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12 Festive Things to Do This Holiday Season

By Sophie Pettit 26 November 2015
Halleluja! The season of goodwill is finally upon us and boy are we in for a treat! From giant glowing Christmas trees to death-defying circus acts, 3D orca whales and penguins to dancing teddy bears granting wishes, there are more magical things to do around town than you can shake a wand at. So let's get stuck in!

[su_note note_color="#eeeeee"]Oops! This is last year's guide - click here to check out the 2016 edition![/su_note]

“Grow and Glow" at ifc mall

ifc xmas atrium deco_1a(1) LOOK UP! Remember when you were a kid and you stood at the base of the towering Christmas tree and gazed up to admire the beautiful festive ornaments and glowing stars? Well now you can relive those childhood memories in the Oval Atrium at ifc mall. Watch seven gigantic glowing trees dance in mid-air and have your selfie taken inside the 13-meter centrepiece of the "Grow and Glow” installation created by architects Erik Amir and Dora Chi. Now surely that's far more fun than shopping! When: November 19 - January 3 (10am - 10pm) Photo taking session (12pm - 7pm) Where: Oval Atrium, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central How much: Free Click here for more information.

"The Wishing Machine" at Landmark Atrium

bears What's on your wish list? Tell the 80 "Santa Paws" teddy bears at the Landmark's "Wishing Machine" and it may just come true! Watch the cuddly bears come to life with over 100 full choreography and synchronised movements, as they transform the Atrium into a winter wonderland. Fill in a Wish Token and insert it into the wishing machine and for every token received, Landmark will make a $20 donation to the Make-A-Wish charity. Watch the whimsical clock tower come to life every 30 minutes with seasonal music and dancing bears. And if that isn't cute enough for you, check out this special animation which tells the story of how the Santa Paws grant wishes for all the "good" children around the world. When: November 24 - January 1 (10am - 7.30pm) Where: Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road, Central How much: Free Click here for more information.

Ice & Cosy White Christmas Street Fair

swire Swire Properties is going high tech to bring us an incredible augmented reality experience this holiday season. Dive into a cinematic virtual reality where 3D orca whales, penguins, and polar bears come to play amid the icy terrain of the Arctic in the fantastic new ICY EXPERIENCE at this year’s street fair. Don a warm jacket and enjoy an ice cold cocktail at the stylish outdoor ice bar, or dress up for the Santathon Frozen Challenge and race Santa and his Elves across an ice-themed obstacle course. Don’t miss your chance to donate $70 to Operation Santa Claus and get up close and personal with the 3D animals for a special snapshot of your icy adventure. Or if you’re feeling creative, learn how to create a weather storm glass that mysteriously predicts approaching weather, paint your own Christmas ornament ball, or create a Christmas flavored lip balm and hand cream to fill those Christmas stockings. When: December 3 (12.30pm - 6pm), December 4 (12.30 pm - 8pm) and December 5 (1pm - 7pm) Where: Tong Chong Street, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay How much: Free (donations are welcome) Click here for more information.

Christmas Carol Concert Appeal Hong Kong

carols 2 Sing your heart out for a great cause and join the Christmas Carol Concert Appeal to help support Society for Community Organisation. Enjoy drinks, canapes, and carols in the festive setting of the Helena May building in Central. Click here to download an order form and secure your spot. When: December 3 (6.30pm - 8.30pm) Where: Helena May, Garden Road, Central How much: $500 per person Click here for more information.

Cinderella The Panto

cinderella Watch the story of Cinderella unravel on stage as glass slippers, ugly sisters, wicked stepmothers and of course, a handsome prince come together in this magical show that will have us yelling "BOO" for all the right reasons. Hong Kong Players proudly present this all-singing, all-dancing musical extravaganza for all the family. Expect some new twists to the tale including a circus setting, fantastic music, and a script that’s chock-full of jokes old and new. You can't beat a good panto – oh no you can't! When: December 4 - 6 and 10 - 13 (performances at 2.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, and 7pm) Where: Udderbelly, Central Harbourfront Event Space, Central How much: $290 - $350 (VIP seats $438) Click here for ticket information and sales.

The Snowman & The Bear

Snowman Celebrate the Christmas season with the heartwarming tale of The Snowman & The Bear. Based on the books by Raymond Briggs, the two animated films have melted the hearts of every generation and now the magic returns to the big screen, along with live orchestral accompaniment, narration, and singing. Delightful! When: December 5 (7.30pm) and December 6 (2.30pm and 5pm) Where: Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium, 72 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories How much: $120 - $380 Click here for ticket information and sales.

SantaCon Hong Kong

SantaCon There's nothing quite like donning your Santa boots and joining hundreds of Hong Kongers on an epic pub crawl to get you in the festive spirit. More than one thousand people are marked as 'going' to this year's event on Facebook, so be prepared for an ocean of red and white  and a lot of clanking glasses. "Ho Ho Ho!" When: December 12 (starts at 12pm) Where: Details to follow soon How much: Free Visit the Facebook event page for information and updates.

Tikitiki’s Santa Claus Funky Bowling

12106721_1651178018471006_1573468766092164236_nWhat better way to celebrate the festive season than by not only meeting Santa Claus, but singing and bowling with him too! Before he rounds up his reindeer and hops on his sleigh, the big guy will be paying a visit to Tikitiki Bowling Bar to play some funky bowling and strike a turkey (three strikes in a row!) Each of the ten bowling lanes will have a "funky" yet entertaining style of bowling, such as bowling backwards, through the legs, and left handed bowling, that kids will enjoy taking part in. There will also be a chance to sing some Christmas carols as Tiktiki’s lively house band, Frankie Hollywood and the Tiki Birds, will be performing favourite holiday classics. When: December 13 (2pm - 5pm) Where: Tikitiki Bowling Bar, 4/F, Centro, 1A Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung How much: Free Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

The Nutcracker

55d2f02b7b5891 Christmas wouldn't be complete without The Nutcracker. Let the graceful dancers of the Hong Kong Ballet whisk you away on a magical adventure as Clara, Fritz, and the Nutcracker battle the evil Rat King in this spectacular show. Can the heroic Nutcracker conquer the dastardly Rat King and his army? Will the children save the day and reunite the Ballerina and her beloved Nutcracker? There's only one way to find out. When: December 18 - 27 (performances at 2.30pm or 7.30pm) Where: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre How much: $180 - $1,000 (limited VIP tickets) Click here for information and ticket sales.

Cirque Adrenaline

ROLL UP! ROLL UP! The world's most heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping, death-defying circus is roaring into town for two weeks this holiday season. Watch in awe as the Cirque Adrenaline troupe of over 50 performers blow your mind with jaw-dropping stunts that will have you on the edge of your seat. From clowns to trapeze artists, and daredevil motorcyclists to fire-breathers, this brand new show has it all, so don't miss your chance to catch the action – if you are brave enough! When: December 22 - January 3 (performance times vary) Where: Asia World-Expo, Lantau How much: $295 - $895 Click here for information and ticket sales.

Christmas Markets

santa-1 Grab your wallets people, it’s time to hit the market. This year the holiday fairs and bazaars run a fast and furious schedule until Christmas, giving you the chance to stock up on quirky, unique, and often economically-priced gifts in good time. While the renowned Conrad fairs tend to offer a full-on shopping experience, others combine fun with shopping, and even charity, so you can expect to find bouncy castles, face-painting, bands, and more. Check out our full roundup of holiday bazaars around the city this Christmas.

Go Ice Skating

ice skating We may not have snow in Hong Kong, but that won't stop up getting our skates on and hitting the ice. Glide over to Ice Palace in CityPlaza, The Rink at Elements, Glacier at Festival Walk, or Mega Ice at MegaBox, and show off your skills. Prices range from $1/per minute to $55 per session. Where: Ice Palace, 1/F, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing, (09.30am - 10.00pm daily) The Rink, G/F, Elements, No. 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (open hours vary) Glacier, Shop UG-21, Festival Walk, (10.30am - 9.30pm daily) Mega Ice, MegaBox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, (opening hours vary)

Happy holidays Hong Kong!

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.