How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Most shopping malls in the city have nursing rooms, some even provide stroller rental service. It is more difficult in the restaurants, though, as they do not provide baby-changing facilities. It is not very popular among local mothers to breastfeed in public, but when happen, the society is mostly friendly and understanding. Please note that Hong Kong is not a stroller friendly city, especially in the crowded streets of Central, Wanchai or Tsim Sha Tsui. When taking bus, stroller must be folded and baby carried. In MTR stations there are more lifts now than used to, but still some stations cannot be reached from the street other than by stairs.You may visit HK Moms Facebook page or Geobaby to learn more about raising child in Hong Kong.
Can I get a nanny?
There are agencies specializing in childcare services and offer nanny services on hourly basis. However, most popular among Hongkongers and expats are foreign domestic helpers, when it comes to taking care of children and managing households.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Hong Kong is a safe city but, as with all crowded cities, one must keep vigilant.
What are the kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Ocean Park - The park covers 870,000 square meters and has many attractions including rides, a huge aquarium, cable cars and 5,000 years of Chinese history.
- Kadoorie Farm - Kids get to see wild animals, organic farming, rare plants, native trees, orchids and ferns.
- Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens - 5.4 hectares of gardens located on the Northern slope of Victoria Peak. There are 300 birds, 70 mammals and 20 reptiles.
- Madame Tussard's - wax images of famous people.
- Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – a theme park for kids
- Hong Kong Space Museum
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
After-school programs are popular. Dance, art, drama, music and sports, such as mini-rugby, cricket, league baseball and mini hockey, are possibilities for kids.
Children at international schools are often offered extra curriculum activities and sports. YWCA’s International Kids Club offers variety of activities. You may visit YWCA website to get more information.
Hong Kong also has many cinemas, ice skating rinks, beaches and parks. Shopping and strolling around Stanley Market and Village are fun activities, too. Playgrounds include Mount Austin Road (Peak), Botanical Gardens, Wanchai Gap and Hong Kong Park. Barbecues are popular among youngsters, as are camping and hiking on HK Island and in the NT and outlying islands.
The Hong Kong Science Museum is also worth a visit.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Overall, Hong Kong provides a great life for a teenager as it is safe to go out. There are also plenty of night activities. Keep in mind, however, that as families are always moving in and out of Hong Kong, it's difficult for teens to cope with the constant separation with their friends.
Compared with teens in other countries, many Hong Kong teenagers seem privileged. They often own the latest gadgets and have had amahs bringing them up throughout their childhood.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Girl Guides Association and Boy Scouts are two such groups. YMCA is also a good option for extracurricular activity.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Chinese New Year brings fireworks and lai see packets for all. Kids enjoy wishing everyone "Kung Hei Fat Choi." Mid-Autumn festival allows an indulgence in sweet pastries called "moon cakes." Dragon Boat Racing is always exciting and fun. Participation teaches teamwork.
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