It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without giant trees and pictures with Santa! Although it’ll be a socially distanced affair this year, rest assured, there are plenty of places to visit that’ll get your family in the festive spirit. Capture some special moments and spread joy and positivity as you get out and about again with your loved ones. With all the festive displays around the city, it is definitely a fun, though (slightly) hefty task, to pick which one to go to; but don’t worry – we’ve done the hard work for you so you don’t have to. We’ll be updating this selection as Santa’s helpers tell us more (they’ve been slightly delayed due to the recent pandemic crisis), so be sure to keep checking back. In the meantime, get into the Christmas spirit, grab your camera and get snapping!
Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many businesses are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms.
Hong Kong Shopping Mall Christmas Displays
Prepare for a magical journey as Santa and his elves have set sail from the North Pole to bring a Christmas adventure all the way to Hong Kong. In keeping with the virtual trends of 2020, this year’s festivities will feature both online and in-person encounters complete with the first-ever digitised Santa experience. You can expect the usual exceptionally high standard of displays at Pacific Place, along with Christmas fair games, the Little Elves’ Training Camp, Christmas Storytelling and handcraft workshops (many of which are available online).
Meeting Santa…the question on every parent’s mind! The big man in red’s door is still wide open through the wonders of technology and AR. Kids will be able to share their Christmas wishes as they take a peak inside the Steamship Santa. As always, tickets are sure to be in high demand and are only available online – mark your calendars for 11am, Thursday, 19 November!
When: Thursday, 19 November 2020 to Saturday, 2 January 2021.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, www.pacificplace.com.hk
Can’t travel to a European Christmas market this year? No problem! Head to the Landmark and take a stroll through its very own winter wonderland to soak up the atmosphere as all your favourite festive tunes play in the background. From now until Thursday, December 31 2020, head to the top floor pop-up and into this yule-tide market that’ll warm your heart and get you in the Christmas spirit!
Shop the festive stalls packed with homeware, accessories, spirits, food (make sure to try the LMO Freshly Baked by Head Chef at the Mandarin Oriental, Richard Ekkebus, featuring his personal favourite desserts!), even the perfect pet toys and more. And don’t forget to snap a cute photo with the giant (and we mean giant) teddy standing guard at the door.
When: Now until Thursday, December 31 2020 (11am to 8pm)
Where: Shop 308, 312-314, Landmark Atrium
LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.landmark.hk
Never one to disappoint, 1881 Heritage cultural centre and luxury shopping hub in TST always boasts an over-the-top (in the most fantastic way!) display worthy of any movie set. This year, the Grand Piazza will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland, complete with a family of giant polar bears ready to greet you. In the centre of the Piazza, you’ll find an extravagant (of course) Christmas tree surrounded by gift boxes with festive delights – you never know what might pop out of them so keep your eyes peeled! Previous years have included a ginormous snowman and “A Christmas Coronation” which included a huge crown complete with a throne for picture-perfect snaps.
While we wait to see what decorations Harbour City has to offer, the festive activities for kids ready to rock and roll. The mall will be continuing the tradition of supporting Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation (HKBCF) for fund-raising, and 3D illustrator Eva Cremers will be helping out by bringing her cute animated monsters to the Christmas Club. This year, young singers are invited to record their own Christmas performances, and some will be selected for a special collaboration that’ll be shown on Harbour City’s official YouTube channel as well as their social media (stardom awaits!). Members of the Christmas Club will also get a certificate of gratitude for their hard work.
This year, take your little ones over the to the ifc mall and check out the display in the Oval Atrium. Featuring a six-metre-high illuminating sphere and an interactive display of nine mega-sized ornaments (using a total of 3,600 LED mini light bulbs) you can get into to the Christmas spirit with the sensorial light show that takes place every half hour. Under the ornaments, you’ll find a raised platform with twinkling stars – perfect for hopping on when they change colour (it has been Sassy Mama Toddler approved). Snap a pic of you and the family in front of the Christmas trees also on the platform – while social distancing with others of course – and take advantage of the ifc mall-designed Instagram filters you can create a video festive greeting with an AR Christmas Town, to share your holiday wishes with loved ones via social media.
This beautiful walkway always boasts a beautiful display every year. Last year saw over fifty dove sculptures by artist Nicholas Cheung (pictured above), and we’re hoping these angelic beauties winging their way back this year. There is usually a pretty impressive tree set up next to the restaurant Hay! as well. The current SPCA display is on till the end of the week so we’ll wait to see the magical switchover to Christmas displays.
Other Shopping Mall Displays To Look Out For
Hong Kong Hotel Christmas Displays
One of the most classic displays in the city, no Christmas would be complete without a trip to The Peninsula Hotel to check out the impressive decorations. This year Stories From The Tree is the central theme and the grand lobby will be the home to an impressive and elegantly decorated tree. Be sure to have your camera at hand to snap the plethora of dazzling decorations. Alongside the Stories From The tree, there is also a fundraising campaign that supports children’s literacy programmes in Tokyo and Chicago, also a youth development foundation in Shanghai and an education training centre for young people in Paris. And you keep the family traditions going by reading the free, and beautifully illustrated, e-book The Red Robin’s Enchanting Journey (read it online or download it for later).
Have you made it onto the “nice list” this year? We hope so as Santa will be coming to town! Head on over to the Mandarin Oriental for an enchanting Christmas time and enjoy roasted chestnut at the hotel main entrance and on Chater Road, from Thursday 17, December to Thursday, 24 December 2020 (5pm to 8pm). Get your hands on a warm mulled wine in the hotel lobby on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (5pm to 8pm), and of course, take some snaps of the beautiful decorations they have on show.
The festive season wouldn’t be the same without the familiar scent of a fir tree and The Langham is happy to oblige. The tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 2 December 2020, where you can marvel at the oversized candy canes and bonbons. Expect to see carollers, ballet performances and online Advent Calendar throughout December as well. You can also shop local fare at the Christmas market, every Saturday and Sunday in December (including Christmas Eve), keeping a look out for the Heep Hong Society’s custom-designed colour-in tote-bags – the proceeds of which will be donated to benefit children and youths with diverse needs.
While there, “Share the Magic of Christmas” as the hotel transforms into a picture-perfect winter wonderland. From now until Thursday, 31 December 2020, you’ll find plenty of happenings, including holiday-themed activities for the kids, festive feasts and cocktails for mamma and daddy, a pop-up gift shop, and more. There will be a prize-filled Christmas Cracker initiative to support the Room to Read charity as well. And keep your eyes peeled as Santa Clause himself will also be camera-ready from the Thursday, 24 to 26 December 2020, for those all-important family pics!
Other Hotels To Keep An Eye On
Other Festive Displays In Hong Kong To Check Out
If you really want to get into the Christmas spirit then Hong Kong Disney should definitely be close to the top of your list. Not only will you enter into a magical winter wonderland, but the attention to detail here is second to none. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is always one for the family photo album and the foam snow is an extra special festive touch. Keep a look out for your favourite characters in their Winter best as well! This year, Disney Christmas promises to be extra special as it coincides with the resort’s 15th-anniversary celebrations.
Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, www.hongkongdisneyland.com
While it’s yet to announce this year’s offerings, previous years at Ocean Park have included impressive crystalline Christmas tree backdrops, a shimmering Christmas forest with animal sculptures and a visit to the main man – Mr Claus himself.
Ocean Park, 180 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, www.oceanpark.com.hk
Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on 22, November 2019 and updated on 13, November 2020. Thanks to Lydia Ching, Jess Mizzi and Alex Purcell Garcia for their contribution.