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Originally published by Amanda Sheppard. Last updated by Ngai Yeung.
While the weather is still holding up and the kids are just about to return to school, it’s time to head for the hills, the high seas, and everywhere in-between. Hong Kong has a reputation for being a dense, concrete jungle, but you may be surprised to learn that three-quarters of the city is green! That means there’s plenty of fun to be had outdoors for your little ones, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and try some of these fun outdoor activities in Hong Kong.
Water babies, rejoice! If your little one is ready to take their paddling to the next level, opt for one of the city’s youth sailing courses to get them prepped to sail the high seas.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a member of one of the private clubs to take part, as Hebe Haven offers classes to both members and non-members on Optimist dinghies—the week-long Optimist Stages One and Two geared for children between seven and 12 years are $3,000 for members, and $4,000 for non-members. Alternatively, those who only want a taster session in the water can sign up for the once-a-month Family Fun Day. Be sure to book early as dates fill up fast.
Hebe Haven, Hiram’s Highway, Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung | (+852) 2719 9682
Note: The sailing classes may be cancelled or rescheduled because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
If you’re looking for something a little closer to shore, then a surfing session could be in order. Surfing Hong Kong offers private and group surfing lessons, as well as paddle boarding excursions for prices from $450 to $800 per person.
X Game HK similarly offers surfing lessons at Big Wave Beach in Shek O, but their exciting selection of waterspouts doesn't stop there. Whether it's kiteboarding, wakeboarding, or skimboarding, X Game HK offers it all at different beaches around town.
Hong Kong Surfing, Big Wave Beach, Shek O | (+852) 6485 1673
X Game HK, locations around Hong Kong | (+852) 2366 9293
Note: These businesses may be closed or offering limited lesson options because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
Camping in Hong Kong can be an extreme sport if you don’t play your cards right and time your tent pitching to a tee, but as the weather begins to cool down, there’s no time like the present to get started.
So where to go? Well, Long Coast Seasports on Cheung Sha Beach in Lantau Island offers a Play & Stay Package which is fun for all the family. When visitors purchase activity passes (which provide access to equipment such as paddleboards, surfboards, and kayaks), they are also offered the chance to stay in an air-conditioned room, an outdoor safari tent or even a caravan.
Alternatively, a visit to Mingle Farm in Yuen Long offers glamping-style ‘ecospheres’ and en-suite caravans. The site also boasts an organic growing centre, barbecue pits, and a whole host of organised fun and games to keep little ones entertained.
Here are even more glamping opportunities around Hong Kong for you to check out. And if you’ve got your own gear and want to go the DIY route, check out our picks of the top 10 campsites in Hong Kong.
Mingle Farm, 30 Tin Tsz Road, Fung Ka Wei, Yuen Long | (+852) 2891 8263
Long Coast Seasports, 29 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island | (+852) 5545 5625
Note: The camping services may be closed because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
Whoever said learning was all work and no play thankfully didn’t send the message to the Hong Kong Forest Adventures team. Come rain or shine, this adventure camp takes families outdoors on excursions to explore the great outdoors, gain confidence, make friends, and quite simply enjoy themselves. From summer camps to weekday and weekend play programs, the team will ensure any kid aged one to eight a great time with mother nature.
Based out of their ‘hidden valley’ site in Mui Wo, Ark Eden offers year-round exploration, play, and learning camps for curious kids with a desire to get their hands dirty. Private parties and excursions are also available on request.
Hong Kong Forest Adventures, 2D Tai Shui Hang North Road, Ma On Shan | (+852) 5238 2377
Ark Eden, 11 Tung Hang Mei, Mui Wo, Lantau Island | (+852) 2988 5355
Note: Some activities may not be available because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
There are three public riding schools in Hong Kong, located in Pok Fu Lam, Tuen Mun, and Lei Yue Mun. Both offer a range of lessons for different riding levels, as well as leisurely day out activities. Pony lessons for kids aged six to 14 are $320 per lesson, while horse lessons for youths 15 and over are $395 per lesson. They also host events and activities open to the public, so be sure to check the schedule for upcoming events. An afternoon spent here will be sure to make an equestrian out of even the worst neigh-sayers!
Lei Yue Mun Public Riding School, 75 Chai Wan Road, Lei Yue Mun | (+852) 2568 9776
Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School, 75 Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, Pok Fu Lam | (+852) 2550 1359
Tuen Mun Public Riding School, Lot 45 Lung Mun Road, Tuen Mun | (+852) 2461 3338
Note: The riding schools may be closed because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
A breezy summer day is the perfect chance for the kids to go kite-flying. Soar to greater heights on top of the renowned Tai Mei Tuk dam, a natural beauty and the city's most popular kite-flying sites.
Another one of our favourite spots would be the Tai Po Waterfront Park, which has a designated kite-flying area. Mingle with other enthusiasts, and when your kid gets tired of kite-flying (or when you want to take a turn!), they can run off to one of the many play areas and gardens in the large park.
Plover Cove Reservoir, Plover Cove Country Park
Tai Po Waterfront Park, Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po
This summer, let your kids discover the thrill of gliding on land otherwise known as roller skating. The Checker Inline Skating School offers summer courses ($1,600 for eight lessons), as well as other group and one-on-one lessons led by friendly coaches. As for tiny veterans who are zooming along on their own pair of skates, head out to one of the many rinks around Hong Kong near you—there are way more than you realise!
Checker Inline Skating School, Room 05, 19/F, Eastern Centre, 1065 King’s Road, Tai Koo | (+852) 2977 5128
Note: The Checker Inline Skating School may be closed or offering limited course options because of COVID-19. Please check before heading out.
Of course, who can forget good old cycling? Let your children bike out all that extra energy at one of Hong Kong's most accessible and scenic biking trails. Don't worry about not owning a bike; bike rental shops with kid bikes, tandem bikes, and family-style rickshaw bikes are readily available near most biking trails. For more information, check out our guide on the best cycling trails in Hong Kong for a range of difficulty levels and locations.