Hong Kong has a lot of cool and unique attractions that not all parents know of. This vibrant city has a beautiful and interesting history, which goes hand in hand with a tonne of heritage sites that would make a great day out with the family and some of them would also make for a great date night.
Calling all history buffs and families with kids of all ages, looking for some overnight heritage fun? Go check out the Tai O Heritage Hotel, the former Old Tai O Police Station, built in 1902 which has been revamped into a gorgeous hotel. The hotel houses the Heritage Interpretation Centre, an exhibition area displaying the history of the former police station and Tai O people. It also features Tai O Lookout, a glass-roofed restaurant serving Tai O specialties and displaying artwork by local Tai O artists.
Tai O Heritage Hotel, Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, +852 2985 8383, www.taioheritagehotel.com
Dragon Garden is a breathtaking garden, it is one of the few remaining privately owned parks in the city, and it is the biggest existing private park in Hong Kong. The land was bought by philanthropist Lee Iu-Cheung, who spent two-decades designing and landscaping. The result of his hard work is stunning, it features architectural design from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties and is intricately tinted with touches of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements. There are over 100 plant species in the garden, and it is home to more than 30 of likely the largest Buddhist pines in the city. It is open to the public for guided tours once a month.
Dragon Park, 32-42 Castle Peak Road, Tsing Lung Tau, dragongarden.hk
This 15 historical building renovation is located in Central and is called Tai Kwun Centre For Heritage And Arts. Prepare for a place of inspiration, stimulation, and plenty of fun for all ages. One of the most significant revitalization projects in Hong Kong - you will not want to miss this! Get immersed in the rich history of this historical compound via hands-on tours, storytelling spaces, and loads of educational programs. There are some amazing bars, such as the recently opened Dragonfly, designed by masterful artist Ashley Sutton, a great location to sip cocktails with hubby on date-night.
Tai Kwun (Old Police Station), 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong (3 Gate Entrees: Bauhinia House Gate, Blue Gate, Old Bailey Gate, taikwun.hk
Originally a walled fort built by the Qing government, Kowloon Walled City turned into an infamous tenement city devoid of the rule of law and administration in the 1970's. In 1994, the Hong Kong government demolished the buildings to make room for the picturesque Kowloon Walled City Park. If you are in the mood to explore, stroll on over to the Kowloon Walled City Park. Walk the winding paths, rest in a veranda (picnic lunch optional), and learn a bit about the historically rich site of the former Kowloon Walled City. It’s a fun and relaxing outing for the whole family!
Kowloon Walled City Park, Tung Tau Tsuen Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/kln-walled-city-park
Chances are you have passed by it while strolling through the streets of Wan Chai and wondered what this bright blue building is. Known as The Blue House, it is a century-old colonial architecture where people still reside! Check out the Hong Kong House of Stories located just around the corner. It is a community space with regular public exhibitions such as community guided tours, arts and culture promotion activities, workshops and more.
The Blue House, 72-74A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Hong Kong House of Stories, 4 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai, houseofstories.sjs.org.hk
Happening every year in April or May, Cheung Chau Bun Festival is one of the liveliest festivals in Hong Kong, making it a super fun event for the whole family to enjoy. It is a traditional Taoist festival and originated as a ritual to pray for safety from pirates. The highlight of the festival is the Piu Sik parade with kids dressed up in colorful costumes as historical Chinese characters, celebrities, and even political figures. The kids are balanced on shoulder height platforms as if they are floating in air and gliding across the streets. Another highlight is the Bun Scrambling Competition, where contestants have to climb up bamboo mountains covered with buns that symbolize wealth and luck and get as many buns as possible.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival, www.littlestepsasia.com/events/cheung-chau-bun-festival
A former slaughterhouse in To Kwa Wan, Cattle Depot Artist Village is now an unusual yet unique, fun and exciting art space full of character. Hosting studios of local indie artists like the notable Frog King, art galleries and a small theater, there’s always something happening at this vibrant multi-disciplinary art hub - theater performances, exhibitions, workshops, festivals and more. Kiddos will have fun strolling around looking at the old architecture and tracing its cultural heritage.
Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Located on Oil Street in North Point, Oi! is a new art space built in the former Royal Yacht Club. The space is a western-style complex of red-and-white-brick buildings dedicated to visual arts with lots of kid-friendly fun, interactive exhibitions, and workshops. There’s also a great lawn open to the public which is perfect as a family playground and a picnic area. Click here to check out what’s on at Oi! at the moment.
Oi!, 12 Oil Street, North Point, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/APO/
Foo Tak Building looks nothing different from an ordinary tenement building in Wan Chai, but it is a bustling artistic hub. The 14-floor old building houses several artists’ studios, cultural organizations, and a host of book and souvenir stores. Check out the Old Textbooks Showroom located on 10/F and take a glimpse of old Hong Kong and school life in the past through their impressive range of school collectibles.
Well known for its seasonal handicraft fairs, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre is a creative village with a bohemian industrial vibe dotted with small, quaint handicraft stores, artist studios, galleries and workshops. Each is uniquely decorated and full of character. Check out the Events Calendar to find out what’s happening - expect art festivals, handicraft workshops and movie screenings and more.
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, www.jccac.org.hk.
Fringe Club is a red-and-white brick Victorian building built over 100 years ago situated in Lan Kwai Fong. It was originally a dairy warehouse and still retained most of its architecture to this date but has now become a contemporary art space equipped with a variety of performance and exhibition venues. Expect theater performances, music concerts, art exhibitions and more. Parents who fancy a drink or two should give their well-loved cozy rooftop garden bar a visit.
Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.hkfringeclub.com
Far away from the city, Yuen Long is an area full of history and culture where you can easily still find traces of historical Hong Kong with temples, old villages and more. Ping Shan Heritage Trail is an easy hiking trail great for the whole family, where you can see many old, traditional Chinese buildings, temples, and halls. Feeling hungry? Have a feast at Ping Shan Traditional Poon Choi which is traditional Cantonese cuisine served in a giant basin with abalone, dried mushroom, prawns, chicken and more.
Ping Shan Heritage Trail, www.discoverhongkong.com.
Ping Shan Traditional Poon Choi, G/F, 36 Tong Fong Chuen, Yuen Long, +852 2617 8000