If you’re seeking inspiration for your next family day out then look no further than this comprehensive guide to entertaining kids in Hong Kong. We’ve got plenty of suggestions for days spent exploring in the great outdoors and, because the weather is not always on-side in HK, there are some fun indoor activities to try too. We hope you’ll find some new ideas for your to-do list and some old favourites that are worth revisiting.
Back to Nature
Nature loving kids will easily pass a whole day at Kadoorie Farm in Tai Po. Surrounded by lush green hills, this conservation centre is home to a wide variety of animals including reptiles, monkeys, birds and farm animals. There is an organic veggie garden to look around, hiking trails, a butterfly garden and many lovely spots for picnicking (or you can eat at the vegetarian café). Kadoorie Farm is hilly and not stroller friendly, but it’s manageable with a stroller provided you have 2 adults on-hand to do some lifting. Tip: don’t drive, parking is very limited, click here for directions via public transport.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
Another educational day trip for outdoor types is Hong Kong Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai. The park is easily accessible by public transport and has its own light rail station. You can stroll through the wetland area to observe the wetland plant and animal life and there are many educational exhibits. There’s also a cute indoor treehouse play area (for 1m to 1.5m tall kids, there’s also a small toddler play area) and café. Taking a picnic is also fine and the Wetland Park is stroller friendly.
Staying in the heart of the city, start at the Kennedy Road entrance to Hong Kong Park and walk through the aviary to see all sorts of birds in a very natural setting. From there you can stop for a play in the playground and then take a look at the fish and turtles in the ponds. Kowloon Park also has an aviary and bird lakes with flamingos that little kids love watching.
Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens
The Zoological Gardens are home to a whole host of monkeys and other small mammals as well as a some exotic birds and reptiles. Kids will love the fountain and the play area and there are lots of shady spots for a picnic. Beware it is hilly and there are steps, but it is manageable with a stroller if you have help. First time visitors, be prepared: don’t expect a modern zoo, the animals are kept in the original 19th century cages and while lots of them seem happy, some do not.
Shopping & Culture
Mongkok Market Madness
Little kids will enjoy the sights and sounds of the Flower Market, Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and Goldfish Market. These are close together so, depending on your stamina, it’s possible to combine two or three into one trip. You could begin at Tung Choi Street Goldfish Market (exit B1 from Prince Edward MTR), walk to Sai Yee Street and turn left onto Flower Market Road (there’s a small playground and a public toilet here) and at the bottom of Flower Market Road you’ll find the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. Just across the road from here you’ll find the pleasant Fa Hui Park for a run around.
Crafty Sham Shui Po
Another fun outing suitable for slightly older kids, and especially craft-loving ones, is a visit to Sham Shui Po. You can’t help but be inspired by the beads, buttons, fabrics and ribbons that are on sale at the shops and stalls here. Check out our comprehensive guide to shopping in Sham Shui Po, including a mobile-friendly map. If you want to get under the skin of Sham Shui Po, the iDiscover City Walks app gives you info on local points of interest, history and culture so you can become your own tour guide, or try Sam the Local for a personalised tour with a knowledgeable local guide.
A great option on a hot or wet day is one of our excellent museums. They all offer free entry to their permanent exhibitions and entry to their special displays is also good value for money, particularly with an annual pass. Always check the websites before you go, in case of renovations, and to find out what the latest special exhibitions are.
Two of our favourites to visit with kids are the Museum of History and the Science Museum, both are very interactive and engaging for younger visitors (and they’re right opposite each other). If you take Exit P2 from East TST MTR station there’s a very pleasant pedestrianised walk to the museums, with a playground to stop at along the way.
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin is visually spectacular and well worth the 400 step climb. Or find peace and serenity in the beautiful gardens of the Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill. Neither of these outings are suitable for strollers, and for the Ten Thousand Buddhas your tykes need to be tough enough to make the climb. The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island is a stroller friendly outing, and the cable car ride from Tung Chung is lots of fun. We recommend pre-booking your cable car to avoid the lines. Once at the top you can look around the monastery and older kids can climb up to the Big Buddha statue itself. Please note: The cable car is closed until June 2017.
Two icons to be ticked off every Hong Kong kiddy’s bucket list are a trip on the Star Ferry and a tram ride. In both cases be sure to sit upstairs for the views. Transport loving littlies will be happy, and so will mum and dad’s wallet as the tram and ferry fares are absolute bargains.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have noticed that Hong Kong is well supplied with hiking trails. There’s a wealth of information available online, including our Top 5 Easy Hikes and Top 10 Hong Kong Hikes posts. The Leisurely Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong is available at Bookazine and is a good guide to take along with you on the trail. Add an extra element of fun by Geocaching, you just need a GPS enabled phone to enjoy the treasure hunt.
Parks & Playgrounds
How many of Hong Kong’s parks and playgrounds have you explored? Check out this comprehensive list of parks and facilities. Hong Kong’s two biggest parks, Kowloon Park and Victoria Park, are great options for a day out as they have a variety of facilities including playgrounds and swimming pools.
If you fancy some grass to picnic on and to let the kids have a good run, then try Tamar Park in Admiralty or Mount Austin Playground at the Peak. Inspiration Lake on Lantau Island close to, and run by, Hong Kong Disneyland is worth a visit. You can picnic on the grass, take a ride on the family bikes and pedal boats for hire and a run around in the play area. Take a towel and change of clothes because the water fountain in the playground is great fun to splash in!
Fun on Wheels
The cool kids will love MX Club in Sheung Shui. Here they can tear up the track on mountain bikes, segways, dirt bikes and quad bikes, and training courses are available.
Wet & Wild
We’re spoiled for choice with 41 beaches to choose from around HK, so pack a picnic and head to your favourite spot. For something more active, get some training with A Team Adventures, X Game or Treasure Island and try surfing or kayaking. Or join a Hong Kong Dolphinwatch tour in search of HK’s famous, and endangered, pink dolphins.
Check out the facilities at Hong Kong’s government swimming pools here. Some have family pools, toddler pools, slides and indoor pools for the winter months. Beware that they are closed for cleaning on certain days, so check before you go. Kowloon Park and Victoria Park are great options if you want to make a day of it with a play in the nearby park as well as a swim.
If budget is not an issue then a spa/pool day pass at The Grand Hyatt would be fun, or a staycation at The Gold Coast Hotel. This kid-friendly hotel has play areas, a pool with slides and a water park fun area, as well as themed bedrooms that kids will get excited about. Find more great staycation destinations in this post!
This is not a cheap day out at $589 per adult and $419 for 3-11 year olds, but there is something for all age groups and the park is growing fast (they’ve recently added the Iron Man Experience). It’s a big place and you won’t see it all in a day, so plan your visit by checking the timings of parades, shows, character greetings and the firework display here before you go.
You could make the experience extra special by eating at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel, just outside the park, where friendly Disney characters greet the diners and are available for hugs.
Slightly cheaper than Disneyland at $438 per adult and $219 for kids aged 3-12, Ocean Park certainly has more than enough attractions to fill a day. The park is home to a wide variety of animals and birds; including an aquarium, polar animal exhibit, Australian animal exhibit, giant pandas and other Asian animals and (controversially) a marine theatre where dolphins and sea lions perform for the crowds. Lunch in ‘Tuxedos’, where you can observe the penguins in the Polar exhibit as you dine is always a big hit with kids. As well as the animals there are plenty of rides and attractions and often special events and shows, so check the website before you go.
Active Indoor Fun
Soft Play & Play Rooms
For younger kids these free government indoor playrooms are a good option to let off some steam. Or you could try Baumhaus in Harbour City or Wan Chai where babies through to 7 year olds will enjoy the unique treehouse play areas, and parents can grab a coffee in the adjacent coffee lounges.
EpicLand in Discovery Bay is a 14,000 sq ft indoor play park with lots for active kids from tots to teens to do, you could easily spend a whole day here. The air trak high rope course is one of the main attractions. The café is not amazing, but there are several restaurants nearby. The Funzone soft play areas in Kennedy Town, Ma On Shan and Island East are great options too. These spacious play rooms are perfect for the under 12s to burn off some energy.
Tiny tots, tweens, teens (and parents?) can all enjoy trampoline parks. Jumpers at Bounce in Kowloon Bay must be over 3 years or 110cms. Ryze in Quarry Bay welcome all ages, and have a special toddler jumping session in the mornings and teen-only sessions on weekend evenings.
Try ice skating at:
- Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong
- City Plaza, Taikoo Shing
- Mega Box, Kowloon Bay
- Elements Mall, TST
- Dragon Centre, Sham Shui Po
Festival Walk and Elements Mall are best for beginners as they offer push-along skating aids. Why not make a day of it and catch a film? The malls at Festival Walk, City Plaza or Elements all have cinemas. This great movie app is perfect for keeping up to date with what’s on at the cinemas around HK.
Indoor Play With a Difference
For something different, get a group together and try paintballing at Paintball Headquarters in Kowloon Bay. For fantastic fitness training, learn to rock climb at GoNature in Kwun Tong or ATTIC V in Wong Chuk Hang. Have fun trying indoor skiing and tobogganing at Play in Kwun Tong. Or you could drag your video game loving kid off the sofa and into Sideways Driving Club in Central for a realistic and thrilling racing experience.
Shows & Events
And finally, don’t forget to check our events listings for all the latest shows and special events around the city, there’s usually an eclectic mix of things happening that will keep kids entertained.
Time to Refuel?
Our roundup of the best family-friendly lunch and brunch spots around Hong Kong has you covered.