After all the Covid-19 restrictions, we could do with a bit of festive cheer. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, a shopping extravaganza or a glitzy night out, here’s our pick of the most Christmassy things to do in Hong Kong over the 2021 festive season. 1. Markets, live music and ugly sweaters at Basehall Inspired by Europe’s cosy Christmas markets, this food court in Jardine House is hosting a day-to-night shindig on Saturday, December 11. Visit by day (free) and you’ll find festive workshops – wreath making, cake decorating, leather working – charity auctions and booths selling locally made products, vintage clothing, vinyl records and Christmas hampers. The after-dark action includes mulled wine, an ugly sweater competition and retro board games – Jenga, Connect Four, Uno – as a six-piece band, The Carpio Brothers, perform classic Christmas hits until the wee hours. The evening do, costing HK$260 per person, must be booked via EventBright. 2. Santa, shopping and staycations at Island Shangri-La As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Island Shangri-La has gone all-in on Christmas 2021, with a glittering market running from Friday December 19 until Boxing Day. Open to the general public, it will feature European-style stalls selling snow globes and gingerbread versions of the Hong Kong skyline, as well as Christmas decoration workshops, readings from The Nutcracker and dance performances. Children can visit Santa Claus in the olde worlde Sweet Shop (December 7-25). Those wishing to stay the night can choose from a variety of festive packages, including a blow-the-budget night in a signature suite that has been converted into a Nutcracker -themed extravaganza, with a Christmas tree, toy-soldier decorations, personalised stockings and a hamper of goodies (starting from HK$52,800). 3. Holiday cheer at Sevva Playing not one, not two, but nine different instruments, and with a repertoire that covers everything from pop classics to R&B, opera and jazz, The Voice USA contestant Jamal Corrie (if you don’t recognise the name, that may be because he was eliminated early on in season 18 of the American TV talent show) will be entertaining revellers at Sevva every Thursday and Friday night from December 9 until the big New Year’s Eve countdown party. Holiday Cheer tickets cost HK$880 and include three hours of unlimited freshly barbecued foods and a glass of champagne. Christmas cocktails, such as pink sangria and cognac eggnogs are also available, priced at HK$203.50 a pop. The sparkly views come for free. 4. A Christmas constellation The Sun Terrace at The Peninsula has been transformed into a glittering galaxy of stars for guests to enjoy over the Christmas period and there’s all manner of Yuletide activities happening elsewhere in the hotel, from afternoon teas with black forest gateaux and mini-Christmas puddings to chocolate fondues at the cuckoo-clock-like Chesa Swiss restaurant. Splash out on the Wish Upon A Star staycation (HK$5,478), which includes breakfast for two, one Christmas “encounter” (candle-making, art class, Kadoorie Farm visit), plus a gift of a cast-iron Staub cocotte pot (for some home fondue-ing). Time your stay correctly and you’ll catch the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir performing in The Lobby on December 18 and 19, at 3pm and again at 5pm. 5. Afternoon tea and teddy bears at the Ritz-Carlton From now until January 2, the Ritz-Carlton, in partnership with German heritage teddy-makers Steiff, is putting on a festive afternoon tea experience served on the 103rd floor lobby lounge and cafe, costing HK$515 per person or HK$878 for two. Black forest ham sandwiches, vanilla chestnut trees and apple and cinnamon tea will be served on bear-themed crockery. Book tea for two on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day for HK$1,131 and you’ll be given a Steiff teddy bear keychain, which may not seem like much until you consider such trinkets retail for HK$295. 6. WinterFest moves to West Kowloon Hong Kong’s main Christmas tree has moved from Central to a plum (if annoying to reach) location, in the West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park. The LED tree soars nearly six storeys high – so big you can see it from the other side of the harbour – and is ringed by the WinterFest Christmas Town, a roped-off area with six tiny European-style chalets for photo ops, some smaller trees, a few golden reindeer and antique-style lamp posts. Although WinterFest 2021 is underwhelming and lacks the festive atmosphere that surrounded the Central tree, the harbour views are gorgeous and the event is free to enter. It runs until January 2. Omicron variant hits recovering travel industry as holiday plans shelved 7. Northern Lights and inflatable igloos at The Mira Having gained a reputation for coming up with the most creative – and affordable – staycations in town, The Mira has devised a delightful range of super-Christmassy deals, with all festive guests given the chance to win a seven-night holiday to Finland, home of You-Know-Who. There are offers for couples, including a seafood dinner and a bottle of wine (HK$1,408); options for families, with a champagne and turkey dinner, Moomin toys and in-room projections of the Aurora Borealis (HK$4,620); and a glamping experience featuring an in-room Christmas tree, a Northern Lights display, an inflatable igloo room on your private terrace and a festive barbecue (HK$4,488). 8. A Stanley Plaza gold rush It ain’t Christmas until you’ve put on the … errr … Stetsons and spurs. Starting from December 11, for three straight weekends and public holidays, Stanley Plaza will be transformed into a jolly Wild West. Pass through the cactus- and cowboy-decorated entrance of the Wild West Adventure Christmas Market into a gold mine of log cabin-like stalls (more than 60) selling food – Honbo burgers, Lifetastic cakes, Twenty One From Eight pastries – and thoughtful Christmas gifts, such as French Marquise De Sevigne chocolates, special edition bottles of Perfume Tree Gin and local handicrafts. Pets are welcome and there are free shuttle buses from Admiralty, Shau Kei Wan and Aberdeen, as well as free parking, which you can reserve using the Park & Dine app. Unfortunately, there will be hitching posts for horses. 9. Have a makeover at the Mandarin Oriental Aside from laying on gourmet staycations, Christmas buffets, elaborate cakes, cinnamon and spice spa treatments and a Santa’s Grotto with visits from St Nick every afternoon, the Mandarin Oriental is offering guests a holiday makeover in its hair salon. Included are a free consultation with one of Hong Kong’s top stylists and a 30 per cent discount on a full head of colour (HK$1,800 reduced to HK$1,260). A new you for the new year? Best new restaurants and hidden gems – Hong Kong is spoilt for choice 10. Christmas trees, clowns and raclette at Tai Kwun Now that the Christmas tree in Central has been replanted in West Kowloon, Tai Kwun is the place to find festive decorations on the island. A large fir has been installed in the main courtyard, with decorations festooned around the historic square. Throughout the month you’ll also find a Cartier exhibition and free circus performances – acrobats, clown shows, dance – and workshops. Tai Kwun’s bars and restaurants are all laying on special Christmas drinks and dishes, and the Black Sheep restaurant chain has a pop-up, Chalet des Alpes (until December 19), an Alpine-style lodge with timber walls, gingham tablecloths, homespun decorations and faux log fires, serving eggnog and a four-course set menu including raclette, beef stroganoff and caramel poached pears (HK$1,088). Prices include service charges.