Having opened at the end of 2017, Aegean Place has quickly established itself as the most family-friendly shopping mall in Minhang. Located at the intersection of Wuzhong Lu and Hongjing Lu, aka the Bermuda triangle of shopping malls, Aegean Place boasts family-friendly features such as a rooftop vegetable farm, themed play center and culinary options that few of its competitors can match.
Here’s a quick look at the shopping center and what makes it a unique family destination well worth your time to visit.
While shopping itself is enough to keep any family busy, we strongly recommend visiting the rooftop and get your hands in the dirt. Ewin Sky Farm is a space designed for children to acquaint with urban farming practises. From feeding rabbits to milling flour and picking vegetables, it’s a great alternative to keep the kids busy in a rewarding way.
Only some 20 meters away lies a pony ranch (yes, also on the rooftop). Owned by the Pony International Youth Cavaliers Academy, this French equestrian club trains all levels of junior riders. Try-out sessions are also provided for any child burning to saddle up on horseback.
If you are stuck with limited options downtown, Aegean Place will change that for the better. The fourth floor is home to more than 30 kid’s apparel brands, including staples like Adidas Young Athletes, Converse Kids, Under Armour, as well as vogue options such as gxg.kids, Kinspace and Petit Bateau.
As for toy shopping, there is a Lego Discovery Center, a Kidsland along with an array of lesser known shops selling plush and mechanical toys.
While parents steal away precious hairdressing and spa time, there are many play centers to temporarily entertain the kids. Try the Expoplanet Art Space, a space themed play center with mesmerising projections of extraterrestrial realms; or Zhilu Ice & Snow Park, an indoor theme park with ski tracks.
Instead of including the 'all-too-familiar' chains (sorry Din Tai Fung), the food scene here is comparable to a conglomerate of world cuisines. There’s Anhui, Beijing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Hubei; Thai, Japanese, Korean, American and Kiwi; plus a wildly popular seafood buffet restaurant located on the fifth floor. Although we haven’t had the chance to taste everything for you, most of these restaurants are nicely furnished and reasonably priced, so definitely worth trying.
The Caffaina Coffee Gallery is worthy of special mention. This Taiwan-born bakery serves up different flavours of soufflé throughout the week which can be enjoyed indoors and out. Kids will likely enjoy the classic soufflé (from RMB58), crème brûlée (RMB33) and fruit puffs (RMB39). Apart from desserts, there is also a range of bagels, paninis and salads to constitute a light lunch, and a decent selection of coffee to finish the meals with.
Understanding that some children prefer to sit down and learn a craft, or participate in a quiet activity, Aegean Place seems to have it all with their classes for the creative types. Lu He Yun, for example, is a Chinese Studies school that teaches small children basic Chinese calligraphy and ink painting. More arts and crafts options include Tomato Art School, Tao Yi Fang ceramic studio, and me to two jewelry workshop.
Finally, two places for a moment of solace while the kids are busy playing downstairs. Both architectural projects owe their unique appearances to the self-taught Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, whose application of fluid lines and spaces conjure up the perfect zen environment for parents to take a breather. The bookstore’s collection is still expanding, but already includes a nice stock of children’s picture books and novels in translation.
See a listing of Aegean Place here.