Can you feel the excitement in the air? The annual Sevens are hitting Hong Kong this weekend, and while it’s widely regarded as the best party weekend in the 852 for adults, kids can get in on the action too! Check out our guide below for how to spend a family-friendly weekend at the 7s!
How to Get Tickets
Unfortunately if you didn’t score anything through the ballot, then you’re in a little bit of trouble, mamas. If you do find tickets now, the prices will have been crazily hiked up so keep your eyes and ears open for friends looking to sell. We’d recommend heading over to the official ticket marketplace ViaGoGo to try your luck (it is a little steep though), or jump on Facebook pages like Desperately Seeking to see if you can score some tickets. If you’re really struggling, there’s always a ticket touter or fifty outside the stadium itself – but do be extra, extra careful that the tickets are legit.
Where to Sit
So the South Stand is obviously not conducive to family fun, but there are a bunch of other great places to sit! The first few public rows of the East and West Stand always have a fab view and are luckily a stone’s throw away from the loos and food stalls, but if you’re looking for something a little quieter then you can climb up the escalators to the more peaceful upper areas. The North Stand is a little busier, but if you sit towards the West Stand then you’ll be in prime position for the Meet and Greet. In any case wherever you’re sitting mama, remember to get up for the Mexican Wave every single time it comes around – it’s poor form not to!
What’s the Sevens without a bit of dress up? Costumes abound and it’s not an unusual sight to see men dressed as Snow White while women dressed as Sumo Wrestlers waddle through the South Stand. They’ve got an awesome selection of stuff over at Pottinger Street (which is always busy this time of year), but we’re also loving the fun stuff that South Bay HK has over in Stanley if you’re a Southside mama. If you’re not feeling up to the full family costume, you can always grab a Hong Kong Rugby Team shirt from the merchandise stall to support our lads in style. And of course, face paint is a must!
So every year at the Sevens, you can usually tell pretty much instantly where children are from just from the flags painted on their faces. There’s something about the rugby that ignites the spark of patriotism in the tinies and there’s always face painting booths by the North, East and West stands where they can get their faces painted for an extra dose of competitive spirit.
Meet and Greet
Tucked away in the corner between the North and West stand is a space where rugby players will frequently poke their heads out to meet avid fans. Better bring a rugby ball and a sharpie for the kiddos mama, it’s time to start collecting those autographs!
HSBC Sponsored Sevens Village
This is the place to be if you haven’t been able to nab tickets, but don’t want to miss out on any of the sevens excitement! Free to the public, you can catch the live action from the stadium on a giant screen, as well as enjoy interactive rugby, golf and tennis games, face painting, merchandise giveaways and prizes at the HSBC World of Sport. Don’t miss the chance to meet and greet rugby legends and catch the Red Hot Chilli Pipers on stage. Got a teen on hand? Buy then a prepaid voucher at the Rugby Refuel Bar a snack, drinks, two food choices and a visit to the sweet shop from The Butcher’s Club for $395. There’s also a specially designated area where they’ll be able to hang with their friends while watching the carnage unfold on the big screen. And if you’re looking to make an early start with the fam, the village opens at 8am on Saturday and 8:30am on Sunday.
Opening Ceremony (Friday)
This is always the inevitable highlight of Friday kick-off day. With a marching band and overblown ceremony that always delights, the kiddos will be wide eyed at the sight of the gigantic cultural ceremony, including a whopping seventeen lions and dragons to welcome the tournament in style.
The Hong Kong Mini Rugby Football Union (Saturday and Sunday)
Got a little athlete in the family? You might want to check out the Mini Rugby Football Union then. With twenty clubs catering kiddos between the age of 4-12, you’ll be able to see them in action (or cheer your tot on!) on the weekend days of the Sevens at 7am.
March Past and Village People (Saturday)
Yep, that’s right mamas. The Village People are coming to town. Grab your little ones and find a space in the bleachers to get ready and dance, even the surliest of tots will leap to their feet prepared to bust out the YMCA. And then don’t forget the March Past where you’ll be able to cheer on (or alternately boo) the best of the rugby league with the littlies.
Kung Fu Rugby (Sunday)
So, we’re definitely intrigued by this one. What can you expect at Kung Fu Rugby? Think Shaolin Soccer but with rugby balls, where a number of expert martial artists have been trained by the legendary Master Yung Pan-pan to focus on one thing only – getting that try. Expect high kicks, flips and nothing short of the perfect cultural fusion. Hii-yah!
Other happenings around town this weekend
Head down to the Hong Kong Sevens Official Fan Party at the Observation Wheel by the ferry pier for an outdoor party! The rugby will be playing on a giant screen and the Village People will make a special appearance. There will also be fun and games for the tiny tykes: face painting, balloon twisting, Brazilian dancers and more! Tickets start from $588 for a one-day pass, which includes 3 drinks and food coupons.
The Podium at Cyberport is also showing the matches live on a big screen. Pack a picnic and pop over there to revel in the carnival-atmosphere. Or indulge in some nibbles and coffee from Recharge (check out our Tiny Bites here!) and froyo from EskiMO’s. Kids will love the open space while mum and dad can keep an eye on the score!
There’s lots more fun to be had so check out all the events at the Hong Kong Sevens official page here, and get ready for a weekend of non-stop excitement!
Image #2 sourced via Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation,