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Hong Kong with Kids
One child's buzz is another child's bore, so plan a variety of amusements to keep everyone entertained. Hong Kong has two major amusement parks, but so many more opportunities to laugh and learn at museums, parks, and wildlife reserves.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong's version of Magic Kingdom, on Lantau Island, is as polished as all the other Disneys but much smaller. You can easily go on every ride at least once and see all the attractions in a day. If your kids are theme park-savvy, the tame rides here won't win their respect, but there is lots to entertain littler kids. Space Mountain is the most thrilling ride, though the U-shaped RC Racer at Toy Story Land also gets a few screams. Otherwise, watch the Festival of the Lion King, or just wait for the fireworks.
Hong Kong Park
This large public park has stunning architecture against a backdrop of lush greenery. The highlight is the Edward Youde Aviary, home to about 600 birds of 90 species indigenous to the endangered Malesian rainforests around Southeast Asia. Plant lovers should pay the Forsgate Conservatory a visit.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
Hong Kong Wetland Park. While Tin Shui Wai is known for being one of Hong Kong's poorest communities, the Wetland Park's opening helped raise its image with a vast Wetland Reserve home to numerous species of native wildlife, including Hong Kong's own star crocodile, Pui Pui. The park has a visitor center, which includes an auditorium and several indoor galleries offering edutaining exhibits, as well as a café, play area, resource center, and souvenir shop. Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai, New Territories, Hong Kong. 2708–8885 or 3152–2666. www.wetlandpark.com. HK$30. Wed.–Mon. 10–5. Tin Shui Wai.
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong has grown around these gardens, which opened in 1864, and although they're now watched over by skyscrapers, a visit here is still a delightful escape. Burmese pythons, Chinese alligators, Bali mynahs, Bornean orangutans, ring-tailed lemurs, and lion-tailed macaques are among its 400 birds, 70 mammals, and 50 reptiles in the zoo enclosures.
This homegrown marine theme park offers a balance of toned-down thrills and high-octane rides suitable for toddlers to teenagers as well as a giant aquarium and the popular giant-panda enclosure. The park stretches out over 200 hilly acres, which you can gaze down at from the cabins of the mile-long cable car that connects the tamer Lowlands area to the action-packed Headland.
Kids can spend a full day bouncing from one exhibition zone to another at this science-themed museum. Take the fitness challenge or learn about light, sound, and motion through interactive presentations and activities. The museum is closed on Thursdays; Wednesday is free admission.
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
The air starts to fill with warbling and tweeting about a block from this narrow public park, where there are about 70 stalls selling various species of birds, mostly smaller ones, in addition to cages, seed, and accessories. Look for talking mynahs, budgies, and parrots toward the far end of the garden, where these species have more space to perch on independent stands to which they're chained.Updated: 06-2013
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