For the many of us who live on HK Island, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how big our SAR really is. The largest of the main regions is of course the New Territories, comprising a whopping 86% of Hong Kong’s total area! With all that space to play with, there’s an abundance of fun to be had for the whole family all over the NT. Here’s a look at our top ten picks.
With Jaspa’s branches in Central, Discovery Bay and Sai Kung town, as well as the famous Jaspa’s Junk, this is a tried and tested family favourite. Located at the gorgeous High Island in Sai Kung Country Park, Jaspa’s Beach Club has a traditional Chinese seafood menu that adults and kids will enjoy, and a fab secluded waterfront location for running off the excess shrimp after lunch with a game of beach volleyball! Be aware that the restaurant is very much off the beaten track and so plan for a whole day’s excursion and make the most of the gorgeous surroundings.
Address: Hai Island, Sai Kung Country Park.
Tel: (852) 2792 4733.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday plus Public Holidays, 11am to 5.30pm.
How to get there: Jaspa’s have a downloadable list of transport or hiking options available on their website. The most exciting way is to hire a boat from Sai Kung harbour and arrive in style at Jaspa’s very own pier!
If you are in Sha Tin on a bike ride or staying at the Hyatt Regency for a family Staycation, be sure to check out the hotel’s in-house patisserie. The house speciality is the super-scrummy Sha Tin Apple Pie, made using local New Territories honey from an apiary situated near the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery. This is Sassy Mama tried and tested and guaranteed a double thumbs-up from big and little people alike! The hotel’s café also does a decent lunch if you want something a little more substantial and has high chairs and a kid’s menu available.
Address: 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin.
Tel: (852) 3723 1234.
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am to 9pm.
How to get there: Take the MTR to University Station. The Hyatt is a 2 minute walk away.
What to do if the nagging for burgers is getting too much to bear but the idea of frequenting the Golden Arches is filling you with dread? Anthony’s Ranch in Sai Kung is just the place to let your Desperate Dans fill their (cowboy) boots! With imported US steaks and hamburgers smoked in-house and all the sides home-made, you can be confident that they won’t be chowing down on junk as they get their fill. Be sure to save room for the famed ice-cream sandwich!
Address: 28 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung.
Tel: (852) 2791 6113.
Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 11.30am to 12 am, Thursday and Friday, 11.30am to 2am, Weekends 8.30am to 12am.
How to get there: Yi Chun Street is just off the main Po Tung Road.
For any wannabe Station Masters or Engine Drivers, Tai Po is the place to be! Situated in Tai Po Market the Hong Kong Railway Museum is a former railway station converted into an interactive attraction. Parents will be interested in the information on the future of the MTR (does the future hold a better commute?) whilst youngsters will love the narrow gauge steam locomotive and diesel engine.
Address: 13 Shung Tak Street, Tai Po Market, Tai Po.
Tel: (852) 2653 3455.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm. Closed Tuesdays.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tai Po Market Station and take Exit A2. The museum is well signposted, and is accessed via On Fu Road in about 8 minutes. Alternatively, take Exit A from Tai Wo MTR station and follow signs to the museum via Yan Hing Street for around 5 minutes.
The biggest museum in Hong Kong, this museum covers 32,000 square metres (!) and is designed in the traditional Si He Yuan style, a compound of harmoniously-blended houses built around a courtyard. The museum features a wide selection of exhibits, many of them interactive which is great news for parents, and a huge bonus is their Children’s Discovery Gallery designed for kids 4-10 years old with eight play zones where they won’t catch on that they’re actually learning a thing or two. The younger set shouldn’t miss the Hong Kong Toy Story which features a wide range of toys designed, manufactured and sold in HK, while you should be sure to see the colourful Cantonese Opera Hall and the first-class Chinese art.
Address: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, New Territories.
Tel: (852) 2180 8188.
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed – Sat: 10am – 6pm; Sun and public holidays: 10am – 7pm; Closed Tuesdays
Admission: Adult HK$10, Child HK$5.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Che Kung Temple Station Exit A and walk for 5 minutes along the footbridge to the museum. Those driving take note: there is also a (well-priced) car park!
CLEARWATER BAY EQUESTRIAN AND EDUCATION CENTRE
With an emphasis on fun, safe riding and prioritising the welfare of their horses, the CEEC is the ideal place to experience horse riding in Hong Kong. Catering to all levels of experience, the centre offers lessons in everything from basic riding technique to how to tack your horse, all under strict supervision from one of their experienced instructors. Members can ride regularly throughout the year, whilst non-members tend to ride on weekday mornings and during the school holidays. The centre holds coffee mornings between 8am and 12pm on weekday mornings and they are happy to introduce one of their ponies to younger equestrian fans. They can also host birthday parties and other larger groups. Parental participation is actively encouraged so feel free to unleash your inner Zara Phillips!
Address: Lung Ha Wan Road, Clearwater Bay.
Tel: (852) 6398 6241.
Opening Hours: Contact the centre on (852) 6398 6241 for schedule details.
How to get there: A map and full driving and public transport directions are available on the website.
Created as a conservation, ecological and tourism attraction, Hong Kong Wetland Park covers a huge 61 hectare area of the northern New Territories and provides a purpose built home for Hong Kong’s many species of waterfowl and other wildlife. The Wetland Interactive World covers 5 separate galleries and provides a snapshot into the lifecycles and biodiversity on offer in Hong Kong and throughout the world. The park offers regular educational talks and activities as well as guided tours led by conservation experts. Keen twitchers (that’s bird watchers to you and I!) will love the bird hides, where you can get up close and personal to birds in their natural habitats.
Address: Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai.
Tel: (852) 2708 8885.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays.
How to get there: Take the MTR West Rail to Tin Shui Wai station, and then change to LRT 705/706 to Wetland Park Station.
Designed to be a safe place to enjoy age-appropriate play, Playscope offers a PlayCircle programme, encouraging youngsters to get physical and to have fun with the SkyWeb. PlayLab is a series of classes that parents can attend, covering Messy and Creative play. We think it’s a great place to enjoy some active fun and to get physical (and messy!) outside of the home. Don’t forget to call in at the Toy Library to borrow a toy for free!
Address: 117-125, Hang Wo House, Tai Wo Estate Tai Po.
Tel: (852) 2650 2607.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am to 4.30pm, closed Mondays.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tai Po station. Tai Wo Estate is a 5 minute walk from the station.
With everything from play-doh to mini-rollercoasters, this jungle-themed playroom designed for kids 6 months to 8 years old has it all and then some. One of the biggest playrooms in the area, we love that they offer and indoor-outdoor play space combo, making this a great spot for the kiddos to let out steam all year ‘round. Inside there’s loads for the little ones to do including a reading corner, a soft toy area for the little ones, and of course loads and loads of toys to get their imaginations moving (not to mention a comfy sofa area for parents). And outside you’ll find an outdoor play area too complete with toy cars, trucks, bikes and the usual play equipment.
Address: No. 3 Tan Cheung Village, Sai Kung.
Tel: (852) 2553 3825.
Opening Hours: Mon-Saturday- Morning play sessions run 8:30am-12:30pm; Afternoon play sessions run 2pm-5pm. And be sure to give them a buzz (+852) 2553 3825) before trekking out on the weekend to make sure they aren’t booked for private party.
Price: HK$120 per session (which covers 2 siblings), HK$40 per additional child per. Monthly passes are available.
New Town Plaza is a huge shopping mall with eight storeys of retail fun to be had. There’s high-end kids wear on offer from Burberry Children and Armani Junior, as well as more prosaic offerings from Bossini and all the games you could ever need at Toys R Us. Add to that a multiplex cinema, a wide range of child-friendly eating options at over 50 restaurants and last but not least, Snoopy’s World, a Peanuts-themed play area, and you’ve got yourself a one-hit shopping day sorted out.
Address: 18 Sha Tin Centre St, Sha Tin.
Tel: (852) 2699-5992.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am to 10pm.
How to get there: Exit A at Sha Tin MTR station brings you straight into New Town Plaza.