2021 was another memorable year, both good and bad. We saw families being reunited once again after long and difficult months separated, as well as many friends departing Shanghai. 2021 may not have been the year of travel back home that we had wished for, but many of you have been exploring the best of China and sharing your travels and tips in our community WeChat groups. Shanghai Mamas also celebrated 15 years as a strong community within Shanghai and we commemorated the occasion with a special updated brand image.
We’re so proud of our community and the dedicated team of volunteers behind Shanghai Mamas who help to keep us keep growing and evolving. Shanghai Mamas aims to connect and support international families through our online portals and community led events, to allow our members to thrive in Shanghai. We’d like to walk you back through some of our key moments from the past year, to remind ourselves of the ways in which we have done just that.
CNY Photo Competition
During the festive holiday, many of you took the opportunity to explore the city when it was dressed in red. We received many entries and loved seeing how you captured CNY from many parts of the city.
Spring Book Swap
Following a successful Book Swap in 2020, our book loving volunteers organized a second round with an even bigger selection of books and many happy readers! There were close to 2000 books, from baby to tween to adult, available thanks to the community who dropped and swapped pre-loved books. Over 1300 RMB was raised and donated to A Pleines Main (APM) charity.
Annual Meet & Greet
In April, we held our Meet & Greet event, which is an annual social event for our community to get together for a fun night out, as well as for the Executive team to share key updates and upcoming plans for the year. We kicked off our 15th Anniversary celebrations, along with the debut of our new logo! Laetitia Lemin, Chairperson, and Melanie Ham, Shanghai Mamas Co-founder, shared some of the history of Shanghai Mamas throughout the years and the friendships and bonds that make the Shanghai Mamas community so strong. Stay tuned for announcements for our 2022 Meet & Greet soon!
Maggie & Rose Pop Up
In April, we had an exclusive collaboration with Maggie & Rose for their launch in Shanghai, showcasing a mixture of their signature curriculum – story-telling, music and arts & crafts. It was wonderful to see so many faces and to introduce the Shanghai Mamas community to the world of Maggie & Rose.
Mothers’ Day Brunch
Over 40 families gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day with a wonderful brunch at Le Royal Meridien hotel. With the support of our fantastic organizational sponsors and Awesome Kids Club, there were crafts and activities to keep the kids busy so mamas and papas could mingle and enjoy the feast.
MTA Family Run
On a glorious day in May, the Shanghai Mamas community came together for the 10th annual More Than Aware (MTA) family run. Over 60 of us ran/walked on a glorious day in Century Park to support this amazing organisation. More Than Aware is a healthy lifestyle support group that empowers women to be proactive in the prevention and recovery of breast cancer, and each spring in Shanghai’s Century Park, More Than Aware’s fun run brings together thousands of people to raise money for this worthwhile cause.
June & July
Experience with UFC FIT
In collaboration with UFC FIT, over the summer we were able to offer families trial classes at the new UFC FIT Gym in Lujiazui. While kids took a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, parents were able to work up a sweat doing an Ultimate Barre or Muay Thai class and try out the state of the art facilities at the new gym.
Historic Shanghai-led walking tour through Rumors from Shanghai
We had the pleasure of partnering with Historic Shanghai for a dedicated walking tour of Amy Sommer’s Rumors from Shanghai book. It was fantastic to have the book brought to life and to explore new parts of Shanghai, or parts of Shanghai that can sometimes go a bit unnoticed.
Launch of ShMamas Video Channel
In October, we expanded our official WeChat account with the addition of a video channel. Check out our videos, which feature firsthand discoveries of new family-friendly places to visit, areas of the city to explore, activities for kids, travels, and general celebration of the vibrancy of life in Shanghai and around China. There are so many creative places to explore and activities to discover, so we’re happy to help inspire your adventures.
Fall Book Swap
Our Fall Book Swap was the biggest swap to date with more than 150 people showing up to choose from around 2,000 books donated by the community. Education First (EF) hosted us in their beautiful downtown location, which was the perfect space for our book lovers to browse and snap up some new reads.
A total of 5,550 RMB was raised for Lifeline, with the leftover books donated to EF and APM (A Pleines Mains). We are collecting books regularly throughout the year for our now bi-annual swaps, so if you’re doing a clear out, get in touch to find out where the nearest drop location is. The next Book Swap will take place in the Spring.
Shanghai Mamas Family Day
This year, our 15th annual Shanghai Mamas Family Day tickets sold out in just over 24 hours! The sun shone as more than 250 guests of all ages enjoyed an afternoon of Halloween-themed fun.
Xiaolongbao Dumpling Cooking Wokshop
In another amazing collaboration, Shanghai Mamas partnered with Shanghai Pathways and CCW to offer our families a special Xiaolongbao Dumpling Cooking Workshop. Not only did they enjoy making their own dumplings, they also enjoyed the stories behind this most prized and popular food enjoyed all over China. Look out for the next family cooking workshop in January!
And of course, the Shanghai Mamas community regularly meets up throughout the month for Mahjong, neighborhood coffee mornings, book club and our Mamas Nights Out. Our volunteer led gatherings are always popular and always welcome new faces. Please get in contact if you would like to be added to any of the dedicated groups to know when next events are happening.
Wishing you a happy holiday season and best wishes for 2022,
The Shanghai Mamas team