Hong Kong is a wonderland packed with fun and adventure for children of all ages. It’s much more than skyscrapers, shopping streets and Jackie Chan. Forty percent of the land is devoted to natural habitats – sandy beaches, woodlands and mountains. Hong Kong has a range of activities and attractions to enthuse both the young and the young-at-heart.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong a number of times and here are my top picks for things you should do with your children while visiting Hong Kong:
- Ocean Park – Ocean Park, one of the largest leisure parks in Southeast Asia, tops the agenda. Here the children can marvel at the two giant pandas, An An and Jia Jia. Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s premier theme park and it is a family favorite, whose mix of exciting rides and educational seaworld exhibits, mean it has something for everybody.
- Hong Kong Science Museum – Learning is so much fun at the Hong Kong Science Museum, where 500 interesting hands-on exhibits offer insights into a wide range of science-related themes. The exhibition covers various areas of science and technology, including robotics, transportation, virtual reality and more.
- Pink Dolphin Cruise – Take a cruise to look for the much endangered pink dolphins in the waters around Lantau Island. The pink dolphins (they really are pink) only live in the waters around Hong Kong and their existence is threatened by boat traffic and polluted waters.
- Victoria Peak – “The Peak” and the “Peak Tram” are also some of Hong Kong’s classics. Hong Kong Island’s highest point is at Victoria Peak which overlooks the harbor and is home to some of the top real estate in the planet. The fun way to get there is of course with the Peak Tram, which is pulled by a single steel cable up the steep slope and ends the ride at the Peak Tower. The Peak Tower, in contrast to the century-old Peak Tram, is a new seven-story structure, complete with viewing platforms, restaurants and shops. The open-air viewing terrace with the coin-operated binoculars is on level 5. There is also a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum on level 4 which the kids might find interesting.
- The Giant Buddha – Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island is made of bronze and at 34 meters or 112 feet, one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. Getting there is half the fun, the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car will whisk you in 25 minutes up to the plateau where Big Buddha sits. The cable car ride gives you great views of the islands, the airport and as far as the South China Sea. Then it’s a hike to get to the foot of Tian Tan, all 260 steps lead up to the podium and the sweeping views from here are worth the climb. If everyone is up to it, the 4 mile path down to Tung Chung is a nice walk and you pass some small monasteries on the way.
- Hong Kong Disneyland – is a smaller version of its American counterparts, but as all things Disney, still magical, enchanting. If you are a Disney fanatic, a day at Hong Kong Disneyland is a must. And if you are familiar with the other parks, you will find a similar layout in the structure and also in the way things operate. Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland all branch out from Main Street, for popular rides there is the fast-pass, and not to be forgotten, the afternoon parade and the fireworks at closing are all part of the Hong Kong Disney experience.
- Snoopy’s World – Lovers of the cuddliest beagle will adore Snoopy’s World. Split into six different “fun zones”, this magical world contains a canoe ride, a baseball dugout, a big yellow American school bus as well as 60 popular Peanuts figures. The amazing giant Snoopy that sits reclining on top of his famous doghouse is the largest outdoor model Snoopy in the world. Regular live shows.
- Symphony of Lights – Forget the latest Star Wars flick, and see the real deal with the world’s biggest laser and light show. The show starts every night at 8pm on the waterfront and as a bonus – it’s FREE!
- Ride the ferries – The green and white Star Ferry has been in operation for over a hundred years, chugging back and forth between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The trip doesn’t take long, but you get a great view of the harbor, junks, hydrofoils, sampans, and barges. You can also pick up a ferry to go to Lantau, Lamma or Cheung Chau Islands.
- Try Fun Food – Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong are fun food for kids. You can stop into Dim Sum restaurants at all hours. It is invariably busy, noisy and full of families. After you’ve sat down at a big round table, wait for ladies to come around wheeling carts with different dishes. As they come by, point at dishes you want. The ladies pluck the food off the cart and plunk it down on your table. Keep requesting dishes until you’re stuffed!
Overall, Hong Kong is a fun place for kids off all ages, there is much to keep them busy, ferry rides, big Buddha’s, colorful markets, thrilling rides, pandas, temples, fun foods, and yes, even Mickey Mouse!