Best things to do in Hong Kong on a rainy day
Even if the weather’s gloomy you can still easily experience summer vibes in Sai Kung. Tikitiki Bowling Bar boasts some serious tropical decor —we’re talking palm trees, wooden furniture, Polynesian decorations, the works — and features 10 bowling lanes that are as much a disco as a bowling alley. There’s also 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 satisfaction of shooting down your opponents. Walk out feeling like a rebel fighter in Star Wars. $118 per game.
Cure cabin fever on a rainy day with some intense jumping action. Ryze, Hong Kong Island’s biggest trampoline park, is lined with trampolines from wall to wall, plus there are 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 tremendous heights all to your heart’s content. It’s a surprisingly decent exercise workout, too. Starts at $150 for one hour.
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 the 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, Causeway Bay’s Breeze features three standard-size pool tables and convertible beer pong tables. This is the only place in town where there are live cam services installed to capture all your best shots throughout your game. And yes, Breeze lets you rewatch all the footage so you can admire all those sweet shots. Fuel up on beer on tap, customised cocktails and a range of pub bites.
Escape the rain at Hong Kong’s first miniature golf club, Strokes. The 8,000sq ft venue comes with two nine-hole mini golf courses designed with bright pastel colours and retro Californian aesthetics. Put your putting skills to the test by overcoming 360-degree loop-the-loops, bridges, ball jumps, tunnels, winding passages and ramps. You can literally stay at Strokes all day thanks to its restaurant that whips up healthy and low-carb dishes throughout the day and the bar that serves cocktails concocted by mixologist Frankie Fong.
Afternoon tea is a popular pastime for Hongkongers come rain or shine. While we love a good cold HK-style 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 so you can nip in and barely get wet. So sit back, enjoy a nice cuppa and some gorgeous baked scones as you take in the splendor of the Peninsula lobby. Tea set $388 for one, $688 for two.
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 5,000sq 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 a step further and hop on a hover mat, a type of go-kart powered by a hoverboard. Note though that they’re a lot pricier. Azzita has also just opened a smaller venue in Repulse Bay that’s 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!
The new waterfront café % Arabica in Kennedy Town is the perfect locale to wait out any rainstorms. Take a seat in its stylishly designed interiors and enjoy one of the excellent espresso drinks while looking out the windows to the dramatic view of the waves. % Arabica brews up a fantastic assortment of coffee and caffeine-free beverages, so you can literally set up camp there the whole day and try everything from the menu.
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 Café+ Kubrick right next door is also the perfect spot to relax as you wait for the rain to pass. Cinephiles, this one is for you.
The largest cat cafe in Hong Kong, The Cats Tearoom houses around 30 kitties, 11 of which are strays. In this 1,600sq ft of space where cats prowl around, you can chow down on a range of Western dishes and delicious desserts as you play with your new feline buddies. Aside from adopting strays, The Cats Tearoom donates regularly to various animal shelters in Hong Kong. It’s a guaranteed good time for cat lovers and all for a good cause!
If it’s pouring with rain and you can’t do much outside, why not drown your sorrows in a drink or two? Fortunately, we’re spoilt for choice in Hong Kong when it comes to decent drinking dens. Our famously crowded city is stacked and packed with great bars, especially in bustling neighbourhoods like Central and Wan Chai. Whether you prefer to relax over a craft brew, a single malt, a glass of red or a classic cocktail, Hong Kong has an amazing bar guaranteed to have you ordering ‘just one more round’.
The highlight at Jolly Thinkers is the café's numerous board games – there are more than 300 different types (including role playing, detective, war, strategy and party) available, suitable for two to ten players. Staff will happily teach customers the rules to unfamiliar games. Consider it the more intelligent, and social, alternative to the computer.
Discover your inner Picasso and let your creativity run wild with a session at Artjamming. This studio in Wong Chuk Hang 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. We won't judge. Classes start from $400.
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 its DIY studio and host your own bake-off. Mary Berry would approve! Classes from $550 per person.
Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise and you can easily lose a day inside Festival Walk, the city’s largest shopping mall. With a skating rink on the top floor, a cinema and more than 200 retail shops and restaurants to pick from, you’re spoiled for choice. Easily accessible from the MTR and KCR light rail stations, the Kowloon Tong mall is the ultimate heaven for shopaholics on a rainy day.
Inspired by the popular Korean variety show Running Man where celebrity guests complete missions at different landmarks, Running Games invites visitors to tackle interactive challenges and hilarious mini-games. In 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 – you can take part in silly games such as human whack-a-mole, role-playing 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 instead. Go Nature, Hong Kong’s largest indoor climbing gym, offers 6,500sq m 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 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.
There’s arguably no wilder or crazier party room than Best Fantasy in Kwun Tong. This 3,700sq ft venue comes equipped with a whole bunch of large-scale gaming facilities including a giant foosball-type table, table tennis where players blow the ball towards their opponent’s goal, and the pièce de résistance: rain biking, where you and your teammates spin as fast as you can on the bikes to fill up the water tanks and make it rain above your opponents. There’s also karaoke, mahjong tables, game consoles and board games to keep you entertained throughout the day.
While the extreme hype for escape rooms has simmered down over the last few years, Lost Hong Kong strives to update and add regular new challenges to keep things fresh for patrons. For those who don’t know, escape rooms are adventure games where players (minimum six participants) are trapped in pre-set scenario rooms and attempt to escape by solving a series of puzzles within an hour. There are 10 different rooms to choose from with varying difficulties and cool storylines like escaping Alcatraz or finding a friend in Japan’s Aokigahara suicide forest. If that isn’t enough, Lost can even provide tailor-made escape games for special occasion. $150 per person.
If it’s raining cats and dogs, show off your jumps and spins at one of the city’s best indoor ice-skating rinks. Our top recommendation? Slide onto Mega Ice, the city’s biggest rink, for some frozen fun. This international-sized rink plays host to Olympic qualifiers and local figure skating contests. On a regular day, you might see budding ice hockey players zinging pucks around. A free shuttle bus runs from Kowloon Bay MTR station to the rink. After you’re finished, as another bonus, there’s all the shopping you could want at Megabox once you’re off the ice. $50 (includes entry fee and skates rental).
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.
Enjoy documentary screenings on reclining chairs beneath the Space Museum’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.
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 contemporary Asian works at Rossi and Rossi, you can certainly scratch your artistic itch here.
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? They also make a pretty fun spot for unconventional sleepovers.
Hong Kong might well be one of the richest cities in the world but there are still many in need here. Spare a few hours to help and volunteer at one of the many charities and nonprofit organisations in the city. If you’re not sure where to help, check out our list of small local charities that are most in need of assistance.
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.