Hong Kong for Kids
Kids and Spouses usually find Hong Kong very stimulating, but they will need to make some adjustments to the Western lifestyle. Unless you live in the New Territories or Discovery Bay, Hong Kong for Kids will mean playing in communal areas or clubs, as nearly everyone lives in apartments – it’s also a good way to meet other families.
The other major adjustment with the ‘Hong Kong for kids’ experience concerns child-care. Because of the relatively low cost of hiring a domestic helper and the financial necessity of generating a second income, a lot of couples in Hong Kong both work. Obviously, this arrangement isn’t for everyone but it’s nevertheless quite common in the expat community. The kids generally adapt fairly well as long as they have had their expectations managed, concerns discussed, continue to feel loved and embrace the changes – not much to ask!
Hong Kong for Kids – Activities
Theme parks such as Ocean Park and Disneyland are always popular choices in Hong Kong for kids, particularly if you have bought annual passes. There is a huge range of alternative outdoor and indoor activities in Hong Kong for kids to chose from.
Many of the tourist trips will be provide fun in Hong Kong Kong for kids. Excluding those, you might like to consider:
- Public facilities such as parks, beaches, play areas, Zoological and Botanical Gardens, swimming pools and sports centers are great activities in Hong Kong for kids. Go to the Leisure & Cultural Services website for more information. The best beaches are on Islands such as Lantau where you can visit Lower Cheung Sha, which is a short bus or taxi ride from the ferry terminal at Mui Wo. The Stoep (+852 2980 2699) is popular alfresco restaurant on the beach.
- Hong Kong museums are of a very high standard and charge negligible admission fees. The Museum of Coastal Defense is an unlikely hit in Hong Kong for kids. Refer to the Leisure & Cultural Services website for Museum details.
- Take the family for a seafood meal. Go to Sai Kung and you can also hire a Sampan (photos) for a personal water tour, bartering an hourly rate from one of the operators on the quay. If you go to Aberdeen instead, you could take a restaurant launch to the floating Jumbo restaurant. The Rainbow Seafood Restaurant in Sok Kwo Wan offers a free ferry service from TST and Aberdeen, if you fancy visiting Lamma island. See our transport page if you want to take a public ferry to or from Lamma.
- Take an organized tour of Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, Guangzhou (China) or Macau (famous for Casinos and the Grand Prix). For a waterborne excursion, you could try the Hong Kong Dolphin Watch or take a Chinese Junk Harbour Cruise, which includes Dinner at the Aberdeen Floating ‘Jumbo’ Restaurant. Refer to our Tours page for more information.
- Catch a ferry to one of the outlying islands – Cheng Chau or Mui Wo on Lantau. Bicycle hire (take your passport or residents ID card) is available in both locations and there are villages, village restaurants and beaches to explore in Hong Kong for kids. Visit the Tai O village on stilts (photos) or go on a dolphin watching tour.
- Go for a hike (see our hiking page) or take a walking tour of Hong Kong, with The HK Institute of Architects. Alternatively, take yourself for a walk along one of the Hong Kong Heritage trails or along the Avenue of Stars in TST (see video below), which celebrates the Hong Kong film industry. The MTR suggests a number of short city walks based around their subway stations. See if any of the attractions listed by the tourist board appeals to you.
- Go camping in Hong Kong for kids and have an adventure for the week-end. Hong Kong campsites are free and pitches are allocated on a first-come basis. You can’t book in advance and pitches are heavily in demand around holiday week-ends. Buy equipment from RC Outfitters or ProTrek. Treasure Island will take the hard work out of camping when you hire one of their pre-erected tents. They also rent out watersports equipment. Long Coast Seasports are located at the next beach and also hire out longboards and kayaks.
- Make use of your club membership. Your Hong Kong employer may have corporate membership of one of the many recreation clubs. If you win the local Mark-6 lottery, you can buy your own club memberships here or here. Also, tenants may be eligible for membership of a residents club.
- Join the Scouting movement!
- Teenagers might enjoy Artjamming, bowling, airsoft shooting, paintballing, ice skating at Elements Shopping Centre, Kowloon Tong or City Plaza, the warehouse or going on a course. Courses available include Chocolate Rain, Faust Youth Theatre, Music School, pottery making or send the kids on one of the many summer camps, such as those offered by Ooh La La or Long Coast Seasports.
- If all else fails, you can go to one of the 42 Jumpin’ Gyms, Funzone, Playtown, go bowling at Thunderbowl in Whampoaworld, visit Snoopy’s World (New Town Plaza) Madame Tussauds, Noah’s Ark or explore nature at Kadoorie Farm or Hong Kong’s Wetland Park.
- Depending on the age of your child, take out a junk or invite yourself out on a friends boat for the day (see the video below). Make sure they have life jackets for everyone! You can either get together with other families and hire your own self-catering junk, or pay per person to join the fully catered Jaspa’s junk. The more traditional Aqua Luna is available for charter/harbour trips, or charter the Duk Ling. Children over 8 might prefer a 30 minute blast around the harbor with Seafari.
Hong Kong for kids and all the associated walking around in Hong Kong can be exhausting for kids and parents, so take plenty of water, sun hats, sun screen, snacks and mosquito repellant.