Great Wall to visit, Mutianyu might do the trick, offering something for everyone.
Whether you want a relaxing break for the whole family or if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous. Mutianyu offers something for people of all ages and types to enjoy. It’s a particularly enticing attraction for parents with young children.
Easily accessible yet less crowded than other Great Wall sections, Mutianyu makes for a beautiful day trip with the entire family. The following are just a few of the many reasons to visit Mutianyu with kids:
1. Mutianyu Is Less Crowded Than Badaling
Badaling may be easily accessible from Beijing, but that can be a problem — this portion of the Great Wall attracts huge crowds.
It’s tough to enjoy the landmark’s scenery and history if you constantly worry about your child getting lost in the crowd.
While Mutianyu can also be busy at times, its crowds are typically more manageable — particularly for parents with multiple kids to track down.
2. Mutianyu Is the Most Accessible Section to Visit With Kids
Small children can only walk so far before they tire. Thankfully, Mutianyu offers many methods for getting around and accessing the area’s most impressive views. Cable cars make it easy to get to the Great Wall, while toboggans provide an element of adventure.
Young children may be frightened by chairlifts, but pre-teens and teenagers find them exhilarating. Sometimes, the journey is even better than the destination — such is often the case for children as they take advantage of unique options for accessing the Great Wall.
3. The Walk Is Relatively Easy For Visitors of All Ages
If you choose to spend most of your time at Mutianyu on foot, you’re in luck — this restoration masterpiece is notoriously walkable. As mentioned earlier, paths are accessible via cable cars/chairlifts.
Walking areas are carefully maintained, so you don’t need to worry about your kids tripping on hazards once they arrive. A few sections, like the part between towers 19 and 20, are steep but by no means inaccessible for young children.
Though plenty of Great Wall hikes are available (try Jiankou to Mutianyu hike if your kids are older and not scared of heights!) Mutianyu is less focused on adventure and long walks than other sections of the Great Wall are and more focused on simple ways to enjoy the wall itself. Mutianyu is on the bucket list of many family travelers, and rightfully so.
4. Public Toilets Are Clean And Easy to Find
Bladder problems always strike at the most inconvenient times. When your child begins complaining of the need for a bathroom break, access to public facilities can seem like a dire matter. No worries — at Mutianyu, you’ll find many public toilets.
Near the Subway is a decent bathroom. Another one is next to the cable car station. These facilities are easily accessible, but they’re also typically spotless (even on busy days).
Newly renovated restrooms offer both squat and sit toilets, which can be challenging to locate if you visit other areas of the Great Wall. Don’t forget to pack toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as these may not be available in all restroom facilities.
5. Several Excellent Dining Opportunities Are Located Nearby
Dining with picky eaters can be a hassle wherever you go in the Beijing area. The more options available, the better. Several restaurants near Mutianyu are kid-friendly, so you’ll find it easy to grab a meal after thoroughly exploring the Great Wall.
At the bottom of the Wall, next to the Cable Car Station, there is a subway, and near the Mutianyu tourist center, there is a Burger King. Moreover, Mutianyu Village boasts several authentic Chinese eateries. Most are small, about 10–20 minutes drive from the Mutianyu car park. Here are some local restaurants around Mutianyu:
- Kao Shan Tun Northeast Farm Dish Restaurant (20 minutes drive from Mutianyu) is a Chinese restaurant; Food includes Kung Pow Chicken, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Local Barbecue Fish. One of the few local restaurants opens late. 50-80 yuan per person.
- Xiaolongpu Restaurant (10 minutes drive from Mutianyu), dishes from around China, including Sichuan, Canton, Northeast, and even Beijing. A good place for a quick meal to or from Mutianyu. 50-80 yuan per person
- Fish Chef (15 minutes drive from Mutianyu)near Mutianyu Roundabout, famous for the rainbow trout barbecue, 50-80 yuan per person.
How Long to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall
This walk will take you a good 3-4 hours doing it with kids at a leisurely pace, depending on which route you decide to take. There are several routes (climb up/cable car/chairlift) up to the Wall, but the most popular is to take the cable car up and back. This route takes 2.5-3.5 hours to complete with kids. The walk is enjoyable with some excellent views.
Best Place to Take Family Photo
Tips for Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall With Kids
- Safety first: It can be easy to get caught up in a moment of excitement, frustration, or chaos when you’re traveling as a family. The wall is around 6-7 meters (20 to 23 feet) in height, and it’s important to remember that a hazard could be around the corner. Follow a few safety tips to ensure that you do not put young children at risk while walking on the wall. Where you see a flight of stairs on the wall, children may see a majestic mountain that needs to be conquered. Falls can happen on the wall. Carefully watch toddlers on stairs, and teach children to always hold onto handrails and not play or jump on stairs.
- Do not bring a stroller to Mutianyu: bring a baby carrier if you visit Mutianyu with a baby or a toddler. Sure, you can see Mutianyu with a stroller, but it will be a pain in the butt. The stones underfoot are very uneven, and there are towers spaced along the wall with many steep, uneven steps to climb, and your stroller will get in the way. If your little one is too small to walk for your whole visit, I recommend a baby or toddler carrier. If you are going to Mutianyu with a stroller, make sure your stroller is a lightweight one for travel.
- Observe your kids: During public holidays (like May 1st and Oct 1st), Mutianyu can get crowded and are full of people taking photos, walking, resting, etc., so common courtesy isn’t always afforded to others. If your kids aren’t paying attention, they will get in the way of someone in a hurry. I recommend putting your kids in a carrier when climbing the section between towers 18 and 19 (steep section with 450 steps), as you’ll have a much more enjoyable time. If you let your kids walk this section, you may spend all your time and attention making sure they are ok, impacting your enjoyment of this beautiful place.
- Get to Mutianyu as early as you can: To get the most out of your day and beat the crowds, it’s recommended to get to the entrance right when it opens (like 7:30 am or 8:30 am) and go straight up to the wall. If you’re an early bird and can get to Mutianyu this early, you’ll have the wall to yourself for a few hours. Otherwise, get there after 2 pm or 3 pm, and you’ll find that Mutianyu starts to empty by 4 pm. By 5 pm, you’ll virtually have the place to yourself.
- Take the shuttle bus to the entrance and back: Mutianyu ticket office/ car park is around 3km away from the access to the Wall. We all know that kids don’t like to walk much, so it’s highly recommended to buy the shuttle bus tickets at the main ticket office that will take you up to the wall entrance (RMB 15 return) and back to the car park. There is only one entrance into Mutianyu, so you won’t miss it.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Wear comfortable walking shoes for standing/walking for extended periods so you don’t slip on the trail. Kids may fall on the loose brick steps. Mutianyu is a place for walking and if you don’t want to be miserable, make sure you and your kids are wearing shoes designed for walking for long periods, even if you aren’t planning on a strenuous hike.
- Please bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat: Some restaurants near the Mutianyu parking lot, but it’s best to have plenty of your water and snacks with you for walking and celebrating at the top! And be sure to be sun smart with a hat, sunscreen, and protective clothing if it is hot.
Age should not be a restriction for visiting the Great Wall of China. Make memories to last a lifetime at Mutianyu — the perfect attraction for active families.