This week for our family field trip we found ourselves at the Hong Kong Science Museum, in East Tsim Sha Tsui. If you missed last week, we were causing chaos in the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, and you can read about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were: two thirty-something parents (on a drab Saturday morning looking for an indoor activity for one energised toddler) and Gracie, aged 2 ½ years, the energetic one (who probably would have been content to go to any indoor playroom but Mummy just couldn’t face another indoor playroom… padded walls / asylum – has anyone else made the connection before?).
If you read last week’s debacle at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, you might have thought once bitten twice shy, and that I might avoid another museum visit, but as I said it was raining, and this time I had done my research which told me this was suitable for kids aged 3 years and up.
So, off we set on our merry way, taking the Star Ferry to TST and from there we hopped in a taxi to the Science Museum. As soon as we entered the museum space there was loads of stuff to see and do, which for any parent of an activity-thirsty toddler is a joy to behold. It was great to see her engaged and eager to explore more, and what’s more, it was a welcome change that it didn’t matter if she touched stuff! In fact, out of the 500 permanent exhibits or so, 70% of them are interactive.
Hits: The following museum sections got our seal of approval – “Motion” with its interactive exhibits, including a bed of nails, a hamster wheel for humans, and a series of pullies to heave up and down; “Sound” where we had the place jumping with the speakers in this section, our favourite being “Standing Waves” – how loud do you dare to go?; “World of Mirrors” was all about disappearing legs, getting lost in the mirror maze, laughing at our squashed and elongated mirror images – good old-fashioned fun; “Electricity and Magnetism Gallery” which was literally buzzing with people, being one of the more popular areas, and packed with interactive stuff to do explaining the principles of electricity in a fun way.
Gracie loved going in search of “the big dinosaur” in the “Life Sciences” section whilst I enjoyed getting the very muscular man on the TV screen to work out his maximus gluteus (childish, but hey ho!), and then the hunt was on for the “the big plane” (the DC-3 airplane suspended from the ceiling was HK’s first airliner) in the “Transport” section, which any plane lover will enjoy. What’s more, it’s easy to get to, being within walking distance of the MTR (but you’ll need a stroller if you have a tot in tow unless you enjoy a good upper body work out) and it’s cheap at only $25 admission for adults, with kids under 4 going free.
Stuff we didn’t get to see: there’s supposed to be a huge indoor play area, I suspect this might be in the Kids Gallery on the 3rd floor but we didn’t make it this far as there was just too much to do and see in the time we were there. We also missed the Energy Machine in operation – it’s actually hard to miss, standing at 22 metres high, stretching up through four storeys of the museum, and is the tallest and biggest exhibition in the museum, but when it’s in operation it’s apparently quite a sight with balls being set in motion producing dramatic sounds and visual effects.
Misses: this week I can’t really think of any…
Verdict: the science museum gets a thumbs up from the family field trippers this week! It’s a great way to while away a rainy day in Hong Kong, keeping both kids and adults entertained. We’ll definitely be going back and especially as you can buy a yearly pass for a mere $200 and go back as many times as you like. With rainy season approaching in just a few months this could really be an attractive option.
Need to know before you go: the museum is closed on Thursdays! If you want to plan your trip around the operating times of the Energy Machine, it operates at the following times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.
If you’re hungry: we wandered over to the East TST waterfront (head for Mody Road and the TST Centre) behind the TST centre are a strip of restaurants including a Bulldogs, Brotzeit and an Italian restaurant called La Villa.
Museum opening hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays : 10am – 7pm
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays : 10am – 9pm
Closed on Thursdays (except Public Holidays) and the first two days of the Lunar New Year
Closed at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Lunar New Year’s Eve
Box Office opens at 10am and closes one hour before the Museum’s closure
Cost: admission $25 for adults, free admission for children under 4 years, and children over 4 admission costs $12.50. Oh and it’s FREE on Wednesdays!
Age: suitable from 3 years and up
How to get there:
By Star Ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), then take a taxi or bus no. 5 or 5c from the bus terminal in front of the TST Star Ferry pier and get off the bus in front of the Ramada Hotel on Chatham Road. Walk across the overpass and follow the signs for the Museum of History and the Hong Kong Science Museum.
By MTR: from Central or Admiralty take the Tsuen Wan Line (red one) to Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Exit the MTR station at exit “B1” walk 10-15 minutes along Cameron Road going east which leads onto Chatham Road, turn left once you hit Chatham Road and walk for about 5 minutes following the signs for the Hong Science Museum.
Hong Kong Science Museum
2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2732 3232