So you’ve booked your annual summer vacation and enrolled your kids at summer camp(s!), but you still have days – or even a couple of weeks – when they’re at a loose end? Hong Kong has all sorts of activities that will suit the entire family, whether you’re the outdoorsy type or prefer something out of the sun and rain.
Our handy guide of fun stuff to do with your kids in the 852 has it all – from hiking the city’s popular trails and attending a film carnival, to strolling through parks and meeting Baby Shark and family. Read on to plan your summer in the city with your family.
Hit the beach
Hong Kong has an astounding 456 km of coastline, so it’s hardly surprising that beach-bumming is something of a territory-wide pastime. Want to soak up the sun at a bustling hotspot within easy reach of family-friendly restaurants and retail therapy? Or do you prefer to find a more tucked-away spot where you can kick back away from the crowds? Do you want to take your pet along and try your hand at water sports? Chances are, you’ll find what you’re looking for in our list of the top beaches in Hong Kong.
The annual free-to-enter SummerFest has made a comeback to Central Harbourfront. The seventh edition of the festival will be held across a 30,000-square metre space, and will feature about 25 special activities under the theme “Fun in the Sun”. There are different events every week and other attractions that will run throughout the course of the festival. There’s the One Citybus Exhibition that will showcase retro Hong Kong Island buses, retired buses, and the current fleet. Kids will love the Sun & Sand specially created beach, the Little Drivers’ Racing Track, and the special play area called Burnout Playground.
Time: Mondays to Fridays: 3pm-9pm, Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays: 1pm-9pm, till July 13
Location: 9 Lung Wo Road, Central
Hong Kong is truly a kayaker’s paradise because you can head out on the open sea, explore sea caves and do pretty much anything in between. There are several options on the territory, whether you want to rent your own kayak or head out as part of guided trips that can last up to three days. Check out our guide on the best places to kayak in Hong Kong – from the breathtaking UNESCO Geopark and Plover Cove, to the more secluded Yan Chau Tong Marine Park and bustling Stanley Main Beach.
The recently reopened Fun Fun Inflatable Water World at Whitehead Barbecue in Ma On Shan has four ginourmous slides, a wave pool, and an inflatable trampoline among its attractions. Kids can splash about with plastic balls and life-sized rubber ducks in inflatable pools, while adults can chill out on animal-shaped floating beds. So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced place to take the entire family, check out this weekends- and public holidays-only venue as the entry fees are as low as HK$90 per hour.
Time: Fridays-Sundays and public holidays: 2pm-7.30pm
Location: 1950, Whitehead, Ma On Shan, New Territories
Head out on a hike
Newcomers to Hong Kong are often surprised by the number of hiking trails the city has – from paved, gentle inclines to off-the-beaten-track steep gradients. It isn’t uncommon to see parents with babies in hiking carriers or under-10s climbing up the stairs on some of the territory’s moderately difficult routes. Remember to pack snacks and water and wear heat-protective gear!
The International Children’s and Youth Film Carnival will screen 50 film screenings of feature films, animations and short films from around the world. There will be 10 feature films, one of the highlights of which is Oink (2022), which tells a hilarious story of surprises and twists after the protagonist receives an adorable little pig from her grandfather with a mysterious background. The line-up also includes the animated film The Ape Star (2021), about an orphan named Jonna and a loving gorilla who overcome hurdles and build a warm and blissful home.
Dates: July 8-August 10
Locations: Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong City Hall, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the North District Town Hall, the Emperor Cinemas at The LOHAS in Tseung Kwan O
Harbour Chill Carnival
This summer, get set for a variety of free concerts, street performances, and X-games demos, as part of the Harbour Chill Carnival. The event will take place every weekend from July 8-August 6 as part of the Happy Hong Kong campaign. Highlights of the carnival include a weekends-only version of the iconic Symphony of Lights, a demonstration by Hong Kong’s No. 1 skateboarder “Chun Chai” Luk Chun-yin, and live shows by more than 40 musical acts from Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Mainland, and overseas who will perform on a water stage set against Victoria Harbour.
Timings: 6pm-11pm, July 8-9, July 15,-16, July 22-23, July 29-30, August 5-6
Location: Wan Chai harbourfront area
Hang out at a park
If you want to take a breather from the hustle and bustle that is the 852, head on over to one of the many parks in the city. Hong Kong is dotted with green spaces that have play areas, bird parks, aviaries, and cycle tracks, so there’s something for kids of all ages. And if your family includes fur babies, there are plenty of parks that are pet-friendly and pet-inclusive.
If you’ve got Baby Shark on loop at home, then you may just want to book your tickets for Hong Kong’s first immersive Pinkfong event. Each 100-minute session at Pinkfong World Adventure includes playtime with rocking cars, in a sandpit, a plastic ball pool, and on a zipline, as well as facetime with fan favourites from the Pinkfong universe during meet-and-greets.
Timings: Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays: 1pm-2.40pm, 3pm-4.40pm, 5pm-6.40pm; Saturdays and Sundays: 10am-11.40am, 12pm-1.40pm, 3pm-4.40pm, 5pm-6.40pm, July 13-September 3
Location: Let’s Play Entertainment Center, B102-111, Kowloon Bay International Exhibition and Trade Center, Kowloon
If you’d like to step out of Hong Kong for a bit, then head to Macau. Our neighbouring SAR may be the Las Vegas of the East, but it also has loads of family-friendly activities that can keep everyone engaged for a weekend. The biggest attraction is Studio City Indoor Water Park, the only one of its kind in Macau, which recently opened its all-weather indoor water park section. There’s loads to explore in this space travel-themed park as it has seven water slides, two wave pools, and an indoor-outdoor surf simulator.
If you’re planning on heading to Macau before the end of June, don’t forget to get your free return bus or ferry tickets!
Time: Monday-Sunday, 12pm-8pm
Location: MO Level 3, West Wing, Studio City, Estr. do Istmo, Macau
Header image credits: Pavliha via Canva