By: Melissa Stevens
Sure, your kids might be growing up amongst the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, but there is a surprising amount of parks, playgrounds and outdoor centres if you want to give your little ones a dose of the great outdoors. Here’s a few of our faves to get you started.
Hong Kong Park
In the heart of Central, this park has a multi-level playground which suits varying ages and once the kids tire of that, take them exploring through the park. Stroll through the aviary on a high-level boardwalk and see birds up close in their feeders, then check out the walk-through waterfall and a pond with fish and turtles. It’s also the location of the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, which is free.
Where: 19 Cotton Tree Drive, Central
READ MORE: 10 best Museums in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens
This park is the oldest in Hong Kong and one of the oldest zoological gardens in the world. But history lesson aside, it appeals to kids as it has animals and a playground. There are two sections, with the eastern Old Garden where you will find the playground, aviaries, a greenhouse and a fountain terrace garden. The new garden is home to monkeys and reptiles.
Where: Albany Road, Mid-Levels
One of the most popular parks, this is a focal point of many different festivals and events, such as the Lantern Festival and an annual flower show. But even when there isn’t a special event on, its vast expanse makes it a perfect place for kids to run around. There’s playgrounds dotted about, a fountain and a lake where you might find people racing model boats.
Where: 1 Hing Fat Street, Causeway Bay
There’s more to a trip to The Peak than just the tram ride and the view, with two parks on offer. The kids can let off some steam at the Mount Austin Playground which has a number of different play areas, including one for kids aged five to 12 years. Victoria Peak Gardens, the formal European grounds of the governor’s summer residence, are also open to the public, providing winding paths to explore and open lawns to play.
Where: Victoria Peak, The Peak
It’s hard to believe this park is right slap-bang in Tsim Sha Tsui. There’s oodles to do once you are there, with a large playground and gardens and a lake which is home to dozens of flamingos. There is also an indoor and expansive outdoor pool.
Where: 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Po Kong Village Road Park
This Diamond Hill park is notable as it has a cycling area for beginners, which is great for little ones learning to ride. Its other facilities include a skatepark, jogging trail, fitness corners for various ages, playgrounds and a nursery.
Where: 140 Po Kong Village Road, Diamond Hill, Kowloon
Tai Po Waterfront Park
This pretty park is 22 hectares, making it the largest of the government parks in Hong Kong. It has a children’s playground, gardens, a lookout tower, insect house and model boat pool. There’s also a gateball court and a lovely promenade along the edge of Tolo Harbour.
Where: Dai Fat Street, Tai Po
Why there is a themed park devoted to Snoopy in Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza is not entirely clear, but nevertheless it is a huge hit with the kids. Kids love running around the playground which has character-themed equipment and it’s worth a trip just as it’s possibly the most surprising of parks in Hong Kong.
Where: 3/F New Town Plaza, Sha Tin
Hong Kong Wetland Park
This 61 hectare park demonstrates the diversity of Hong Kong’s ecosystem and highlights the need for conservation. There’s a variety of displays and kids will love seeing Pui Pui the crocodile, the butterfly garden and walking the mangrove boardwalk, stopping in hides to check out the birds aided by a telescope. There’s a wetland discovery centre, a treehouse and also an eco-maze.
Where: Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai, New Territories
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) is a conservation and education centre. There is a huge array of animals and plants to check out with a reptile lookout and garden, a wild boar enclosure, pigsties, wildlife pond, raptor roost, parrot sanctuary, mules, monkey haven, butterfly garden, fruit forest and cactus greenhouse. Originally established in 1956 by the Kadoorie family to provide aid to famers, it now serves raise awareness of ecological and sustainability issues. It’s open to the public for a small fee.
Where: Lam Kam Rd, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong
Discovery Bay Beach Playground
There are several parks and playgrounds in DB, but the most convenient if you are visiting for the day is the beach playground which is a pleasant walk from the ferry along past Tai Pak Wan beach. The playground has swings, slides and a jungle gym and there are picnic tables nearby. A ziplining facility has also been recently installed and there are often seasonal events on the beach. Once the kids tire of the playground you can hit the beach itself for a dip or some sandcastle building.
Where: Tai Pak Wan, Discovery Bay Road, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island
Right next to Disneyland is this free public park which is a great location for a picnic with a playground with splash pad. You can also hire quad bikes and pedal boats to have some fun on the lake.
Where: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island
Lions Nature Education Centre
This centre is found in Sai Kung and has five exhibition halls plus heaps of flora and fauna to entertain the kids. There’s an arboretum, a medicinal plants garden, an insectarium, a mineral and rocks corner and a shell house. There’s also a dragonfly pond and a lotus pond.
Where: Hiram’s Highway, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
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