Whether it’s pollution, rain, humidity or glaring sunshine, sometimes you need to grab the kids and head indoors for a good time. Luckily there’s a ton of options in the city for children of all ages when being under cover is key. And we’re not talking about plopping the family down in a movie theatre for hours. We mean physical, playful and even productive indoor activities.
These monster environments have everything under one roof to let the rugrats let off some steam, and even spots for mum and dad to chill out.
The aptly named play centre is Hong Kong’s largest indoor family entertainment space for toddlers to teens. There’s 14,000 square feet of amusement open every day of the year, including mini golf, a huge rock wall to test their climbing skills (plus a smaller one for toddlers), interactive playground and more. It’s had a complete renovation with new and updated equipment, and they’ve added experiences like a Warrior Zone and a Mandarin playgroup with singing, dancing, sports and more. Little ones will love going down the largest indoor slides in Asia and bigger kids will get a thrill partnering up with a friend and stepping into the virtual reality capsules, VR pods that send them into deep space and down roller coasters.
G/F, 31 North Plaza, Family Recreation Centre, 96 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay North Plaza, 2441 0098
FunZone caters to kids up to the age of 12, with three locations in Hong Kong to make planning an entertaining day indoors a breeze. Parents have a cafe to hang out in while the babes let loose on custom-designed playground equipment, do some role play in miniature ‘FunTown’ or get creative with some arts and crafts. There’s also a dedicated toddler space and lots of soft play areas for their comfort.
Kennedy Town – Shop 121, Level 1, The Westwood, 8 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, 2258 9558; Ma On Shan – Level 1, The Waterside Mall, 15 On Chun Street, Ma On Shan, 2631 4001; Island East – Shop 209, Marble Gardens Commercial, 33 Marble Road, North Point, 3565 5601
The city’s first children’s museum, the Children’s Discovery Museum welcomes children ages 10 and under to explore, create and express themselves through play. Some days are open schedule where you can visit at any time, and other days there are fixed session times with a set number of tickets, designed to help prevent overcrowding. The exhibits are spread over 6,600 square feet where visitors are welcome to freely explore. There are 4 exhibit areas: Tinkering Lab, Transit Tots, Story Stage, Water Ways and Our Natural World, Our Consumer World. The water play area is a highlight but your kids may get wet (even with the provided protective clothing), so bring extra clothes.
L1 Area A, D·PARK, 398 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, 9845 5272
Eat and Play
Places where food and fun are on the menu. No need to pack a lunch!
This is a private members club, but it’s for the whole family and has so much going for it that you’ll be glad you joined. Maggie & Rose is popular for their monthly timetable packed with entertaining music, art and cooking classes, but they also have a lively outdoor play area, soft play areas and a location that can’t be beat – right by the beach! Parents can watch their kids play against the gorgeous backdrop of Repulse Bay, or relax indoors while they take a class with a delicious meal in themed booths, including a Cha Chaan Teng-inspired one. Families in the city can also enjoy the perks of the Causeway Bay location, which has more of the same play areas and inviting setting, including a relaxing library for mum and dad, a green space with comfortable patio furniture and a fun slide for the little kids, and the EAT Cafe with lots of organic options for little ones and grown ups to enjoy.
Maggie & Rose Beach Club – 301 The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2638 7191; Maggie & Rose City Club – 308 & 311 Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 2337 7571
Families in Shatin have a new fun hangout in the form of a 9000-sq. ft restaurant and play zone. KidsKiss Kingdom, founded by local parents, has an indoor playroom, party space and a large cafe with a decent variety of tasty picks like smoothies and pasta plates, and vegetarian and vegan items. They’ll be wanting a bite to eat after they burn off all that energy in the ball pit and 10 different play areas, or after an engaging STEM-themed workshop.
Shop 162, 1/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Shatin, 2882 2779
This is more than just a cafe – it’s also a creative space with play areas and educational activities set in a cool piece of architecture smack on the rooftop of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Designed for parents to be able to interact with their children in a safe and stimulating environment, the beautifully crafted play zone allows kids to scamper about, and contains Hong Kong’s first indoor sandpit. Chinese fusion food is served at the cafe, and they offer mini chef workshops where little chefs can learn how to make cute Huggy Bear cookies and more.
Rooftop, North End, Zone B, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, 33 Shing Fung Road, Kowloon Bay, 6063 7470
No need to take your shoes off here, as this play area is of the board game kind. Sometimes breaking out an old board game can turn into a jolly afternoon, particularly when you have your pick of hundreds of games from all over the world. Play for two hours at $69 per person, with a drink included (snacks from the cafe are extra, or bring your own and pay a $60 surcharge per person), and every 30 minutes afterwards is $7 per person. Choose from educational or strictly entertaining games, but either way, the interpersonal play between parent and child will make for some good bonding and guaranteed giggles.
Prince Edward – Capricorn Centre, 155 Sai Yeung Choi Street North, Mong Kok, 3107 1160; Wan Chai – 11/F, Bayfield Building, 99 Hennessy Road, 2527 2882
SuperPark (Temporarily closed)
A large indoor activity park with Finnish roots, SuperPark is aimed at ‘people of all ages and sizes who come for movement, friendship and fun’. Sounds like a plan, and we can attest that our kids had a blast, partaking in the many activities up for grabs, including the ‘Adventure Area’ (with obstacle walls, trampolines, zip wires, slides, play towers, pedal car racing), ‘Freestyle Hall’ (skate and scoot world, trampolines, foam pit, climbing wall) and ‘Game Arena’ (baseball, golf range, basketball, superbowling). Seriously, they’ll never want to leave.
G/F, One SilverSea, No. 18 Hoi Fai Road, Kowloon (Near Olympian City), 3611 0139
Let them get their hands dirty and express themselves through art – at some of these places making a mess is encouraged!
Bonart brings art and families together with their parent-child workshops, perfect for families to learn creatively together. These art workshops are more than just painting clay mugs – there’s Terrarium Gardening ones where you’ll work with beautiful succulents, moss and other greens from nature, and there’s opportunities to create pretty sand art and even balloon animals.
Tai Kwun – Shop 03-204A, 2/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2789 2688; Kwun Tong – 701, Gravity, 29 Hing Yip Street, 2789 0889
Chocolart Studio breaks out the paint brushes and easels for budding artists (from young kids to teens), allowing children to discover their drawing and painting skills. The bright and spacious studio in the heart of Wan Chai has large windows with a 270-degree view, and when it’s sunny, makes for an inspiring afternoon of colour and creativity, painting in acrylic or oil or making decoupage.
2B, Yan King Court, 119-121 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 6695-1161
When the focus is on being creative while getting messy, you know they’re in for a treat. There are no real rules at MessyJam, and the main goal here is bringing out your young one’s creativity through colourful art, and the freedom to be physically engaging by being messy in a controlled space. What kid won’t love that? Children of all ages can drop in for some art jam sessions and really let the paint fly; mum and dad are encouraged to get messy too!
Flat D, 2/F, Tai Fat Building, 37 Ko Shing Street, Sheung Wan, 9366 9836
Wee Ones Only
When they’re still in diapers or too small to climb the big jungle gyms, these are the perfect spots for the littler set.
If your kid has ever said they want to be a pilot or a fire fighter when they grow up, they’ll love a visit to Dream Come True Education Park. It happens to be located at Hong Kong International Airport, so it’s also a good bet for killing time during dreaded layovers and flight delays with kids. Children get to experience real-life work environments through uniformed role playing, dressing up as an astronaut or a flight attendant for the day.
Near Food Court, Departures Level (L6), Terminal 2, 3559 1028
The Jumping Gym chain of indoor amusement parks brings you Planet J, with lots of exciting things for young kids to do. There’s old favourites like ball pits, bouncy castles and climbing walls, but here they can also roll around in two big hamster wheels. You’ll laugh just as hard as they will as they move about the rubber wheel. Located in Windsor House, it’s a good option when you’re in the area shopping and the kids need a break, with plenty of food choices around too.
13/F, Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 2441 2778
Little Beetles has so much going for it. Not only is it a cute space for babies and kids up to 6 years of age to play, but it doubles as a shop selling attractive children’s furniture and wooden educational toys from popular brand Haba. The playroom is one of the smaller ones on this list, so it’s best to call ahead, but it has all the things little ones love, like a colourful climbing wall, interactive toys, and more.
G/F, 7 Yuen Yuen Street, Happy Valley, 2512 6353
The play space for kids 7 and under to romp and roll in, and a chic cafe serving some seriously good coffee, makes us big fans of Baumhaus. But don’t take our word for it – grab a cuppa and relax in the inviting coffee lounge, and watch your youngsters have a ball in the beautiful treehouse opposite. The birch wood structure is a welcoming place for toddlers to pre-schoolers to experience varying levels of physical challenge, along with motor-skills stimulation.
Wan Chai – 1/F, Kar Yau Building, 36-44 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2321 5898; Harbour City – Suite 614-615, World Commerce Centre, 11 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 3585 8577
In case you didn’t know, the Central branch of the Hong Kong Library has more than just books, as up on the second floor, there is playtime to be had! Borrow toys from a catalogue, or just let them have a go at sharing with the various toys on display. Kids 8 and under and parents can get nice and comfortable and play together in four play corners: ‘Baby Play Corner, Pretend and Imaginative Play Corner, Creative Play Corner and Activities, and Games Play Corner. You must book a session (one per day) but since it’s free to visit, you can keep coming back!
2/F, 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, 2921 0378
Another welcome freebie for young kids are the many indoor government playgrounds scattered throughout the city. Each have varying hours and amenities on offer, but all are splashed out in sunny hues and plenty of padded mats and walls. They’re mainly designed for use by children between the ages of 4 and 9 whose height doesn’t exceed 142cm, but children under the age of 4 are welcome, as long as they’re accompanied by a parent/guardian while inside the playroom.
Climbing Up The Walls
For adventurous kids who aren’t afraid to branch out, get a grip at one of these indoor rock climbing gyms.
There’s something for beginners and more experienced climbers at The Player Climbing Gym, and parents and kids can climb together too. The bouldering walls have a wide range of grades of boulder problems to tackle, and there’s a 4.5m rope climb for bigger kids with more experience. For kids who are just learning, they also offer kids’ climbing courses, along with one hour trial lessons to see if this kind of activity is a good fit.
Shop No. 6B1, Bay Garden, Lai King Hill Road, Lai Chi Kok, 9510 0873
Because a climb up Lion Rock with the kids isn’t the best idea, bring your tots in tow to GoNature in Kwun Tong. They’ve been in the business for more than 15 years, and have excellent bouldering routes for kids and adults to crack. The multi-coloured climbing playground with assorted climbing holds makes for a double dose of fun and fitness.
Unit C2, G/F, Wing Hing Industrial Building, 14 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, 3563 7156
Run by Joanna and Gwie, who have tons of experience climbing all over the world, children will not only get a kick learning how to tackle the bouldering walls at Attic V, but may be lucky enough to hear some interesting stories first-hand if the pair are around. The gym packs over 100 routes of varying levels on its wide climbing walls, which are suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and there’s a lounge area with shared workspace and flat-screen television for parents to hang out in.
Shop B, G/F, Tin Fung Industrial Mansion, 63 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 3101 2918 or 9676 5903
Hong Kong’s first full facility rock climbing gym, Verm City has activities like bouldering and top rope that the whole family can get in on (under 14s must be accompanied by an adult). Ages 4 and up will surely enjoy the ‘Clip N’ Climb’, combining rock climbing with a sort of amusement park. Different climbing obstacles and challenges are presented in a lively environment, a unique way for parents and kids to face off for hours of family fun.
4/F, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay, 2560 8128
The name says it all – just climb, why don’t ya? The trained rock climbers at Just Climb believe everyone can climb, and there’s a variety of routes for all levels to attempt. There’s 5,000 sq. ft of indoor space for climbing and bouldering, and they even have iPads to help you plan your route. Their Chai Wan location boasts 7,000 square feet of rock climbing wonder, with plenty of bouldering challenges for young and old.
Kowloon – G/F, Room D, Prince Industrial Building, 706 Prince Edward Street East, San Po Kong, Kowloon, 3561 7868; Chai Wan – 2/F, Shop G09, Paradise Mall, 100 Shing Tai Road, Heng Fa Chuen, Chai Wan, 2416 3668
Start Your Engines
Snap on your helmets and tear up the racing track at these assorted kid-friendly driving/riding locales.
Azzita is Hong Kong’s only hoverboard center, and it’s not just for kids – daring mums and dads will enjoy racing the futuristic toys along the track too. After a spin, hang about the play zone (aimed at kids 6 and up) where there’s billiards, air hockey, table football, Play Station 4 games, card and board games. Pads and helmets are provided, just bring your adventurous side.
3/F, Blk 1, Yip Fat Factory Building, 77 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, 6790 1583
Give them a chance to be an F1 driver for the day in some very cool racing simulators. Mainly for adults and older kids, but as long as your youngster meets the minimum height (150cm), they can have a go. However, they say to bring a thick pillow to be sure so they can see over the steering wheel!
1/F, 65-65A Peel Street, Central, 2523 0983
Kids aged 3 to 8 can emulate the biggest names on the race track circuit in their very own premium electric ‘Ride-on-Cars’ on circuits throughout Hong Kong. Dates vary as they travel around the city setting up racing circuits with various themes, so check their Facebook page or website now and again to see where the next exciting racing event will be held.
Locations change depending on event date; enquire at [email protected]
This top-notch cycling facility for serious riders also happens to have a delightful area just for kids. As with other government playrooms, it’s free (!) and is equipped with soft padding for safety and comfort. There’s ample space for fun with BMX bikes for bigger boys and girls, and those not able to reach the pedals can just merrily frolic about. The Hong Kong Velodrome Park has outdoor facilities for young and old, including a model boat pool, skate park and two children’s play areas for ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12.
105-107 Po Hong Road, Tseung Kwan O, 2878 8622
Baby, It’s Cold Inside
No matter what time of year, nothing beats the sensation (and sound) of skates gliding across the ice, and there’s plenty of chill rinks for families to cut those figure eights on.
You and the kiddies will be on show at Festival Walk’s Glacier ice rink, surrounded by countless shoppers and diners on the mall’s upper floors stopping to take a peep at the skating spectacle below. Little skates that still slip on the ice can get a hand with a cute penguin: the skating aids are designed to help children ice skate as they hold onto the penguin’s ‘ears’. They’re quite the adorable sight, just as your kid will be as they slide around the rink.
Shop UG-21, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, 2844 3588
Cityplaza’s Ice Palace is one of the longest-running ice skating rinks in Hong Kong, and accommodates all levels of skating. The brightly-lit space has handy amenities for families (like boot rental and lockers) and the common areas are covered in skid-proof rubber flooring, to protect the little ones from slipping.
1/F, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing, 2844 8688
Yes, it’s mega – in fact it’s the largest ice rink in the city, and the only international-sized rink in Hong Kong. It also has the best views of the ice rinks listed here, as the 30-metre glass window provides a spectacular glimpse of Victoria Harbour as you whizz around.
Unit 1, Level 10, MegaBox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, 2709 4023 or 2709 4021
We’re really into the ‘Open Rink’ concept The Rink at Elements has adopted, in which you ‘pay as you skate’ with your Octopus Card. It’s so convenient, and means no long queues with impatient tykes itching to hit the ice. Equally convenient is the special entrance for parents accompanying junior skaters, where they can enter the back of house area freely to watch or assist their children. They also have charming penguin, seal, bear and dolphin safety handrails for novice skaters to help make first-time skating a pleasant experience.
G/F, Elements, No. 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2196 8016
The only rink with simulated snowfalls, Sky Rink on the 8th floor of Dragon Centre is worth a visit for that alone. There’s public skating every day of the week, and children 12 and under get special discounts on weekends. Once in a while there’s even ‘Singing on Ice’, with some musical accompaniment by a local singer (careful not to skate into the keyboard!).
8/F, Dragon Centre, 37K Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, 2307 9264
Ready, Aim… Fun!
From paintball splatter to darting lasers, your kids will be armed for a good, safe time.
This is one sprawling war game venue, with different themed battle zones bigger kids will find thrilling. The ‘Amazon Jungle’ has lush vegetation, lighting effects and smoke, the ‘Lost City’ is decked out with pharaoh and other ancient statues, plus energetic background music, and there’s other exciting areas for airsoft fun. They can also take part in laser tag and two-hour running games, the latter designed to increase communication and improve family relationships.
Unit A, B2, C3, D1, E1 and E2, 3/F, Kaiser Estate, Phase 1, 41 Man Yue Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, 5593 1339
Intrepid kids looking for a thrilling outing will love that you brought them to City Hunter, a sprawling maze-like venue where they can play combat games like laser tag and seek out opponents with gentle Nerf and airlift bb guns. Suitable for ages six and up.
1/F, Gee Luen Factory Building, 316-318 Kwun Tong Road, Ngau Tau Kok, Kwun Tong, 3105 0666
Bigger kids with Luke Skywalker fantasies will jump at the chance to play with laser guns at this spaceship-themed laser tag facility. Up to 12 players can play a session (lasting 30 minutes) where they creep around and zap opposing team members. It’s not suitable for kids who have issues with dark places, as the setting is dimly-lit, save for the random flashing lasers, and music reminiscent of a spooky Sci-Fi film plays throughout.
11/F, Ying Kong Mansion, 2-6 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, 2343 3033
We’re not just talking trampolines – they can bop around in a bubble while playing soccer and show off their inner gymnast at these hopping locales.
Good luck sitting back while your children play – when you see the jumping jubilation to be had at this massive trampoline park, you’ll be whipping off your shoes in no time. There’s daring jumping activities for older kids and adults like the ninja obstacle course and trapeze, along with adrenaline-inducing joy for those who dare to be launched through the air into the humongous foam pit. Kiddies under 6 get their own time for fun and games during ‘KidJump’: Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 10.00am is exclusively for parents and children, as there’s no big kids around.
3/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay, 2337 8191
Crossfire Arena offers plenty of excitement to keep those whippersnappers amused, including the kind where you run around playing soccer in a giant bubble. You’ll be hard-pressed to keep your eye on the ball as you try and contain your laughter while you run around the pitch. Typical game rules don’t apply here, just try and score the most goals in 4 minute rounds. Bump, roll and bounce your way to victory in neon bubble suits in sizes for kids and adults.
Shop 306-308, D2 Place Two, 15 Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chi Kok, 3461 9023
Tiny tykes from the age of 1 to youngsters up to 12 can have a rollicking hour of fun at Kidnetic’s open gym. They can gleefully try out the trampolines, monkey bars, beams, baby rings, slides, sponge pit, spider swings, mini hand-held apparatus and more, and there’s no need to sign up for gymnastic lessons. Best to book ahead, as spaces are limited.
Unit 4, Level 7, MegaBox, 38 Wang Chiu Rd, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, 2153 1033 or 2153 1028