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When it’s cold, hot, or wet outside, take respite at one of Shanghai’s best indoor activities.
Along with restaurants and bars galore, Shanghai has 100 museums. My favorites are the beautiful Shanghai Museum of Glass, the new Power Station of Art, and the quirky Propaganda Poster Art Centre. If you’re traveling with kids in tow, try the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium or the Science and Technology Museum, but be forewarned that, at the weekends, they’re mobbed.
If you’re traveling with teens or are feeling up for the action, Shanghai has a slew of places where one can go go-karting, bowling, rock climbing, virtual golfing, and laser tagging. To kill two birds with one stone, try Orden Bowling Center; it’s convenient to the Hengshan Road line 1 metro station and has a dozen lanes and a small arcade area. Pine City hotel also has great lanes and is significantly quieter than Orden, which has a party atmosphere. Pine City also has a ping pong room and billiards tables.
On a cold, wet day, there’s nothing nicer than hiding at the spa, and Shanghai’s got them in spades. Among the city’s best spas are The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, Qin the Spa (Four Seasons), and Chuan Spa at the Langham, Xintiandi. These spas offer a bevy of treatments, including expert massages.
For a different but equally relaxing experience, head to one of Shanghai’s bathhouses. The best is New Star, a Korean-style bathhouse with hot pools—three for women and one for men— plus a cold pool, sauna and steam rooms, and a rainforest shower area. Massages are available as are body scrubs, particularly good for buffing away dry winter skin.