Shikumen Open House Museum

A tidy little museum in a rebuilt/renovated shikumen (石库门) “stone gate” home in the midst of Xintiandi, the Shikumen Open House Museum (石库门博物馆 shíkùmén Bówùguǎn) makes for a pleasant half an hour and gives visitors an idea of what life was like for an upper-middle class Chinese family living in Shanghai in the 1920s and ’30s.

The presentation is more “movie set” in look and feel than it is “hardcore museum,” so don’t expect in-depth historical context or analysis. But if you’re simply looking for a bit of informative browsing or a moment of respite from Xintiandi’s toney shopping and dining scene, this is the place to find it.

The museum consists of rooms furnished authentic antiques, with the trappings of family life—clothes neatly hung on hooks, newspapers spread on a desk, family photos on the walls—adorning the scene.

A good one for grade-school aged kids and families.

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