Top 25 things to do this summer for kids!

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Janice Jann rounds up the best kid-friendly summer events, festivals and fun

Adventure Studios
Photo opportunity!
 

For: All ages
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: Varies by package

Bring out your best smiles as you capture some professional snapshots with your family at Adventure Studios, a photo studio especially catering to family portraits with a bit of a fun pizzazz. There's plenty of fun props for the little ones to amuse themselves with, ensuring pics that are lively and delightful.

1/F, Grand Marine Ctr, 3 Yue Fung St, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, 3997 3800; adventurestudios.net.

Dinosaurs Live at The Venetian
Get prehistoric
 

For: Ages 3-10
Dates: Until Oct 1
Cost: $50-$80

Take your kids 250 million years back in time at The Venetian's new Dinosaurs Live exhibition. The interactive exhibition includes 30 dinosaurs on display and children get the chance to observe the historic animatronic creatures in action. Also check out the 3D movie and DinoStore after browsing the exhibition.

Hall F, CotaiExpo, The Venetian Macao; venetianmacao.com

Disney Live! Mickey's Magic Show
Get spellbound
 

For: All ages
Dates: Aug 21-25
Cost: $150-$300

Let the magic of Disney come alive onstage as DisneyLive! presents Mickey's Magic Show, where the beloved mouse and his slew of friends come together with a world class illusionist for an enchanting performance of magic and mysteries using legendary Disney movies.

Star Hall, KITEC, Kowloon Bay, 3128 8288; hkticketing.com.

Dream Come True Education Park
Learn to fly - and more!
 

For: Ages 3-12
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: $1,000-$3,600

Playing pretend has never been more fun than with the programmes held at Dream Come True Education Park, an activity-based learning theme park located in Hong Kong International Airport. Kids take on the roles of journalists, pilots, astronauts and more in these half day or full day classes, picking up useful social skills along the way. Fees cover transportation to and from the airport as well as class supplies.

Level 6, Terminal 2, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, 3559 1028; dreamcometrue.com.hk.

Hong Kong Book Fair
A world of reading
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 17-23
Cost: $10-$25

The biggest, baddest book fair of the year returns! For seven days, families can browse through the hundreds of book exhibitors and fun programmes. For the kids, there's the Children's Paradise corner where local celebrities and the like gather to read to the kiddies. Be sure to also head inside the Pure Land 3D Panoramic Theatre and stare in wonder at the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.

Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, 1 830 830; park.hongkongdisneyland.com.

Hong Kong Disneyland's Monsters University
Join in at creepy college
 

For: All ages
Dates: Until Sep 1
Cost: $100-$450

In anticipation of the new Pixar film Monsters University hitting theatres on July 11, head over to Hong Kong Disneyland where the Monsters University Administration grants guests customised student ID cards. At Animation Academy, kids can join a drawing lesson with Mike or test out their cupcake making skills at Hollywood Hotel's chef lecture. Once you've checked out all that Monsters University has to offer, visit the rest of Disneyland – there's a bit of fun to be had there, too.

HKCEC, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai; hkbookfair.hktdc.com.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum:
Children's Discovery Gallery

Learn about Hong Kong nature
 

For: Ages 4-10
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: $7, free on Wednesdays

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum's specially designed wing for kids is made up of eight play zones designed to aid the young ones uncover the wonders of nature and history. And if that wasn't enough, there's a whole section focused on toys (!), showcasing the history and development of toys in Hong Kong – it might even get parents a tad nostalgic for their childhood!

1 Man Lam Rd, Sha Tin, 2180 8188; heritagemuseum.gov.hk.

Hong Kong International Hobby and Toy Museum
Also known as 'heaven'
 

For: All ages
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: $20 kids, $30 adults

Well, this is a no-brainer – this museum may be the only museum you need to know this summer. Featuring hundreds of toys ranging from cars to dolls to cartoon characters (and, by the way, a huge collection of Gundam robots), we imagine the HKIHTM is going to see a lot of excited kids running between its massive collection the next few months. And quite a few excited adults as well.

330 Shanghai St, Yau Ma Tei, 3599 5516; hktoymuseum.org.

Hong Kong International Arts Carnival
Spectacles on stage
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 5-Aug 11
Cost: Varies

A cultural thunderstorm friendly for the entire family, the International Arts Carnival is a jumble of a dozen-plus dance, singing and theatrical performances featuring puppetry, drama and acrobatics. We particularly recommend the poetic shadow-focused dance show, Shadowlands (pictured, top left), and, for the urban-aware youngster, the Korean B-boys, Last For One. Introduce your kids to a variety of creative live shows enjoyable for all ages.

Various venues; hkiac.gov.hk/2013.

International Animation Festival
Cool cartoons
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 20-31
Cost: Free

Take in a treasure trove of animated gems at the International Animation Festival 2013. This 11-day festival – part of the Hong Kong Ani-Com Summer (but not to be confused with that other giant convention, Ani-Com) – focuses on a superb range of animated works, from classic flicks paying tribute to the late Disney animator Ward Kimball to a selection of European animated films garnering attention at the Academy Awards and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Hong Kong Arts Ctr, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, 2788 5968; acsummer.hk.

Lego education summer camp
Because everyone loves Lego
 

For: Ages 3-9
Dates: Until Aug 19
Cost: $1,680

Lego! Fun and educational, these colourful little numbers pretty much provide the building blocks of life. And at Lego Education Summer Camp, kids can go Lego-crazy to their heart's content, constructing machines, contraptions and more! There are plenty of programmes on offer, giving any little tots the chance to nurture that Lego creativity.

Unit 2503, 25/F, Universal Trade Ctr, 3 Arbuthnot Rd, Central; 6/F, Wai Hing Bldg, 148 Prince Edward Rd W, Prince Edward, 2314 4228; cityline.com.

Ngong Ping Fun Walk
For the bug and tree lovers
 

For: All ages
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: $68-$190 for roundtrip on cable car

Get a taste of Mother Earth with Ngong Ping Nature Centre's special guided tours. The Lantau tourist hotspot has always been a go-to place for visitors to learn more about being ecologically responsible and nourishing their love and respect for nature. Kids and adults alike should enjoy the fun walk, a free tour exploring the cultural and natural resources around the wild greenery of Ngong Ping.

Ngong Ping Nature Ctr, Ngong Ping Village, 2259 3916; np360.com.hk.

Noah's Ark Solar Tower
Get out in the sun
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 17-23
Cost: $125-$155

The Bible-based theme park has just unveiled a new Solar Tower, which boasts the largest professional vacuum solar telescope in Southeast Asia available for public use. Check out the sun's surface activity in real time through the telescope and also learn interesting facts about the sun and solar system through the tower's exhibits and 3D astronomy documentaries. There are also plenty of science learning programmes and kids can even create their own gadgets.

Noah's Ark, Park Island, 8201 1122; noahsark.com.hk.

Ocean Park's Summer Splash
Get soaked in the sun
 

For: All ages
Dates: Until Aug 25
Cost: $80-$280

Get aquatic this summer with this series of water-based events and shows. From a musical comedy show, The Aerial Spectacular, to wading in foam at the Bubble pop party made for the little ones and surprise street Splash Mob dance performances, Ocean Park is set for some big summer nights. What's more, from July 20 to August 25, evening tickets cost only $80 for kids and $160 for adults.

Ocean Park, Aberdeen, 3923 2323; oceanpark.com.hk.

Play-in-a-week
Thrill of the stage
 

For: Ages 4-18
Dates: Aug 19-23
Cost: $1,250-$1,450

Let your child experience the excitement of live theatre with Play-in-a-week. Set up by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, blossoming thespians come together to put together a performance in just one week. Four to six-year-olds have the chance to act in Where the Wild Things Went while the older kids adapt Roald Dahl's beloved tale, Marvellous Matilda for the stage. The HKAPA also holds other Excel programmes including dramatic storytelling and puppetry.

Enrol at 3128 8288, hkticketing.com; more info at excel.hkapa.edu.

Pop! Site
Art workshops
 

For: Ages 6-12
Dates: Jul 27, 28, Aug 3, 4, 10, 11
Cost: $500, $800

Osage and Sigma Projects have put together a three-part creative programme that allows kids to engage in sculpting, painting and make their own musical instruments. The three workshops, organised by top Hong Kong creatives, conclude with a live musical performance and public painting exhibition, unleashing your child's inner Picasso and Mozart.

Osage Kwun Tong, 5/F, Kian Dai Industrial Bldg, 73-75 Hung To Rd, Kwun Tong, 2793 4817; oaf.cc/sigmasummer.html.

Science Explorer
Science is golden
 

For: All ages
Dates: Ongoing
Cost: Free

Explosions, sparks, flying, time travel! Science is fun, and on this special tour at the Hong Kong Science Park, kids can play and learn and discovery just how much fun it can really be. There are interactive games galore, as well as special exhibitions on the importance of green technology, fibre optics and the tech universe!

1/F, Enterprise Place, Hong Kong Science Park, 2629 6961; sciencexplorer.hkstp.org.

Snoopy's World
For a good dog day afternoon
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 17-23
Cost: $10-$25

Venture out with the tykes to Sha Tin New Town Plaza's Snoopy's World. It's a small park located on the third floor of the massive shopping centre but a cute enough place for the kids to run around in, scoping out the giant Snoopy, Charlie Brown and friends figurines. For those who've purchased over a certain amount at New Town Plaza, enjoy a cruise on the slow and easygoing canoe ride.

L3, Sha Tin New Town Plaza, New Territories; newtownplaza.com.hk.

Sport4kids
Get active
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 17-23
Cost: $10-$25

Let the little ones work off all that energy by signing them up for classes at Sport4kids. With a broad range of sport programmes – from rugby and tennis to gymnastics and swimming – there are plenty of options. And classes take place in various venues all over Hong Kong. Time to play ball!

Various venues, 2773 1650; sport4kids.hk.

The Gazillion Bubble Show
It's a world record show!
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 19-21
Cost: $100-$400

Kids and adults alike can't deny the mystical appeal of bubbles. So why not check out this show? Fan Yang, the 18-time Guinness World Records holder and bubble artist, brings all his little bubbles to town with The Gazillion Bubble Show. Expect feats like being wrapped in a human-sized bubble and other tricks up Yang's sleeves.

Star Hall, KITEC, Kowloon Bay, 3128 8288; hkticketing.com, more info at bubbleshowhk.com.

The Magic Flute
Opera, kids-style
 

For: Ages 5 and up
Dates: Until Aug 18
Cost:: $200-$300

Want your young'un to sing like Pavarotti? If yes, Opera Hong Kong's Summer School is a good place to start. This programme sees young singers take part in a three-week intensive vocal training course, culminating in a production of Mozart's classic opera, The Magic Flute. Take in the magical tale of Prince Tamino and his true love, Princess Pamina sung by your own bright young star live on stage.

2234 0303; operahongkong.org.

The Sign Cleaner:
Unlocking the Library's Secrets

Storytelling, interactive style
 

For: Ages 4-10
Dates: Jul 6 & 7
Cost: Free

At Asia Archive's Open Weekend, get transported into the enchanting world of fiction as master storytellers Lotus Chan and Ryan Yan utilise their skills to take kids on a wild ride amid the AAA bookshelves. Registrations close soon!

Asia Art Archive, 10/F & 110/F Hollywood Ctr, 233 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, 2815 1112; aaa.org.hk/openweekend.

The Smurfs 2 Summer Village
Smurfs take over East Square
 

For: All ages
Dates: Jul 13-Aug 11
Cost: Free

The Smurfs have invaded East Square in Macau! The little blue creatures are part of The Smurfs 2 Summer Village where life-size smurfs, performances and mascot appearances are dotted throughout. There's also arts and crafts, games and merchandise, and prize booths for the whole family to enjoy – yes, all set up inside Mushroom Houses!

Galaxy Macau, East Square, Cotai, Macau, +853 9993 3988; galaxymacau.com.

Time Out Hong Kong treasure hunt!
Follow the clues and win!
 

For: All ages
Dates: Until Jul 17
Cost: Your time

Join in on Time Out Hong Kong's very own treasure hunt! Via a series of puzzles, clues and riddles, we'll take you on a wholesome and energetic hunt throughout the twisting and turning streets of Wan Chai. Of course, there are some great prizes to be won for those who finish the treasure hunt first!

Click here for more details!

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