Over the past few years, large gatherings have been out of reach for Hongkongers. Still, with loosened restrictions and more Christmas events popping up, it appears as though we might finally be coming out the other side of our city’s social distancing era. Woohoo!
With so many Christmas events on the books, it gives us great pleasure this year to bring you Liv’s Christmas Calendar! Find everything you need this yuletide season, from dazzling festive displays and joyful celebrations of the season, button-popping holiday feasts, traditional markets brimming with local handicrafts and gifts, and where to find Santa and his elves this month.
Performances & productions
The Nutcracker: December 16-31
Enter a world of dancing sugar plums and waltzing bauhinia flowers with a uniquely modern Hong Kong twist on the quintessential Christmas ballet! Hong Kong Ballet teams up with Hong Kong Sinfonietta to bring us the story of Clara and the Nutcracker as they battle the evil Rat King’s army and travel through a majestic bamboo forest, with local history and traditions woven into this classic tale.
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, hkballet.com
‘Disney Live in Concert’ Holiday Music Celebration: November 25-December 10
The happiest place on earth hosts a team of renowned musicians this month, performing classical, jazz, and musical songs alongside Mickey Mouse and other Disney Friends for an exceptional holiday performance. The first show of its kind, guests can enjoy this limited edition event for three consecutive Fridays and Saturdays.
Hong Kong Disneyland Sunny Bay, Lantau Island, hongkongdisneyland.com
Robin Hood: December 1-11
What would the holidays be without pantomime? Hong Kong Players are back again with the classic English folk tale, Robin Hood. Join the heroic outlaw and his band of Merry Men as they strive to right wrongs and ensure justice prevails, all while having a laugh and a rousing sing-along.
Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, hkplayers.com
Light Up a Life Christmas Carol Concert: December 6
This annual fundraising service at St. John’s Cathedral is always well-attended, featuring live choir and orchestra performances and a tree-lighting ceremony. Organised by the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, the event encourages attendees to remember those loved ones who are gone but not forgotten. Donations raised go towards improving the lives of the terminally ill. Tickets are essential and cost $250.
4-8 Garden Rd., Central, hospicecare.org.hk/resources-detail.php?id=29&lang=en
Classics for Kids Christmas Concert Merry Musical Magic: December 17-18
Bring the whole family to this live musical event at West Kowloon Cultural District! Organised by the SAR Philharmonic, which helps to raise money for charities across Hong Kong through fundraising music performances, this fun-filled performance features live theatre and a symphony of orchestral music.
Freespace, The BOX, West Kowloon Cultural District
Wreck the Halls: December 15
For naughty and nice laughs this holiday season, check out Bitches in Stitches’ festive comedy night, Wreck the Halls. The all-women stand-up comedy lineup features some of the city’s best comedians, including Fran Ayala, Bailey A, Jenna Hudson, Lilit Marcus, Abby Tsao, Hillian Siu, and Rose Rage. Costs $250 per person and includes a free beer. Starts at 8PM.
The Aftermath, 57-59 Wyndham St., Central
Meet Santa at IFC Mall: November 23, 2022 – January 2, 2023
Collaborating with the world-renowned official Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland, ifc mall will host Asia’s first-ever “Santa Claus Village” Christmas Installation, complete with Santa Claus’ Main Post Office and Elf Workshop. Expect photo ops galore, interactive games, and a chance to meet the big man himself!
Oval Atrium, Podium Level 1, 8 Finance St., Central, ifc.com.hk
Mrs Claus’ Bakery: November 24, 2022 – January 2, 2023
Pay a visit to Mrs Claus and her hardworking bakery this festive season at LANDMARK. As part of the upscale mall’s elaborate holiday lineup, guests can meet Christmas’ second lady and the Gingerbread Man and participate in fun-filled activities (like making your augmented reality e-card!). All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will be donated to charity.
LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, landmark.hk
Peninsula Bakery: November 20 – December 26
This month, the iconic luxury hotel transforms its palatial lobby and bakery into a winter wonderland. Guests can pose with a life-sized Christmas Pen Bear, post a letter to Santa, and indulge in exclusive holiday treats, including the hotel’s famous panettone, cookies and pralines.
The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, peninsula.com
Santa’s Adventure Cruise: throughout December
Join Santa and his happy helpers aboard the Aqua Luna for a memorable holiday cruise perfect for little ones and visiting relatives! Parents can snack on festive cookies and hot chocolate while kids hunt for candy canes and hang out with Santa. Sailings depart throughout December on weekends and from 23-27.
Enchanted Wonders at Shangri-La: November 17, 2022 – January 20, 2023
Meet Santa, shop at a European Christmas market, dine in a Swiss Chalet, and build your own wreath – if it’s festive and fun, you better believe Shangri-La is offering it! The luxury hotel’s Enchanted Wonders offerings take place throughout the holiday period, giving you ample time to make it to either of their locations (Island or Kowloon) and avail yourself of all the family-friendly fun. For a memorable experience, you can also book a stay in the Nutcracker Suite; a signature suite decked out in festive trimmings with a surprise in-suite visit from Santa Claus himself.
This fabulous winter weather shouldn’t be wasted watching movies indoors! Head down to The Grounds this month to watch a film from your very own pod, and take advantage of complimentary mince pies and mulled wine beforehand.
33 Man Kwong St., Central, thegroundshk.com
Brunches, lunches, and decadent dinners
The Silveri Hong Kong-MGallery: December 1-23
We love the sustainable ethos of Lantau eco-resort The Silveri Hong Kong-MGallery, and its lush Lantau surroundings are the perfect place to spend a holiday escape. The hotel’s Silveri Festive Brunch will have you spoilt for choice with traditional roast turkey, grass-fed Australian striploin, and honey-glazed ham. For dessert, tuck into Christmas pudding, mince pies, gingerbread biscuits, and French-style yuletide log cake Bûche De Noël.
The Silveri Hong Kong-MGallery, 16, Tat Tung Rd., Tung Chung, thesilveri-hongkong.com
Moxie: December 1-31
Conscious dining champion Moxie has introduced a sustainably-minded six-course Christmas Tasting Menu showcasing seasonal ingredients. The menu, designed by Chef de Cuisine Michael Smith, features responsibly sourced seafood, including Ora King Salmon and Black Tiger Prawns, and fresh seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, chestnuts, and brussels sprouts.
Shop 203, 2/F Alexandra House, LANDMARK, Central, moxiehk.net
VEDA: December 1-31
Looking for a more plant-based feast? Vegetarian restaurant VEDA is rolling out all the stops with an innovative festive menu that sounds positively scrumptious! From a hearty Vege Wellington, featuring spinach paneer and beets rolled into a flakey pastry, to Mushroom and Brussel Sprouts Bourguignon and a homemade apple crumble with salted vanilla ice cream to finish, this meat-free menu is guaranteed to satisfy. The sharing-style set menu includes starters, mains, desserts and a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne for four guests ($2,388).
2 Arbuthnot Rd., Central, ovolohotels.com/ovolo/central/veda/
The Murray Christmas Market: 19 – 21 December
Located under the hotel’s iconic three-storey arches, The Murray Christmas Market is an event we look forward to every year! Shop everything from lifestyle goods and tasty treats to clothing, art, and jewellery, and sip on some mulled wine while you do it. It’s also worth mentioning that The Murray offers some pretty sweet holiday-themed wellness offerings, like a Christmas Spice Massage, Festive Chocolate Body Wrap, and kids’ yoga!
22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, niccolohotels.com
Prestige Christmas Gift Fair: December 5
With 120 vendors, the Prestige Christmas Gift and Lifestyle Fair is one of the largest markets to hit up ahead of the holidays. Support small local businesses and artisans, discover new brands, and, best of all – get 20 per cent off at Conrad’s cafes and restaurants on the day of the fair!
Discovery Bay Sunday Market: December 11
Even if you’re not a Disco Bay resident, it’s worth the ferry ride to check out this charming holiday edition of this famous Sunday market. With a focus on handmade goods, you’re sure to find something unique and made with care, and your money directly supports local artisans and creators. They also do a CNY version, which will take place on January 15, 2023.
Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay Rd., Lantau, handmadehongkong.com/events
New Year’s Eve celebrations
Hong Kong Philharmonic New Year’s Celebration: December 30-31
Culture vultures will appreciate a more refined approach to New Year’s revelling, and what’s more sophisticated than a night at the symphony! To mark the end of another year, the Hong Kong Philharmonic presents an exciting lineup of classical compositions, including Strauss, Berlioz, and Tchaikovsky.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, hkphil.org/concert/new-year-celebration-2022
White Carnival at The Sixteenth: December 31
Dress to impress at this all-white soiree, held on the expansive terrace at Tempo Tempo. This outdoor countdown party features a live DJ with free-flow drinks, bubbly and snacks until the wee hours. Guests with a dinner reservation at one of the four dining outlets in The Sixteenth – Pirata Group’s multi-concept restaurant space in Taikoo Shing – can buy an entry for the bargain early bird price of just $680.
The Sixteenth, 2/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Rd., Quarry Bay, thesixteenth.hk
Salisterra: December 31
We’ve been big fans of Salisterra ever since it opened, and with so much emphasis on sustainability and freshness, it’s easy to see why! Located on the 49th floor of The Upper House, this luxury hotel restaurant boasts both epic views for the countdown and a nutrient-dense, Mediterranean-inspired menu. For New Year’s Eve, Executive Chef Cary Docherty has developed a multi-course menu ($1,588-$2,488) including Lobster Consomme, Wagyu Beef, and other epicurean delights. If you really want to push the boat out, you can book a private dining experience for 8-10 guests and indulge in caviar and Jerusalem artichoke risotto & white truffle ($3,388 per guest) while you soak up the stunning city skyline.
Salisterra, 49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, salisterra.thehousecollective.com
More holiday content: Check out Liv’s Christmas Wellness Gift Guide