Beijing Tips & Tours to Families Traveling with Children

Beijing Aquarium

We have had quite a few posts about travelling in China and it’s major cities like Beijing. This has lead to many queries to give us more tips, and information on things to do. And most importantly, what children love to do. While it’s good to have issues on travel safety well thought out, it’s not such a big thing as many might think. On the other hand, focusing on suitable and interesting things to do is what often gives a positive outlook. And the fun that’s available for children is abundant. Especially since Chinese love children it’s easy to blend in and be accepted. Even up to the point that sometimes it might be difficult to avoid all the positive attention and quiet time becomes vital when having a rest at your hotel room.

In Beijing, even historical monuments are huge fun and it always provides a precious relaxation moment together with nature, as well as beautiful views. The popular section of the great wall is “Mutianyu” which is a short one hour ride by car, however putting a little more effort and spending a few extra RMB is definitely worth it. With a bit less of hectic atmosphere and more originality in a less restored, cute small village it’s better for the whole family to go to “Jinshanling Great Wall”. Both private tours and non-shopping bus tours are an affordable option to go there. Depending on how much time and money you want to spend of course. To guide you through the process of planning your trip to the city, check out the Tours in Beijing expert by May Tours. They are the most helpful and child-friendly bunch of tour guides that I have ever seen. And very friendly too, so if you have any questions about traveling in Beijing with your children, just leave them a message and they are always happy to assist you. But don’t forget to go on to one of their private tours as well! 🙂

While the great wall is considered as the must for any visitor. I have made a brief list below for more places that are well worth considering for your tour plan. All suitable with private guides or just together with the family with a bit of common sense. I’ve also covered some of the safety issues to show you just how far a little sensibility can take you, and your family.

Hutong & Rickshaw Tour

If you don’t know “Hutongs” are some of the most important old treasures of most Chinese cities. They are the traditional living areas that are becoming less and less. By visiting these places which are full of small streets, fun and adventure you can support the restauration and survival of such important Chinese history. Many of the streets can be quite unclean so kids cannot be left unattended. That’s why it’s recommended to purchase a Rickshaw driver service, where you are taken around in style as well as fun comfort. These can be joined together with a visit to a local family to lear and try dumplings as well as other traditional food. The area around Beihai park is recommended, as there is is more clean and you have a beautiful lake to walk and play around in. Also there is a coffee shop which comes in handy for most exhausted travellers!

Beijing World Park

This place is no just any theme park but both extreme fun and an educational experience. With landmarks made in miniature form from all over the world including China, it’s a great place for children to get perspective for their travels. Endless exploration is waiting at this massive attraction, popular with (almost) all ages. Also there are culture performances where you can catch short but insightful glimpses on the Chinese way of life. From ancient times to the modern, Beijing World Park will most likely consume the whole day unless you want to drag your kids screaming. Our advice, is to take your time and relax without tight schedules. A guide will be helpfull here because you can go and grab a cup of coffee while kids are at play.

Beijing Ocean Park

This indoor aquarium is some of the biggest in the world and contains thousands of water creatures and fishes. An experience of this magnitude is bound to leave your kids mesmerized. This Ocean Park is well competing with other such places in the world.

Here are some more you might want to have a look at depending on taste:

  • Shijingshan Amusement Park (classic rollercoaster theme park)
  • Pacific Underwater World (underwater tunnel and aquarium)
  • Milu Park (sactuary for wildlife)
  • Fundazzle (playground indoors)

Have you ever travelled in China, or any of the major cities there with your family? Please share your experience with our Ooh La La Mama community. Thanks & looking forward!

Kids Clothing at Massive Amazon Italy now English

Italian Kids Fashion

While we do not always support huge corporations such as Amazon, it certainly deserves a good look and study to what they can offer in the field of kids clothing. The market in Italy itself is huge which is why it is simply second nature that Amazon would take great focus on that business sector. It is less than five years when the company laid it’s foundations on the Italian soil where it is now a welcomed additions and boasts as one of the biggest online commerce platforms in the country. But that’s not all, the company is now worth more than the American Wal-Mart which is a huge milestone within history of e-commerce. Before we go into depth concerning Amazon Italy and their excellent English language service.

The Amazon News

The race continued for a good twenty years, but on Thursday Amazon surpassed Wal-Mart as the largest online shopping retailer in the United States.

Amazon surprised analysts with their results in the April-June interim report. In the after-hours market, the stock rose by 17% after the announcement, which meant that Amazon’s market value jumped to $266 billion. Wal-Mart was at that point valued at $236 billion.

In comparison to the turnover, Amazon’s profits were a modest $92 million, resulting in a share value of $0.19 per share, though analysts had originally anticipated a $0,14 loss per share. The previous year the company had made a total loss of $126 million.

The increase in turnover was surprisingly not just the clothing sector, but mainly due to the cloud service Web Services, which grew by 81%, reaching a value of $1,82 billion. The Amazon Prime membership, costing $99/year, quickly grew the number of members, but Amazon is keeping quiet about the actual number of Prime customers.

The total turnover was $23,19 billion, where last year in the April-June period it was $19,34bn. Out of the total turnover, $13,8bn originated from the United States.

These figures are not a surprise for us, especially when we have certainly been very dissatisfied with the services of Wall-Mart and we strongly believe that customers are ‘wising up’. While in the United States the trend is relatively slow in comparison to Italy for example, where buying decisions are made on factors such as quality, reviews, sustainability and longevity. According to our observations, questions of brand or trends come only second to more nature friendly factors.

Beyond expectations, the approach that gives customers more freedom over choice and decision has been a massive promotion of sustainable fashion in contrary to so called ‘fast fashion’. We love to see these kinds of movements happening throughout the world and want to support the products that are being made with good standards in mind.

We believe that the reason why Italy was the country to expand it’s clothing sector for children in such a way is the long history of fashion. Within the decreased interest in brands, people have started to take good fashion sense almost as granted. Which has tilted the attention to things like clothing manufacture and other root fundamental issues that we should be talking about. This expansion in fashion has also helped to create more English language services so that other countries including the United States could follow. Such an approach will at least give the opportunity for change on a global level.

The outcome is something that only time can tell. But it is important to note that Italy has become a centralised country for this new shopping movement. In the boom times of the “Ooh La La Mama” we have failed to truly embrace such a setting of the mind but through our blog we want to make up the loss that we have created. That’s why we have evolved beyond the brand and create not just clothes but a way of thinking for mothers, from their childhood to their adulthood as well as pregnancy in between.

If you feel you have been inspired us. Please contact us soon. We can also connect with other Italian manufacturers that can show you the way to a new life. Thank you for listening to us!

Massive warm greetings,
Mary Thlunaut

Learning Expression Through Liyuan Theatre Opera with Kids

Liyuan Theatre Peking Opera

I always encourage the experience of different forms of arts, opera and other performing acts with kids because of it’s tremendous benefits. In the case of the famous ‘Peking Opera’, the experience becomes one of the most valuable lessons kids can learn about the world of expression. These hilarious performing acts are filled with outrageous emotions and acting, something that children simply love. Children’s toys and other products could never reach anywhere near the value you can get from one of these magical shows. It’s also important to note, that going to see western opera with the kids is very boring. I would not recommend a traditional opera experience in the western sense of the world. Only the Chinese can pull of such a historically important cultural performance while entertaining their youth. It’s truly remarkable and you need to see it for yourself.

I have also had the pleasure of visiting one of these shows with a small, but very loyal group of mothers that embraced the experience. While in Beijing, which is much more child friendly than people usually think.. we didn’t have to search for it for long. Of course, ‘Peking Opera’ refers to the opera that was created in the capital of Beijing. So even though this art has spread throughout China, and even to countries including the USA, this is the best place to see it. The one that was highly recommended to us by our hotel, was known as Liyuan Theatre which sounded too good to be true. In fact, our dreams were lifted as we entered this ancient and historical building. Which in fact is an old hotel known as the Qianmen Jianguo Hotel. It was build right after the People’s Republic of China was founded, as far back as 1956. This beautiful magestic hotel was renewed in 2002 with an upto date theatre facility that is boasting these performances in today. You can choose tickets from the balcony, to tables in the front where you can have snacks and drink Chinese tee of course!

If you have children with you, I highly recommend the more expensive tables. However, the price comes down to a very reasonable level if you book in advance with a discount ticket seller. Their official site, to which I have linked to already has the lowest price so go ahead, there is nothing to loose!

As for the performance it self, the kids just went crazy. I had to control their laughter, however it is normal for the audience to make noises. At least the Chinese part of the spectators, which the theatre hall was filled with. In the Liyuan Theatre the whole hall comes to light as the actors get on stage with their colorful and vibrant outifts. Then the singing and acting starts which is easy to follow because of the expressionism that is displayed is very clear and obvious. Everything has a symbol to it and together with the English subtitles, it’s very nice to flow together with the magical story. After the opera performance, the kids were making faces all week. Showing what kind of acting skills they had. I truly believe that this was a very valuable learning experience for them. Firstly because they loved the opera and received a life time positive memory of Chinese history. And secondly because they learned how fun it is to train in front of the mirror or anywhere what kind of faces and expressions you can make. This will ultimately promote a well being and balanced mentality for growing kids who are learning for ways to express themselves.

For this beautiful experience I cannot thank Liyuan Theatre enough. And Beijing, we love you, we will be back soon!

Mary Thlunaut
Ooh La La Mama

Born to Travel with Kids


Lately one of our favorite subjects is traveling with kids. There are many people who are doing it but still only a handful who are making a lifestyle out of it. For us, those very souls that have taken travel to a spiritual level are especially interesting for us. We wanted to know, how people train their kids suitable for travel and what kind of situations they have encountered on the road. When questioning mothers who have kids, there was one constant theme that was similar in all of the cases. This was, that everyone had a totally unique approach to travel. Not only did it give us inspiration that especially when it comes to families, one must find their own way. But even more important than that, we now understand that simply anything is possible.

For example, while some families might enjoy relaxing trips with comfortable hotels. Then there is always the other side of travel, where some parents do anything from hitchhiking to staying at dorm beds in hostels. It’s really up to the sort of training you give kids and they will get used to anything. And it’s not just because kids are more subject to these things, it’s because when you are on a journey everything is made fun. Of course, even for adults that is the main reason typically for taking a trip in the first place. When you travel with your kids, you learn to look at things from a fun and exciting perspective. Just the way things should be at home too but people just tend to forget that.

So in other words, parents are training themselves and the kids are just picking up the fun as you go. It’s really interesting when you think about it, how parents that go out of their so called comfort zone are probably much more realistic and growing as a person. That’s why one very important thing to always remember, is to never judge on anyone. Most people would never do some of the crazy things others do and that’s for a good reason. Exploration needs to be done in the pace of parents, that is the simple reality of travel. Children will follow as long as parents are enjoying their trip, if not they will start complaining.

But as always, there are still plenty of parents who just don’t understand anything. Thinking that it’s the kids fault because they are not comfortable during travel. One must take a good, deep look into oneself and ask: “Am I really enjoying this full hearted?”. If the answer is no, it’s important to start traveling in a way that you by yourself feel comfortable and excited with. It doesn’t need to be some Disney Land or anything that you don’t enjoy, otherwise children won’t enjoy it either. Just remember that important rule, please!

More fascinating blog posts coming about travel, so hold on with Ooh La La Mama! =)

Childish regards,
Mary Thlunaut

Mama’s Favorite of Chaoyang Theater Beijing Acrobatics

Chaoyang Theater Acrobatic Show

As I mentioned before, we had a great time at the silk market buying all kinds of beautiful clothes for our children in Beijing. You know when you are buying Chinese made clothes abroad, it kind of makes you think twice if this is the right way to do your shopping. But in China, everything is made in the very country you are in and therefore purchases are much more “ecological”, as you may put it. But still the quality of clothes is an issue, for which internet shops can help at times. But Beijing is really such a magical land, that soon enough, our minds were once again set away from world of shopping and diverted into magical experiences the country has to offer.

We had already seen the drum show at the Chaoyang district. But then we heard that there is another show, that’s equally just as amazing. The hugely popular Chaoyang Theater venue seemed like just the way we wanted to end the trip and go with an acrobatic bang! Of course, it was not the very first time we had heard of the acrobatic troupe in Beijing. It had been a long life dream for someone like myself, that just got forgotten on the way. It’s really fantastic how sometimes those childhood hopes and memories are forgotten, only to be rediscovered through children. Like my mama always used to say, it’s never late to reclaim a happy childhood. And I guess in someways this was exactly what we had set to do on our journey in China. That really enforced my beliefs and ideas about how we should live our lives, and most importantly how we should raise our children to in the shadows of our own path.

In Beijing, we had already seen so much but one of the biggest events was about to come on our way. Known as “The Flying Acrobatics Show”, this mind bending spectacle has everything from dangerous feats, beautiful choreography and tricks that make you go.. “how on earth did they do that?”. Pulling such stunts is no a child’s play even though there are quite a few children with minor roles in the act. But very young actors are plenty too with already big roles thanks to their light weight for example. Only the Chinese could make such a fantastic performance from beginning to end. It’s like the show life in the city was melted all into this one colorful and delightful experience at the Chaoyang Theater.

All I can see that this theater is our most favourite in the whole country most probably. While at the same time, we are left to wonder if other such amazing shows exist. And probably they do!

Our kids left us with a clear verdict of thumbs up for this one too. We had seen some circus shows, but the acrobatics here was just totally on it’s own level of skill and beauty. An instant hit with the children who were mesmerized from beginning to end. As they were glued to the seats, one of my personal treats was not just to watch their face expressions while staring at the stage with such attention. Obviously I have just glued to some sort of an experience in the children’s hears and minds because they cannot stop talking about it. Just wanted to highly recommend the Chaoyang Acrobats experience to all the families out there. If you don’t take your kids with you, it is really a shame. So I would definitely suggest doing that and also most importantly, not to be afraid of traveling there. While it might not be the most clean country in the world, it has the same things to be careful of just like anywhere else. A bit of common sense will go a long way, of which you don’t need to worry if Acrobatics is one.

See you in China!

Mary Thlunaut

Safe & Fun Travel With Kids: China Edition

Beijing Drum Show

From all the benefit I have received while having my whimsical kids clothes shop, I have much more freedom. One reason why I started blogging, and the other reason why I started traveling. So why not combine the two I thought! There must be loads of examples, how I have overcome many obstacles while traveling with kids. My latest big project, was to travel to China. Since the country has huge significance on the way we live, I wanted my children to know where there toys, clothes and just about anything that’s mass produced comes from. Perhaps in that way they could have a much more positive and realistic approach to the future. Unlike most kids, who have no idea about China.

Meeting Chinese kids in America was just not enough, and going to the Chinese mainland proved out to be totally different. There you can see the real Chinese who are open, talkative, positive and smart people most of the times. Especially the attitude to kids from different countries is absolutely heartwarming. Also there are so many things how children can enjoy themselves there and mix with the local youth as well! I am even considering if to put them to Chinese school, because now at an early time in their lives they have a good opportunity to easily learn another language. In a natural way of course.

I wanted to show something to my children that was both traditional and, entertaining. And then it hit me. Friend of mine told me about this traditional Jiangzhou Drum Show in Beijing and I was fascinated! No sooner I was at the doorsteps of the prestigious Chaoyang Theatre, which hosts this Beijing spectacle. My kids where absolutely thrilled, even before we got there. It’s a huge theatre that is quite old and has a charming atmosphere to it. It is most known for acrobatic shows, but I wanted to give my kids a more cultural experience and that’s why we headed for the drum show. Known as Millennials Melody of Drum Show, or Millennium Drum show I think.

Turned out that the show was very intense and highly skilful. Because it was music, my children had no problems following the actioned packed spectacle. They were drumming in the streets, in the restaurant in their heads all night after that. I think and hope that it served as a motivation for them about some of the talents that Chinese traditions have created. Luckily they were tired enough after the experience that we managed to get a good nights sleep without too much drumming that would disturb the next room neighbours in our hotel. If you want to catch a sneak peak for yourself check the awesome Beijing drum show trailer for some of the amazing action that was presented on that night.

All in all, we had so many adventures in Beijing. We forgot about clothes for a while, until we found the silk market. But that’s another story, for another.

Stay safe, travel with a smile and happy show life with kids!

Mary Thlunaut

Parental Responsabilities

Parental Responsabilities

Kids are vulnerable to a lot of outside influences that can have harmful effects. That is why parents have a huge responsibility over raising their kids to become healthy adults that are capabling of dealing with the complex outside world. But there is a lot of confusion involved as well, because a lot of parents might not have that much ideas on how to actually do that in practice. You might be wondering what a children’s clothes owner is talking about parenthood, but having worked in the industry for years.. I can say that I have a lot of experience with working with kids, seeing them grow with different kinds of parents and the influence that is has had. Ooh La La Mama has been always conserned about the future of children and for that we have seeked solutions far and wide. Both, from the clothing industry as well as elsewhere.

Not becoming too “preachy”, we like to talk from our own experience. Which is, that it is simply an almost impossible task to protect children from bad influences. Instead, being open is a very important task in order to make children more resistant and strong. Facing realities is the most important lesson a child can learn in it’s childhood. And for parents to be able to transmit that within upbrigning, they need to face the same realities themselves. That’s why we strongly believe that the biggest parental responsability is for the parents themselves to grow and become healthy adults.

We know that a lot of parents have not had this ability when you were grown up. But it’s time to end the vicious circle. And for that, we are writing cool stuff now!

Ooh La La Mama,
Mary Thlunaut

Kids Are Smart & Vulnerable

In Front of Toy Store

We really believe that there needs to be balance when considering the upbringing of children. This in fact is probably the most difficult part in bringing up kids. And one thing that we are always concerned about, is the commercial world that is surrounded by them. With shopping items, not just clothes but just about anything available with a huge business behind. This all makes people take some rather unethical business moves. We as a clothing shop, have always put effort into creating an honest industry with sustainable products that target moms, rather then the kids themselves.

The balance that we often talk of, is that of giving your child freedom to explore and discover the world the way they see fit. Because kids really are very very smart, and underestimating them can effect their development. When it comes to advertising, and the modern commercial world in general kids become extremely vulnerable without the ability to protect themselves from the huge amount of ads they are subject to on a daily basis for example.

We really think that parents should put more focus into this problem, sense we can never trust the co-operative world. Smaller shops, like us have much more dedication yet higher prices. Unfortunately, this is another reality we understand that needs to be balanced. That’s why we focus always on sustainability so that a one time purchase would be cheaper in the long term. Kids are extremely smart, but we must protect them for their vulnerabilities too!

Lovely greetings,
Mary Thlunaut

Whimsical Children & Clothing

Kids Playing in Forest

We at Ooh La La Mama strongly believe, that kids should be free to play and enjoy the world as they go. Clothing are often what gives them that freedom, which is why parents should make more considerate choices when making purchases. But it’s not just clothing we want to focus on. But a whole variety of fun topics, about the life of kids and growing up. How whimsical children are usually the once, that have more success in life. It’s the whole package that comes with parenting, that ultimately decides much of the child’s future.

We are also planning to travel to different destinations around the world, in order to find out just what kids in other countries are wearing. But not just that, all the conditions of life and how families perform in general that comes along with it. From our experience, you can only expect the unexpected, especially because there is so much to learn from kids. After all, isn’t that one of the greatest reasons to give birth, so that the Mama can just go “Ooh La La!” in experience and learning.

Back to school moms, this blog is about to take of and show you just how fascinating place the world is for children. We will still take custom orders for clothes, but our online shop’s future is still a little undecided. While we haven’t stopped completely, there will be quite a few changes and for now we want to do this out of our hobby and fun. So hold on tight!

Yours truly,
Mary Thlunaut