Travelling with kids comes with its own challenges, starting at the airport where the pent-up energy of holiday excitement meets the contained and serious world of immigration, security and the possible patience-stretching wait.
Fortunately, Hong Kong International Airport has considered the needs of younger travellers – and their parents. While some attractions are temporarily offline as the airport’s Terminal Two is redeveloped to coincide with the launch of the new third runway in 2024, there is still a lot on offer with that promise of more to come. The new Terminal Two will be located in Skycity, a new entertainment and retail hub, not just for the airport, but the city as a whole.
There are also seven kid-friendly areas among the boarding gates that have fenced-in play zones with TVs showing cartoons and children’s programming. Keep an eye out, too, for a few cultural exhibits that can help pass the time – currently they’re based around Hong Kong’s food and restaurant traditions.
When it comes to actual food, HKIA comes through with kid pleasers beyond the expected fast-food chains. Duddell’s, known for its Michelin-starred dim sum, has a kids meal that charms with its airplane box, fried noodles, barbecued pork bun and dumplings.
Those with an interest in aviation will enjoy the views of both runways from the open, glass design of the main length of the terminal from Gates 11 to 35.
The airport’s retail partners are another form of distraction and amusement for those travelling with kids. The Lego store at the far end of Terminal 1, near Gate 40 or the midfield concourse, obliges with the latest building kits and the opportunity to pose for a selfie with not-quite-full-size Lego airport workers.
Hong Kong is graced with a Magic Kingdom, and the Magic of Hong Kong Disneyland shop sells souvenirs of favourite characters plus games and activities.
And if a lollipop or stash of gummies would help ensure good inflight behaviour, there are multiple Sweet Dreams by Heinemann outlets where you can stock up before boarding. Surely, the regular parental rules don’t apply at 30,000 feet…