Hong Kong loves to play

Hong Kong is like one big theme park for family holidays.

You get surreal scenery, man-made wonders, funky modes of transport and a colourful array of amusements. The kids will come home with something to show and tell too, with plenty of eye-widening cultural experiences.

More than rollercoasters

Although theme parks can be hard-going for parents, In Hong Kong there's enough variety to find a place where the whole family will grin their way through the day.

'When can we go to Disneyland?' is the question your kids may well pester you with post-touchdown. The fantasy land arrived in Hong Kong in 2005 and offers all the candy-coated joy of its international siblings. Unsurprisingly, the park is incredibly child friendly, with something for even the smallest tots. Wander through Sleeping Beauty's Castle, raft to Tarzan's treehouse and, for thrill-seeking parents or daring kids, there's Hyperspace Mountain.

At the Trick Eye Museum, you can snap a selfie with a larger-than-life Mona Lisa or appear to levitate over a rickety Chinese chair.

For fun that comes with education, dip your toes into Ocean Park - Hong Kong's own theme park. Nestled between rich green mountains with a stunning ocean view, the park combines nature learning with water-fuelled action. Check out the world-class aquarium, resident pandas or scream your way around the thrilling ride attractions.

If you're after something utterly unique, check out Noah's Ark. It's a resort full of attractions, built around a life-size replica of the ark. Hong Kong never fails to surprise.

The weird and wonderful

Hong Kong embraces the odd and unusual, with delightfully unexpected sights around every twist and turn. There are also some dedicated quirky hotspots that are bound to get the kids pointing in awe.

Home of the illusion, the Trick Eye Museum takes an immersive spin on art, with paintings jumping out at you in 3D. You won't have to worry about your children getting too close to the canvas; here it's encouraged. They can snap a selfie with a larger-than-life Mona Lisa or appear to levitate over a rickety Chinese chair.

For timeless weirdness, check out Madame Tussauds. The wax museum pushes the art of sculpture eerily close to reality. Again, you won't want to forget your camera, as teens get up close with their celebrity crushes and dads strike proud poses with ex-presidents.

 

Culture for kids

Although Hong Kong's rich heritage is ever-present, you'll rarely feel like you're getting a history lesson. Eastern traditions are often intertwined with engaging activities, so kids will be too busy having fun to realise how much they're learning.

For a light-hearted introduction to Hong Kong's market culture, visit the Goldfish Market in street-stall town Mong Kok. Believers of Feng Shui regard a full aquarium to be a bringer of good fortune. The plastic bags brimming with eye-catching hues of fish are as full and bursting with life as the street itself. You may also find that some reptilian friends have joined the party.

For families, Ngong Ping 360 should be at the top of your list. The bubble-shaped cable cars look like something out of a science fiction movie, as they cruise over teal waters and between mountains, giving you panoramic views of Lantau Island. For extra wow-factor, look into the Crystal Cabin cars, with a glass-bottom for birds-eye viewing. From the Ngong Ping station, you're a five-minute walk from the Big Buddha, Hong Kong's staggeringly bold cultural monument and the world's largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha.

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