Hong Kong certainly isn't a traditional Christmas destination for American tourists, but the holiday is energetically celebrated in the city nonetheless, so if you're planning your Christmas vacation to this Chinese city, there's no shortage of festivities and fantastic feasts to partake in while you're in Hong Kong.
Christmas itself is a holiday in Hong Kong, as is Boxing Day, but these holidays aren't traditionally spent at home like in the United States; instead, shops and restaurants are open and attractions take on a festive theme.
While there may not be any snow, you'll find plenty of festive spirit—lights strung across every skyscraper, turkey on every menu, and "White Christmas" booming from every speaker. Read on to find out where to grab a traditional turkey dinner, where to find Santa and the inside track on Christmas events in Hong Kong.
Christmas Trips, Sights, and Events
Whether you're a devoutly religious observer of Christmas traditions or just a casual tourist experiencing this holiday in another part of the world, Hong Kong has a variety of trips, sights, and special events happening in the last half of December and early January.
The heart of Hong Kong's celebrations is Winterfest. This festive take-over of Statue Square is organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and features a towering Christmas tree, Santa's grotto, and usually, a choir or two belting out Christmas carols. Winterfest runs from the 1st to the 31st of December between 5 and 11 pm and there is no charge for admission.
Both Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park go all out to deck their parks in trees, lights, and fake snow. You can expect Santa to make an appearance, along with an entourage of sweating reindeer and elves. Elsewhere, Madame Tussauds is promising to break out the baubles with a top to toe Christmas redecoration where you can find elves handing out presents and even score a visit from the big red man himself.
Ocean Park would usually be our recommended theme park in Hong Kong, but at Christmas, Disneyland steals the show where you'll find Main Street adorned with Christmas lights, gingerbread houses, and Mickey and friends strutting their stuff in Christmas themed parades throughout December.
For something more religious, try Noah's Ark. This giant "replica" of the Old Testament's favorite story will be stage nativity performances. From traditional pantos by the Hong Kong Players to the arrival of Udderbelly and its fantastic line-up of comedians and circus acts, Hong Kong puts on a great show at Christmas.
Christmas Day Dinners and Places for Gifts
If you’re in Hong Kong for Christmas, chances are that you won’t have the kitchen facilities to cook yourself up a fancy turkey with all the trimmings. Never fear, Hong Kong's hotels and restaurants are on hand to lay on a Christmas spread. You'll find plenty of locations happy to indulge your desire for Brussels sprouts, while many five-star hotels will lay on choirs and Santa visits. See our pick of the best Christmas dinners in Hong Kong.
Not always fun for everyone, shopping is nevertheless an essential part of the Christmas routine. Luckily, Hong Kong can take most of the pain out of Christmas shopping as there are plenty of independent boutiques, locally made handicrafts, and other gifts to be picked up all over the city—take a look at the five best areas to shop in Hong Kong and Hong Kong's best shopping malls.