Stop doing the same old dinner and a movie, or drinks in LKF, and try something new and interesting next Friday night. There’s something for everybody in this list, so next Friday could be your time to shine in a karaoke session, doing the Lindy hop, or showing what you’ve got on the (crazy) golf course. Either way, there’s no shortage of a good time with these alternative ways to spend Friday night in Hong Kong.
You’ve been saying for ever that you want to learn how to swing dance, or maybe your salsa moves are stiff, but whatever the reason, Friday nights are for dancing! And we don’t mean elbow to elbow under strobe lights in a crowded club. Make it an entertaining night and learn some new moves with a dance class. There’s options for singles to show up and meet others, or signing up with friends.
Hong Kong Swings does a Friday night social at STEAM Cafe where you can take a class from 8.00pm to 9.00pm and stay for the party afterwards, to test your skills and mingle until midnight.
Where: STEAM Cafe, 4/F, Si Toi Commercial Building, 62-63 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan
Contact: [email protected]
Swing too mainstream for you? Polynesian dancing may be right up your alley, then. Learn Tahitian dance techniques and graceful hula movements with the lovely ladies at Oasis Dance Centre. Classes take place Fridays from 7.15pm to 8.15pm and are suitable for all levels. Sway along with the movements and ukulele melodies for a very different night of dancing.
Where: 4/F, Anton Building, 1 Anton Street, Wan Chai
Contact: 2522 6698 or [email protected]
Grab your baggy trousers and head to Billy Chan Dance Concepts (BCDC) for some hip hop. They’ve been teaching the basics since 1999 and on Fridays they offer two classes geared toward people with no dance background: ‘Hip Hop Intro’ class from 6.15pm to 7.45 or ‘Girls´ Hip Hop Intro’ class from 7.45pm to 9.15pm.
Where: Room D, 5/F, On Fook Industrial Building, 41 Kwai Fung Crescent, Kwai Chung
Contact: 2398 2663 or [email protected]
Unleash your naughty side and flexibility with a pole dance class – they’re not just for hen nights. It’s fun, it’s excellent for fitness, and it’s definitely something you and your friends will talk about afterwards. Melody Pole Studio is run by two-time Hong Kong Pole Champion Melody Rose and has classes at studios in Lai Chi Kok and Kwun Tong. Learn the simple movements of beginner pole work (7.45pm at Lai Chi Kok, 8.45pm at Kwun Tong) or try something even more exotic – lap dance techniques (7.45pm at Kwun Tong).
Where: Lai Chi Kok Billion Studio – 15C-D Billion Plaza II, 10 Cheung Yue Street, Lai Chi Kok ; Kwun Tong Studio – Unit E2, 25/F, TG Place 10 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong
Contact: 2568 5818 (LCK); 3565 4268 (KT) or [email protected]
Dinner With a Side of Art
Next Friday night, don’t queue up for a table at the same old restaurant, go private. Private kitchens have been popping up around HK for awhile now, and are only increasing in popularity.
One that does a different spin on private dining is Gitone, which incorporates art with your meal. Guests sit among Terence Lee’s (founder chairman of the Contemporary Ceramic Society of Hong Kong) wonderful collection of fine art and ceramics, with warm classical music playing in the background, and eat from an eclectic Asian menu. Take an art class before or after your meal and bring home something more than a full belly – an original work of art.
Where: G/F, 27-28,45 Tai Hong Street, Lee King Wan, Sai Wan Ho
Contact: 2527 3448 or [email protected]
Wan Chai with a Haunted Twist
Instead of doing a Wan Chai pub crawl and paying for it the next day, see another side of the district via a haunted tour.
Yes, what is today a hub for entertainment, bars and eateries was once an entirely different place, with a spooky edge. Wan Chai was one of Hong Kong’s earliest settlements, so there’s a ton of history to uncover, one that includes mysterious tales and chilling myths. Viva Blue House will take you through parts of the area to reveal its hidden past, but plan this Friday night accordingly: the 2-hour tour (7.00pm to 9.00pm) must be booked one month in advance.
Where: G/F, No 72A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai
Contact: 2833 4608
A night at the (Chinese) opera
Despite what you may have heard, Chinese opera is not all shrill melodies and lengthy plots. It comes in many forms and varied styles, and is something you should mark off your Hong Kong cultural checklist.
Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Ko Shan Theatre have regular performances, including on Friday nights. You don’t even need to understand Cantonese to enjoy them, as the shows are quite entertaining, with colourful costumes and extravagant sets to make up for the language barrier. Then there’s that famously unique singing style, which is bound to be a conversation topic during post-opera wine.
Yoga in the Dark
‘Fitness Friday’ will be your new mantra after you’ve done some night yoga, with options outdoors under the stars, by candlelight, or the vibrant neon kind.
Yoga Union hosts Friday Night Lights throughout the year (check website for dates) at Tamar Park. The mixed-level outdoor yoga class is by donation, going to a worthy cause like the local SPCA. Practice poses under the evening sky amid glittering skyscrapers. You’ve never done yoga like this before.
Where: Tamar Park, Harcourt Road, Admiralty
Contact: 9330 3548
Really let go of the week’s worries and stress with relaxing candlelight yin yoga. The Yoga Room’s yin-style yoga involves surrendering into poses and exploring them for longer periods of time, allowing you to let go of tension and calm the nervous system. Experience the soothing environment, lit entirely with candles, on Fridays at 8.15pm during a 75 minute class for all levels. Still your mind, balance your emotions and say ‘ahhh’.
Where: 3/F, 4/F, 6/F, 16/F, Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Contact: 2544 8398 or [email protected]
Here’s a yoga class where you can break out your fluorescent leg warmers. Neon disco yoga by Manchee Yoga brings you an hour of flow-style yoga to a disco soundtrack, with glowing neon bracelets to sport for a funky vibe. Book a class with some mates ($200 each, dates and location vary) and do your downward dog with Donna Summer.
Where: Venue varies, check Facebook page for event listings
Contact: 9036 5316 or [email protected]
Break Out in Song
It can be painful having to witness a stranger warbling through some bad pop songs, but a planned night of karaoke with a group of friends can make for a hilarious Friday evening.
Sonder is a one-stop party palace with cushy karaoke rooms, shisha on the balcony, bar games like beer pong and darts, impressive cocktails and good food (you’ll appreciate the long list of deep fried snacks during a tipsy karaoke session).
Where: 14/F, BCC Building, 25-31 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Contact: 6808 0050
Local karaoke fiends head to Red Mr, with branches across the city and a long list of song choices in English and Cantonese, plus games tables and food for all-around revelry.
Where: Various locations
Contact: 3125 3125 or [email protected]
You’ve most likely walked by a Neway – they’re everywhere – and they’ve been letting Hong Kongers sing their hearts out for more than 20 years. The music selection here is mammoth, with all the current hits in Cantopop and K-pop, along with classic English tunes to embarrass, er, impress your friends with.
Where: Various locations
Contact: 2721 1190 or [email protected]
Reel them in
Leave the stilettos at home, you’re going fishing! Squid fishing, to be exact. It’s a popular Hong Kong past time, in case you didn’t know, and it’s only done at night in the summer. Jubilee tours takes you aboard their boat on Fridays at 7.00pm (pick-up is from various piers) on a four-hour squid fishing adventure. They provide the fishing tools and even dinner, which in this case are the slippery suckers you fish out from the water. But if you prefer something different, there’s also a Vietnamese-style buffet on board.
Where: Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Shau Kei Wan, Sai Kung or Aberdeen piers
Contact: 3555 5500 or [email protected]
Ride a ding ding without the mass of sweaty passengers clamouring for a seat. Instead do it in style with a bunch of pals on a party tram!
HK Tramways lets you rent out one of their historic trams for a minimum of two hours, where you and up to 40 of your favourite people can ride a vintage open-top, double-decker tram and have your own rolling bash. Sip Champagne, enjoy the music playing on board, and check out the views along the track from the Western District while waving to the envious people below.
Where: Whitty Street Tram Depot, Connaught Road West, Western District
Contact: 2118 6301 or [email protected]
Fun and Games
Go old school for a night with some fun and games. We’re talking crazy golf, laser tag, go-karting and running around in giant inflatable balls while kicking a soccer ball about. Sound amusing?
Strokes provides crazy golf in a retro setting, with daily happy hour from 4-8pm. It’s not just a game locale, it’s a ‘crazy golf and lifestyle club’, a roomy 9,000-sq ft space with a bar/restaurant and two 9-hole courses. When you’re not putting, chill in the lounge with an artisan cocktail and something ‘green’ or ‘guilty’ from the food menu.
There’s an abundance of fun in the dark at Crossfire Arena, where the theme is neon. The party event venue is bathed in atmospheric neon FX lighting, providing a cool ambiance for playing a variety of lively activities like archery tag, laser tag, dodgeball, neon sabres and bubble soccer. They provide catering too, for a minimum of 20 people, or up to 300 if you’re that popular.
There’s no way you won’t break out into a fit of giggles during a night of go-karting. Speedway Diner doubles as a go-kart venue and an American-style diner, so after whipping around the large indoor track, you can tuck into classic burgers, hot dogs, pizza, milkshakes, the works.
Where: 4/F, Kowloon City Plaza, 28 Carpenter Road, Kowloon City
Contact: 2718 2272
Crazy Car Cafe has a smaller track but no matter, you’re not doing it for speed. However, you may find your competitive side come out as you try and whip around the curves in your tiny vehicle. The cafe is race-car themed, which means the food (simple pastas, salads, sandwiches and desserts) comes adorned with mini checkered flags.
Where: D2 Place Two, 2/F, Unit 205-211A, 214 Lai Chi Kok
Contact: 3428 5298 or [email protected]
Enjoy a creative evening and record unique Hong Kong memories with a night photography workshop. There’s different options whether the only photos you take are for Instagram via your mobile, or if you always have a Canon around your neck.
Michael Kistler, a Hong Kong-based artist from the US specializing in fine art street photography, offers a night photography workshop from 5.00pm to 8.30pm. He’ll take you through back streets and unique spots in the city, promising an ‘urban photography experience outside of the typical touristy locations and cliche shots’. Go with just one friend or bring them all – there’s a discount for larger bookings.
Contact: 6204 7178 or [email protected]
Aperture Tours does 3-hour private night photo tours (maximum four people), shooting through a variety of sites. You’ll start the night with coffee to get acquainted with local photographers Frank Liu or Ron Yeoh, who will also take the opportunity to review your photography skills and customise the tour to suit your level. Later, watch the vivid neon lights, glowing harbour and sparkling towers come alive through your lens.
Where: Tsim Sha Tsui (meeting point)
Contact: Book online
Looking for more fun and interesting things to do in Hong Kong? Check out our what’s on guides here.
Nancy Matos is a lifestyle and culture writer from Vancouver, Canada currently based in Hong Kong and London, who can’t wait to book a party tram.