Top Ten Things to Do in Hong Kong with Kids

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Hong Kong by now – it’s actually a great place to visit with kids — and yet I’ve barely written about it. So, in the spirit of public service, here are my top picks for things to do in Hong Kong with kids.

Ocean Park theme park in Hong Kong.

Go to Ocean Park

In a stunning location, spread over cliffs and beaches, with rides stretching out over the water, Ocean Park is one of my favourite theme parks EVAH. There’s high-adrenaline action for all ages – epic coasters, a mine train that soars down over the sea, a stellar log flume – as well as animals, acrobats and mini-rides for the littlies, making this my number one pick for things for kids to do in Hong Kong. Families with very young children might want to opt for Disneyland instead.

Take a Ferry Across the Harbour

Hong Kong’s high tech, highlit harbourfront is wonderful, and a harbour tour is the best way for adults and children alike get to grips with Hong Kong’s complicated, multi-island geography. You can book traditional junk cruises if you like, but it’s much cheaper just to pay a couple of bucks to take the ferry to where you’re headed.

Optical illusion in the Hong Kong Science Museum.

Head to the Science Museum

Hong Kong’s Science Museum is absolutely fantastic for kids, and it will be hard to drag even adults out of the optical illusion playground in the basement. Interactivity runs throughout all the displays – whether that’s manning an old telephone switchboard or getting a handle on physics – there are excellent workshops, and it’s a place that repays multiple visits (ideally on a weekly Museum Pass).‎

Go to the Space Museum

Space-obsessed kids and science geeks of all ages will LOVE the Hong Kong Space Museum, in an iconic building on the waterfront. Things for kids to do include piloting a moon lander, riding a gyroscopic astronaut training machine, and a welter of great simulations.

Chocolate fountain at a hotel buffet.

Feed Your Face!

Hong Kong’s multicultural heritage makes the city a foodie playground. Hong Kong style dim sum is a must; it’s hard to go wrong with curries in the grimy chaos of Mirador and Chungking Mansions. Or splash out on an extravagant seafood hotel buffet, pick from the massive, international selection at any of the malls, or investigate Michelin-starred cuisine at any one of a welter of high-end eateries.

Skater 2

Be a Mall-Rat

One of the joys of urban Asia are the fantastic, enormous, high-tech malls, and Hong Kong does malls even better than Singapore. CityPlaza is a popular choice for families; we like Elements, an enormous blingy affair that offers an ice rink, gaming, a multiplex cinema and stunning architecture.

Grab a Bit of History

Hong Kong is a great city for museums, and the Hong Kong Museum of History is a must-visit. From enormous dioramas of prehistoric Hong Kong through to replica junks, models of traditional lifestyles, colonial era photography and exhibits on the Opium Wars and World War II, there are things for kids of all ages here.

Ride the Peak Tram

It’s hard not to love a funicular. But do wait for one of Hong Kong’s rare clear days before taking the kids on the tram up to the Peak. The 125-year-old funicular railway runs all the way to the highest point in Hong Kong, it’s one of the classic things to do with kids in Hong Kong, and the views can be absolutely stellar.

Tian Tan Buddha pic by Jon Parry on Flickr.

See the Giant Buddha

The giant seated Buddha at Po Lin, on Lantau Island, stands an impressive 34 metres tall, all in bronze, and is a magnet for pilgrims. He’s at his most dazzling at night, but pretty impressive during the day, and the monastery has a vegetarian restaurant to boot.

Catch Some Art

Conveniently pocket-sized, the Hong Kong Museum of Art provides a lovely walkthrough of Chinese art through the ages, from calligraphy and painting through to contemporary Chinese art from both the mainland and Hong Kong. It’s a great introduction for older children.

Street sign in TST, Kowloon.

Where to Stay?

We love the buzz and crazy of Hong Kong’s commercial district, TST (Tsim Sha Tsui). The Regal Kowloon, in the heart of TST, a few metres from the harbourfront and museums, checks a lot of boxes: rooms sized for families come in at under $100 on The spiffy YMCA Salisbury has a waterfront location that’s hard to beat, and family rooms with multiple bed options, but gets booked up aeons in advance and is, IMO, overpriced.

If you’ve won the lottery, then the landmark Peninsula Hotel is absolutely the place to stay. Budget accommodation in Hong Kong is uniformly cramped and often windowless: we like the Kung Fu Garden Hostel because the kung fu studio and the balcony provide a rare and welcome sense of space, and the HK$200 room price is hard to beat.

Image credit: Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by Jon.

28 Responses

  1. Never been but hope to go. Twice we’ve stopped over in HK on our way to Thailand, but sadly never had time to exit the airport. It’s worth noting that even the airport food kicked ass, as far as airports go. Bodes well for meals outside of the airport…

    • Theodora says:

      They have a Michelin-starred resto at the airport. I was absolutely gutted that when we flew out of there it was shut.

  2. Sally says:

    Wish I’d read this a few months ago. I went recently with my 7 year old son to Hong Kong. We stayed for the most part in Tsim Sha Tsui whic was out of the way but handy by MTR. There was a great swimming complex a couple of stops up which he loved. He loved the pop corn mall there but we didn’t shop just ate there. I paid about $100 a night for a good hotel room. Really want to go back again and perhaps explore of the surrounding areas…just stuck to the city this time.

    • Theodora says:

      I’ve never done the countryside around Hong Kong, honestly. The outlying islands have beautiful beaches and forested hills, but for me Hong Kong really feels like an urban place, and it’s the urban-ness I love about it. Odd you find TST out of the way. I think it’s brilliantly placed for the museums and cultural stuff, and kinda in the heart of it, although I guess you’re right that there’s posher stuff over the other side…..

      • Sally says: my places wrong…I stayed for the most part in Tseung Kwan O…great pools close by That is a bit out of the way.
        I agree with you TST is very central. We also stayed 3 nights in Soho and would definitely stay there again next time.
        We wen to Ocean Park and Disney. Ocean Park was the best. We enjoyed the boats where you get soaked but decided roller coasters weren’t for us.

  3. Corinne says:

    This is a great list. It’s so important to have a mix of really kid things and local/cultural things to do. Thanks.

  4. Cat Gaa says:

    Looks like a fun place – even for adults like me who often act like kiddies!

  5. Oh, I wish I’d seen this before we went to Hong Kong last – we missed the Hong Kong Space Museum somehow. Though we did love the ferry rides. We even took the bus on a few rides up and down through some of the residential neighborhoods high on the hill, which I’d highly recommend. Great views, and very affordable!

    • Theodora says:

      The museums are also excellent value, particularly with the weekly museum pass. I don’t find Hong Kong bad value as a destination at all, in honestly.

  6. Bethaney says:

    Who knew there was so much to do in Hong Kong? I’m pretty sure I’d just spend the entire time eating.

  7. Claudia says:

    Love your tips! Passing along this fab info to my inlaws and son who’ll be visiting HK and China in March.

  8. Mimi says:

    Am heading back to HKG with my 8 yr old for a week during Chinese New Year. Was just wondering what to do with him other than visit Ocean Park. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • Theodora says:

      I’d be cautious over Ocean Park around Chinese New Year — it can get VERY busy during the key holiday period. But glad you’ve found the post helpful…

  9. annie mae says:

    i love this palce i think it is amazing xx

  10. the pics are great,, how much would it cost to visit all these places ?

    • Theodora says:

      HK museums are super-cheap, and your best option is to get the weekly Museum Pass, which is around HK$20 — kids are free to most museums. Ocean Park and the Peak Tram are more expensive — pick up a discount voucher at a hotel and you’ll save some money. There’s no entry charge on malls, and, food-wise, there are plenty of budget-ish options.

  11. Jade says:

    I so agree with the Science Museum!
    I remember one HK trip with my family and my mom was planning to go to Mongkok for shopping. Thankfully, our hotel was just in Tsim Sha Tsui district too and the history and science museum were just a block away. Had my mom buy a weekly pass. My brother and I went to the museum 3 or 4 times I think, making the guards and staffs familiar with us already! 😛

    • Theodora says:

      The weekly museum passes are fantastic value. And, yes, the science museum is really worth a visit or several. It kind of gets overshadowed by the Space Museum, and I’m honestly not sure why.

  12. pravakar says:

    What a wonderful trip and stunning pictures. From your photos it seems that you have captured the beauty of Hong Kong in your post.

  13. Tiffonie Baker says:

    Thanks so much for this amazing information. I was debating whether my 4-year old and I should stay long in Hong Kong, and I think after reading this we will definitely plan to stay a month or more. Your hotel and location recommendations make the $29/night private hostel room in TST look like a great deal. As always, I totally love your blog and have been obsessed with reading every post start to finish since I found it. BTW, your misadventures in Katmandu are my all time favorites!!

    • Theodora says:

      Thank you! I should have more misadventures – there was an entertaining saga in Cairo that didn’t make it in… There’s a lot to do in Hong Kong, definitely – although it’s not a great city for visiting on a budget.

  14. Brock says:

    Wow, worth it to go to that amusement park just to see the epic views! Seriously…amazing 🙂

  15. Monika says:

    Great article dear! Thanks for sharing with us. You know Hong Kong looks amazing and have famous tourist places. It’s been a high priority tourist location for me for a log time.