West Kowloon: Picnic at Art Park
Art Park is part of the brand-new West Kowloon Cultural District – soon to be one of the world’s largest cultural quarters. The park’s inviting greenery offers families the space to breathe and is best experienced at a leisurely pace. Bring a picnic lunch, hire a SmartBike and make sure you linger long enough to enjoy a spectacular sunset overlooking Hong Kong’s world-famous skyline. The Freespace Happening programme brings live music, street performers, outdoor films, community dance classes and exhibitions to the park on the second weekend of each month from September to March. A blackbox theatre in the park’s centre will host its debut performance in June 2019.
The Peak: Revamped classics at Peak Galleria
The Peak is a major tourist attraction, offering show-stopping views of Hong Kong Island, and the Peak Galleria is its dining and shopping mall. Following an extensive renovation, the mall is scheduled to reopen in summer 2019. One new attraction is Monopoly Dreams, the world’s first attraction themed around the classic board game. The venue, filled with interactive, digital features, takes visitors through Mr Monopoly’s life of luxury, with a storyline involving a conspiracy. Also check out the Trick Eye Museum, packed with optical illusions that demand a souvenir selfie. Afterwards, grab a bite at Gordon Ramsay’s newest Bread Street Kitchen outpost.
Sai Kung: Explore nature at Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
Visitors might be surprised to learn that Hong Kong has a nature site recognised by UNESCO for its geological significance. Featuring interestingly patterned rock formations, the park can be explored via an easy hike. Alternatively, for the more adventurous and athletic, see it by sea: some companies offer guided kayak tours, taking visitors to pristine beaches and uninhabited islands.
Central: Glimpse heritage at Tai Kwun
Built on the site of the former Central Police Station, Tai Kwun has become Hong Kong’s de facto cultural hub since it opened last year. The colonial-era complex offers a mix of exhibition spaces, performance venues, wide public squares, restaurants and shops, with plenty to entertain younger visitors. Time your visit for the first Sunday of each month, when the Tai Kwun Contemporary gallery hosts Family Day, offering arts workshops and gallery tours. Don’t miss Sunday Movie Steps, a weekly outdoor film screening.
Tsim Sha Tsui: Afternoon tea at Rosewood Hong Kong
Escape the heat by heading indoors for a Hong Kong classic: afternoon tea. Adults and kids alike love the variety of treats presented on a tiered tea stand. The new Rosewood Hong Kong has started offering afternoon tea sets in its Butterfly Room, a cheerful, modern lounge decorated with Damien Hirst butterfly artwork. And the hotel takes its pastries seriously, with its own branded chocolates sold at its Butterfly Patisserie – so you know the tea sets will be delicious, and a feast for the eyes as well.
Wong Chuk Hang: Get your thrills at Ocean Park
A local favourite since 1977, Ocean Park in Hong Kong’s southern district continues to entertain with thrill rides, shows, games, a giant panda enclosure, an aquarium and a penguin house. Cross over lush mountain peaks via the cable car (or funicular train) to reach the rollercoasters and encounter more sea creatures. You could go two or three times and still not experience everything. Repeat visits are especially convenient if you happen to stay at the new Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, which features a 16-metre cylindrical aquarium in the lobby, a lagoon pool and a lush tropical garden.
Lamma Island: A beach outing
For families seeking a hassle-free beach outing, Lamma Island obliges with Hung Shing Yeh Beach, easily accessible via ferry from Central and then a short walk along a paved pathway. Lifeguard stands, ice cream stalls, restaurants and picnic tables await.
Mid-Levels: Spot wildlife at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Tucked among the sloping roads and skyscrapers of Mid-Levels is this meandering, 5.6-hectare menagerie. It houses orangutans, gibbons, tortoises, meerkats and all sorts of birds. Entry is free and its location above Lan Kwai Fong means you’re just a few minutes’ walk from many pubs and restaurants.
Ma Wan Island: Noah’s Ark
With a biblical theme, this park on Ma Wan Island is a fun day out taking selfies with life-size animal statues, walking through gardens and gawping at reptiles and amphibians in the main exhibit, housed in what the park claims is a full-scale replica of Noah’s ark. There’s a hotel on site too and various sciencey things, such as a Solar Tower, where you can witness realtime activity on the sun.
Indoor play centres
If the weather’s uncooperative, head to one of the many play centres dotted around the city, from the 45,000-square-foot SuperPark in Kowloon to the Ryze trampoline park in Quarry Bay and the FunZone in Kennedy Town – a giant jungle gym where kids get a sweat on while mum and dad kick back in a Wi-Fi-stocked cafe.