30 Things To Do in Shanghai This Winter

Shanghai Living

All the things you can possibly do while you wait out the winter in Shanghai.
Winter in Shanghai can be a pain. It’s cold, dark, and doing anything other than staying in your room, binging Netflix and munching on KFC seems abhorrent.

But just because there won’t be an abundance of beach parties with margaritas and mimosas, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do at all. We’ve rounded up 30 things for you to do in Shanghai this winter, so stop your complaining. Spoiler alert: being a coach potato is included since that is a reasonable reaction to winter.

Go see a play

Take this time to enjoy the various plays Shanghai has to offer. Every week Shanghai Living Hot Tickets highlights three shows in Shanghai and through our ticketing page you’ll be able to get the best seats for shows such as Legally Blond the Musical, Spanish Ballet of Murica, and Baby Loves Chinese Opera.

Ice skating

While we may not have the luxury of a frozen over lake to break out the skates, Shanghai’s abundance of malls, provide enough entertainment, and space for indoor ice skating rinks. For that, we recommend Shanghai’s biggest ice-rink All Star Skating Club. There are plenty more malls with ice skating rinks, too.


Brunch is this beautiful gift that can be enjoyed at anytime and anywhere. This winter treat yourself to these hotel brunches in Shanghai. Or, you can browse through our website’s big brunch list. We have everything from the best fry-ups, all-you-can-drink, dim sum brunch, and more.

Risky Business Themed Dance Party

Dust off your dress shirt and socks, turn up your speakers to “Old Time Rock and Roll”, and get crazy on the dance floor that is your living room. In any case, you’re going to need to download QQ Music.

Hot Pot

Now that it’s getting colder, it’s finally socially acceptable to go for hot pot. There’s more than one place for it than Hai Di Lao. If you’re a novice in everything hot pot, check out Shanghai Living guide on where to eat hot pot in Shanghai.


What better way to ward of the cold than with a steamy bowl of noodles? We’ve curated a list of the best local noodle shops to sate that craving, serving up everything from sesame noodles to scallion oil noodles. The beef bone broth at Han Mama, pictured above, is most definitely weather appropriate, and will warm you up right up.

Build a pillow fort

Hibernate, and master the art of ordering food, Winter is the perfect excuse to start accumulating mass. If you’re too lazy to venture out into the cold, make the food come to you. You can get groceries, meals, and even alcohol brought to your doorstep. All you need to do is answer the door.

Pub Quiz

Tired of the same old bar scene? Spice it up with putting your knowledge to the test at these pub quiz nights. The best one so far is at The Camel, every Tuesday night. What better way to prove that you’re the smartest drunk in the bar?

Get in Shape

If you made the drunken mistake of vowing that 2021, will be the year you’re going to get in shape, Shanghai Living is here to help with a list of five new gyms and spin classes for a ‘fun’ way to stay in shape.

Art Exhibitions

Get your fill of highbrow art with the Shanghai Galaxy II at Yuz Museum. It explores the development of Shanghai’s art scene along with its rapid development. If you’re interested in fashion, the Shoubai art gallery is exhibiting the transformation of Qipaos and Cheongsams during the 20th century.

Fake Market

If you’re going to freeze your ass off in the cold, why not do it in style? Get yourself a (fake) fur coat at Shanghai’s fake markets. While you’re at it, brush up on your Mandarin and bartering skills.

Catch Sleep No More

Sleep No More is an immersive theater, telling the story of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Participants move through the McKinnon Hotel in Jing’an and stumble upon various suspenseful narratives. It has been a huge hit in Shanghai and tickets are now available. Get hold of those tickets quickly before they sell out.

Find the Best Hot Chocolate

Winter calls for hot chocolate. But before you go off to the mainstream coffee shops, check out our guide to the perfect cup of hot chocolate. Our favorite? hoF on Sinan Lu.

Spa Day

Whether it is a skin treatment, a massage or just wanting to have an excuse to wear a fancy bathrobe there’s always time to go to a spa. For extra pampering try out, CHI’s Balance Massage. Perhaps treat yourself at one of Shanghai’s best hotel spas.

Korean Bathhouse

Get your massage or skin treatment at the affordable Korean Bathhouse, New Star. They also have hot tubs, cool baths, steam and dry saunas, and more.

Go to KTV and only sing Christmas songs

Once Christmas passes, there won’t be any need for “Jingle Bells” or “All I want for Christmas”. But be a rebel and sing them anyways, even if it is just to annoy your friends. Taibei Chun K at the SML mall by Dapuqiao metro station has by far the best selection of English songs for all your KTV needs in Shanghai.

Go to the biggest Starbucks

In case you haven’t heard, Shanghai is host to the world’s biggest Starbucks Roastery. This winter you can go and experience all their seasonal drinks and everything else this Starbucks has to offer.

Turn up the heat and pretend its summer

There’s always that one person who groans and whines about the cold. Here’s a tip: turn up your AC, order a tub of ice cream, turn up some ocean wave sounds, and pretend its summer till the real deal arrives. Be careful though. You might just short-circuit the breakers and kill the power. Should that happen…We’d just like to say Shanghai Living is not responsible for any power outage caused by this article.

Master your crochet skills

Or any other crafty skill that you might have or wish to have. You can find various “How To” videos on YouTube but if you want some company Craft’d holds workshops in sewing and knitting. Check out their website for more information on their workshops.

Make your own mulled wine

Mulled wine is the beverage of winter. Try your hand at making your own mulled wine, with SiDo’s mulled wine spice mix. If you’re not up for making your own mulled wine Shanghai has an abundance of bars and restaurants where you can drink mulled wine.

Buy a winter melon

Draw a face on it and call him Wilson, If you’re planning to spend your days inside, have a companion if you can’t afford a pet. You can eat him if he pisses you off.

TCM massage

You can’t live in Shanghai without having tried at least one traditional Chinese massage. The Baguan or cupping message helps expel wind and coldness from the body, seems like a perfect thing to do in the upcoming winter months.

Keep yourself warm with whiskey

You know what they say, a glass of whiskey keeps the cold away (people don’t really say that). Here are some of the best whiskey bars in Shanghai.


Melted cheese. Need we say more, other than head down to La Cabane to get that gooey goodness?

Become a Taobao pro

If Taobao isn’t your best friend already, it will be this winter. Get all your essential winter survival gadgets such as electric blankets, foot heater, and bath bombs.

Board Games

While you’re on Taobao, get yourself the following board games: Settlers of Catan, Risk, Monopoly, and Carcassonne. Oh, and Cards Against Humanity.


This sports bar has everything from batting cages to ice hockey and bubble football. Add in beer on draft and bottles, you got yourself an epic Friday night. If you’re restless on a Tuesdays, Cages also hosts a game of indoor pick-up soccer.

Catch up on shows

What better way to spend three months than to become your inner coach potato and finding out that TV on demand is your one and only love. For those who don’t have a kick ass home entertainment system here’s how to install satellite and Internet TV. Happy binging.

Indoor games

There are other fun things to do in winter, other than re-creating Mufasa’s death scene with your cat. Shanghai has an abundance of indoor sports venues for you to try. Fancy going bowling, playing laser tag or rock climbing?


Show off your skills on the trampoline at Jump360. For more advanced jumpers they also have obstacle courses to test your jumping abilities. It’s a great way to exercise while having fun.

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