Things to do in Hong Kong in October

It’s a big month for cultural celebrations, starting with Mid-Autumn Festival and ending in Halloween. And there’s plenty of fun things to do in Hong Kong in October in between! Here’s some highlights.

Things to do: The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade

What’s on: ET in concert for kids

The HK Phil will be bringing the music from Steven Spielberg’s movie classic, ET, to life in a concert marking the 35th anniversary of the film. The HK Philharmonic Orchestra will play a live accompaniment to a screening of the original movie.

Where: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

When: 3pm, 1 October

More: hkphil.org

What’s on: 2017 National Day Fireworks Display

If you love fireworks, add this to your list of things to do. Expect a pyrotechnic extravaganza over Victoria Harbour with a huge fireworks display to mark the 68th birthday of the People’s Republic of China.

Where: Victoria Harbour between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui

When: 9pm, 1 October

More: discoverhongkong.com

What’s on: Autumn Strikes a Merry Tune

Get into the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival when The Arcade presents Strikes A Merry Autumn Tune. The initiative will allow you to enjoy activities such as creating a musical lantern with your family, performing with a DIY Xylophone ensemble, learning from music by exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, see a street handpan performer, and experience a different kind of artistic feast, with two different virtual reality games based on music and rhythm.

Where: The Arcade, Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Cyberport

When: 12pm–6pm, until 2 October

More: arcade.cyberport.hk

What’s on: Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

Coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival is the Fire Dragon Dance, where a 67-metre-long dragon is studded with thousands of burning incense sticks and wends it ways through the backstreets of Tai Hang in Causeway Bay. This year’s parades will be held on 3–6 October in Tai Hang and 4 October in Victoria Park. The event’s origins date back to the people of Tai Hang village miraculously stopping a plague with a fire dragon dance in the 19th century. The tradition is now part of China’s official intangible cultural heritage. A must on this month’s list of things to do.

Where: Tai Hang, Causeway Bay (Best Vantage Point: Wun Sha Street); Soccer Pitch, Victoria Park

When: Around 8:15–10:30pm, 3–5 October; Around 10:45-11:30, 4 October; Around 8:15–10pm, 6 October

More: discoverhongkong.com

What’s on: The Garden at the K11 Art Foundation

What’s on at chi art space? The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) is presenting The Garden, a group exhibition curated by Enoch Cheng, which replaces flora and fauna found in the natural world with contemporary art pieces to create a multi-sensory ‘art garden’. The Garden features works by nine artists, including new, commissioned pieces by six Hong Kong-based artists.

Where: chi art space, 663 Clear Water Bay Road, Clear Water Bay 

When: 10am–6pm. Until 3 October

More: k11artfoundation.org

What’s on: Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival signals the end to a year’s hard work in the fields, culminating in the harvest season. People use this opportunity to express their gratitude to heaven (represented by the moon) and Earth (symbolised by the Earth god) for the blessings they have enjoyed over the past year. Legend has it that on Mid-Autumn Festival night, the moon will be the brightest and fullest. This annual event is marked with lantern festivals around the city, with Victoria Park hosting a huge event, with singing, dancing, acrobats and lantern displays. Add this now to your list of things to do!

Where: Victoria Park, Causeway Bay

When: 8pm–11pm, 4 October

More: lcsd.gov.hk

What’s on: Oktoberfest at Happy Valley Racecourse

Oktoberfest returns to Happy Valley Racecourse for the city’s biggest Oktoberfest party! Head down to Happy Wednesday Oktoberfest for German food, folks and fun in the finest tradition of celebrating great Bavarian beer. The four-week party starts on Thursday, 5 October and continues on the next three consecutive Wednesdays, 11, 18 and 25 October.

Where: Happy Valley Racecourse, Happy Valley

When: 5 October, 11, 18 and 25 October

More: happywednesday.hkjc.com

What’s on: Kevin Bridges

Scotland’s biggest comedy act, Kevin Bridges, is bringing his globally successful tour to Hong Kong. Dubbed ‘brilliant’ by Billy Connolly, Kevin has taken his style of observational, cutting edge comedy all over the globe. One of the things to do this month for comedy fans.

Where: Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, 6/F, Rotunda 3, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay 

When: 8pm–11pm, 5 October

More: hkticketing.com

What’s on: Hong Kong International Jazz Festival

This festival kicks off with a free concert on 30 September in Olympic Square in Hong Kong Park and then features a series of ticketed events with renowned jazz musicians from around the world. Presented by the Hong Kong Jazz Association, the festival is now one of the key jazz events in the region each year.

Where: Various locations

When: Until 5 October

More: hkijf.com

What’s on: Hong Kong Tennis Open

Five of the world’s top thirteen female players, including Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams, will play at the Hong Kong Tennis Open. The WTA International Series event will take place at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium. Players will compete for a US$500,000 prize purse. A range of fan and community events will also be on offer. Perfect if you are looking for family-friendly things to do.

Where: Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay 

When: 7–15 October

More: hktennisopen.hk

What’s on: Discovery Bay Sunday Market

Handmade Hong Kong’s Discovery Bay Sunday Market is a DIY Indie Arts, Crafts and Small Traders’ Fair. Hong Kong’s finest makers and sellers will be offering arts, crafts and other special goods with about 140 different vendors taking part, attracting about 2000 visitors. Make a day trip to DB on the ferry with the markets located in the DB main plaza, just a short walk from the ferry pier. If you stay for dinner at one of Discovery Bay’s D’Deck restaurants you will get a free ferry ride back to Central.

Where: Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay 

When: 11am–6pm, 8 October

More: handmadehongkong.com

What’s on: Hong Kong Cyclothon

The third edition of the Hong Kong Cyclothon is back. A mix of amateur and professional races and rides, some of the world’s top international cyclists will come to Hong Kong for the event. Registration is closed but you can cheer on the cyclists for this popular event. Vantage points for the CEO Charity & Celebrity Ride, Team Time Trial, Men’s Open Race, Women’s Open Race and Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Challenge are on either side of Salisbury Road near Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and along Mody Road near UC Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui East.

Where: To watch the start and finish of the 50km Ride and the 30km Ride, head to either side of Salisbury Road near Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and 1881 Heritage.

When: 8 October

More: active.com

Things to do: My Furry Kids At Home
Don’t miss this exhibition

What’s on: My Furry Kids At Home Photo Exhibition

Adopting an animal not only saves a life, but also provides immense joy to those who adopt. My Furry Kids at Home Photo Exhibition features 50 heartfelt cat adoption stories along with family photographs. Exhibiting stories come from all backgrounds including, cats that have been rescued by inspectors; elderly cats requiring special care; and “Fan Shu” and “Siu Pak”, the two cats of local music group Rubber Band’s member “Lai Man”.

Where: Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay 

When: Until 8 October

More: timessquare.com.hk

What’s on: Woodland Pre-Schools Bump Club Chats – Breastfeeding

New and expectant mothers are welcome to this session, conducted by Yvonne Heavyside, an experienced health visitor and lactation consultant. The free event will cover advice on how to successfully breastfeed your baby and the importance of getting off to a good start. There will be a question and answer session at the conclusion of the talk. There will also be advice on ways to get off to a good start by immediate skin to skin contact and frequent undisturbed feeding.

Where: The Woodland Montessori Academy, On Fung Building, 110-118 Caine Road, Mid Levels

When: 6.30pm–8pm, 9 October

Register: seminar@woodlandschools.com

What’s on: Aida

Opera Hong Kong will be staging performances of Verdi’s most famous opera, Aida, at the Cultural Centre, as a co-production with the Shanghai Opera House. A poignantly evocative story of a love triangle during the times of war between Egypt and Ethiopia, Aïda features the most intricate and memorable music that Verdi ever wrote. The timeless story of the conflicting duties of love and patriotism will feature a star-studded international cast, which includes two of the opera world’s reigning Aidas.

Where: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 

When: Various times, 10–15 October

More: operahongkong.org

What’s on: Stamford American School Open House

Stamford American School invites you to meet Stamford’s Superintendent Malcolm Kay at the school’s Open House to discover how Stamford leads every child to achieve more than they believe they can. Malcolm will share how Stamford’s unique combination of a standards-based curriculum, individualised learning plans and a unique STEMinn (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math & Innovation) Program from age five offers children a passport to success at leading universities worldwide.

Where: Stamford American School Admissions Office, Two Exchange Square, Level 40, Suites 4005-4007, 8 Connaught Place, Central 

When: 11–12 October

Register: www.sais.edu.hk

What’s on: Roots of Flamenco

Flamenco’s “Golden Couple” will be in Hong Kong for the phenomenal Roots of Flamenco performance. Dancer Sonia Olla and singer Ismael Fernandez will perform on 11 October in Gypsy Jazz Flamenco and in Tablao Sevilla Flamenco on 12 October. Sonia and Ismael worked with pop-icon Madonna for her 2015-2016 Rebel Heart tour. Sonia choreographed while samples of Ismael’s voice are featured in La Isla Bonita. 

Where: Lecture Hall, Sheung Wan Civic Centre, 345 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan

When: 8pm, 11–12 October

More: rootsofflamenco.com

What’s on: Barclay’s Moontrekker

The 9th Barclay’s Moontrekker sees runners tackle an overnight race on Lantau Island. There are two courses – the Moonlit 30km and the Sunrise 43km. Both races begin on Friday night in Mui Wo, on Lantau Island. Both routes finish at Pui O Beach. The Sunrise 43 starts at 8.30pm and the Moonlit 30 at 11pm. The finish-line takes participants down to Pui O beach. Hong Kong’s leading night hiking/running event raises money for charity. Show your support by making a donation.

Where: Mui Wo to Pui O, Lantau Island

When: From 8.30pm, 13 October

More: barclaysmoontrekker.com

What’s on: The Awakening by Claire Lee

In celebration of its second anniversary, CHARBON art space will present more than 40 pieces of ink and bitumen drawings and new collection of poetry by Hong Kong visual artist and poet Claire Lee. Based in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, Lee studied curatorial at the Hong Kong Art School. Her works, in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, poetry and mixed media draw on subjects dealing with psychological struggles and personal strength. The solo exhibition, named The Awakening, will run until 11 November.

Where: Charbon art space8/F, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang

When: 14 October–11 November

More: charbonartspace.com

What’s on: Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt

Looking for family-friendly things to do? Why not check out the Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt exhibition at the Hong Kong Science Museum. The exhibition presents insights into Ancient Egypt, one of the oldest civilisations in the world. The highlight of this exhibition are six Egyptian mummies between 3,000 and 1,800 years old. Along with the mummy displays and around 200 invaluable objects, digital interpretation of the mummies demonstrates how non-invasive computerised tomography has allowed research Ancient Egypt. A good one if you are looking for family things to do.

Where: Hong Kong Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon 

When: Monday to Wednesday and Friday from 10am–7pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10am–9pm. It is closed on Thursdays. The box office opens at 10am and closes one hour before the museum closes. Until 18 October.

More: hk.science.museum

What’s on: 10th Chinese Documentary Film Festival

The Chinese Documentary Festival is back for its 10th edition with a compelling lineup of film screenings and public events. The programmes include Competition (Shorts and Features), Hong Kong Selection, Selection of New Taipei City Documentary Awards Selection, International Selection, and Retrospective of films from the previous Festivals.

Where: Various locations

When: Until 19 October

More: cdf.asia

What’s on: Guess How Much I Love You

Join Little and Big Nutbrown Hare, from the best-selling Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You All Year Round collection, as they leap off the page and onto the stage in this magical journey through the seasons. This ABA Productions show is directed by Anna Fox, with music composed by Harry Sever and movement by Lucie Pankhurst. Explore this playful story of love and nature as it unfolds on stage through puppets, live music and interactive play for children aged 2 and up. The running time is about 55 minutes with no interval.

Where: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Drama Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai 

When: Various times, 20–22 October

Tickets: hkticketing.com

What’s on: Hong Kong Maternity + Baby Event

If you’re a new parent, expecting, or even just planning a family, don’t miss this year’s Maternity + Baby event – the third annual event of its kind – which promises to be a one-stop shop for all the information and products you need. Presented by Healthy Matters, it will feature maternity experts addressing key topics of interest for expectant parents, along with exhibitors showcasing an array of relevant goods and services.

Where: JW Marriott Hotel, 88 Queensway, Pacific Place, Admiralty

When: 9.30am–4.30pm, 21 October

More: healthymatters.com

What’s on: HKIS Annual Pumpkin Festival

Add the The Hong Kong International School (HKIS) Annual Pumpkin Festival to your list of family fun things to do. The Pumpkin Festival is fun for the entire family offering seasonal activities including a Pumpkin Patch (choose and take home your very own pumpkin), a bouncy castle and slide, games with prizes, a talent show, a used-book fair, Boo-tique shopping, food, and so much more! Admission is free for this event and complimentary bus transportation is provided to and from the event (note that there is no parking on site at the event).

Where: Hong Kong International School, 700 Reservoir Road (HKIS Middle School), Tai Tam

When: 11am–3pm, 21 October

More: facebook.com

What’s on: One Sky Charity Walk

Get your walking shoes ready and join the OneSky Charity Hike. The hike raises funds for vulnerable children and enables OneSky to train caregivers to provide care for children across China. There are trails available for all levels and ages so it’s easy to get involved, whether you are a beginner or advanced hiker.

Where: MacLehose Trail

When: 21 October

Register: giveasia.typeform.com

What’s on: The Harbour School Open Day at Harbour Village

The Harbour School invites prospective families to learn more about their preparatory (Pre-K and K) school program. Families will be able to explore the campus’s inspiring learning spaces and meet with the school’s faculty including Head of School Dr Jadis Blurton and Principal Christine Greenberg. The family-friendly event will be held at the school’s early childhood centre and newly renovated campus in Kennedy Town, called the Harbour Village.

Where: The Harbour School – Harbour Village, 2/F, 23 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town

When: 10am–12pm, 21 October

Register: theharbourschool.openapply.com

What’s on: In Search of Light Photographic Exhibition

In Search of Light by George Turner brings Northern Europe alive across the colour of all four seasons, demonstrating the beauty of this continent all year round. Featuring destinations such as Norway, Finland, Scotland, and Iceland, George Turner captures the beauty of the road less travelled in these countries; providing you inspiration to create your next holiday.

Where: The Haven by Jacada Travel, 29/F, Wyndham Place, 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central 

When: 21 October–9 December

More: facebook.com

What’s on: Internationalism Professional Development Learning Community Workshop

Dr Eeqbal Hassim, an education consultant with an interest in intercultural teaching and learning and education in transcultural contexts, will be conducting an Internationalism workshop for teaching professionals at Discovery Bay International School. Dr Hassim will lead an examination of key internationalism concepts in relation to addressing the needs of students in transient international school communities. The workshop will involve a group discussion of strategies and action plans to enable us to better prepare students as global citizens for the future. The three-hour course will cost HK$350 to attend and includes snacks, tea and coffee.

Where: Discovery Bay International School, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island

When: 9am–12pm, 23 October

Registration: form.jotform.me

What’s on: Reunion Contemporary Chinese Sculpture Exhibition

The Reunion sculpture exhibition showcases outstanding works by nine renowned Chinese contemporary masters, at The Rotunda in Exchange Square, Central. The relationships among these sculptors date back to 1985, when they took part in the first ever art exhibition at The Rotunda to commemorate the official opening of Exchange Square. Now they reunite to present 26 pieces of different, but equally remarkable art. Add to your list of things to do when you are in Central.

Where: The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Central

When: 24 October–16 November

More: hkland.com

What’s on: Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival

The world-class Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival is one of the highlights of the things to do in October. Located at the Central Harbourfront Event Space, offering foodies the chance to sample some fantastic food and drink from more than 300 booths. There will also be special events, such as tasting classes with industry experts.

Where: Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central

When: 26–29 October

Tickets: discoverhongkong.com

What’s on: 11th Annual Hong Kong International Comedy Festival

Catch some of the best comics in the game, as they vie to win HK$40,000 in the 11th Annual Hong Kong International Comedy Festival. The festival will see a series of heats, leading up to a grand final. International comedy stars Ahmed Ahmed and Paul Ogata will also do a series of shows as part of the festival. Organised by Takeout Comedy. A must on the list of things to do for comedy fans.

Where: Various locations

When: Various times, 26 October–25 November

Tickets: hkcomedyfestival.com

What’s on: Ophelia’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween LIVE

Get set for Hong Kong’s most outrageous Halloween party at Ophelia’s, with its Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween LIVE event. Ophelia will be presenting a glitz and glam version of the legendary Halloween cult classic featuring Time WarpSweet TransvestiteToucha Touch MeHot Patootie, and many many more. Pull out your Halloween costume and prepare for deadly dancers and live performances, insane freak shows and prizes for the craziest costumes. There will be killer cocktails and cool beats. Free admission for all freaks in costume.

Where: Ophelia, Shop No. 39A, 1/F, The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road, Wan Chai 

When: From 6pm, 28 October

More: facebook.com

What’s on: Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s Shop for Pink

The city’s largest cancer support organisation, Hong Kong Cancer Fund, is hosting its annual fundraiser Shop For Pink, in October. More than 20 retailers will sponsor this year’s Shop For Pink, offering some of their best and pinkest items to raise money in support of women with breast cancer in Hong Kong.

Where: Various locations

When: Until 31 October

More: pink.cancer-fund.org

What’s on: Amoy Plaza Ghouls Night Out

Get into the Halloween spirit at Amoy Plaza’s Ghouls Night Out. Step into the wickedly wonderful world of Witchy’s House. The fiendish yet alluring sorceress, along with her gargantuan witch’s hat, can be found at the First Floor Atrium of Amoy Plaza Phase 2. From 25–31 October from 6pm, customers who make purchases at designated outlets will be able to enjoy some classic trick-or-treating and collect Halloween candies. On Sunday, 29 October, Amoy Plaza will also play host to a pre-Halloween party, where ghouls and monsters will take over the mall and distribute funky balloons and temporary tattoo stickers to guests.

Where: Amoy Plaza, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay

When: Until 31 October

More: facebook.com

What’s on: In Praise of Silk

Check out this magnificent collection of contemporary fashion and historical costume designs at the In Praise of Silk: Fashion from China National Silk Museum Across Time exhibition. The exhibition is a tribute to “mulberry silk”, the fibre that made China famous since historical times. A glimpse into the evolution of the Chinese fashion and silk culture is offered by the collaboration between HKDI’s Department of Fashion and Image Design (FID) and the China National Silk Museum, the world’s largest silk museum. The Museum collection will also feature multimedia installations, an exploration into the production of silk with a weaving loom, photographs, and more. Add to the list of things to do for history buffs.

Where: d-mart, Hong Kong Design Institute, 3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories 

When: Until 2 December

More: hkdi.edu.hk

What’s on: Hong Kong Culture Festival

The Hong Kong Culture Festival aims to promote awareness of the city’s cultural heritage. It will see an array of events and performances to raise public interest and encourage participation in traditional culture, particularly among young people. As an integrated platform for collaboration across different cultural fields, the Hong Kong Culture Festival also aims to nurture creative talents and inject innovation into traditional culture. This excellent festival should be on your list of things to do this month.

Where: Various locations

When: Until 31 December

More: hkculturefestival.com

What’s on: Swiss Accessory and Watch Design Exhibition

The HKDI Gallery is proud to collaborate with prestigious art and design academy Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève) for its first ever showcase in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong exhibition will be presenting an exquisite collection of more than 100 exhibits at HKDI’s Experience Centre, including refined watches and accessories produced by their students and recent graduates.

Where: HKDI Gallery, Experience Centre, 3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories

When: 10am–8pm, until 7 January. Closed Tuesdays and 3 and 10 December.

More: hkdi.edu.hk

What’s on: Glitter, Glitz and Glamour exhibition at Garden of Stars

An exhibition of caricatures by the ‘Godfather of Hong Kong movie posters’, Yuen Tai-yung, will be on display at the Garden of Stars. The Glitter, Glitz and Glamour exhibition will feature portraits of Hong Kong film and movie industry stars such as Andy Lau, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Leslie Cheung, and Anita Mui, as well as famous international singers and personalities such as Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, and Steve McQueen. A fun exhibition to add to your list of things to do.

Where: Garden of Stars, Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui

When: Until 31 March

More: avenueofstars.com.hk

Do you know of an event that should be included in our Things to Do guide? Email editor@expatliving.hk

Looking for more things to do? Check out 10 of the best museums in Hong Kong!