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From thrills to the sublime, activities to foil the summer doldrums abound
2015-06-23
By Lu Feiran

It’s summertime! Students who have endured exhausting final exams finally get a welcome break. Workers can finally get away from the office or factory and take families on outings.

And you don’t need to plan expensive out-of-town trips to enjoy the holiday season. Whether you want to improve your mind or just have some fun, there’s plenty things  to do in Shanghai and do right in Minhang’s own backyard.

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Shanghai Daily has a few tips to help you plan the best way to use free time.

Jinjiang Park: Detective Conan Party

“Detective Conan,” also known as “Case Closed,” is a popular Japanese manga series about a high school student who helps the police solve mysteries.

The manga series as well as a new TV adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” novels has enhanced public fascination with famous sleuths. Step into their shoes.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the animation, Jinjiang Park is hosting the Detective Conan Party. In the two main exhibition areas, the home of Dr Agasa and one of the main scenes in the manga series are re-created. Visitors also have the opportunity to try to solve cases with provided clues.

A dining area has been set up to serve food that has appeared in the series, including grilled eel over rice and takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls.

The party theme is carried through to regular rides in the park. Six rides will have a “Detective Conan” quiz session at their entrances. People who answer questions correctly will receive prizes.

There will also be lucky draw, with the grand prize a free trip to Tottori Prefecture in Japan, the hometown of Gosho Aoi, author of the manga.

Date: Through August 31

Address: 201 Hongmei Rd

Admission: 130 yuan

Dino Beach: Happy experience for kids

Minhang has no natural beaches, but Dino Beach water park admirably fills the void.

After 20 years operating in the city, the park has become part of many a childhood’s happy experiences. At the start, it was the only water park in East China. Though competitors have mushroomed since then, public enthusiasm for Dino Beach hasn’t flagged.

Every summer the park is crowded with families enjoying the thrills in the Pirate Ship, the Flume Ride, diving or just relaxing in the pools and on the artificial sands.

To be sure, there are the niggling complaints. Some people say food and beverages are too expensive in the park. Others decry the ban on visitors bringing in their own inflatable rafts.

But still they come in their droves.

“Believe it or not, I went there five times last summer,” said Pinko Chen, a resident of Minhang. “It’s an old park, but it’s still a lot of fun. I’m expecting a baby and I look forward to the day when I can bring my child here, too.”

Date: June 30-August 24, 9am-midnight; August 25-September 7, 9am-10pm; closed after September 7

Admission: 120 yuanAddress: 78 Xinzhen Rd

Succulent Plant Garden: Strolling through amazing sights

This newly opened garden is a treat for those who like to stroll through amazing sights and those interested in succulent cultivation.

The park has four areas.

The exhibition zone displays hundreds of succulent plants and gives an easy-to-understand pictorial lesson in how a potted plant grows.

In the training area, professional gardeners show visitors how to make bonsais from succulents and give tips on successful plant cultivation.

In the do-it-yourself area, visitors can make their own bonsais from succulents.

The last area is earmarked for people who want specialized information or help. Staff are on hand to answer questions and assist in the selection of succulents suitable for particular home conditions.

Address: 456 Xinzhen Rd

Admission: Free

Minhang District Library:Relaxing in shade in a sultry day

Many people don’t think of a library as an interesting holiday destination, but books hold the key to fascinating adventures and provide a relaxing way to spend a sultry afternoon in the shade.

To adapt to changing public reading habits, the Minhang District Library has initiated e-book lending this summer.

People can download a reading app beforehand on their smartphones or tablets, and then go to the library and borrow e-books by scanning the QR code on the e-book machines in the lobby of the library. It’s all free.

At present, the library provides e-books for three different reading apps: Chaoxing Mobile Library, Diandian Reading and Longyuan Reading. Diandian Reading is especially for children under the age 12. Some 6,500 books are available via the three apps, most of them in Chinese.

The library said the download links to the books are updated automatically once a month, invalidating earlier links, so readers who want to renew e-books need to go to the library and scan the code again.

Open hours: Monday, 12-5pm; Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-8pmAddress: 85 Mingdu Rd

Admission: Free

Museums: Combing through art and history

Some of the more fascinating museums in Minhang are the personal ones dedicated to specialized collections, such as traditional arts, insects, antiques and musical instruments.

The museums may be small but their themed collections are a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. More of them are free. Here are some of them:

Shanghai Hanlin Museum of Horizontal Inscribed Boards

Horizontal inscribed boards symbolized status and cultural distinction in ancient China.

This museum displays more than 1,000 of the boards collected from all over the country and spanning 700 years.

The boards are divided into four groups: those belonging to men of letters, those belonging to high-ranking officials, those belonging to famous families and those belonging to key figures of the Republic of China (1912-1949).

Address: Bldg 4, 731 Hongxu Rd

Cricket Museum

This museum on Qibao Old Street exhibits cricket specimens and the vaults holding crickets.

Qibao Town has a long history of cricket fighting. A cricket fight competition is held in the town every September.

This old culture made the town a large center for the production of vaults, and the museum has seven vaults on display that bear the unique seal of the town.

Address: 37 Fuqiang Street, Qibao Town

Museum of Miniature Engraving

Most of the engraved works exhibited in this museum are based on the ancient Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber.”

The works display characters and scenes from the classic work, and every piece is so detailed that it looks real.

The museum also displays themes related to the era in which the novel is set, including tea culture, stone works and tablet engraving.

Address: 64 Fuqiang Street, Qibao Town

Hanfengtang

At first glance, Hanfengtang may seem to lack a specific theme. But, in fact, it presents a very large palette: Han art.

The museum displays nearly 1,000 pieces of ceramics, jade sculptures, bronzeware, wood sculpture, furniture, paintings and calligraphy from Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) to the Republic of China era. The exhibitions are drawn from art collections across China.

Address: 208 Jinping Rd

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