Let’s be real, there’s nothing better than the smell of a tray of freshly-baked brownies on Christmas day (extra points for cosiness if you’re also binging on GBBO.) From a therapeutic party-for-one, to a wild holiday bake-off with all your friends, it’s time to unleash your inner pâtissier and spice up your Christmas dessert menu! To go the extra mile for some show-stopping holiday desserts, why not sign up for a Christmas baking workshop? If you’re feeling extra bougie and boozy, you should also check out some wine tasting workshops or learn how to make your own cocktails!
Spots are usually limited, so you might want to check these events out and mark your calendars soon. Have fun and bon appétit!
Embrace your inner child, pack your bags and head off for an enchanting weekend indulging in Disney’s Christmas magic! Treat yourself to a night at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and take part in the park’s festive celebrations – including the annual Christmas show! On Christmas day itself, book in for brunch with your favourite Disney Princesses and get a selfie with Mickey and Minnie. This is a great way to turn back time and remember how Christmas felt as a kid!
Santa Claus is coming to town! Or is he? Create your own version of Christmas by hosting a mystery dinner party. Essentially a life-size game of Cluedo, make sure everyone dresses up, follows their script and attends dinner in character. Whether it be a masquerade ball or a 1920s boardwalk mystery, these dinner parties are loads of fun and give you the opportunity to be someone else for the night. A little friendly competition solving a “whodunnit” never hurt anyone, plus, a feast is always involved (along with lots of booze).
We get it, Christmas mugs and holiday gift cards can get a bit too conventional. For a more merry memory, send your special someone an embroidered personal message or make them a dainty terrarium! If you’re simply looking for a fun and crafty activity over the holidays, why not make yourself some fine (vegetable-tanned) leather goods? Go on, treat yourself!
Read more: Get Creative At These Adult Craft Classes And Workshops In Hong Kong
Just because junk season has ended, doesn’t mean you can’t hire a boat in the cooler months! Ask your friends to bring along their favourite holiday dish and tuck into a potluck feast on the water, complete with the Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop for the ultimate display of lights.
Read more: Your Junk Trip Guide
You’ve made it through yet another chaotic year in the 852, so it’s time to sit back and relax. Why not consider a staycation at a high-end hotel and enjoy a luxurious Christmas spa day? The Mandarin Spa at the Mandarin Oriental offers an array of relaxing and rejuvenating opportunities, whether you prefer soaking it up and sweating it out in the steam room, deep tissue massages, mani-pedis (the Oriental Harmony therapy is perfect for tired souls after a long week of work!), or even a combination of them all, The Mandarin Spa has you covered. Depending on the package you choose, you can also enjoy the signature Afternoon Tea at Clipper Lounge post massage.
Read more: The Best Hotels For Staycations And Visiting Guests
For a peaceful getaway head on over to Lantau Island and visit Tian Tan Big Buddha via cable car. Aside from the serene surroundings, you can also check out Po Lin Monastery once you’re at the top. When you’re finished taking in the view, catch the bus down to Tai O fishing village for a night spent on stilts. Poke around town sampling yummy seafood from street stalls – we highly recommend the cuttlefish!
Then, why not spend the night at Tai O Heritage Hotel, a non-profit colonial style inn (fun fact: it was built in 1902 under British rule and originally served as a Police station). And if you’re up for a local culinary experience sign up for one of its salted egg yolk cooking classes (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or rice dumpling-making classes (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), available to all room guests.
Read more: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Tung Chung
Ever feel like you’re stuck in the same old routine? Make the most of your Christmas break and visit a part of the city that you’ve never been to before! Embrace your inner tourist and take a few day trips. It’s so easy to hang around the same spots and forget how much else there is to see and do in Hong Kong (and some of the best activities are free!). Whether you choose to wander around buzzing districts full of history, like Kwun Tong and Wan Chai, or visit an outlying island, countless adventures lie just beyond your doorstep!
Get out of the city and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Think hiking and camping – with lots of food and drinks in tow. Trek to Sai Kung and head over to the beaches of Tai Long Wan, where you can pitch a tent and crash for an evening (or two) under the night sky. Board rentals and camping equipment are available for rent too, so be sure to bring some cash, snacks and, of course, lots of drinks. Enjoy epic panoramic views and a night with your toes in the sand. It’s the perfect way to refresh and recharge.
Read more: Hikes You Need To Do Before You Leave Hong Kong
Grab your friends because the Hong Kong Ballet is performing a Christmas favourite, The Nutcracker. Back for another festive season, the famed performance will run from 19 to 29 December, and is the perfect excuse for an evening out on the town! Make sure to make a night of it by starting with cocktails and dinner before settling in for some quality entertainment. Buy your tickets here.
Whether it’s volunteering at your favourite animal shelter, doing your part in reducing waste, or helping rehabilitate refugees, get out there this Christmas and spread the gift of love! Give back by joining a volunteer network like HandsOn Hong Kong, which hosts an array of charitable events throughout the year. Check out its calendar so you can get involved and give back to a cause you’re passionate about this festive season! Find details on how you can get involved here.
Read more: Get Involved In Giving Back: Where To Volunteer In Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 22, November 2016 by Savannah Wasserman and was most recently updated on 20, November 2019 by Lydia Ching.