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  1. Keep Climbing Gym
    Photograph: Calvin Sit
  2. Select 18
    Photograph: Calvin Sit
  3. The Iron Fairies Hong Kong
    Photograph: Courtesy The Iron Fairies Hong Kong/Michael Perini

Explore the playful side of bustling Central

Fun places to hit up in Central with your family and friends

Time Out Hong Kong in partnership with Chinachem Group
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The Central District is Hong Kong's finance and entertainment hub. Yet, despite it being a frenetic place for work, the urban environment is also an ultimate playground to explore a lot of fun and entertaining experiences. From tranquil gardens, picturesque landmarks, swanky shopping malls, blacklight party rooms, themed bars and venues hosting comedy and trivia nights, there's no shortage of things to see, savour, and do in this bustling neighbourhood. Plus, with the revitalisation of Hong Kong's historic 82-year-old Central Market, the area just got more exciting, offering a slew of new avenues to explore. Opening as a new 'Playground for All', the new Central Market will add even more retail and entertainment facilities for everyone to enjoy. 

In between skyscrapers, expansive malls, and swanky luxury hotels, discover fun-filled activities to share with your family and friends. Here's a list of places to hit up in this lively district. 

RECOMMENDED: For more exciting experiences, travel back in time and visit these historical places in Central and Sheung Wan that are living testaments to the history and heritage of the city. 

  • Things to do
  • Central

The revitalised Central Market will be offering a 12,000sq m floor area filled up by retail, dining, and interactive spaces where culinary enthusiasts, culture junkies, and families looking for fun can explore. Visitors can take snapshots at the Instagrammable terrazzo Grand Staircase area – a historical spot in Central Market prominently seen in the works of the late renowned photographer Fan Ho – and take a peek at Central Market's historical past through the interactive LED wall display game. Foodies will be spoilt for choice with the wide range of gourmet dining and elevated drinking experiences at Central Market's Dining Ground. Tuck into delectable contemporary Cantonese dishes at Lottajoy or share Genoa-inspired plates with your family and friends at CITTÁ. Have a good cuppa or coffee cocktail at the café bar concept I-O-N and explore gin cocktails at Perfume Trees Gin cocktail bar.

  • Shopping
  • Vintage shops
  • Sheung Wan

Select 18 is a popular second-hand store in Hong Kong and is a favourite among locals looking for a quirky mix of vintage finds. Its store used to be on Bridges Street in Central but later moved to Tung Street in Sheung Wan. Mido, the shop owner, loves collecting various antiques, and over the years, has amassed a huge vintage collection that includes eyewear, accessories, Scandinavian furniture, printed items, vinyl records, clothes, shoes, and various knick-knacks. Go with your friends and family, and have fun shopping and treasure hunting for thrifty vintage finds. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

Located at the popular nightlife area on Wyndham Street, Bobby's Rabble hosts regular comedy, quiz, and bingo nights, as well as live music and DJ sets. For lots of fun and laughter, enjoy the bar's regular stand-up comedy shows – 'Comedy UnPopped' featuring HK's promising comedy troupes and 'Bitches in Stitches' with an all-women comic team - which runs monthly on Tuesday nights. Grab a few bites of sliders and wings and enjoy the bar's happy hour promo of $50 on house drinks from 5pm to 7pm. 

  • Sport and fitness
  • Sheung Wan

Stretch your muscles and enjoy an exciting wall climbing experience at Keep Climbing Gym, located in the heart of Sheung Wan. Whether you're a seasoned climber or just starting out, get your friends and family together and take turns climbing the bouldering walls. Get in on the action via an all-day pass – available for both kids (starting at age four) and adults – or prepare for regular visits using their monthly passes.

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  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Soho

Get some retail therapy at quintessential Hong Kong lifestyle brand Goods of Desire (also known as G.O.D.). The shop is popular for its lifestyle products with a distinct Hong Kong flair. Have fun browsing an array of items that include T-shirts printed with tongue-in-cheek humour, quirky household items, and fashionable accessories. Shop for cool and unique items for your family and friends, or buy something for yourself. Currently, the Hollywood Road branch is undergoing renovation and will reopen by mid-July.  

  • Things to do
  • Lan Kwai Fong

For lively parties that you'll never forget, hit up Chalk Party, a cool upstairs blacklight party venue in Lan Kwai Fong. Offering both an outdoor and indoor space, you can reserve the spot for exclusive parties with your besties where you can play and dress up under blacklight and enjoy painting graffiti on the walls with blacklight chalk or painting each other with glow in the dark paint. The party room packages come with blacklight gears which include headbands, wigs, and other accessories. Play with the glow in the dark giant Jenga blocks, giant Connect Four, or compete with your friends for a friendly game of beer pong and flip cup.  

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Central

Tucked away in a hidden alley on Hollywood Road, J Boroski is the brainchild of New York mixologist Joseph Boroski. The venue was designed by Australian-born interior designer Ashley Sutton known for designing neighbouring bar Iron Fairies and the now-closed Wan Chai bar Ophelia. J Boroski offers an exclusive and intimate vibe where people can hang out for chill nights with a glass of well-crafted cocktail in hand. Menus are not available here; instead, customers can tell the bartenders their drink preference, and they will stir and shake bespoke cocktails customised to suit the guest's personal taste. Come by with your friends and enjoy a personalised drinking experience and discover new flavours along the way. While you're sipping your drinks and snapping pictures for Instagram, don't miss the bar's interesting ceiling and walls adorned with hundreds of preserved shiny beetles. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Central
  • price 2 of 4

Located along Pottinger Street, just a few steps from J Boroski is the Iron Fairies' third location in Asia after Bangkok and Tokyo. Its arresting decor, designed by Ashley Sutton, is inspired by the iron ore mines in Western Australia. Coming here is like stepping into a fantasy world where you'll be greeted by a hanging garden of 10,000 preserved butterflies elegantly dangling from the ceiling, which is a stark contrast to the ironsmith's workshop-inspired furnishings featuring accents of timber, leather, and mining machinery. Drop by for an entertaining night and sip on craft cocktails while dancing to live jazz and blues performances.  

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  • Things to do
  • The Peak

Offering stunning vistas stretching from the skyscrapers of Central to the mountains of the New Territories, along with iconic views of the Victoria Harbour, The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Have a leisurely hike with your friends around the 3.5km Peak Circle Walk and get an amazing bird's eye view of the city at the viewing platform of the anvil-shaped Peak Tower. Aside from impressive views, The Peak offers a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences for everyone to enjoy. The classic 1989 burgundy Peak Tram retired late June this year. The tramcar rides are currently suspended and will welcome the sixth-generation Peak Tram in about six months time. 

  • Attractions
  • Central

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the oldest park in the city and one of the oldest zoological parks in the whole world. The garden is home to various species of birds, mammals, and reptiles, but on top of the zoological and botanical attractions, it's a good place for a quiet stroll with family and friends. Be sure to check out and explore the gardens' historical landmarks like the Stone Pillars, the Memorial Arch, the Bronze Statue of King George VI, the Pavilion, and the Fountain. 

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