Hong Kong for kids may not seem like an appetizing prospect. Packed streets, oppressive heat and lots of weird food. All true. But there are some fantastic things to do in Hong Kong with kids...and we don't just mean Hong Kong Disneyland. Read on to find our pick of the very best attractions and events for children.
What Children Can Do and See in Hong Kong
- Go See the Pink Dolphins - These rosy colored sea mammals are easily Hong Kong's most amazing wildlife sight. Found on in the waters off Lantau, most boat charters to see the dolphins boast a 97% success rate (if you're lucky, you'll find them in a playful mood and see a few acrobatics). Dolphin sightseeing trips take a few hours onboard boats well equipped with food, games and even a gift shop.
- Hong Kong Disneyland - Not the biggest Hong Kong Disneyland in the world, but for a taste of Disney's very own version of Americana and all the characters your kids love, it can't be beaten. You'll find all the family favorites; from Sleeping Beauty's castle and it's a small world ride to Star Wars takeovers and all the best bits of Toy Story. Avoid Chinese Golden Weeks when the crowd can be overcrowded and you'll find queues smaller than at other Disneyland resorts. Unlike California or France, you'll only need a day to explore Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Symphony of Lights - Forget the latest Star Wars flick, and see the real deal with the world's biggest laser and light show. The symphony of lights is a 12-minute show that projects lasers onto and from some of the city's tallest skyscrapers. The show has now spread to both sides of Hong Kong Harbour, although the best viewing is still from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront — where you'll have front row seats on to the string of skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island.
- Ocean Park - Despite competition from Mickey and Co, Ocean Park remains the city's best theme park. For kids, the mix of sharks and jellyfish in the sea world aquarium, as well as Hong Kong's only pandas, with thrill rides and roller coasters make for a fantastic day out. There are enough exhibitions and attractions here to easily fill up two days of fun.
- Hong Kong's Best Beaches - Hong Kong rarely gets thought of as a city with great beaches — but there are some fantastic stretches of sand. You can take your pick from bolt holes in Stanley and Repulse Bay, which are less than an hour from the city, or head for an isolated island retreat, where you'll have the golden sands all to yourself.
- Hong Kong Festivals - Hong Kong is in a constant rotation of festivals when the city takes on an even more colorful and fun side than usual. From dragon dances to mooncakes, Hong Kong festivals are wonderfully kid-friendly. Chinese New Year and its parades, the lights of the Mid-Autumn Festival and the excitement of the dragon boat races are just a couple of the festivals it's worth checking out.
- Hong Kong Heritage Museum - Most Hong Kong museums are still of the dust collecting variety — dull exhibits hidden behind glass casing. Not the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Head here to find the history of Hong Kong told through life-sized dinosaurs, Bruce Lee films and a dedicated Discovery Centre where kids can get hands-on with the exhibits.