When it comes to things to do this week in Hong Kong, the big-ticket items are Chinese New Year events and activities, such as the Night Parade and fireworks over Victoria Harbour. But there are other things to do – here’s our guide to some of your options.
We can’t promise it won’t be chaotic and crowded, but it is certainly colourful and one of the most exciting customs of Chinese New Year. Welcome in the new year like the locals with a visit to one of the city’s flower markets and be dazzled by the riotous colours and aromas of orchids and other favourite blooms, plus endless inventive offerings from enthusiastic stallholders. There are flower markets at 15 different locations around the city, but the key one is in Victoria Park. The markets run from noon to midnight until the 27th and then midnight to 6am on 28 January.
Where: Victoria Park, 1 Hing Fat Street, Causeway Bay
When: Noon-12pm, until 27 January. Midnight-6am, 28 January
A special exhibition of Cantonese opera, A Cultural Treasure Passed Down through the Ages, is being held in Times Square to mark Chinese New Year. The exhibition traces the development of Cantonese opera from the 1920s, to its hey day in the 1940s and 1950s when it was considered the pop music of its day, to becoming a more literary and artistic performance.
Where: Times Square, Causeway Bay
When: Daily until 5 February, 11am-10pm
Chocoholics assemble! Harbour City is turning into a chocolate lovers paradise for the next month in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day with its Harbour City Chocolate Trail. The theme of the event is “All you eat is love”, and there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge yourself. Events include a chocolate dessert making demonstrations and a food illustration exhibition by Taiwanese food illustrator Pei Pei. There will also be chocolate tasting and an auction of a chocolate sculpture charity sale. Kids will love the chance to ride on mini chocolate trucks, with the chance for some families to make some sweet treats, as well as enjoy Gallery by the Harbour’s “I Love Donut” exhibition. Harbour City is also offering shoppers the chance to create their own bespoke chocolate box with their “Chocolate Trail Pass”.
Where: Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
When: 10am-10pm, Until 19 February
The Kidsfest festival is devoted to providing world-class theatre to young people in Hong Kong by bringing characters and scenes from well-loved books to life and provides a great family outing when looking for things to do. An annual highlight on many family calendars, this year the festival is featuring ten productions over five weeks, including Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and The Whale and Oliver Jeffers’ The Way Back Home. Tickets start at HK$195.
Where: Various locations
When: Various times, Until 5 February
The AIA Great European Carnival has returned for the winter to the Central Harbourfront Event space. This much-loved family event is one of the best things to do each year and has all the favourite rides and attractions, as well as an exciting new themed area. The carnival will do extended hours for Chinese New Year, opening until 1am on 27 January.
Where: Central Harbourfront Event Space
When: 11am-11pm. Until 12 February
Get cultural when looking for things to do. Massimo De Carlo Gallery presents Between Utopia and Dystopia, its first group show of the year. Curated by independent curator and critic Manuela Lietti, the exhibition brings together works by six Chinese contemporary artists that explore the notion of landscape. Featured artists have roots in Mainland China – Jia Aili, Liu Xinyi, Meng Huang, Qiu Shihua, Wang Sishun, and Wang Zhongjie. The gallery is closed Sundays.
Where: 301-302A Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central
When: 10.30am-7pm, Until 11 March
The work of one of Britain’s most celebrated living painters, Howard Hodgkin, is being presented by the Gagosian Gallery. The In The Pink exhibition will feature recent work by Hodgkin, who has a career spanning more than 50 years, in his first exhibition in Hong Kong. Completed between 2014 and 2016, the work will showcase his intimate oil on wood-panel paintings which convey the relationship between hand, eye, and memory that charges process, visual structure, and emotional temperature. His work has been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Tate Britain. Major exhibitions of his work will be presented at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in March and Hepworth Wakefield, England, in June.
Where: Gagosian Gallery, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central
When: 11am-7pm, Until 11 March
Australian-owned Belgian beer hall FRITES is celebrating Australia Day with a screening of much-loved film Crocodile Dundee, starring Paul Hogan, at all its venues. Bookings are required to ensure availability. The Australia Day theme continues until 29 January, with special Aussie classic menu items, along with a free stubby holder and one VB beer for diners. Foodie faves will include shrimp on the barbie, a generous portion of grilled shrimp with pineapple and baby gem salad; lamb ribs, roasted ribs paired with cucumber, yoghurt and pomegranate and smoked brisket cooked for twelve hours and served with Aussie beetroot slaw.
Where: Various locations
When: 26-29 January, 11.45am-late
The Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on the first day of the Lunar New Year has been the highlight of the festive season in Hong Kong for the last 21 years. Themed ‘Best Fortune. World Party.’, the parade features spectacular floats and international performers. It begins with a street party from 6pm and the parade proper starts at 8pm from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and proceeds along Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road and Salisbury Road, and ends outside Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers. Best free viewing vantage points are along Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan Road. There are ticketed spectator stands which open at 7pm.
Where: Best free viewing vantage points are along Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
When: From 8pm, 28 January
Thousands will line both sides of iconic Victoria Harbour on the second day of Chinese New Year to witness Hong Kong ushering in the Year of the Rooster with an astounding fireworks display. Join them and start the new year with an awe-inspiring spectacle. Popular vantage points around Victoria Harbour include the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, Central and Western District Promenade and Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. The display lasts about 23 minutes.
Where: Various locations, Victoria Harbour
When: 8pm, 29 January
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Check out our handy guide for ideas on things to do in Hong Kong!