Hong Kong = pretty good at Christmas, as it happens. Here’s the LUXE line-up of where to be and what to do during the festive season, whether you’re asking Santa for sparkly skylines, gingerbread-and-glühwein-toting markets, or family thrills for your little elves...
Get your Yuletide fix at Hong Kong Winterfest throughout December, when the Victoria Harbour skyline has added sparkle, courtesy of citywide Christmas illuminations and the spectacular Pulse 3D Light Show: a nightly, Christmas edition of the 10-minute multimedia light show, splashed across the Clocktower and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Music from the HK Phil accompanies the dazzling display. Additional Winterfest lures include seasonal restaurant menus, shopping promotions and special events.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a festive market or two. Don’t miss the German Traditional Christmas Market at Stanley, which is held every weekend in Dec. Or, The Peninsula will be hosting its own Christmas Market on the eve of the big day. Eschew the frantic last-minute shoppers in nearby Tsim Sha Tsui; instead, find solace on the forecourt of the iconic hotel where the atmospheric stalls and scent of spiced glühwein and gingerbread whisk you far from your surrounds. Sugarplum fairies and candy canes adorn speciality stalls selling a beautifully crafted range of gorgeous gifts, available exclusively to hotel guests and dinner patrons of The Peninsula, who can make their selections while sipping on signature drinks and nibbling canapés. Jack Frost might rock up too, granting the city – or, at least, the market’s immediate environs – the first white Christmas in, well, forever! Let it snow...
If you’re making merry with little nippers in tow, Hong Kong has plenty of family-friendly festive fun to choose from. Your aspiring ballerinas will pirouette with joy after seeing The Nutcracker Suite by HK Ballet (15-26 Dec), which will be performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Budding musicians will love HK Phil’s Music for Kids (23-24 Dec); the orchestra will perform hits from the Home Alone movie series, plus Christmas favourites such as ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, ‘Let it Snow!’, and ‘O Holy Night!’ Sing along, too – however talented you may be in the tunes department.
Ocean Park and Disney are pretty impressive on an average day – but they both get added glitter pre-Christmas. Don’t miss the giant, decoration-bedecked tree, Santa’s cottage and Penguin Dress-up Delights at the former; the tree-lighting ceremony, the Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball, and the Magical Twilight Snowfall at the latter...
Winterfest / throughout Dec / across town / see details online / discoverhongkong.com
The Nutcracker / 15-26 Dec / Hong Kong Cultural Centre / TST / +852 2734 2009 / hkballet.com
HK Philharmonic / 23-24 Dec / Hong Kong Cultural Centre / hkphil.org
Stanley Christmas Market / 9-17 Dec / Stanley Plaza / noon-8pm daily
Ocean Park / Wong Chuk Hang / +852 3923 2323 / 10am-7pm Mon-Fri, until 9pm Sat-Sun / oceanpark.com.hk
Disneyland / Lantau / +852 3550 3388 / 10.30am-8pm Mon-Fri, until 8.15pm Sat-Sun / hongkongdisneyland.com