Don’t let a sudden downpour put you off having fun. Hong Kong has a wealth of amazing things to do, and staying indoors can be just as entertaining as hitting a hiking trail. Whether you’re looking to break a sweat with an indoor sport activity or just kill time with some mates at one of the city’s game cafés, here’s a roundup of the very best indoor experiences in Hong Kong that will have you singing in the rain...
Best things to do on a rainy day
Cure cabin fever on a rainy day with some intense jumping about. Ryze, Hong Kong Island’s biggest trampoline park, is completely lined with trampolines from wall to wall, with foam pits and rope swings allowing the daring to unleash their inner ninja. All visitors have to sign a liability waiver but once you’re in, you can bounce, flip and jump to great heights to your heart’s content. It’s a surprisingly decent exercise workout, too! Starts at $150 for one hour.
Even if the weather’s gloomy you can still easily experience summer vibes in Sai Kung. The Tikitiki Bowling Bar boasts some serious tropical decor —we’re talking palm trees, wood furniture, Polynesian decorations, the works — and features 10 bowling lanes that are as much a disco as a bowling alley, plus an indoor and outdoor bar, and a live music lounge. Sip on delicious exotic cocktails served in coconut shells and adorable tiki mugs while you hit the lanes with your mates. $300 per hour.
Put your shooting skills to the test and get the heart pumping with a game of laser tag at Lasermads, Hong Kong’s newest lasertag joint in Causeway Bay. Step into a futuristic maze and battle it out with teammates to eliminate your opponents in this high-tech game of tag, which comes with the added bonus of teambuilding and the plain ol’ satisfaction of shooting someone. Walk out feeling like a rebel fighter in Star Wars. $118 per game.
If lasertag isn’t painful or satisfying enough, paintballing is the answer. Pop over to Paintball Headquarters in Kowloon Bay for the best indoor paintballing experience in the city. Equipped with safety gear and specially designed paintball guns, maneuver past obstacles, partitions and oil barrels in the 10,000sq ft arena in a hardcore version of hide-and-seek. There’s light, sound and smoke effects as you unload and seek to splatter frenemies in bright colours. Who needs Halo or Doom when you can experience the thrill for real? $280 per person (includes rental gear and 100 paintballs).
Taking bubble football (or soccer to certain heathens out there) to a whole other level, Crossfire Arena offers competitors glow-in-the-dark bubble suits to bump about in when playing on their indoor pitch. Learn drills and strategies that will immediately go out the window as teams waddle across the pitch trying to score before inevitably getting knocked to the floor. Aside from bubble football, Crossfire has a whole host of other fun neon-themed games including archery tag, dodgeball and neon sabres — lightsabre duels, anyone? $225 per person.
The perfect way to kill some time indoors with your buddies. Joe’s Billiards in TST has an excellent collection of billiard equipment and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. There are five tables available for some action, all equipped with cues in good condition. Enjoy a beer or two while you’re at it. If pool isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can always opt for a game of foosball, darts or beer pong, all available beside the bar.
Hoverboards may be so last season, but Azzita Hoverland has ingeniously created an indoor track for people to race around in. Doubling up as a hoverboard retailer and repair center, Azzita’s 5,000 sq ft indoor playground in Kwun Tong allows patrons to zip along the twisty and winding track on electronic balancing boards. It costs $119 per hour on a weekday and 139 on a weekend. Take it step further and hop on a hover mat, a type of go-kart powered by a hoverboard. Though they’re a lot pricier and asks for $99 for a 10 ride. A smaller venue just opened up in Repulse Bay, perfect for private parties.
Ever since the rise of powerful gaming consoles, arcade centres have been slowly disappearing from Hong Kong streets. One of the few retro-style arcades that still remains is Game Centre, a short walk away from the IFC on Jubilee Street. You can find a range of classic series like Street Fighter and Gundam, and pretty decent prices for driving games and shooters. Plus, when the weather’s got you down you can’t go wrong with a round of Taiko Drum Master. Most games cost $2-per-credit and you can exchange your notes for coins at the counter. Relive those childhood after-school sessions!
Inspired by the popular Korean variety show Running Man where celebrities guests complete missions at different landmarks, Running Games invites visitors to tackle interactive challenges and hilarious mini-games. Taking place in its three elaborately themed zones – a secret garden, a maze in a European-style house and a life-sized chessboard akin to the one from Harry Potter – take part in silly games like human whack-a-mole, having to role-play as the ingredients necessary to create a hamburger, and ‘spread the virus’ (sure to conjure SARS flashbacks). Still intrigued? This weird and wonderful activity awaits at San Po Kong. $300 per person (minimum six people).
There’s no need to travel all the way to Tung Lung Island for some kick-ass climbing action, especially when it’s wet and slippery and you can easily do it at a breezy air-conditioned venue in Kwun Tong. Go Nature, Hong Kong’s largest indoor climbing gym, offers 6,500sqm of climbing terrain for climbers of all experience levels. Challenge your climbing skills and your noggin’ with its 100 different climbing routes and bouldering problems. First-time climber? There are beginners courses for any newcomers as well as kids-only and parent-child courses. What’s also great is that no membership or reservation fee is required. From $350 upwards.
Best things to do on a rainy day
Movies are always one of our go-to things to do when it pours. But instead of catching the latest superhero blockbuster or rom-com, why not savour international indie films and lesser-known movies? Hong Kong’s only commercial arthouse cinema, Broadway Cinematheque puts on everything from works by legendary filmmakers such as François Truffaut and Yamada Yoji to the best contemporary offerings. The cinema’s Kubrick Café right next door is also the perfect spot to relax as you wait for the rain to pass. Cinephiles, this one is for you.
You’re never too old for boardgames and a rainy day is the perfect excuse for a gaming marathon. Skip a trip to Toys R Us and simply pop over to Jollythinkers in Prince Edward where there are more than 300 different types of game available, from strategy ones to role-playing types. Go beyond the usual Monopoly or Settlers of Catan and try your hand at something more obscure. The staff are happy to teach customers the rules of any unfamiliar games. Consider it a more social alternative to Call of Duty. $69-per-person the first two hours, $7 every 30 minutes thereafter.
With 10 friendly cats roaming the café along with its signature cat-themed dishes and decorations, Cat Store is a feline lover’s heaven. Most of the cats you see there are adopted strays and the café welcomes any diners to pet them as they enjoy a coffee or to cuddle up next to them as the kitties nap quietly.
Gallery-hop on the Southside
Whether you’re a culture vulture or not, there’s a wealth of art to be discovered in the city. There are several art neighbourhoods worth checking out, from Hollywood Road to Kwun Tong, but we suggest venturing to Wong Chuk Hang for its neatly clustered set of galleries and art spaces inside revamped industrial buildings. From the latest fine art exhibition at de Sarthe to outside-of-the-box experimental works at Spring Workshop, you can certainly scratch your artistic itch here.
For something with more of a kick, how about a boozy evening at Whisky@Stables? The former stables-turned-whisky-bar at Hullett House offers more than 100 whiskies from around the globe. With its brown leather sofas, wooden paneling and vintage furnishings – not to mention a giant whisky barrel in the centre – entering Stables is like stepping into a comfy old gentleman’s club in Victorian Britain. It’s the perfect place to hunker down during the drizzle.
Discover your inner Picasso and let your creativity run wild with an art jamming session. The art studio in Sheung Wan provides everything you need: paint, brushes, canvases and your pick of the music to really set the mood. Bring a group of friends for a private party or simply show up to a class for a therapeutic session on your own and take home a beautiful creation. Or a sloppy mess. No judging. Classes start from $250.
Why not take the opportunity to develop a new skill on a rainy day if you’re going to be stuck indoors? There’s a massive food culture in our city and home cooking is all the rage. Complete Deelite is the go-to place to learn the art of baking. Discover how to bake dairy-free cupcakes or create mouth-watering drip cakes from scratch. Want to do it in your own time? Book and reserve a private bake jamming party at their DIY studio and host your own bake-off. Mary Berry would approve! Classes from $550-per-person.
Take in a museum
When it’s raining cats and dogs one of the best places to escape to is a good museum. Fortunately, Hong Kong has more than a few of these - take a look at our list of the best Hong Kong museums to find out. Whether it’s the city’s maritime history you’re interested in, historical figures or even tea ware, we’ve got you covered.
Afternoon tea is a popular past time for Hongkongers come rain or shine. While we love a good HK-style dong lai cha on a hot day, when the rain’s coming down nothing beats the classic traditional English tea set at the Peninsula. The five-star hotel is an easy walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station and you can get inside barely getting wet on the way. So sit back, enjoy a nice cuppa and some gorgeous baked scones as you take in the splendor of the Peninsula lobby. Tea set $368 for one, $658 for two.
Enjoy documentary screenings on reclining chairs beneath Tsim Sha Tsui’s iconic dome. Films get projected onto the curved ceiling of the planetarium as viewers learn about astronomy and the vast universe of outer space. Head over to the main museum and discover plenty of info and gadgetry perfect for space enthusiasts.
Best things to do on a rainy day
Looking to get some nookie but parents or flatmates cramping your style? You might be surprised to learn Hong Kong is home to some quirky and fun love hotels. From Japanese-styled tatami and Thai-themed rooms to concrete jungle bedrooms, check out our list of the best love hotels for inspiration. And who says love hotels are just for quickies — love hotels also make a pretty fun spot for unconventional sleepovers. Of the regular kind, obviously.
Instead of hiding from the rain, you can embrace it. Extreme weather is something more adventurous Hongkongers actually look forward to – like the T8 H3 hashing group that only runs during T8 typhoons. So why not hit the waves since surfing during rainstorms can bring desirable huge swells. Obviously readers should prepare with the utmost safety and never be reckless, but Big Wave Bay and Tai Long Wan, in Sai Kung, offer some of the best spots for pros up for the challenge.
There are always new bits and bobs to discover in Ikea, like those essential homeware items you never knew were missing from your life – yes, you really do need that hanger set. It’s easy to spend hours wandering around the furniture superstore. When it gets too tiring just take a cheeky nap on one of the showcase beds. Let’s be honest, we all do it. And the Swedish meatballs at the food hall are truly the best.
Netflix and chill
Having said all this, sometimes the best thing to do is just stay at home when it rains. Be a couch potato, order delivery food, put on Netflix and, uh, chill. Anything is better than battling through the rainstorm outside.
Looking for more things to do?
Whether you’re a first-time traveller looking for the best Hong Kong hotels or a seasoned vet of Lamma Island and LKF, these are the essential things to see, do, eat and drink while you’re in town. From the most picturesque hiking trails in Hong Kong to the city’s best museums, here’s a roundup of the very best our city has to offer.