Hong Kong is best known for its delicious food, laser light lined skyscrapers, and bustling port at the center of international trade. Bringing kids to such a crowded city may seem overwhelming for a family trip, but there are plenty of ways to make the trip a blast. Today we have Li Tian of Full Time Baby sharing fun things to do in Hong Kong with kids:
What to Do in Hong Kong with Kids
1. Take a ride on the Star Ferry
There is a good reason the Star Ferry is always listed as one of the top things to do in Hong Kong (with or without children).
The ferry has been in operation since 1888. It takes you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, allowing you to see the impressive skyline from the harbor. The trip across the harbor takes only 8 minutes, for kids who are slightly squeamish on a boat. It costs less than $0.50 for adults per ride, making it one of the cheapest world class attractions in the world.
For an extended ride your options are the one hour cruise around Victoria Harbour or the “Symphony of Lights Harbor Cruise”. Either way, if you take the ferry at 8pm, you can catch the longest running laser light show in the world (which you can also watch for free from the Kowloon side).
2. Hong Kong Science Museum
Need a break from the heat and crowds, but your kids are still bursting with energy? The perfect solution: Hong Kong Science museum.
The Science Museum doubles as a learning experience and an engaging playroom for kids. Out of 500 permanent exhibits 70% of them are interactive, and the entrance fee is quite nominal at 20 HKD for adults (~$2.5 USD). Young kids to teens can spend hours on the science and technology demonstrations and exhibits covering topics like light, energy, life sciences, communication and more. One of the highlights is a giant energy machine exhibit, which showcases the conversion of energy from movement. It is the largest exhibit of its kind in the world.
Wednesdays is free admission if you don’t mind throngs of people! You can also check for special exhibitions and events on their calendar. If for some reason the Science Museum is not your cup of tea, Hong Kong History Museum is right next door!
3. Explore Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is a hidden oasis in the heart of the city. Outdoors there are pools and waterfalls with fish, turtles, dragonflies, and wild squirrels. The aviary actually boasts over 600 birds of 70 different species. Indoors the conservatory offers a peaceful rainforest-like greenhouse.
Your kids will probably love the 10,700 sqr ft (1000 square meter) Children’s Playground best though. It is built on 6 (yes, six!) platforms on different levels. Kids can even operate a child sized “digger” in a sand pit.
To top it off, entrance to the park, facilities, and playground are all free. You might just need to pack food before heading to the park. Random portions of the park are also not incredibly stroller friendly. Consider stairs your workout of the day!
4. Skip Disneyland for Ocean Park
Ocean Park has been in Hong Kong since 1977. When HK Disneyland opened in 2005, everyone expected Ocean Park to lose popularity and shut down.
It turns out that rivalry between theme parks is a very good thing. Instead of shutting down, Ocean Park invested $700+ million in renovations and more rides.
The main reason that I prefer Ocean Park over Disneyland is that it is less crowded. Even though both theme parks get about the same amount of visitors yearly, Ocean Park is much bigger (91.5 hectares vs. 68).
There are also unique attractions in Ocean Park you won’t find at Disneyland. Be sure to check out the:
- Giant panda habitat
- Ocean theatre show
- River rapids ride
- Bungee trampoline
- Cable car ride overlooking the South China Sea
- 225-meter long escalator
True, your kids won’t get to meet Mickey or Minnie – but the park makes up for it with its own mascots and plenty of actual, live animals.
5. Marvel at Pink Dolphins
The pink dolphin is an official mascot of Hong Kong. They can be found swimming near the Pearl River estuary, particularly around Lantau Island and Peng Chau.
There are plenty of boat tours that will take you to see the dolphins. The most popular is Dolphin Watch. Their tour operators are well-educated and explain the challenges of these endangered animals. They also guarantee a dolphin sighting: If you don’t see any dolphins during the tour, you can go on another tour for free.
As a former British colony, Hong Kong has the added benefit of being easy to navigate in English. Use these tips to scratch the surface of what Hong Kong has to offer – you might just come back wanting more.
About the author: Li Tian is a Midwestern mom turned expat digital nomad. Despite trekking through 54 countries, being a full time and working mom is the most exhausting. When not working on Fulltimebaby.com, she enjoys kickboxing and eating meals bigger than she is. She’s also moved to Hong Kong 3 separate times as an adult, with and without children.