Planning to visit Harbin this winter? Here are some of the best holiday activities, many of them suitable for the whole family. Visitors can take a reindeer safari or book a dog sledge ride through the snowy landscapes and forests, learn to drive a snowmobile or get to know the local culture. You can also spend some nights in beautiful China's Snow Town, enjoy skiing in Yabuli, try fishing or ice sailing on Songhua River, watch ice lanterns, admire ice and snow sculptures, or make an adventure among the Siberian tigers and more.
Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
The festival is an annual festival designed around everything to do with snow and ice. Songhua River and nearly all the parks in Harbin are the venue of the festival, and the festival has been going on for more than 50 years. Major events include national and international snow & ice sculpture competitions, ice lantern show, snow sculpture expo, ice and snow world etc.
Skating is a characteristic sport in Harbin. One important difference of skating from other cities of China is: the playing field is moved to the ice surface. Skating is a high speed activity. People will feel tense and excited during the sport. When you come to Harbin in winter, you must experience the pleasure when running on the surface of Songhua River. But you should very careful during the sport, it is a little dangerous if you are a jackaroo.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Harbin
Snow falls early in Harbin and in many ski resorts in Harbin and its around areas the ski season can last 4 months, from early December to early April. Yabuli Ski Resort, Yabuli Sunshine Holiday Village Ski Resort, Longzhu Erlongshan Ski Resort，Harbin Institute Of Physical Education Skifield, Jihua Changshou Mountain Ski Resort, Pingshan Shenlu Ski Resort are some of Harbin's most popular ski areas. Among them, the Yabuli Ski Resort is the best even in China, which is just a 2hrs drive from Harbin: a convenient place to try downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities.
Dog-sledding is one of the more memorable winter adventures in Harbin. Whether you want to spend a few days or weeks in the outback or just try it for an afternoon, dog-sledding is an activity available most anywhere in Heilongjiang province that gets lots of snow.
Snow Biking & Ice Sailing
There are many snow bikes and ice-sailings for rent in the park or on the Songhua River.
Travel Harbin in winter you have many opportunities, witness winter swimming by the local elderly. It is a sport that requires precaution, specialized training and adequate warm-up lest you freeze to death. The locals entertain the crowds that cheer them on by waving and posing for photographs. In the parks or the Songhua River where winter swimming is designated to take place.
Build a Snowman
Bundle up the kids and take them outside from the hotel for a snowy adventure. Build a snowman or a snow fort, or get on the ground and make snow angels with them. If you have free time during your Harbin trip, take the kiddies to a nearby park. They'll have a blast -- and you will, too.
Having a snowball fight is also a very interesting sport in the snow while traveling in Harbin. Several friends or the family members are divided into two groups, and fight each other with snowballs. You should be very quick, or you will be attacked.
The best place to enjoy a hiking is China's Snow Town, where you can hike through the beautiful forests, villages and valleys.
Catch catfish, Pseudorasbora parva, lumpfish, dace almost everywhere the Songhua River. Usuri bagrid and crucian carp fishing is good in lakes.
Adventuring in Siberian Tiger Park
During the visit, you will be caged in a specially protected bus or jeep to linger through the fierce tigers to appreciate the adventurous and exciting scene. Very exciting!
Foot Massage for Frozen Feet
The great thing to do when in Harbin is getting foot massage - especially when you have some frostbites in between the toes after a day tour!
Live With the Local Peasants
If you are seeking some authentic village life out of the ordinary in China, discover the local peasants. Visit the villages around Harbin and stay with the peasants. Eat a traditional meal, learn how to make Jiaozi (dumpling), sleep in their traditional bed - Kangtou (heatable brick bed) and experience life as never before. You can also see many unique utensils in the villages of northeast China, such as stoves, big pots and so on.
Winter activities in Harbin include snowmobile safaris, dog/horse sledding and reindeer safaris through icy landscapes and uninhabited wilderness. There are marked trails for independent trips on snowmobiles, or visitors can arrange dog sledding and reindeer safaris with hotels and travel agents.
Once used by trappers and traders traversing the snow-covered terrain, snowshoeing today is mostly a form of winter recreation. Contemporary lightweight snowshoes make this traditional form of winter travel easier - and more fun - than ever.
Snowshoeing is both a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors and an effective and gentle form of exercise. Many ski resorts and some winterized lodges provide or rent snowshoes for casual outings, or try a more challenging overnight adventure. The truly adventurous may want to go China's Snow Town, where clients are taken to beautiful and remote locations.
Spend Spring Festival and Lantern Festival
Harbiners (Harbin people) don't hibernate over winter. They create reasons to get out and enjoy the outdoors. One way is with Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, which occur across the country. The two festivals are celebrated in the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar (usually in Feb.). During the festivals, you can see the locals perform Yangko dance or dragon dance in the streets or villages.
Clubs, Pubs, and Bars
If you tour in Harbin, certainly take advantage of Harbin's nightlife. You may want to seek out cozy corners for relaxation or conversation, or you may want to warm yourself up on a dance floor. Harbin's clubs, pubs, and bars are hotspots during the winter - and hotspots are what you'll want to seek out to combat the cold.
Traditional & Foreign Foods at Local Restaurants
Many Harbin restaurants specializing in local foods and foreign foods. The local food are authentic northern Chinese style, and the foreign foods include the styles of Russia, Japan, Brazil, India, Thailand, Korea and more. Some of these eateries are decorated according to local style or exotic style, and some are typical wood-beamed ceilings, fireplaces, and richly embroidered linens will have as much warming effect as will the food and drink.