Christmas is coming… wow, where did this year go? If your little elves have written their lists and decorated the tree and are now tapping their toes impatiently, how about some fun festive events to whet their appetites for the big day? Hong Kong may not have the snow, but it’s definitely got Christmas all wrapped up.
It really wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to a festive fair! We’ve pulled together enough holiday shopportunities to last you until the January sales here. We can already taste that mulled wine…
Exhibitions and Lights
Who doesn’t love Lego? There’s something strangely compelling about those little plastic blocks, whether you’re 4 or 94 years old. Indulge your their love of this toy classic by paying a visit to Times Square’s Lego Xmas Villages between now and 2nd January. With gingerbread houses, trains, snowmen and Christmas trees, this is a fun and festive display. Sassy Mama tip: head over early with little ones as the display gets seriously busy during the day and at weekends.
The annual Hong Kong Winterfest display is lighting up Central’s Statue Square right now until 1st January. We love the seriously sparkly tree, the totally Hong Kong Tiffany & Co theme and the classic carousel.
As if year-round nightly firework displays weren’t exciting enough, HK Disneyland goes all-out this year with a seasonally-decked Main Street USA transformed into Christmas Town. All the favourite characters will be dressed in their festive finery and a nightly Christmas illumination show with dancers, lights and snowflakes culminates in a pyrotechnic extravaganza. Phew.
Head to Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza for the Starlight Romance Christmas Illumination Show, where 100,000 LED bulbs have been synchronised to flash along to festive music. Small people can run riot at the festive Starlight Garden.
We’ve all seen it before, but the Symphony of Lights is great at any time of the year, and pulls out the stops at Christmas with extra pyrotechnics laid on for the occasion. The main Tsim Sha Tsui viewing area is the perfect spot to really take in the Hong Kong skyline’s holiday light display.
He’s going to find out who’s been naughty or nice sooner or later, right mama? Let Santa judge the size of this years’ stocking for himself at these locations around town.
Pacific Place’s grotto is open for visitors from today until Christmas Day (closed 12th December), although do be aware of the elves’ shift change times. Take your little cherubs along between 12.30pm-8pm (closed 3pm – 4.30pm and 6pm – 6.30pm) until 11th December or between 11.30am – 9pm (closed 1pm – 1.30pm, 3pm – 4.30pm and 7pm – 7.30pm) from 13th – Christmas Day. Tickets are $100 from the counter on L1, with proceeds being donated to charity. Incidentally, the ticket booth is just by Harvey Nicks, so perhaps a visit to Santa is a good opportunity for some quality time with Dad while Mum looks for some stocking fillers?
Sai Kung families should head to Trio Beach this Saturday, 8th December as Santa will be paying a visit. Tickets are $50 per child and you should RSVP ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure a spot.
Kowloon-side, Festival Walk is the place to be. Santa will be dropping by for photo-ops and a parade on 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, and 21st to 26th December on level LG2.
If you don’t mind fielding a few awkward questions, then Ocean Park’s Santa Cosplay dress-up parties and Santa Academy offer the chance to meet Santas from all over the world. (A simple ‘because he’s magic’ should cover all the bases when it comes to the question of exactly how there’s a Santa on every corner!)
Shows and Concerts
They’re behind you! Christmas equals pantomime time and this year sees the Hong Kong Players recreate Little Red Riding Hood’s adventures with the big bad wolf! Granny’s House is the Shouson Theatre, Arts Centre, Wan Chai and tickets are available via URBTIX, ranging from $290-330. Hurry, as the show ends on Sunday 9th December. Oh, no it doesn’t! Oh, yes it does….
A nostalgic Christmas classic for parents and tykes alike, the Snowman will be walking through the air right here in Hong Kong this weekend, 8th and 9th December. Saturday’s show will be at Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium, 1 Yuen Wo Road, Sha Tin and Sunday’s at Hong Kong City Concert Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. Again, tickets are available from URBTIX and range from $150-$350.
Beautiful, festive and sure to charm any little Angelina Ballerina, Hong Kong Ballet’s imagining of The Nutcracker is a sure-fire hit. Held at the Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui from 14th-26th December, we think this would make a lovely Boxing Day outing. Tickets start at $120 up to $600, available at URBTIX.
You won’t hear any complaints about classical music being boring after a visit to the 11th Classics for Kids Christmas Concert. Expect lots of fun and surprises at this family classical music concert on 9th and 16th December. The show takes place at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai and tickets are $200, available at HKTicketing.
Always super-fun is the Kassia Christmas concert, with this year’s theme being No. 1’s from the 1960’s to the millennium. Expect to hum along to the Spice Girls, Queen and The Human League amongst many others! Tickets are $220 and you’ll be rocking up to Sheung Wan Civic Centre Theatre on 17th and 18th December.
Also over at the Cultural Centre, Harry Wong and the Hong Kong Philharmonic are holding a Christmas Sing-along and you’re invited! With festive classics and some pop thrown in for good measure, this promises to be great fun. The concerts are held on 23rd and 24th December, and once again, URBTIX deliver the goods, with tickets ranging from $140-380.
Church services and events
Hong Kong’s churches will offer various services throughout December and over the Christmas period, with candlelight carol concerts, nativity plays, Christmas Eve crib services and Midnight Mass. If you’d like more gen on your local Church, a few sites to investigate are Catholic Churches, Anglican/Episcopal Churches and The Church of Jesus Christ & The Latter Day Saints.
Discovery Bay’s churches will come together to stage an interdenominational Nativity at the Plaza on Sunday 9th December. It takes place between 4pm and 6pm and aims to help increase donations to the AccessDB Rehabus fund.
Don’t forget the shopping malls!
If you’re too busy doing your last minute Christmas shopping to fit in any of these festive events, never fear, Hong Kong’s huge number of shopping malls are your friends! Almost all of them will be offering festive entertainment, be it carol-singing, Broadway dance troupes, appearances from Santa, his reindeers or some B-list local celeb, or (knowing HK malls) something even weirder… yet it’s definitely a good excuse to rest your feet and lap up some festive cheer! Check individual mall schedules for details but trust us, even the smallest shopping centres will have something going on.
Feeling in fine voice? Get your ‘Fa la la la la’ on at these family carol concerts all over town this month. If you’re not much of a singer, feel free to sit back and enjoy the pros!
Katterwall Community Carols
Get ready to belt out all your holiday favourites, including Silent Night,’ ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Away in a Manger.’
Venue: Lan Kwai Fong Amphitheatre, Lok Hing Lane Sitting-out Area, Central.
Visit Katterwall for more information.
The Cecilian Singers 50th Anniversary Christmas Concert
Venue: St John’s Cathedral, Garden Road, Central
A superbly traditional concert with some of the best voices in HK.
Tickets: $200 from the Cathedral Bookstore
Scouts Christmas carol service
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: St Stephen’s Church, Stanley
Carols performed by the Welsh Male Voice Choir
Time: 7pm -7.45pm
Venue: The Sportsman’s Bar, HK Football Club
Complimentary Special Mulled Wine, soft drinks and Mince Pies will be available after the choir has finished their performance. For all of the WMVC’s performances this holiday season, see their performance calendar
Venue: St John’s Cathedral, Garden Road, Central
A favourite for families with kids of all ages, this beautiful service is a celebration of all that Christmas should truly represent, with exquisite hymns and carols, lit candles, moving sermons and of course, the lovely venue of St John’s. The promise of oranges and candies should keep the kids quiet throughout!
School Carol Performances
Here are just a few of the performances by schools in Hong Kong this holiday period. For more information on performances, check your school’s newsletter.
Beacon Hill School
7th December 1.30 pm at City Plaza
11th December 1 pm at IFC
13th December 5 pm at IFC
15th December 12.30 pm at Hong Kong International Airport
15th December 4 pm at Festival Walk
14th December 2.30 pm at IFC
14th December 6.30 pm at Aberdeen Boat Club
15th December 5 pm at IFC
Kowloon Junior School
13th December 2 pm at Festival Walk
5th December 7 pm at Hong Kong Club
13th December 6.30 pm at St John`s Cathedral
South Island School
12th December Evening at St John’s Cathedral
And for even more festive family events, check out our sister site Sassy’s Holiday Events Guide here.