Part of Hong Kong’s charm is its extreme contrasts, one of the many reasons why the city is a fantastic family destination. Itineraries that combine visits to ancient temples and world-class theme parks on the same day are the norm, while romps through nature await just minutes from an energetic urban core. Add in mouth-watering cuisine, efficient transportation and shopping that even the kids will adore, and you have an unforgettable holiday.
Location is everything in a busy city like Hong Kong, and one of the best starting points for an enjoyable family vacation is Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong . From here, it’s easy to explore these eight kid-friendly attractions.
Familiar rides like Space Mountain, Autopia and the Jungle River Cruise are present throughout the seven themed lands of Hong Kong Disneyland. But the park also features a handful of exclusive experiences, including Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, an abandoned mining town with a runaway-car roller coaster, and Mystic Point Freight Depot, a mysterious land set in the heart of a rainforest, complete with a spooky ride through a magical house. Chinese culture, cuisine and traditions are woven throughout the park, the design of which adheres to feng shui where possible. Those who would like to skip the queues can book VIP tours in advance.
Photography Daniel Altewegier / Alamy Stock Photo
This conservation-minded sea park is located on the southern end of Hong Kong Island and divided into two parts connected by a scenic cable car and a funicular train. The Waterfront area features rides and play structures geared for younger kids, a panda enclosure and the massive Grand Aquarium with more than 400 species of fish. Thrill rides, sea lions, jellyfish and shows await uphill at The Summit. Get closer to the animals by reserving special experiences such as snorkelling in the Grand Aquarium or serving as an Honorary Panda Keeper for a day.
Listed as part of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network, the Hong Kong Global Geopark comprises eight different geo-areas, from Sai Kung to the New Territories. It’s home to a variety of wildlife, and visitors will also find rare and interesting rock formations, including the tallest hexagonal volcanic columns in the world. Check with the concierge team to verify which Geopark experience is most age-appropriate for your kids. It’s easy to explore these significant natural spaces through self-guided, bus or boat tours.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong overlooks Central Piers, where ferries provide convenient transportation to Hong Kong’s many outlying islands and the Kowloon peninsula. The Star Ferry has been gliding back and forth across Victoria Harbour since 1888, and a ride in these green and white diamond-shaped boats is a must for any age. Take the ferry further afield to quiet and carefree Lamma Island (20 minutes) and its pretty beaches. Walk the easy sight-seeing trail and dine at one of the small, family-run seafood restaurants when you disembark. Cheng Chau Island (45 minutes) is famous for its old island culture, the annual Bun Festival, a seafood street supplied by the island’s fishing fleet, ancient temples, pristine beaches and a cave known for hiding a 19th-century pirate.
Photography Bob Henry / Alamy Stock Photo
Take a scenic spin in the brand-new 60-metre-high (197-foot) Hong Kong Observation Wheel, perched on the Central Waterfront at the edge of Victoria Harbour. The 42 air-conditioned gondolas seat 8 to 10 people each and provide unobstructed sea and skyline views over the course of a smooth 20-minute ride. Private cabins and VIP cabins with Express Boarding are also available for booking. A perfect time to ride is when the skyscrapers glitter during the city’s golden hour at sunset.
Photography National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
Hong Kong is home to a number of easily accessible museums with kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits. The Hong Kong Science Museum, located in Kowloon, has Cathay Pacific’s first DC-3 airliner suspended from the ceiling and more than 500 exhibits, including a 22-metre-high (72-foot) energy machine. Next door, the Hong Kong Museum of History showcases 400 million years of archaeology, as well as exhibits on local culture and natural history. The Hong Kong Space Museum is popular for its collection of meteorites, IMAX theatre and chronology of human space travel, and it’s a joy for children fascinated with space.
Pilgrims from all over Asia travel to Tian Tan Buddha, a peaceful 34-metre (111-foot) bronze statue on Lantau Island that faces north, watching over mainland China. Take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car on a tranquil 25-minute ride with panoramic views over the island and airport; we suggest the glass-bottomed cable car for extra thrills and shorter queues. You’ll arrive in Ngong Ping Village, where shops, dining and a short movie about Buddha’s path to enlightenment await. Kids will love counting the 268 steps to the Big Buddha. While plenty of local snack carts are available, the vegetarian lunch at Po Lin Monastery is a must-try.
The historic Peak tram, one of the world’s oldest funicular railways, transports visitors to the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong, Sky Terrace 428 at The Peak Tower. Here, the Hong Kong skyline on both sides of Victoria Harbour creates an iconic photo opportunity (weather permitting). Nature walks complete with views, birds and lush landscaping circle The Peak. Or try Mount Austin Road, an easy family walk with a small playground about 10 minutes in. Fuel up at The Peak Lookout, a relaxed, family-friendly restaurant specialising in Western and Asian favourites – you’ll need some energy just to browse the plethora of souvenirs available here.