15 Ways to Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in HK

Now that December’s rolled around, we’re gearing up not only to welcome 2015, but to bid 2014 farewell with a bang. Between get-togethers and solo reflections, resolution drafts and Bucket List additions, here are some fun, lighthearted Hong Kong activities to wrap up the year:

1) Hang a love lock at Statue Square

That’s right: love padlocks will be sold at Statue Square in Central, for you to hang on the railings alongside the massive Christmas tree installation. It’s available in limited quantity with proceeds going to charity, but you can also bring your own if you prefer. A great way to make merry memories, don’t you think?

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 5, 8-10PM / Dec 6-18, 6-10PM / Dec 19-27, 5-11PM / Dec 28-Jan 1, 6-10PM
– North Statue Square, Central (Adjacent to Mandarin Oriental Hotel)
– Admission: Free / Love locks: HKD50, or bring your own

2) Alternatively: display your vows on a heart overlooking Hong Kong

2 - The Peak
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Hop aboard the Peak Tram and enjoy a serenade, with carolers singing yuletide tunes in a merry musical treat. Then, up on the Peak Tower’s Sky Terrace 428, love birds will get the chance to inscribe words and wishes on cards, to be hung on what we hear is a giant heart overlooking the incredible Hong Kong skyline. Sweet, right?

WHEN & WHERE
– Now to Dec 31
– 10AM-11PM Mon-Fri / 8AM-11PM Sat, Sun, Public Holidays
– Sky Terrace 428, The Peak Tower
– Admissions: HKD45 (Adults) / HKD23 (Children age 3-11/seniors age 65 & above)

3) Enjoy a 3D light show

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The HK Pulse 3D Light Show has been on for a while, but the show changes according to theme – last month’s coincided with the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival – and will go on through to Chinese New Year. How about grabbing a Starbucks Christmas drink and making it a winter stroll at the harbor front, capped by a 15-minute, 3D light spectacle?

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 17-29, Feb 14-Mar 5 (except Feb 19)
– Nightly at 8:30PM / 9PM / 9:30PM / 10PM
– Open Piazza, HK Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
– Admissions: Free

4) Frolic at Ocean Park

4 - Ocean Park

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The city’s favorite theme park is aglow with Christmas lights and festive deco! It’s also one of the better times to visit in the year – the cooler temperatures means you’re spared from humidity, and waiting in line comes with less anguish. Just don’t forget the extra change of clothes if you plan on trying the water rides. Plus, be on the lookout for Doraemon – with his Christmassy costume, he might be a little trickier to spot this year…

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 13-Jan 4
– Admissions: HKD320 (Adults) / HKD160 (Children age 3-11)
– KLOOK DEAL: HKD275 (Adults) / HKD145 (Children/seniors)

5) Indulge your inner child at Hong Kong Disneyland

5 - HK Disneyland

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Take the kids to meet Queen Elsa and Princess Anna at the theme park’s Frozen festivities, and don’t miss the puppet show with Olaf and Sven! If you can’t stand another note of ‘Let It Go,’ though, stick around for Paint The Night, a light and music spectacle and Disney’s holiday special for 2014.

WHEN & WHERE
– Now until Jan 4, 2015
– Hong Kong Disneyland, Sunny Bay Station
– Admissions: HKD499 (Adults) / HKD355 (Children) / HKD100 (Seniors)
– KLOOK DEAL: HKD408 (Adults) / HKD308 (Children) / HKD100 (Seniors)

6) Meet & greet new celebs at Madame Tussauds

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…Or at least, wax replicas of themselves. Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu now has his wax twin, while pop star G.E.M.’s will soon be unveiled on December 10. That’s not all: cat or not, superstar Hello Kitty has joined the museum’s roster of A-list personalities, too. Catch them all at Madame Tussauds this year, now ongoing till Jan 2015.

WHEN & WHERE
– Now until Jan 2015
– Madame Tussauds, The Peak
– Admissions: HKD240 (Adults) / HKD170 (Children age 3-11/seniors age 65 and up)
– KLOOK DEAL: HKD178 (Adults) / HKD138 (Children age 3-11/seniors age 65 and up)

7) See Hong Kong light up from the tallest tower

7 - sky100

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Saunter up the elevators to the Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck – in the nighttime, preferably, to see both sides of the harbor light up with festive glory. We reckon it’s the best spot to get a view of Hong Kong this season!

WHEN & WHERE
– Now until Jan 4, 2015
– sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Kowloon Station
– Admissions: HKD168 (Adults) / HKD118 (Children age 3-11/seniors age 65 and up)
– KLOOK DEAL: HKD128 (Adults), HKD98 (Children & seniors)

8) Celebrate with Noah and the animals

 

Get on a ferry to Ma Wan to Noah’s Ark for Broadway-style musicals and magic shows specially prepared for the yuletide season. The kids will love it, and it’s a good excuse to get away from the city.

WHEN & WHERE
– Sat, Sun & Public Holidays from Dec 6-Jan 1
– Noah’s Ark, Ma Wan
– Admissions: HKD155 (Adults) / HKD125 (Children/Elderly)
– KLOOK DEAL: HKD108 (Adults) / HKD99 (Children/Elderly)

9) Strike a post at photoshoot-worthy exhibits

9 - Harbour City

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1881 Hertiage, Fashion Walk, Times Square, Harbour City, Langham Place…like you didn’t have enough reasons to whip out your smartphone camera, these shopping destinations have pulled all the stops to give you many a glorious backdrop for holiday photos. From enchanted forests and polar animal sightings, to a Santa sleigh and gifts in a crystal ball, there are plenty of options for gathering the family and rounding up the gang to capture that 2014 snapshot greeting!

WHEN & WHERE:
– Langham Place, Mong Kok/ Now until Jan 1, 2015
– Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui / Now until Jan 4, 2015
– 1881 Heritage, Tsim Sha Tsui / Now until Jan 4, 2015
– Times Square, Causeway Bay / Now until Jan 1, 2015
– Lee Gardens One & Two, Lee Theatre, Hysan Place, Causeway Bay / Now until Jan 4, 2015
– Admissions: Free

10) Party with the crowds at Lan Kwai Fong

Of course, if there’s something to celebrate, it’s likely being celebrated at Lan Kwai Fong. Join the crowds in all the merry-making and festivities on the eves of Christmas and New Year’s. Restaurant reservations are recommended, as always, otherwise the crowds are free to roam and there’s always Club 7(Eleven) for the quick ‘n easy drink.

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 24 & 31
– Lan Kwai Fong
– Admissions: Streets are free!

11) Step into (a real) (kinda) winter wonderland

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We love our winters, but we know it isn’t as cold as we’d love for it to be (i.e., with snow and all). Thankfully, the Hong Kong Harbin Ice Festival is here as an answer to our wishes, with a -10-degree Celsius fantasy world complete with a giant ice slide, ice merry-go-round, light display and a crazy ice exhibition, reportedly one of the largest in Hong Kong. Only catch? It’s all the way in Yuen Long – then again, if it’s the closest we could get to snow, why not?

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 5 until Jan 4, 2015
– Mon-Fri, 11AM-8PM / Sat, Sun & Public Holidays, 10AM-9PM
– Tai Tong, Yuen Long
– Admissions: HKD90 (Free for children under 3)

12) Take on a labyrinthine challenge at the Starlight Garden

12 - aMAZEing Starlight Garden

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Leading maze designer Adrian Fisher, in partnership with New Town Plaza, has put together a maze called, um, ‘aMAZEing Christmas at Starlight Garden.’ It’s basically a maze, with cool lighting effects that make for a challenging walk-through, on top of being a pretty spectacular installation.

WHEN & WHERE
– Now until Jan 31, 2015
– New Town Plaza, Sha Tin

13) Indulge in a food trip at the HK Food Festival

13 - 12th Hong Kong Food Fest

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Wait until after the 12th Hong Kong Food Fest to write any diet-related resolutions. The city’s largest indoor food bonanza is waiting to indulge your inner glutton, and only rightly so, with zones spanning Hong Kong delicacies and healthy greens to coffee & desserts and Korean grub. Feeding your body as well as your soul – what a good way to spend Christmas, no?

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 25-28, 10AM-9PM / Dec 29, 10AM-7PM
– Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hall 3
– Admissions: HKD20

14) Count down to New Year’s at Victoria Harbour

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Revel in great vibes, a jovial spirit, and lots and lots of lights: Hong Kong’s fireworks showcase to welcome the New Year is, dare we say, among the best in the world, a full eight minutes of pyromusical wonder above the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tip: Plan and reserve your viewing spot early, if you don’t want to miss out. Some ideas: rent a junk boat and watch from the harbor, or from the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper, sky100.

WHEN & WHERE
– Eve of December 31, 2014 11PM
– Victoria Harbour

15) The AIA Great European Carnival

15 - The AIA Grand European Carnival

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Here’s something you can look forward to for the Christmas season and New Year’s, all through to Valentine’s and Chinese New Year: the AIA Great European Carnival. Apparently, the last time the carnival was around was in 2006-2007, seven years ago. Watch out for the food stalls and European show folk, and most of all, the rides. Word has it that some are new to Hong Kong. Won’t it be a cool new thing to try, to end 2014 or kickstart 2015?

WHEN & WHERE
– Dec 19-Feb 22, daily from 11AM-11PM
– New Central Harbourfront, Central
– Admissions: HKD125 on Sat, Sun & Public Holidays / HKD90 on Mon-Thurs

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