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'Tis the Season to Be Savvy

By Sophie Pettit 1 December 2014
  Once again the season of goodwill is upon us, and as our city comes to life in all its sparkling glamour, you may be wondering what’s in store to get you in the festive spirit. Well here at Localiiz, we like to do things a bit differently and have come up with our quirky guide to help you lap up the good will vibes, along with some savvy tips to take along the way. Don't worry, there are still some traditional favourites thrown in for good measure, and the good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get your fill because there are plenty of freebie treats sprinkled around town to help spread good cheer. "Bah! Humbug!" We think not!  

Sail Away

'Tis the season for sailing! Escape the hoard of Christmas shoppers and sail around Hong Kong’s beautiful coastline with Hong Kong Yachting. For a truly different experience, book a charter or join a ticketed sailing and boating event to enjoy the city from a distance with a refreshing drink in hand. The good news is you don't have to be a sailing pro to take part, because the yachts are all run by experienced and friendly crew. So sit back, relax, and go wherever the wind takes you. Savvy Tip: If you ask the crew nicely, they may just let you and your guests take control of the helm and sail the boat yourself. What are you waiting for? Jump onboard.  

Get Lost

Think you have a good sense of direction? Why not put your inner compass to the test and enter Hong Kong’s first Christmas Maze at the Christmas Starlight Garden, located on 7th Floor of the New Town Plaza shopping mall in Sha Tin, from November 30th to January 31st. Designed and produced by top-of-the-world maze design team Adrian Fisher Maze Design Ltd, with lighting by artist German Ben Busche, this 8,000 square foot magical masterpiece consists of more than 400 panels of transparent glass so you can see all the action from the outside in. During the daytime, the maze looks crystal clear while at night, the moonlight can make the maze more challenging but more fun! What are you waiting for? The Festive Challenge awaits! Savvy Tip: If you lose your way, don’t panic! A helpful member of staff will come to your rescue after 10 minutes of maze time and show you the way out. How's that for goodwill?  

Climb a Mountain

We’ve seen some pretty impressive festive displays in the ifc mall over the years, but this Christmas the mall has something rather spectacular up its sleeve. Get ready to feast your eyes on JINGLE BAO, an avant-garde indoor festive installation designed by world-renowned architectural and 3D visual arts maestros, Igor Kebel and John Kerr. Currently under construction and yet to be unveiled, the 12-meter mountain snowscape will sit in the Oval Atrium, Podium Level 1, ifc mall from November 25th to January 4th. Let esteemed local music critic Dr. Wong Chi-chung complete the stunning experience with a charming music selection that conjures a festive ambiance of adventure, joy, and celebration. Savvy Tip: Take advantage of ifc's 2014 Christmas Gift Redemption from now until December 26th. For purchases of HK$8,500 or above, on the same day, shoppers will receive one Georg Jensen festive gift.  

Hear the Herald Angels Sing

Competition is rising in the mall world, as Cityplaza presents ‘A Christmas Celebration’ from November 28th to January 1st. Lucky shoppers will experience the sweet angelic singing of holy angels in a European-style garden filled with enchanting music and be enticed with a selection of performances by world-class entertainers, including acrobats. Enjoy two consecutive weekends of live music featuring popular local singers, but don’t forget to take photos with the 10-metre-tall sparkling Christmas tree on the ground floor. Savvy Tip: Download the 'Cityplaza Xmas' mobile app and collect six stamps located in checkpoints around the mall to redeem a Caffe HABITU coffee along when you make any purchase. Or enter the year-end lucky draw and be in with a chance of winning HK$2,000 in shopping vouchers, a Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport, HK$80,000 Cityplaza shopping vouchers, and two nights’ accommodation in a deluxe room at EAST Hotel.  

Visit a Candy Wonderland

What better way to enter the season that by strolling through a traditional Christmas market with a handful of candied cinnamon and a glass of mulled wine? Swire Properties White Christmas Street Fair promises to transform Tong Chong Street at TaiKoo Place into a candy wonderland for the winter holidays between December 4th and 6th. With free live entertainment, more than 20 stalls selling festive treats, delicious food and drink, games, and children’s workshops, there’s enough Christmas spirit to warm even Ebenezer Scrooge’s humbug heart. And owing to the season of good will, all proceeds from the Street Fair will go to Swire’s beneficiary Operation Santa Claus to support charitable projects in Hong Kong. Savvy Tip: Don't miss out on your chance to don your skates and hit Hong Kong’s first ever outdoor ice hockey rink. Ice in Hong Kong? Well, not exactly, the rink is made of synthetic ice created by Swiss brand GREENice, but you'll be too busy having fun to even notice the difference.  

Sing “Hallelujah!”

Nothing makes our hearts swell quite like huddling together to sing some traditional Christmas carols, whilst raising money for a good cause. The 8th annual Katterwall Community Carols will see over 200 people, and a merry band of musicians, gather together at the Lan Kwai Fong Amphitheatre on the eve of December 5th to sing all their favourite songs, in support of New Sight Congo. Admission is free, you only need to pick up your carolling booklet for HK$60 from Baby Buddha and all proceeds go to the charity. Savvy Tip: If you ever found yourself saying, "Please don’t buy me any gifts" or "I just don’t know what to get him", then why not visit the online Priceless Gift Store and purchase gifts that will change the lives of people in the Congo. From operations to restore sight to adults and children, to medication that prevents blindness, these presents will definitely make a difference!  

Do a LOT of Shopping

Pop down to StuffGenie’s three-part boutique Christmas pop-up series, LOT 5, at No. 5 Staunton Street, Soho from December 3rd to 21st and take your pick of gifts. The first pop-up boutique will run from December 3rd to 7th and will feature the best in accessories and fashion. For all you foodies out there, the second series, running from December 10th to 14th, offers the best of Hong Kong’s artisan food products and deliciously enticing culinary treats. Last but not least, one series features boutique fashion brands, up-and-coming fashion designers, and artisan accessories and leather goods from December 17th and 21st. What could be better than browsing the goodies on offer with a Toffee Nut Latte and Red Velvet Cupcake in hand? Savvy Tip: To celebrate the premier of this pop-up, LOT 5 will be offering a limited number of goodie bags packed full of Christmas treats, surprises, deals, and vouchers to visitors. So get down there fast!  

Say it with Chocolate

What better time of year to indulge in a collection of sweet treats from multi-award winning French chocolatier, Jean-Paul Hévin? The chocolate maestro has whipped up a special collection of delicious creations in the theme of love and peace for chocolate lovers to enjoy from November 15th through the holidays. Share the delectable Tablette Crunchy Chocolate Bars, the Christmas Macaroon “Smocking”, or Hévin’s signature Chocolate Bonbons Box and Chocolate Palets Box, from the L'Amour et La Paix Chocolate Collection. Savvy Tip: Stuck for gift ideas? Who doesn't love the sweet stuff? Splash out on one of Hévin's four exclusive hampers designed to help you spread holiday joy amongst colleagues, friends, and family. Priced from HK$998 to HK$3,488, and named as 'Love', 'Peace', 'Dream', and 'Best Wishes', these are available in all Jean-Paul Hévin stores around Hong Kong, as well as the new pop-up store set to open in Sogo, Causeway Bay. Go on, it’s Christmas!  

Order Takeaway Christmas

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and let Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong play Santa Claus this Christmas. For those of you wishing to dine at home, the hotel will lovingly prepare the entire traditional Christmas-To-Go for delivery or collection from The Mandarin Cake Shop on Christmas morning. A choice of meals will be available, including roast turkey, stuffing, pumpkin, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce for up to 22 people. Don’t miss out on this cheeky festive shortcut. Place your order here from December 1st and don't worry, we won't tell anyone! Savvy Tip: Stuck for gift ideas for your special one this Christmas? Fear not, pop down to The Mandarin Cake Shop from November 15th and take your pick of a host of Christmas Hampers brimming with delicious goodies or luxury spa products. Who could resist the luxurious products in the 'Elementally Mandarin For Her' and 'MO Man' for him?  

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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.