The AIA ‘Great European Carnival’ is on at the Central Waterfront Event Space until 21 February. Is it worth a visit? I took my tribe (6 year old, 4 year old and baby) and here’s what we thought!

How much?

You pay $90 each for the kids (including 7 tokens each) and $125 for the adults (including 10 tokens each). You can pay by cash or card but it’s a good idea to bring some cash with you to use inside. The tokens included with the entrance fee were not enough for us, but we topped up at booths inside the carnival for $10 per token.

When to go?

We went early (it’s open 11am to 11pm) and there were no lines and it was pretty empty. If you are not early birds then it would be a great spot to stay and see the skyline lit up in the evening.

What’s happening?

Young kids have heaps of rides to choose from, mostly priced around 4 tokens. My transport loving 4 year old loved the flying London bus (though dad did have to ride too, lucky dad). There are numerous carousels, a mini ‘soft play’ area and a mini roller coaster.

Children over 90cms can go solo on many rides but young toddlers will need an adult to ride with them, so budget for that if you have tiny ones. The big bouncy slide was the hit of the day with both kids.

Stroller pushers can take a break from struggling on escalators and up and down hills for a while (hurrah!) It’s all flat and there is a baby changing area available.

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There’s a small ice skating rink to try with cute push-along dolphins for beginners. Keep in mind though that this is one of the pricier activities at the carnival. You can also try your luck at winning a prize at one of the carnival games or on the slot machine games, all using tokens, not cash.

If none of this gets you excited then there are some pretty serious looking thrill rides on offer instead. The minimum height for these is 1.4 metres. These cost from 5-10 tokens ($50-100) but should keep the adrenaline junkies in the family happy. Let me know what they’re like as I’m definitely not brave enough to give them a go!

What to eat?

There’s a selection of Asian food, pasta and pizza, burgers and hotdogs, kebabs and chicken available. It’s reasonably priced (about $40-$60 a main course) with plenty of outdoor seating. Honestly, it’s not the most amazing (or healthy) food experience in the world but that’s not what we came for. It does the job – our fussy eaters found something they liked and were fueled up for more carnival fun.

The verdict

The kids loved it and it was an easy, stress-free way to entertain them – central location, no lines, compact, well organised and everything you need on one site. We will definitely go again if the carnival hits HK next winter. So if your kids are due for a treat then take them along (or send the big kids by themselves) and let us know what you think!

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