Raising kids in Hong Kong is an amazing experience.
Whether you’ve been here your whole life or you’re a relative newcomer, you’ve got a vast and vibrant city at your feet to raise your young ones.
Did you know there are over one million children under 18 in the city?
There are challenges to life with kids in Hong Kong, for sure. With crowded streets and the general expense of life, you have to always be on your toes.
That’s why we’ve put this guide together for raising kids in Hong Kong. We want to cut down your trawling through the streets and keep some money in your pocket.
Guide to life with kids in Hong Kong
In this article, we’ll be telling you:
- Tips on selecting schools in Hong Kong
- The best places to buy school textbooks
- How to throw an inexpensive kids birthday party in Hong Kong
- Where to go for arts and crafts supplies in Hong Kong
- The best kids clothing stores
Tips on selecting the best international school for your kids in Hong Kong
With over $54 billion spent on education in Hong Kong in 2019, schools are big business.
If you’re living in Hong Kong, it’s generally a choice between local schools and international schools.
Pros & cons of local schools in Hong Kong
The local education system in Hong Kong is well regarded; the schooling system is known for being rigorous and thorough.
With local schools, you won’t have to pay for tuition, but there are some other factors to consider, such as a strict education regime, and you can’t be guaranteed which school your child will be sent to.
Pros & cons of international schools in Hong Kong
You can also consider international schools in Hong Kong. There are many pros involved in selecting an international school in Hong Kong; for example, you can select a school based on the languages available and you can pick which qualifications they’ll get (such as International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, etc.). However, international schools can be costly.
Of course, you want the best for your children in terms of education, but you also want to get good value when you’re spending so much money on a Hong Kong private school. In our article, which talks about how to choose the right school for your child, we cover some of the more reasonably priced international schools in Hong Kong, such as ESF, Discovery Mind, and Invictus.
Want to learn more about schooling options in Hong Kong?
Check out our article on selecting the best school in Hong Kong for your kid. In this article, we also discuss the advantages of learning Mandarin for a child living in Hong Kong and which schools are considered to offer a strong Mandarin education. We also look at which international schools are more affordable.
Best stores for buying used and new textbooks in Hong Kong
Needing to buy textbooks for your school kids in Hong Kong? Books, like everything else you need, are rather expensive in the city.
Top tips for buying school textbooks in Hong Kong
Get the required reading list from your kids’ school as early as possible. You can also ask them what the chances are that the list will change from the previous year.
We suggest buying textbooks from the following places:
- Hong Kong Academic Book Exchange is a Facebook group that was started by Hong Kong students and sells second-hand books. Books will generally be in good condition, and members are spread across the city, so it should be convenient.
- Book Depository is an online store that ships books from the UK and Australia. It’s cheap, but it does take a little while for books to arrive – you can wait around two weeks.
- Amazon sells a huge number of textbooks – it’s worth checking to see if you can find the books you need.
- Commercial Press Bookstores is a chain of shops in the city, so more pricey than online shops, but they’re generally cheaper than bigger stores. They can order books for you if they’re not in stock.
Want to learn more about buying school textbooks in Hong Kong?
Check out our article dedicated to buying textbooks in Hong Kong.
How to throw an inexpensive kid’s birthday party in Hong Kong
Raising children in Hong Kong is expensive, no doubt. It’s expensive anywhere, globally, to be fair, but many things cost just a little more here in Hong Kong.
One of those children’s essentials is birthday parties.
There are lots of expensive options – have you checked out the prices for Disneyland recently? You can cut back on the huge expenses and still have a magical time with the kiddos for a birthday party that’ll be the talk of the playground.
We’ve got a load of ideas to make your Hong Kong birthday one to remember.
Huge sums of money can be saved when you:
- Choose a free or cheap venue
- Plan your own entertainment activities
- Pick a simple and fun theme
- Prepare food that kids love
- Organize some fabulous goodie bags; i.e., no plastic and containing items that kids actually want!
- Get your hands on inexpensive cake
Want to learn more about throwing an inexpensive birthday party in Hong Kong?
In our guide to birthday parties, we’ve got a list of some of the best entertainers with good rates across the city and we also cover venue, party favors, food, and more.
The best arts & craft stores in Hong Kong
Messy play and being creative are great for kids, and fortunately there are crafting stores galore around the city. You don’t need to be massively arty to get your kids crafting. You just need to buy the supplies and let your children bring the imagination!
Here is our pick of some of the best shops for your crafting needs in Hong Kong:
- Crafts Supplies Store has everything and a whole lot more. Go into one of their two stores or browse online for huge amounts of inspiration. It’s cheap as chips too, with some items as low as $4.
- CN Square is a little more traditional in selling art supplies. They have every color of crayon, pen, and paint you can imagine, along with canvasses, molding clays, and more. There are three stores around the city.
- Tin Fu International in Sham Shui Po is all about beads. The beads come in all shapes and sizes and a range of materials. Let your kids have fun buying their beads, and then head home to make beautiful jewelry.
- Flying Dragon, also in Sham Shui Po, does its business in ribbons. Lots of ribbons. Add flow and form to your crafty creations with their colorful and decorative streamers.
- Write the Future sells Hong Kong’s urban art supplies. Spray paints and acrylic markers from the German brand Molotow are sold, and they even host classes sometimes.
- Bead Box in Sham Shui Po has all your jewelry-making supplies sorted. They have plastic, wooden, and glass beads.
- Melissa & Doug is an online store with crafty kits for your kids to engage with. Your kids will be making bracelets and airplanes in a jiffy.
- Artland is where to go for your paint requirements. It’s very specifically for paint and paintbrushes – don’t expect glitter, ribbons, or stickers here.
You’re sure to be delighted with the crafty items you can find for your kids in Hong Kong.
Want to learn more about the best arts & craft stores in Hong Kong?
For all the details about the above shops, plus locations and directions, here’s our guide to all the crafty goodness you can find in Hong Kong.
The best places to buy kids’ clothing in Hong Kong
One minute your little ones are knee height and a bundle of effort and joy, you turn around the next moment, and they’re up to your waist and asking “why?” ten times a minute.
The almost exponential growth your kids seem to go through can make clothes shopping a pain. You don’t want to spend too much money on something that might not get worn more than a couple of times.
Our favorites stores for buying kids clothing if you’re living in HK
- Beam Bold: do you want your kids to stand out from the crowd in fun and brightly colored clothing? This is a must-try.
- Retykle: is an online second-hand clothing store selling gently-used (and sometimes never used) designer clothing.
- Next: Great for casuals, timeless classic tees and dresses, and cool print pajamas.
- Marks and Spencer: known for great quality basics for the whole family, as well as super cute and smart designs, you’ll get your kid well-clothed here.
- Monsoon: is one of the best options for party wear for both boys & girls.
Want to learn more about buying kids’ clothing in Hong Kong?
For more great kids’ clothing recommendations in Hong Kong, both online and in-store, we wrote up a complete guide to get great value kids’ clothes.
We’re always on the lookout for fresh shopping experiences, so drop us a line if you’ve got a great website or store we need to go check out.
Having kids in Hong Kong is exhilarating; the city is packed with wonders. The bright lights and big sounds, the nature parks dotted around, and the city’s international feel all make it a wonderful place to raise inquisitive and active children.
We hope this article has helped provide you with some useful tips on kids in Hong Kong.
If we’ve missed any great tips for life with kids in Hong Kong, please let us know in the comment section below; we’d love to hear from you.