What's On in Beijing: December 2018

By That's Beijing, December 3, 2018

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Dec 3-5: Swan Lake Ballet

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Courtesy of promoters

The Russian State Ballet presents Swan Lake, the most renowned among the masterpieces of the great Tchaikovsky. Able to capture the full range of human emotions – from hope to despair, terror to tenderness, melancholy to ecstasy – this legendary ballet is a sight to behold. Under the supervision of Vyacheslav Gordeev, the Russian State Ballet production is sure to impress with a quality orchestra and outstanding performers. 

Mon Dec 1-Wed Dec 5, various times; RMB280-880; Rulun Lecture Hall of Renmin University, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Dec 4: EggPlantEgg

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Image via EggPlantEgg/Facebook

Taiwanese group EggPlantEgg (we’d love to hear the story behind that name) lands in Beijing this week. The eccentric pop outfit has sparked quite the fan base back home with their expressive and innovative style of indie, and went on to win Best New Artist at the 29th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan this year. Catch them at Yue Space this Tuesday. 

Tue Dec 4, 8.30pm; RMB80 (presale), RMB100 (door); Yue Space, see event listing.

Dec 5: The Saito Social @ Tsinghua University

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Courtesy of promoters

The hash war, forks, the price crash... Don't know what we're talking about? You might want to check out this special panel hosted at Tsinghua University. Saito and the Tsinghua International Blockchain Association will host a round of talks about the hottest topic in international economy: the blockchain and the crypto markets. The event is going to include a breakdown of the hidden economic problems inherent in blockchain, and how to solve them, an introduction to how fixing blockchain’s economic vulnerabilities leads to entirely new tech and an explanation of what’s going on in the current crypto markets from a panel of industry insiders. Among the high-profile speakers will be Jack Liao, founder of Bitcoin Gold, John Gordon (INBlockchain), David Lancashire, founder of Saito, and Richard Bensberg, CEO of epiapi. 

Wed Dec 5, 5.30pm; free entry; New Tsinghua Xuetang, see event listing.

Dec 6: Sinqmin

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Courtesy of promoters

Dada hosts Seoul-based DJ Sinqmin along with a slew of other electronic acts. Brought to you by rave culture group Vvasavy, the DJ and producer is all about vibrant self-expression through mixing music styles from techno to hip-hop and R&B. Also set to perform: Australian DJ talent Chanel Deejay, a notable figure from Sydney’s underground club music scene, among other up-and-coming musicians. 

Thu Dec 6, 10pm; RMB50; Dada Beijing, see event listing.

Dec 6: Unboxed Film Screening

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Courtesy of promoters

The Beijing-based creative collective Wisty Jing have produced their second award-winning horror short-film Unboxed. This horror flick follows their first movie Temple of Horrors, set in Gulou’s beloved Temple Bar, but is expected to look slicker and feel darker. The screening will also feature original musical performances by Grand 8 and Rainbow Machine, the latter supporting a live reading of ‘Only if Love Survives,’ an original short story by Freddy Tsai that inspired the narrative of Unboxed

Thu Dec 6, 9pm; free entry; Temple Bar, see event listing.

Dec 7: Blastfemme

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Image via Blastfemme/Facebook

Hailing from the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Blastfemme are pretty badass. They’ll be touching down in Beijing at the end of this week thanks to Subtropical Asia. With angsty lyricism and frenetic guitars, the feminist disco punk quartet is sure to deliver a boisterous show at DDC. 

Fri Dec 7, 9pm; RMB80 (presale), RMB100 (door); Dusk Dawn Club, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Dec 8: Midnight in Peking Walking Tour

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Courtesy of promoters

For the last time this year, Bespoke Beijing and Penguin Books are proud to announce a special Christmas edition walking tour of Midnight in Peking, Paul French’s best-selling murder mystery. This is your chance to retrace the footsteps of those embroiled in the tragic death of Pamela Werner (a British diplomat’s daughter) in 1930s Peking – a death that shook the foreign community to its core. Don't miss it!

Sat Dec 8, 6.30-9.30pm; end with a drink at NUO Hotel Beijing, see event listing. For more information, click here

Dec 9: Bookworm Christmas Fair

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Courtesy of promoters

Tired of noisy, hectic Christmas markets? Check everything off your gift shopping list at the Bookworm Christmas Fair instead, where you can choose between handcrafted goods from 35 different vendors, from home decoration and vintage to food. Have something to sell? Rent a table for RMB260 per day. 

Sun Dec 9, 4.30-9.30pm; free entry, RMB260/day (table rental fee); The Bookworm, see event listing.

Dec 14: Haus of Lily's Ho Ho Hoes Christmas Special

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Courtesy of promoters

Haus of Lily proudly presents a fabulous Christmas special featuring ten queens putting on an especially fabulous show for the holiday season. Entrance includes a shot at the door (you have to take it then and there) and a Haus of Lily holiday cookie. There will also be drink specials all night, including Slow Boat's Zombie Pirate Pale Ale!

Fri Dec 14, 10pm; RMB80; Ramo, see event listing

Dec 14: This Will Destroy You

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Image via This Will Destroy You/Facebook

Texas-based post rockers This Will Destroy You is returning to China with stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The experimental band is most notably characterized by their atmospheric and powerful instrumental compositions, which have garnered them rave reviews from reputable magazines like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone

Fri Dec 14, 8.30pm; RMB120 (advance), RMB150 (door); Yugong Yishan, see event listing.

Dec 14-Dec 23: Mamma Mia! Musical

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Courtesy of promoters

Practice your Chinese language speaking and listening skills at the Mandarin rendition of the Broadway smash hit Mamma Mia!, which lands in Beijing this month. Laugh, dance and sing along to the immortal ABBA classics. Or, well, try to. 

Fri Dec 14-Sun Dec 23, 7.30pm; RMB200-780; Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Dec 15: Beijing Flea Market Holiday Edition


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The Beijing Flea Market is back with a special holiday edition at the TechTemple Sanlitun Lounge. They'll have more than 40 vendors featuring some of the best local, independent design and crafts from both established and emerging makers. 

Sat Dec 15, noon-6pm; free entry;TechTemple Sanlitun, see event listing.

Dec 15: Winter Pilgrimage

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Courtesy of promoters

LiveBeijingMusic brings two exciting acts to China this December. Singer-songwriter WestByWest from Xi’an is sure to charm with her angelic vocals layered overtop tantalizing trip-hop sounds. Wuhan rockers Cod New are no strangers to the stage, having supported bands like Ratatat. They'll be turning up the noise a bit along with local indie duo Nocturnes, who are rounding out the lineup with their mellow and mystifying beats. 

Sat Dec 15, 9.30pm; RMB60 (advance), RMB80 (door); Dusk Dawn Club, see event listing.

Dec 16: Safia

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Courtesy of promoters

Australian three-piece electro pop band Safia stops in Beijing for their Starlight tour. The group, that described their sound as "Skrillex and James Blake making sweet, tender love" has supported fellow Australian singer-songwriter Lorde, as well as other big acts like Rudimental, Disclosure, and AlunaGeorge.

Sun Dec 16, 8.30pm; RMB160 (presale), RMB200 (door); Omni Space, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Dec 17-Jan 5: Atelier Art School Workshops

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Courtesy of promoters

Want your kids to spend an artsy Christmas? Atelier's painters and teachers created a series of special workshops inspired by the German collective Der Blaue Reiter, offering a variety of classes that experiment not only with sketching, collage, and painting, but even with 3D printing techniques. 

Mon Dec 17-Sat Jan 5, 2019, 10am-noon (ages 5-7), 1-3.30pm (ages 8+); RMB2000 (ages 5-7), RMB2500 (ages 8+); Atelier Art School, see event listing.

Dec 18 & Dec 19: Lord of the Rings in Concert

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Courtesy of promoters

The music rises, the rhythm gets faster and two fierce armies are ready to go head to head to win over Middle Earth. This is the sight (and sound) that awaits you at Lord of the Rings in Concert, a long-running show featuring Howard Shore, the composer of the original score of the award-winning movies. Performed by a live orchestra while a giant screen projects your favorite scenes from the movies, this legendary performance will leave you in awe. 

Tue Dec 18-Wed Dec 19, 7pm; RMB200-1280; Beijing Exhibition Center Theater, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Dec 21: Deca Joins

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Image via Deca Joins/Facebook

Taiwanese indie rockers Deca Joins land at Tango at the end of this month. The band, which quickly acquired recognition after their debut release Bathroom in 2017, are known for their eclectic lofi sound that spans several genres. 

Fri Dec 21, 8pm; RMB120 (advance), RMB150 (door); Tango, see event listing.

Dec 23: Almost Christmas Hike

hikers.jpgCourtesy of promoters

Join Beijing Hikers for a special Christmas hike that will take you up the Gubeikou Great Wall. Together with a local guide, participants will follow the trails of surrounding hills. You'll also have the chance to climb up the 24-Eye Tower, the tallest in Gubeikou, boasting a gorgeous panoramic view. After lunch, there will be a chance to experience traditional Chinese culture: a dumpling-making contest, with prizes for the best dumpling-makers. 

Sun Dec 23, 8am-6pm; RMB450 (RMB405 for members); departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks, see event listing. For more info, visit beijinghikers.com.

Dec 24: Christmas Specials @ Regent Beijing

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Courtesy of promoters

Regent Beijing has prepared not one, but two special culinary events for this year's Christmas festivities. Jinbao 99 Restaurant will host a big party featuring an extravagant seafood and grill buffet, while Daccapo Italian Restaurant will celebrate with a special dinner menu, including venison tartare, potato soup and of course panettone. Don't forget to try your luck at the Jinbao 99 lucky draw. 

Mon Dec 24, 6-9pm (Christmas buffet), 6-10.30pm (Christmas dinner); RMB1388/person (Jinbao 99 buffet with free-flow drinks), RMB888/person (Daccapo dinner set menu, includes prosecco); Jinbao 99 Restaurant and Daccapo Italian Restaurant @ Regent Beijing, see event listing.

Dec 27-Dec 31: Tap Dogs

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Courtesy of promoters

The hottest tap dance show, Dein Perry's Tap Dogs, is coming to inspire Beijing crowds. Starting from a garage in Sydney, the six-person Tap Dogs ensemble has grown to be a global phenomenon. You can appreciate their performance with live music right here in Beijing at the end of the month. 

Thu Dec 27-Mon Dec 31, various times; RMB180-880; Beijing Poly Theatre, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Dec 31-Jan 2: Argentina Tango by Mora Godoy

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Courtesy of promoters

Born in La Plata, Mora Godoy embodies the originality and theatrical essence of tango and through her long career has showcased her moves around the globe. Watch her perform together with her talented crew to start the New Year with a whole new spirit. 

Mon Dec 31-Wed Jan 2, 7.30pm; RMB180-880; Tianqiao Theater, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Dec 31-Jan 2: Paco Peña Flamenco 'A Compás'

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Courtesy of promoters

Paco Peña is hailed by many as the best guitarist in the world. For sure, he's an innovator that contributed greatly to the development of the art of the flamenco, performing with a skilled team of dancers and singers across decades. Don't miss this opportunity to see his show A Compás live and to listen to his groundbreaking guitar riffs. 

Mon Dec 31-Wed Jan 2, 7.30pm; RMB100-680; Opera House @ The National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Through December

Slow Boat Christmas Ale @ Side Street

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Courtesy of promoters

Sticking to tradition, Slow Boat Brewery will get you into the holiday spirit again with their annual Safe Harbor Christmas Ale – a spiced medley of clove, cinnamon and dried orange peel – an ideal winter brew that is now available at Side Street for happy hour from 5-8pm. 

Daily, through Mon Dec 31; Side Street, see event listing.

Tribe Winter Menu

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Courtesy of promoters

Family and friends are at the heart of Tribe’s new winter menu featuring warm dishes made with lots of love. The new offerings are the perfect pick-me-up during the wintertime and feature sweet potato pancakes with bananas and peanut butter, a toasty pumpkin-based smoothie bowl, beet salad, couscous-stuffed pumpkin and a lamb meatball grain bowl. Dessert includes red wine soaked pears and blueberry pie. All of these and more are available at Tribe’s spot in Solana – select dishes are not available at their WF Central and Sanlitun locations. 

Daily; Tribe, see event listing.

Arrow Factory x Yeyo Yogurt Vegan Menu

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Courtesy of promoters

Stop by Arrow Factory Brewing anytime through the winter for tasty vegan dishes, ranging from nachos to cauliflower wings, all made in collaboration with Yeyo Yogurt. Too cold to go out? They've got some sweet deals if you order in!

Daily, through Thu Jan 31; Arrow Factory Brewing Liangmahe, see event listing.

Festive Afternoon Tea 

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Courtesy of promoters

The Lobby Lounge at NUO Hotel Beijing is hosting a cozy afternoon tea for the holiday season. The festive set includes spiced seasonal sweets and rich pastries, alongside warm drinks and hot teas. 

Daily, Tue Dec 11-Sat Jan 5; RMB338/ two people; Lobby Lounge @ NUO Hotel Beijing, see event listing.

Let's Meat Brunch @ Signature's

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Courtesy of promoters

There's a new brunch in town: Signature's Restaurant at Kempinski Hotel launched a meat-based brunch for all you protein lovers. Diners can find homemade cold cuts, like smoked turkey and roasted duck, not to mention octopus carpaccio and shrimp cocktails. This mega buffet will also have a pasta station, dim sum station, tuna station and more. Does all of this still not satisfy your carnivore appetites? You can always try the 65kg Wagyu beef leg, which has been infused, marinated and cooked for over 13 hours. Conclude the meal with some desserts and wash everything down with free-flow wine. 

Saturdays, 11.30am-3pm; RMB438/person (includes unlimited coffee, tea, soft drinks), RMB538/person (includes unlimited coffee, tea, soft drinks, house beer and wine); Signature's @ Kempinski Hotel, see event listing.


Have an event to list? Head here to list your upcoming event. We’ll choose the best new additions to feature on next week’s edition of ‘What's On in Beijing.' Not sure where to start? Here's a full guide on how to list your upcoming events on our website.

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