The Deal Mommy

Family Travel FAQ: Hong Kong Things to Do With Kids

I’m happy to help with travel dilemmas whenever I can and encourage you to reach out with this Family Travel FAQ series, at as well as via Facebook or Twitter.
Julianna asks (edited for clarity): My husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in 2017. And the traditional gift for 20 years is China. I think they meant dishes, but I am going to re-interpret it as a trip to China. So March of 2017 (My kids Spring Break) we are going to try to do Hong Kong with the kids for week. The boys are 12, 14, and 15. They are experienced travelers but haven’t been to Asia.

I have two questions about the trip:

  1. Should I use an award booking service? My dates are very specific and we’d prefer to do business class for such a long trip.
  2. I’m not sure about booking award hotel rooms in Hong Kong for the week. I’m super nervous about picking the wrong neighborhood, or one that isn’t convenient, since I know nothing about Hong Kong. We’re Disney fans, so we’ll make a visit while in Hong Kong, but that’s all I know so far about our visit. Any neighborhood recommendations? Condo or Apartment rentals better than hotels?

I’m really glad Julianna asked a Hong Kong question as I left the topic incomplete. While answering her specific questions I’ll also address some of my thoughts about visiting Hong Kong with kids.  I know many of you have also visited Hong Kong with kids and I encourage your thoughts in the comments.

Booking Award Tickets: Should I use a Service?

I went back to Julianna to get some more info before answering in detail. Based on her answers, I’m advising her NOT to use a service. Here’s why:

  • She lives in flyover country but has tons of Southwest points and a companion pass so easy access to most gateways.
  • Hong Kong is a hub for discount airline Dragonair so really easy to reach from other cities in Asia.  Both outbound and inbound segments can be “just get over the pond” based.
  • Her main currency is Ultimate rewards points so she also has lots of options as far as which programs she can use to book. She can then use the UR points to pay for the discount air flights as well if needed.
  • Her kids are old enough that’s it easy to “split the team” into groups of 3 and 2.  In fact, I’d assume it when searching.
  • Minimum, you’re paying $100/ticket for a service.  $500 is a lot of money when you can play with so many variables.
  • Here’s a post about my experience about booking award tickets to Asia.

Hong Kong: Hotel Rooms or Apartment Rental?

Hong Kong with Kids

Regency Suite, Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

In my experience Hong Kong hotels are more like Japan than like South East Asia both in cost and in size.  Our suite at the Hyatt Regency slept three easily but would definitely wouldn’t have fit five. A family of five would definitely need two rooms.

With that in mind I’d lean towards an apartment rental. In Asia I find the best search term to be “serviced apartment”.   My guide to family hotel rooms is based on Europe but the tips will work for Asia as well.

As far as location: Hong Kong has an fantastic metro.  As long as you’re on the main parts of Hong Kong Island or Kowloon (just take a look at the Frommer’s neighborhoods at a glance for an idea) you’ll be fine. Even a ride to HK Disney, which is basically an outer suburb, is only 45 minutes from Tsim Sha Tsui.


Hong Kong Things to Do with Kids

Angelina and I talked travel recently (as bloggers often do) when she mentioned she didn’t love Hong Kong.  I correctly surmised it’s because it’s she hadn’t done it with kids. Julianna’s kids have never been to Asia and Hong Kong is a perfect place to dip their toes into the pool without too much culture shock.  It’s a great mix of London and Shanghai: foreign but a bit familiar. Some of my favorite activities include:

hong kong with kids

The high tea service at Cafe Deco, Hong Kong.

High Up: Victoria Peak is well worth the visit. The tram is a judgement call: lines are both long and claustrophobic and you’re not guaranteed either a seat or a view.  You could just as easily take a bus or cab to the top.  The walk down can be lovely but the heat is no joke. Carry lots of water!  The views from Sky 428 terrace are pretty much the same as the others, but the audio tour was worth the price of admission.  Each kid got a headset with a numbered guide.  They could then match the building in front in them to the map to the history.  The kids got so much out of the audioguide. 

High Tea: I can’t think of a better place to get your Brit on. I recommend  Cafe Deco at the top of Victoria Tram (for the views, the jazz era vibe, and the kids play area so you can relax).  Another great one- for sheer volume- is the weekend afternoon tea buffet at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s simply overwhelming!

High Street: Besides the myriad of markets (The Bird Market being one of my faves) I wouldn’t sleep on clothes shopping-even for boys.  Deal Kid picked out a bunch of T-Shirts with random English sayings that no one else in his school has!  “Thinking Too Much Causes Problems” is an especially big hit.

Easy daytrips from Hong Kong

Hong Kong with Kids.

Macau from the top of Fort Guia.

High Seas: A day trip to Macau is a must with a week in Hong Kong.  I’d even consider a night or two in Macau as we regretted not having more time there.  One mistake I made was not buying my ferry tickets out in advance- I then got stuck buying business class tickets which were totally unnecessary.

If Hong Kong is London then Macau is Porto: it has much more of an outpost than a capital feel.  Some of the original Portuguese architecture remains as do tinges of Portuguese cuisine. Macau gets more press for its casinos but the Deal Kids and I found more fun in the outdoors. We took a cab to Fort Guia and hiked to the top of the fortress.  We then strolled back down to the cable car then into the flower gardens.

High Rides: Julianna mentioned a trip to Disney which I definitely recommend. Here are my Hong Kong Disney tips. Friends also rave about Ocean Park which is on our list for next time.

What are your Hong Kong faves with Kids?  Please share in the comments.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 

Hong Kong with Kids



23 thoughts on “Family Travel FAQ: Hong Kong Things to Do With Kids

  1. Mason

    Airbnb is your friend in HK. Tons of choices, and the only economical solution if your group is larger than 2 people. I recommend Hong Kong Island for the Asia newbie as it’s not quite as crowded or gritty as Kowloon although you will pay a little more on the average. We stayed in a flat in Sheung Wan which was a short walk from the Sheung Wan MTR stop. Great neighborhood feel in that area.

  2. Rob

    Other recommendations that I liked or would have liked at age 12:
    The Night Market
    Jade Market
    Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense

        1. mason

          First i’ve heard of it. Photos look ok, but the views from ngong ping are unbelievable. Plus it’s nearly a 1/2 hour ride each way and you have the monastery and the giant buddha on the top of the mountain.

          If it’s that cheap, do both!

  3. Joe

    As someone who’s family is originally from HK, we are never too pleased to refer to it as China. Although it’s the truth now… Shanghai Disney should be open by then 🙂

    But nitpicking aside, HK is great for kids that age. Being a former British colony English is well spoken there. I moved there when I was 10 and my parents felt comfortable giving me freedom on the aforementioned well set up MTR. First time I went to the movies by myself 🙂

    If you stay somewhere like Tsim Sha Tsui, you might pay a premium but you can also let the kids off leash a little bit. Also you can walk to a lot of interesting things (like up and down Nathan Road), take the Star Ferry to Central, etc. You also will have pretty easy access to the boats that travel to other far flung areas such as Discovery Bay (where all the ex pats live, though it might be boring for kids your age. Just peace and quiet).

    You don’t need to live close to Disney, just MTR it there. It’s about the same distance as Ngong Ping 360 and the walk up to the big Buddha, but both Disney and 360 are worth their own days. You can also go to Hong Kong Wetland park if you need to get out of the city (weather should be great in March), or go on any number of hikes around resevoirs in the New Territories if that’s your sort of thing.

    Enjoy it 🙂

  4. Jamie

    This post and the comments make me want to go to Hong Kong. And now I know which two bloggers I’ll be hitting up for advice if we do!

  5. Phxbne

    From our trip with our then 7 year old
    – the panda keeper experience at Ocean Park was fabulous – pricey yes, but one of my favorite memories
    – I had always wanted to stay on HK island – but left wishing we had stayed in Kowloon
    – the trams on HK island were easy, cheap and fun
    – our animal loving 7 year old really disliked the bird market…..I had last been then about 15 years before, and was disappointed to
    Planning our return trip to HK disney!

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks for the update about the bird market. I didn’t make it the last time and it’s been a few years.

  6. DaninMCI

    The only reason to go to Maucau is to escape HK. It’s really average as is Oceanpark in my opinion.

    I like the Disney HK Hollywood hotel and it’s very kid friendly.

    On our last trip we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Kowloon East on points. It was very laid back in a nice neighborhood (right on top of the Popcorn Mall) with great breakfast. It’s a little bit of a commute by train but not bad really.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Can’t speak to Oceanpark, but I think Macau is above average. Thanks for the hotel tip. I’ve heard good things about Disney HK hotel for a “Grand Floridian/Californian” experience for much less.

      1. mason

        I personally feel like you’re missing out on the HK experience if you were to isolate yourself by staying at a HK Disney resort instead of staying in the city. It’s really not a big deal to get to Disneyland from most anywhere in HK. I could however see staying a night or 2 at a Disney hotel just for variety.

        I think HK Disneyland is only worth 2 days max. We spent less than 8 hours there and did everything we wanted to do. Just make sure you go on a weekday and not the weekend.

      2. Joe

        Ocean Park is kinda meh tho I have fond memories of it from childhood. If you are there on your birthday it is free so there’s that

  7. Paul

    Just got back from Hong Kong with kids aged 10 & 8. The highlight for them was a tour we booked that included hiking and going to the beaches. There was an awesome waterfall we hiked to and we saw a whole different side of Hong Kong along the way. I’d recommend checking out some sort of hiking tour while you are there. I feel our trip would have been incomplete if we hadn’t done that trip. They enjoyed it much more than HK Disney (although they liked that too).

    My daughter liked Ocean Park because of the animals, especially the Pandas. My son wasn’t too keen on it because he was 1/4 inch too short for one of the bigger ride and they didn’t let him ride.

    We spent 4 nights on the island (Conrad) and 4 on Kowloon (Hyatt Regency) and liked Kowloon a lot better. The Conrad area was way too business oriented while Kowloon there was interesting stuff everywhere.

  8. Paul

    Not sure if it is OK to mention on here or not. But the tour we did was Sai Kung Beaches Adventure on Viator. Our guide was great with the kids. It is expensive, but you go to an area you aren’t even allowed to drive to (the roads are pretty crazy). I think he worked for wildhongkong. There may be other good hiking tours too, but that was only one on Viator that worked for our age range. I just wish we would have done another tour or 2.

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