Budget Hong Kong with Kids

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“Budget” is not a word one associates with Hong Kong. This city is anything but! Still, we were lucky enough to spend a week there over fall break. It was largely made possible thanks to a friend who kindly allowed us to stay at her place while she was out of town. Even with the lodgings taken care of, the former British enclave can be pretty hard on the wallet. Yet, we found budget things to do in Hong Kong with our kids – a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old – that were both fun and affordable. Check out our list!


budget hong kong kids
There are definitely budget things to do in Hong Kong with kids!

 

1. Hong Kong Botanical and Zoological Gardens

Cost: free!

Hong Kong Botanical-Zoological Garden
There are several things to see and do

Why we liked it: This place is downtown and easy to get to. The grounds are beautiful, the zoo is small (perfect size for young children, really) but neat: I don’t think I’ve seen such active monkeys before in my life! They were swinging around, chasing each other, and having a great time altogether. There is a good-sized playground, the bathrooms are clean.

Such a relaxing place!

Are these real, mama?

2. The Aviary at Hong Kong Park

Cost: free!

Black-Capped Lories enjoying their lunch

This little guy was quite patient with me.

Why we liked it: You cannot beat the central location. The aviary was beautiful! Visitors walk on suspended bridges high off the ground and get to see all kinds of birds flying around, perching on the branches nearby or nibbling on the snacks (the feeders are hanging more or less at eye-level).

Edward Youde Aviary
This dove (?) didn’t seem to be bothered by the visitors.

While inside, it’s easy to forget you are in the middle of a crazy, bustling city. There is a superb multi-level playground near the aviary that includes a giant sandbox.

Unfortunately, this part of the park isn’t very stroller-friendly.

3. Victoria Peak

Cost: Peak tram is HK$45 per adult and HK$25 per child (3-11) for a round-trip ticket.

Our view from Victoria Peak
It’s better in person!

Why we liked it: It was a great value for the money. The funicular was great fun for the kids. The view from the top was breathtaking! We enjoyed walking on the shady paths on the mountainside, our preschooler loved exploring the moss 🙂

Mossy slope
He loved discovering (and gently touching) different kinds of moss

If you are up to a little hike, there is a lovely park and a playground about 10 minutes away towards the Peak Garden.

Playground at Victoria Peak
A necessary stop with young children!

We took a stop there on our way up and later wished we didn’t bother going any higher: the view wasn’t that amazing, the garden seemed rather unkept and the mosquitos were vicious (think 30+ bites per ankle). If you (and especially the children!!) need the bathroom, I would strongly suggest avoiding the one you enter from the outside and looking for one in the Peak Tower itself (I believe, it’s on the 2nd floor, there are signs).

IMPORTANT! If you arrive at the Peak Tram station before 9am, there will hardly be a line (at 8am, there were 3 people in front of us). If you arrive at 10, it will be a 2-hour wait. Plan accordingly.

4. Science Museum

Cost: HK$20 per person, children under 4 years old are free. If you want to stretch your budget even further, on Wednesdays, admission is free for everyone.

Preschooler at HK Science Museum Turtle looking at an engine

Exploring electricity at HK Science Museum Exploring electricity

 

mirrors science museum
The mirror of invisibility 🙂

Why we liked it: I always seek out a good child-friendly museum, maybe because there weren’t any hands-on museums in my childhood. We chose to go on a Wednesday so it was quite busy (seeing how it was a free admission day in the middle of a school break) but not so much as to be uncomfortable. We didn’t get to see half the things they had to offer. My kids, quite predictably, enjoyed the Transportation exhibit and the dinosaur skeleton the most. I loved the Home Technology section (I mean, you get to see what a washer and a dryer look like inside!) and the Hall of Mirrors. We also caught a science show (maybe 15-minutes long) on liquid nitrogen. Really cool stuff! Don’t miss the Puzzle Room on the ground floor (kind of tucked in the corner near the Mirror Hall. Let’s be clear here, this isn’t a Smithsonian, but it’s still fun. And the location can’t be beat.

5. Hong Kong Museum of History

Cost: Free!

Hong Kong Museum of History is next door to the Science Museum. Its permanent exhibition “The Hong Kong Story” is free for everyone. You get to explore the history of Hong Kong from prehistoric times all the way to 1997. There is an old junk boat on display (something I was excited about).

hk history museum The Natural Environment gallery

hong kong story Modern Metropolis gallery

junk boat museum hong kong Folk Culture gallery

 

 

6. Star Ferry

Cost: HK$2.70-3.70 per adult, $1.60-2.20 per child (3 and older), Octopus card can be used.

Star Ferry Dock
Star Ferry dock on the Kowloon side

Why we liked it: At first, we were looking at a full-on harbor tour (about HK$150, if I remember right) but then decided just to do the budget trip from Central to Tsim Tsa Shui and back. It was worth it! The view is nice and it’s neat to be able to see the city from a different perspective. The ride is about 10 minutes long.

7. Repulse Bay Beach

Cost: free!

Warm sand, warm sea

She wasn’t sure about the sand at first 🙂

Why we liked it: Our original plan was to go to Stanley beach since it was supposed to be more secluded. However, upon arrival we realized the beach was tiny and felt crowded even with a couple dozen people already there. Also, the wind was strong and the water too rough. We got back on the bus and returned to Repulse Bay. It was great to just relax, enjoy the sun, the sand, and the warm water. There are showers/bathrooms/changing rooms at the beach. Lifeguards were present. The kids had an absolute blast. My husband and I got sunburned for the first time in ages.

8. Kowloon Park

Cost: free!

His back pack is a penguin, too!

Chinese Garden

Why we liked it: it’s a peaceful oasis in the midst of busy Tsim Sha Tsui. We enjoyed walking through the Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars even though all of them were perfectly foreign to us. Our 4-year-old fell in love with the Maze Garden and insisted to go through it several times. I found the Chinese Garden very pretty. There is an aviary on the grounds as well as a really nice playground (partly wheelchair-accessible).

Playground at Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

BONUS! Michelin-recommended Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Ball stall is a couple minutes away at 492 King’s Road, North Point 178 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The famous Hong Kong egg waffles (or eggettes) were quite a hit with our family 🙂

Hong Kong Egg Waffle
Turtle devouring an eggette

I hope you will find these ideas helpful. Do you have favorite budget things to do in Hong Kong with kids?

And if you are looking for budget-friendly travel ideas, do check out this post.



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21 thoughts on “Budget Hong Kong with Kids”

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    • Hi Jan,

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  • I love that all it takes is a little creativity to same a lot of money!! I don’t have kids but I also do that as an adult to budget travel as well!

  • There’s loads I’d love to do in your great guide. The aviary looks like fun, and I could be bird spotting for hours there. That pristine beach would have me captivated too, and who doesn’t love a hands on science museum. The picture of your little one with the big penguin is great: made me smile.

  • There are so many great ideas here, and that too without hitting the roof with expensive entry tickets. Every city has such options and with a little out-of-the-box thinking, its very much possible. I would give all of these a shot.

  • Wow, those are some excellent tips for how to see Hong Kong on a budget! Those attractions would have appeal for kids of all ages I think…my husband would totally freak out at the science museum!

  • We loved HK when we went as well. We didn’t do some of the free activities you found , however, and they look pretty amazing. I would love the bird park.

  • This is not only for families with kids, I can totally see myself going to the botanical garden and beautiful parks. Victoria peak though is why I am considering a trip to begin with. Oh and the egg waffles of course, how could I have forgotten those. Yum!

  • My first thought: it is so kitschy! At the end it looks like Hon Kong is a nice place which can be affordable with your tips. Amazing that they can keep need places like the Star Ferry dock on the Kowloon side in the middle of all the skyscrapers.

  • I always love aerial views of a city. That tram looks amazing. If you look hard enough, it seems like it is always possible to find a mixture of paid and free activities when on vacation. Nice post.

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