With two kids in the under-5 age group I find my day is often split into halves – Walter still naps through the middle of the day and Heike is still young enough that she’s exhausted after a full day out. Plus during school terms she’s at school half days anyway. So we’re usually either out in the mornings or out in the afternoons, or both, but we’re always home for lunch and a rest in the middle of the day.
In Sydney this was easy – we’d walk to our favourite cafe for coffees and babyccinos, go to the playground and walk home. Repeat in the afternoon. Repeat the following day. Of course there was some variation occasionally, like ballet class or a different park (!!) but that was our general routine. I find Hong Kong much more difficult. For starters, walking to a playground is often not possible (our local is up an extremely steep hill and currently mosquito infested) and the heat can mean it’s not pleasant. It can also be quite a difficult place to get around – no one has cars, the stairs make strollers a nightmare and the hills make for tired Mums and kids!
Gradually though I’ve discovered a few outings that are relatively stress free for me and fun for the kids. They also take around 3 hours which I think is the perfect time for little ones. I like to get out in the mornings and spend the afternoons at home doing crafts, or having playdates with friends, so I’ve shared them with you as morning activities but can also be done in the afternoons!
Kennedy Town Pool
Catch the bus or MTR to Kennedy Town and stroll over to Kennedy Town pool. Use your Octopus card for entry (Adults $17 Kids $8). Pop your things in a family locker ($5 coin deposit) and use a family changeroom to get changed (these are life savers if you have crazy kids like mine who can’t be trusted in a large changeroom!). Kennedy Town pool has a great kids area that will keep your kids entertained for hours, but we usually stay for about an hour as that’s my limit with a one year old! Head back to the family changerooms, then take a snack and some water across the road to the great kids playground. Make life easy on yourself and take a taxi home!
Happy Valley Playground
Catch the tram from Central to Happy Valley. It’s slow, but it’s cheap and the kids will enjoy it. Once there, walk to the Eric Kayser bakery on Ventris Road for coffee (you) and pastries (kids). Then walk down to the large outdoor playground on Wong Nai Chung road, just outside the race course. If you still have energy after your play, take the kids to the Chameleon Palace on Shan Kwong road – a very cool pet shop with loads of reptiles including giant turtles for sale.
Pack some bubbles in your bag and head to Level Four Pacific Place. Just outside, close to the taxi rank, is Petit Cafe, as well as a large outdoor area. Get some morning tea and let the kids run around with bubble wands for a while – you can also use this as a way to keep the kids happy when you need to grab groceries at Great or birthday presents at Wise Kids. If you have more time to kill, take the lift up to the Shangri La and walk across to Hong Kong Park. You can walk along the flat past the water feature and ponds until you almost hit the CitiBank building – take a taxi home from here.
Since we spend half our time here I have to include Baumhaus, which is also in the Admiralty area, just across the road from PP3 on Queen’s Road East. Head here with the kids and have a coffee while they entertain themselves in the amazing treehouse play area. Then walk up Wing Fung street and have an early lunch at Pizza Express before heading home.
Pack the kids’ bikes and scooters and take the number 6 bus to either Repulse Bay or Stanley. Sit upstairs so you can appreciate the amazing views this bus ride offers. Both locations have amazing playgrounds with lots of space to scoot or ride around. Don’t bother packing bathing suits – too much effort for a Mum on her own and the kids will enjoy just playing. There are always loads of other kids around and there’s a Classified right by both playgrounds where you can buy a coffee (notice that almost every suggestion features coffee?!). Take a taxi home.
These are all outings I’ve made a few times (some more than a few) that rarely involve unnecessary stress and don’t end in the kids begging me to buy something or crying because they don’t want to go home. I hope you and your little ones enjoy them as much as we do!
What do you and your kids like to do in Hong Kong? Any suggestions?