Every kid loves a day with dad. They will probably play messier, eat more sugar, and maybe even get in a wrestling match. It will be glorious. The best part of a day with dad? It often means mama enjoys a day all by herself. At least, that’s one highlight for us!
Take a peek at our roundup of Best Day with Dad Activities in Hong Kong, then nudge your better half toward togetherness with the little ones. We promise they will have a ball.
Camp on the beach in Tai Long Wan, Lantau
You haven’t lived until you’ve fallen asleep to the sounds of the ocean…and nothing else. Get right on this bucket-list activity, and take your kids along! Hong Kong’s weather means the fall and early summer are perfect times to head to the seashore and set up camp for the evening.
Glamping is an option, but why not go true-blue Boy Scout and set up a tent the old-fashioned way? It’s cheap, and it’s a memory your kids will treasure. Tai Long Wan in Lantau is no-frills and remote, which is exactly how we like our camping experience.
Restaurants on the beach can provide a quick dinner, along with rental equipment (tents and sleeping bags, the basics) for the night.
Where: To get to Tai Long Wan, take Bus 11 from Tung Chung town center or Bus 1 from Mui Wo towards Tai O. Depart from Shek Pik Reservoir’s west station. Go backwards up Stage 8 of Lantau Trail to Tai O for about 30 minutes. It’s worth the trek!
Strongly suggested: Make sure your kids are prepared to embrace sand, dirt and some general grime. That’s why camping is fun, but they’ll look to you as they get used to the idea of such a change. And no iPhones allowed!
Go deep sea fishing
Fishing is a classic dad-kid activity around the world, and in Hong Kong, the classic version is bigger and bolder. Not for the weak of stomach (big swells are hard on tender tummies), deep sea fishing is perfect for a milestone birthday or special occasion.
Private boats are available for hire across Hong Kong, and fishing novices and pros alike enjoy tasty catches — tuna, Mahi Mahi, and even the occasional barracuda! You never know until you throw in that line.
Check out: How to obtain a fishing license for the local reservoirs, if the deep sea isn’t your thing.
Spend an afternoon geocaching together
Geocaching is a global scavenger hunt, perfect for dads and kids who like to sleuth together. And in a city like Hong Kong, where there’s always more to explore, what better way to find new nooks and crannies?
Hong Kong even has a group of geocaching enthusiasts who treasure hunt together! Join Geocaching Hong Kong on Facebook to learn more about how to dive in.
Where: With caches all over Hong Kong, you can literally start right in your own backyard. Check out the official Geocaching website to see a map, then download the app before you venture out.
Cost: $78 for the Geocaching app for iPhone.
Build epic sandcastles at the beach
Enthusiasm and preparedness are the keys on this one. Now is the time to shell out for the sturdiest beach toys — invest in the shovels that don’t snap in half on the first dig and a really big bucket. Bring kitchen utensils you’re willing to sacrifice for the cause (a spatula is a handy smoother-outer), and promise mum you’ll reapply the sunscreen all day.
Then, get digging. Moats, arches, caves and large pits are all essentials. Ask your kids what they’d like to create, and remember it’s bound to collapse a time or two. Spend a solid afternoon building a castle, nay, a fortress, and your kids will never forget it.
Where: We like Shek O because there will probably be other dads around, ready to help you out!
Turn the living room into a fort
Sometimes the best Saturday night is the one you spend at home. A novel idea in Hong Kong, perhaps, but we can almost guarantee that a pillow fort in your living room will be a major hit with all ages.
Send the kids to gather all the cushions you can find (yep, even from the sofa), grab a set of sheets and some binder clips from your work bag, and start building. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture, and keep those kid ideas at the forefront of this project.
One you’re finished building, pile in with the littles for reading-by-flashlight and a bowl of popcorn. If you bust out the sleeping bags and snooze on the floor all night? Hero status by morning.
Strongly suggested: Send mama to the Four Seasons for a night of uninterrupted sleep, and you’ll have even more freedom to rearrange the furniture.
Hunt for pirate leftovers in Tai Tam
Local lore says pirates loved to hang in Tai Tam in the mid-19th century (during those pesky Opium Wars), and more than one Southside dad has confirmed what we’ve long heard is true: Their opium pots are still lurking about!
Once you get over the hurdle of answering, “What’s opium, Dad?” you’ll have a fabulous adventure. On a sunny day at low tide, you and the munchkins will stay busy exploring — and treasure hunting — for hours.
Where: The flat, sandy area below Tai Tam Reservoir Dam.
Strongly suggested: Bring a change of clothes, including shoes, for the whole family. It will be a wonderfully messy day.
Learn to surf together
Riding waves is quintessentially Hong Kong, and learning how to surf with dad means mama feels better about the safety part… and your kid thinks you are a rock star.
Try a boogie board with the youngest kids, and check out one of Hong Kong’s many surf schools if you’d like a more intense experience for older children and teens.
Where: HK’s original surf spot, Big Wave Beach, is great fun on Hong Kong Island, but waves are quite strong. Popular Surf Hong Kong offers lessons for all ages in surfing and stand-up paddleboarding in Sai Kung.
Strongly suggested: Make sure you and your kids are all confident swimmers before attempting surfing, and always wear a safety vest!
Climb the rocks in Stanley
Up this easy trail lies one of Stanley’s best-kept secrets: Ma Hang Park. It’s full of interesting history lessons about the development of Stanley and its roots as a fishing village. It’s also full of massive boulders perfect for climbing.
Crabs, barnacles, and sometimes jellyfish land among the rocks for little explorers to marvel at. Once the novelty of the rocks wears off, head back down the path for an ice cream cone at an icon of dad-food in the bottom of Stanley Plaza: McDonald’s.
Where: Ma Hang Park is west of (behind) Murray House on Stanley Main Street, winding south and west.
Strongly suggest: Bring a scooter if your kids get tired easily — the path is a great place to cruise. And don’t forget to wear sneakers for the rocks! Climbing in flip-flops is a no-go.
Shop together for the mama in your life
Men and children may not be shopping’s biggest fans, but it can be fun when it’s a gesture of love and kindness for mom.
Books, jewellery, scarves, knick-knacks, handmade art — any mama would treasure something handpicked by her family. It may not be an entire day of entertainment, but it’s a way to model thoughtfulness and care for your kids on a morning jaunt. Showing them how to be a good husband? Definitely worthwhile.
Strongly suggested: Invite your kiddo to pitch in some of that allowance money, and show why it’s as much fun to give as to receive.
To dad-bonding everywhere!