Christmas has come and gone, and it’s time to reflect on the holiday period, mama. Did you spend too much time banging your head against a wall trying to figure out how to entertain your teen over the break? We’ve all been there. When your kid reaches a certain age, it seems like all they want to do is text their friends, lounge and watch TV or mooch around a shopping mall all day. As the parent, it’s your duty (and your right!) to give them a little push out the door, both figuratively and literally. Here are our top 10 alternative activity ideas for adding a little excitement and exercise to your teen’s day-to-day – there’ll be no more moping around the house once you’ve checked off this list!
You should definitely be believing the hype about Hong Kong’s trampoline super bowl, Ryze Ultimate Trampoline Park (we’ve done our research and have confirmed it is indeed as fun as everyone says it is). It’s not at all pricey, starting at a reasonable $125 for an hour and the whole family can jump in on the fun. Big kids are welcome and we can’t wait for RyzeFit to get started. We also hear that there’s a second Ryze centre opening in Kowloon in Spring 2015… watch this space for more info!
Clearwater Bay Equestrian and Education Centre (CEEC)
While horse riding might sound a bit run of the mill to some, it might be worth pointing out that you don’t see a lot of horses in Honkers and many kids get VERY excited about any animal bigger than a cockroach. The best spot for a bit of horsing around is CEEC, set in stunning Clearwater Bay Country Park.
Surf Hong Kong
Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the Pacific Ocean on our doorstep when we spend so much time inside hovering next to the AC. By far the best distraction is a good old paddle about on a surfboard. Check out Surf Hong Kong for classes aimed at all skill levels. All you have to do is let them know your kid is under 18 and sign a consent form, and they’ll be good to go. This one is great for teens obsessed with everything California!
Fact. Paintballing NEVER gets old. Fact numero dos – Paintball Headquarters are the masters of paintballing tournaments and your teens will have a great laugh. They also do parties if you’re feeling ambitious. Their field is pretty impressive; an atmospheric warehouse-y ambience to splat foes in. Yup, it’s a crowd pleaser and an adolescent impresser.
Paintball Headquarters, Unit No. 2~3, G/F Po Lung Center, 11 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3106 0220, www.paintballhq.com.hk
Hong Kong Dolphin Watch
It’s sad to say but you really must go and catch some pink dolphins with Hong Kong Dolphin Watch before they get wiped out by all the naughtiness going on around the harbour and the new airport runway being built. It’s a lovely boat ride and if you don’t get to see dolphins the first time you get another trip out to find them on the house.
Hong Kong Dolphin Watch, 1528A, Star House District Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong 2984 1414, www.hkdolphinwatch.com
With all the million and one kids activity fads springing up every two minutes, one might forget our firm favourite and longtime classic, rock climbing. The YMCA offer a huge number of activities and programs for children. Prices start at $30 and they even do a happy hour for adults. Now there’s a guilt free happy hour we can really get on board with…
Kayak and Hike
Unplug and embark on an outdoor adventure with a kayaking expedition! Starting with a junk ride from Sai Kung water front, Kayak and Hike will ship you all off to Sha Kiu Tau Fishing village before hopping into a kayak for some paddling about the open waters. There are a range of different itineraries – check out their website for more info.
Kayak and Hike, Sai Kung New Pier, Fuk Man Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, 9300 5197, www.kayak-and-hike.com
Hong Kong Art Tutoring
If your older one is into expressing themselves creatively through the medium of art, check out Hong Kong Art Tutoring. They offer art classes for kids studying art at GCSE, IB or for those who simply want to get involved. There’s sculpture, life drawing, mixed media and more on offer here. Classes are once a week and are 90 minutes long. Sessions take place in their purpose-built studio.
Escape games are the latest day out and this exciting, brain-engaging activity is bound to get enthusiasm out of even the most disgruntled pubescent kid. We’re big fans of Lost HK, which has locations in Mongkok, Lan Kwai Fong and Causeway Bay. Clue-solving and team building – it’s not all adrenaline kicks. We’re pretty sure it will be a hit with the youths of today.
Hong Kong Ultimate Players Association
Another great activity for older kids looking to head outdoors and blow off some steam is ultimate frisbee. If your kids have fond memories of throwing around in the park, why not encourage them to join the HKUPA and amp up the competitive factor? Hong Kong has a great ultimate frisbee league that takes the sport (yes, sport!) from a light park activity to a heart-pounding, fast-action game with professional instructors and frisbee enthusiasts, many who have played competitively for years. They also have free weekend lessons for beginners looking to jump into the sport. The season starts in February, so sign up now! The membership fee is $250 for players for a full year (until 31 January, 2016), or $150 for a half-year membership (from 1 August, 2015 to 31 January, 2016).