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Recent option for hanging out: parks at night
By Pan Zheng

IN a long-time tradition in Shanghai, neighbors like to leave their houses and sit together in the neighborhood and chat on summer nights to enjoy the natural coolness and relieve their fatigue. Since 2011, Shanghai residents have been granted another option to enjoy the nighttime outdoors as dozens of local parks started to remain open well into the evening.

Night in the park provides a different experience than being there in the daytime. The soft lights put an attractive glow on flowers and plants, and it often is quieter, with fewer people.

Many parks will open in the evening only in summer, usually from July to September. But here are three that are already open in the evening.

Zhongshan Park

In central Changning District, the century-old park offers a great escape from the city and bustling crowds with a large collection of trees and flowers.

Take a stroll in the park and you will pass many ancient trees such as metasequoia, plane trees and yellow sandalwood as well as beautiful flowers like purple wisteria, red plum flowers and pink-white sakura blossoms.

The park has a large lawn where people can set up tents, have picnics or just sit down to enjoy the sunshine during the day. Boats are also available for rent, where you can ply the serene waters of the small lake.

The park is a favorite hangout for local residents, with young couples taking their babies in prams for a walk and old people practicing tai chi, kung fu, singing and dancing.

Although the park is very busy on weekends, it is much more tranquil  in the evening and worth a visit.

Address: 780 Changning Rd

Open hours: 5am to 9pm

Admission: Free

Fuxing Park

Built in 1909, the park has preserved a French classic garden design with over 1,700 plane trees more than 50 years old, providing a green haven that shields people from the summer sunshine.

The park is a quiet retreat where you can hide from the hustle-bustle of the surrounding city and contemplate life and values beside a large statue of Marx and Engels.

It is nice to take a stroll on paved walking paths in the park in spring as flowers are blooming.  There is an amusement area for children, and you’re likely to see old people playing Chinese chess, cards or musical instruments.

Address: 2 Gaolan Rd

Open hours: 6am-8pm

Admission: Free

Xujiahui Park

The park was built in 2000 on the original site of Shanghai Great China Rubber Factory, Shanghai EMI Record Co and residential areas nearby. It preserves the chimney of the factory and the office building of the record company.

The overall arrangement of the park resembles the geographic shape of Shanghai. It has a water area that looks like the Huangpu River, and a 200-meter-long bridge runs through it.

Visitors can also enjoy a pleasant dinner and a happy evening in the restaurant and bar in the former EMI office building, a historic red house where the national anthem of China was created and first recorded.

Address: 811 Hengshan Rd

Open hours: 24 hours

Admission: Free

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