This week for our family field trip we found ourselves at MOBILE M+ INFLATION!, a temporary exhibition of larger than life inflatables on the headland at the West Kowloon Cultural District. If you missed last week, we were perusing the fish at the Goldfish Market in Prince Edward, and you can read about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were: two thirty-something parents and one very busy little girl; Gracie, 2 ½ years who LOVES to bounce, so we had come to the right place.
“Only in Hong Kong” is a phrase that springs immediately to mind on a visit to MOBILE M+ INFLATION! As we set off last Sunday morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and really didn’t expect to come across the biggest bouncy castle I had ever seen in my life or be admiring the entrails of a huge inflatable pig. But the bouncy castle is the major pull for any toddler! In the shape of Stonehenge, and HUGE but what’s more they actually let you BOUNCE AWAY on it to your heart’s content (perhaps that’s why it’s called “Sacrilege”?!)
You may have already heard all the fuss in the press about the “Complex Pile” – a 51-foot high, 110-foot long inflatable sculpture of a twisted pile of excrement by US artist Paul McCarthy. Apparently it’s supposed to “leverage bad taste to infiltrate the well-mannered confines of the art world” and to provoke “a hefty scrutiny of fundamental beliefs, in particular assumptions of beauty and attractiveness in art”. Or perhaps it’s just a lot of hot air? You decide.
Whatever you think, when I asked my husband whether he thought it was a success, he summed it up nicely: “Everyone, big or small, had a smile on their face” while bouncing away on Stonehenge.
Hits: it’s good fun, not just for little ones as adults can join in the fun too and have a good old bounce. In fact you can bounce off the calories while your little one bounces off all their excess energy – it’s a win-win situation! It’s free, and we do LOVE free stuff in Hong Kong, especially after having to pay for all those school application fees and costly kid-friendly classes. It’s easy to get to – located only a few minutes’ walk from Kowloon MTR station on the headland in front of the Ritz Carlton. It’s within walking distance from Elements shopping centre so you can stop for food, do a bit of shoppa-shop at favourites H&M and Zara if so inclined, play at the good and reasonably sized playground on top of Elements or go ice skating if your kids are old enough or go to the cinema (if you time it right and your kids are at the age where they sit still for long enough.)
Misses: not a rainy day activity… so you’ll have to duck in and out of our current frequent showers and time your trip right! Depending on how much bounce you have in you, it may only take up an hour of your day, but then you can head off to Elements if you’re looking for extra activities – see above.
Need to know before you go: the exhibition doesn’t open until 11am Fri-Sun & Public Holidays, and midday Tues-Thurs so don’t go too early! Otherwise you’ll be twiddling your thumbs and chomping at the bit eager to get in behind the fences. There is a playground on the waterfront just beyond the exhibition space but it’s small. And don’t go at all on Mondays as it’s closed. There are no bags allowed on the bouncy Stonehenge so someone may have to look after the bags while you bounce or be ready to carry your valuables and bounce so don’t load up on the shopping before you go!
Inside the inflatable pig or “House of Treasures”.
The small playground in front of the exhibition space.
If you’re hungry: your best bet is heading back to Elements shopping centre which has restaurants located in Civic Square upstairs including a good Italian called Joia which does delicious pizza, and Stormies to name but a couple. Then there’s ThreeSixty supermarket, WildFire pizza near the ice rink, and Pret a Manger – all child friendly options.
Opening hours: 12pm-7pm (Tues-Thurs), 11am-8pm (Fri-Sun & Public Holidays), Closed on Mondays.
The exhibition is open from now until 9 June 2013.
How to get there:
By MTR: take the Tung Chung line (orange one) and get off at Kowloon Station, take Exit D1 and follow the signs for MOBILE M+ INFLATION! to reach the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. If in doubt, you’re heading for the water and you should see the huge inflatables soon enough!
By Bus: Take KMB bus route No. 8, 11, 203E, 215X, or 281A and get off at the Austin Road West bus stops or the MTR Kowloon Station, followed by a 10 minute walk to reach the west entrance of the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. Cross harbour bus via Western Harbour Crossing: Take route No. 904, 905, 914, 934, 935, 948, 968, or 970 and get off at the toll plaza bus stop of the Western Harbour Crossing, followed by a 5 minute walk to reach the west entrance of the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. Green minibus: Take route No. 26, 74, or 77M and get off at Austin Road West or Austin MTR Station, followed by a 10 minutes’ walk to reach the east entrance of the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade
By car: parking is available but spaces are limited and they’re adjacent to the east entrance of the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade.
MOBILE M+ INFLATION!
West Kowloon Cultural District