Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — The incandescent neon that normally lights Hong Kong is ablaze, but this time, bigger and brighter in preparation for the upcoming holidays. As 2018 draws to a close, we are once again reminded of the vibrance of this city: a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures that have all gathered together to celebrate one of the world’s most beloved seasons, Christmas.
Here are eight ways to enjoy some of Hong Kong’s best this holiday season.
Enjoy a lighted spectacle at the HK Pulse Light Festival
Ring in the holidays at the Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival. Head to Victoria Harbor and watch the winter edition of “A Symphony of Lights” (Nov. 29 to Jan. 1) as it illuminates the sky with various pyrotechnic effects on selected evenings. See colorful beams of light projected up towards the stars as you listen to wonderful music in this enhanced winter edition show. An International Light Art Display will also be exhibited around Central Harborfront. Marvel at pieces made by artists from France, Belgium, Israel, and India. Gaze at majestic pieces such as “Bands of Friendship,” “Flowering Phantasm,” and “Talking Heads.”
What is Christmas without a Christmas tree? Soak up the festive ambience amidst glittering skyscrapers at North Statue Square, where a majestic Christmas tree will be on display. Finally, welcome the New Year at Victoria Harbor. Celebrate 2019 at Hong Kong’s biggest party, where throngs of revellers enjoy a pyromusical lights show that includes fireworks amid a backdrop of Hong Kong’s iconic harbourside.
Take a tram up The Peak to catch the New Year Fireworks
Head up to Hong Kong’s highest point at Victoria Peak and catch a dazzling fireworks show that will rain colors all over the city. Begin your journey by taking The Peak Tram, Asia’s first cable funicular — built in the late 1800s and still remains fully functional today — up the steep Mount Austin. From here, you’ll find spectacular sights of intermingling lush greenery and cerulean vistas with the Hong Kong cityscape in view. Once at the top, consider heading to The Peak Tower, an anvil-shaped edifice that contains a large viewing platform known as Sky Terrace 428. For a more practical (read: free) alternative, head to The Peak Galleria and take advantage of their free-entry observation deck, which also houses nearby shopping and dining options. Here, you can countdown the seconds to 2019 at Hong Kong’s highest point!
Have a Disney Christmas at Disneyland
Disneyland is one of Hong Kong’s most beloved theme parks, and even more so during Christmas, where celebrations and festivities abound. Start your day by visiting the Fantasy Gardens Wintertime Market at Fantasyland where you can eat, shop, and be merry. Browse through an assortment of Christmas treats and festive holiday gifts from your Disney pals. Then head to Main Street, USA and witness the Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball, a wonderful yuletide musical where you can sing and dance along with your favorite Disney friends, like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and their new pal, Cookie.
When night falls, a charming snowfall covers Main Street, where you can revel at the glow of a thousand beautiful lights at “A Holiday Wish-Come-True,” a tree-lighting ceremony. Watch as Main Street transforms into a scene straight out of a storybook as live singers serenade you by the glow of warm lanterns and a gentle cascade of snowfall.
Ring in the Holidays at Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s second largest theme park next to Disneyland, but they bring in just as much family fun during the holidays. From Dec. 15 to Jan. 1 of the next year, Ocean Park will be teaming up with Hong Kong’s iconic McDull character, a cute pig who, with his mother Mrs. Mak, will star in a musical theatre show called “McDull Fishball on the Run.”
After the show, liven up your festivities by Ocean Park’s giant, interactive Christmas tree. Use their hashtag to be featured and make a shoutout to your friends and family across the tree’s giant LED ribbons.
Experience the Snow Village in Ngong Ping 360
To promenade around Ngong Ping Village is to turn back time and see Hong Kong as how it must have been decades ago. Although it is by no means an old town (in that it was built fairly recently), the Ngong Ping Village is no lesser for its charms.
This Christmas, hop on the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and head to Ngong Ping Village for a winter wonderland like no other. From Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, they will be hosting a “Snow Village” in time for the holidays, where one can wander through cobbled streets and magnificent pagodas blanketed in pure, white snow. Kids can create snow angels or have a turn at the outdoor ice skating rink, while the whole family can listen to local Christmas carollers as they bring in the season with traditional melodies, all while basking in the magic that comes with every sprinkling of snow.
Join the Great Santa Night Run
We’ve all heard it before: true Christmas spirit comes from giving, not receiving. This Dec. 15, give all you can at the Great Santa Night Run. Don that iconic Christmas cap and join in the fun run that aims to raise money for underprivileged children and the vulnerable elderly in Hong Kong.
Seasoned runners can sign up for either the 3K family run or the 8K individual run, while those wanting to take it easy can go for the leisurely 1K Christmas fun walk. Make Santa proud by joining this heartwarming fun run that’s perfect for families, friends, or even just yourself.
Search for yuletide goods at the Finnish Christmas Market
Enjoy a Finnish feast this holiday season at the Finnish Christmas Market. Get transported to Helsinki as you meander through 100 stalls and kiosks all dedicated to inspire in you some Christmas cheer. From Dec. 8 to 9 and again on Dec. 15 to 16, you can make your way to Stanley Plaza and enjoy imported Finnish goods and products including gift sets and local food options. Be sure to check out the life-sized Yule Goat, a Christmas symbol and tradition in Finland. There will also be a seven-meter tall “Home of the Elves” on display — a perfect backdrop to a yuletide Instagram story.
Indulge at Tong Chong Street Market
Treat yourself to local delights at the Tong Chong Street Market, happening from November of this year up until February 2019. Enjoy November’s “Coffee Festival” where you can sample up to 20 of the most aromatic local and international coffees available, and see stalls dedicated to a “Snowy Christmas” theme in December and “Healthy Living” in January and February. Bring your own cups and utensils to enjoy discounts on various gourmet meals and drinks. Explore an eco-friendly alternative to the usual street markets at Tong Chong.