Looking for something a bit different to do this weekend? Want to inject a wee bit of culture into the kiddos? Why not pack ‘em up and head off to one of HK’s many museums? Whether it’s one of the city’s mega institutions or a smaller special interest gem, these cultural spaces will delight the whole crew. An afternoon full of fun, educational activities that you don’t have to plan? What’s not to love about that?! Add a trip to the gift shop for well-behaved little museum-goers and this is a non-brainer, mum! The next rainy weekend might not be quite so gloomy after all.
THE HONG KONG HERITAGE MUSEUM
1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, New Territories
Tel: (852) 2180 8188
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!
The biggest museum in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Heritage 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. Divided into 12 exhibition galleries, each a treasure trove of relics of the history, culture and arts of early Hong Kong and the nearby South China region, 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.
HONG KONG SPACE MUSEUM
10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2721 0226
Hours: Mon, Wed – Fri : 1pm – 9pm; Sat, Sun & Public Holidays : 10am – 9pm; Closed Tue
Admission: Exhibition Halls – HK$10 for adults, HK$5 for students, children and seniors; Space Theatre – HK$24 for adults, HK$12 for students, children and seniors (note that kids under 3 are not admitted to the Sky Show Theatre/Omnimax)
How to get there: While you can take the MTR (get out at the Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit J and walk about 10 mins to the museum), our favourite way is to hop on the Star Ferry from Central or Wan Chai to TST and walk about 10 mins to the museum.
Located in front of The Peninsula hotel on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, the Space Museum is easy to spot with its white-domed planetarium. Space is of course an easy sell for kids when it comes to a day at the museum – and the HK Space Museum does not disappoint. Kids will love the interactive rides and exhibits including a ride on a virtual paraglider and a harness that holds you aloft with the same approximate gravity you’d experience walking on the moon. Another major hit is the Stanely Ho Space Theatre which shows a number of Omnimax productions with a projection system that produces an almost 360-degree panorama view. You can buy Space Theatre tickets in advance at the museum or at any URBTIX outlet.
THE HONG KONG SCIENCE MUSEUM
2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2732 3232
Hours: Mon- Wed & Fri 1pm- 9pm Sat- Sun 10am- 9pm
Admission: HK$25 for adults, HK$12.50 for students, children and seniors. Free admission for children under 4 years old accompanied by an adult with ticket and free admission on Wednesdays.
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit B2 and walk along Cameron Road towards East Tsim Sha Tsui for 8 mins.
Uncover the mysteries of science and technology at the Science Museum where a ton of hands-on exhibits are sure to appeal to children and adults alike. The more than 500 exhibits cover four floors, with sections devoted to everything from life sciences, meteorology and geography; light, sound, and motion; computers and robotics and more. Kids will stay occupied with the interactive displays (about three-quarters of the museum is hands-on) – not to mention the chance to run around in the massive kids’ area designed just for them. A huge museum with a ton to do, this is a super spot on a rainy or humid day since you can easily spend the whole day here.
THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY
100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: (852) 2724-9042
Hours: Mon & Wed- Sat 10am- 6pm Sun 10am- 7pm
Admission: Adult HK$10, Child HK$5; Free on Wednesdays
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui (Exit B2) and a 10min walk
With its over 90,000 items showcasing a whopping 400 million years of Hong Kong’s history (!!), when they say it’s a museum about HK’s history they mean it! Kids will be glued to the many diorama displays – you can peer inside a fishing junk, see what Kowloon Walled City looked like before it became a park, see the backstage of a Chinese opera, and walk down a re-created street of old Hong Kong – complete with a pawnshop, teahouse, and a Chinese herbal-medicine shop actually located in Central until 1980 and reconstructed in the museum!
Off the Beaten Path – but not to be missed:
HONG KONG RAILWAY MUSEUM
This small, picturesque museum in the restored old Tai Po Market Station is a must for all rail enthusiasts. Its exhibition of Hong Kong’s rail history includes photographs, old coaches, samples of track and a full-size model of an electric train compartment.
LAW UK FOLK MUSEUM
Only a 5 minutes’ walk from the Chai Wan MTR Station, this 18th-century Hakka village house – the only example of its kind in Chai Wan – is a declared historical building.
HONG KONG MUSEUM OF COASTAL DEFENCE
An often overlooked museum, the main pull here is the setting, which is the beautifully preserved 100 year old Lei Yue Mun fort – HK’s oldest and best-preserved British coastal fortresses dating from the Victorian period. This museum explores 600 years of the territory’s coastal defence. As well as the fascinating historical displays indoors (naval costumes, models of war junks, weaponry, etc), there’s a historical trail complete with tunnels, cannons, and observation posts.