The Hong Kong Christmas Advent Calendar
With something to do every day between now and Christmas, we’re going to fling you into the festive spirit.
Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” provides a festive soundtrack to the holidays as 82-year-old maestro Helmuth Rilling takes his baton to the stage as a finale to the “BACH 330” project, which aims to inspire humanity through music. Dec 4, 7:30pm. Concert Hall, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd., Wan Chai, 2584-8500, hkticketing.com.
In Sounds Great Movies and Musicals West End singers Janet Mooney and John Langley sing Broadway musical and Christmas classics with the HK Sinfonietta. And yes, they'll be singing Frozen songs, too. Sorry (not sorry). Dec 3-5, 8pm; Dec 6, 3pm. Concert Hall, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. $150-420 from www.urbtix.hk.
Looking for something Mediterranean? The Italian Women's Association is hosting their 32nd iteration of Il Mercatino (or "The Market" in Italian). This charity bazaar has all kinds of fun Italian products and edibles, and all proceeds are donated to charities and hospitals in Hong Kong. Bring a reusable bag! Dec 5, 10am-5pm. The Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital, 12 Sandy Bay Rd., Pokfulam. $20 entrance fee. Parking not provided.
The Hong Kong Players is running their 55th annual Christmas show as the opening act of the Udderbelly Festival. In Cinderella: The Panto they'll be reenacting the classic tale of Cinderella with singing, dancing, jokes, a clown—and Ermintrude the Cow. Where's the ticketing office? It's behind you! Dec 4-6, 10-13. Central Harbour Front Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd., Central. $290-438 from www.hkticketing.com.
Whether you’re celebrating Chanukah, Chrismukkah, or good old-fashioned Hanukkah, pick up some decorations and dreidels along with latkes and sufganiyot at your local bakery or kosher corner store—try the Kosher Mart (One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Rd., Mid-Levels, 2801-5440) or Complete Deelite (2/F On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan St., Central, 3167-7022).
Here’s a heartwarming tale to warm up your holidays—The Snowman and the Bear is a magical animated film accompanied by a live orchestra, narration and singing. This multi-dimensional cinematic experience is the perfect Christmas outing for the family. Dec 6, 2:30 and 5pm. Sha Tin Hall Auditorium, 1 Yuen Wo Rd., Sha Tin, New Territories. Starting from $120 at ticket.urbtix.hk.
It’s never too early to check off that Christmas gift list. For one-of-a-kind goods from artisanal treats to antiques and accessories, head to the Sai Kung Markets’ annual holiday extravaganza, running all day on Sunday. Shop and feast with over 40 vendors on site offering the best of Hong Kong’s gourmet goods. Dec 6, 11am to 5pm, free entry. Visit saikungmarkets.com for more info.
The Hong Kong Markets Organisation has launched the first month-long vintage market in the SAR. At Something Old, 30 vintage enthusiasts will introduce their wares, a pop-up darkroom for developing film the old-school way, displays of impressive vintage collections, and a retro-style barber shop perfect for those finishing off their Movember shave. Through Dec 20, closed Mondays. D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee St., Lai Chi Kok. Check out somethingold.hk for more.
It’s never too late to pick up a beery advent calendar from the guys at the Tai-Pan Beer Co., who are offering 24 different beers and ciders in a single case, one for each day until Christmas. Buy this today, and you can even do some catching up beforehand. $725 from taipanbeer.com.
As the weather gets a little colder, skip the North Face jackets and get toasty sitting next to The Woods’ fireplace (it's digital; the closest we can get) and sip on some specially crafted hot cocktails, available every Tuesday. L/G, 17 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2522-0281.
Sing along to all your favorite holiday tunes at the “Winter Wonderland” concert by the Kassia Men’s Chorus and Kassia Women’s Choir. This annual Christmas show is chock-full of classics, including perennial favorite “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Dec 9, 8pm. Sheung Wan Civic Centre Theatre, 345 Queen’s Rd. Central, katterwall.com.
Featuring music from the 16th century to the present day, the Cecilian Singers’ 2015 Christmas concert A Babe is Born will be a night filled with good music and the festive spirit. From classical to modern styles and a capella, you’ll hear it all—plus free mince pies and mulled wine served afterwards. Who could say no to mince pies? $200 per adult, $100 per child under 16, St John’s Cathedral, Garden Rd., Central, ceciliansingers.com.
Christmas may not seem like the ideal time of year to watch a murder mystery unfold, but amid all the festive cheer and goodwill, we’ll welcome a little intrigue into the mix. Presented by Perilous Mouths, The Christmas Eve Murders is a story about an ex-naval officer, now private eye, who finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation set in our very own Stanley. Dec 10-12, 7:30pm. Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central, 2521-7251. $240 from hkticketing.com.
Faust International Youth Theatre brings a tale of sailors and sea voyages to the stage just in time for the holidays. It’s a theatrical dose of adventure based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale, Treasure Island. Dec 11-13, matinee and evening showings. Drama Theatre, HKAPA, 1 Gloucester Rd., Wan Chai. Starting from $198 from hkticketing.com.
The Hullett House Christmas Market makes an appearance once again this year, offering stalls filled with Christmas gifts, toys, gourmet treats, stocking stuffers, clothes, jewelry and much more, as well as mulled wine and live entertainment. Dec 11-13, 5-9pm. 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.
SantaCon is back! Dress up as Santa (or another holiday-themed character) and go on a bar crawl with a multitude of other Santas. Just don’t get too drunk, because Father Christmas won’t be gifting you bail. As per past events, the full schedule will be kept secret until the day of the event. Oh, and good luck with finding a cab while dressed in a santa suit. Dec 12, tiny.cc/hk-santacon2015.
Bring the family down for an afternoon of merry eating and entertainment at St. John’s Cathedral for “Pop Christmas.” There’ll be upbeat Christmas jingles to bop along to, plenty of yummy goods to fill up tummies large and small, and a real live Santa for the little ones. All profits go to Sailability HK, a charity providing the disabled with the opportunity to participate in water-based activities. Dec 12, 12:30pm. St. John’s Cathedral, 2-8 Garden Rd., Central, stjohnscathedral.org.hk. $100 for entry tickets includes treats and drinks.
Taikoo Place and Honestly Green have banded together for the Tong Chong Street Sunday Market, a place where farmers' markets, culinary entrepreneurs, and hungry participants can gather and share food. Come hungry! Every Sunday through Dec 27, 11am-5pm. Taikoo Place, Tong Chong St., Quarry Bay. Find out more from tongchongstreetmarket.com.
Sitting on Santa’s lap is no longer good enough quality time with the jolly red man—it’s all about bowling up a storm with several Santas at Jingle and Mingle at Tikitiki Bowling Bar. These santas have graduated from the Santa School Hong Kong Academy and are ready to kick your butt in the lanes—let’s hope their fake beards stay on. Dec 13, 2-5pm. Tikitiki Bowlong Bar, 4/F, Centro, 1A Chui Tong Rd., 2657-8488, tikitiki.hk.
Want to do all your Christmas shopping indoors? Head to the Conrad’s Christmas Gift Festival where you can stock up on holiday toys, men’s accessories, handmade bags, Japanese kimonos, photo frames, leather goods and Italian goods. Dec 14, 10am-8pm, Conrad Hong Kong Grand Ballroom, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, prestigefairs.hk.
City Chamber Orchestra is celebrating the festive season with a Christmas Choral Showcase, performing with the Warsaw Boys Choir and the Wells Cathedral School Choralia. They’ll be singing Baroque works and classic Polish and English carols. Dec 15-16, 7:30pm. Concert Hall, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. $180-480 from www.urbtix.hk.
Visit Hong Kong’s greatest Christmas spectacle at Winterfest, running until the first day of the new year. Attractions including the sparkling Serptenti centerpiece from Bulgari at Statue Square, the “Happily Ever After” Christmas avenue at Harbour City, the 1881 Heritage Royal Ice Palace, and of course special theme park celebrations at Ocean Park and Disneyland. It’s festive cheer as far as the eye can see. Visit discoverhongkong.com for more info on attractions around town.
Forget Christmas, there’s only one date in December that actually matters: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in cinemas today. Will it live up to the massive hype and attention? Follow the force to find out… alternatively, buy a lightsaber from Toys “R” Us ($599) and pretend you’re a jedi knight at home.
The AIA Great European Carnival is back and better than ever this year, featuring a massive outdoor ice rink to add some winter magic. With exhilarating rides from all over the world, carnival games, celebrity appearances and plenty of other surprises, this is an all-in-one stop for high-flying adventure and family fun over the holidays. Dec 17-Feb 21, 2016. Central Harbour Front Event Space, 8 Lung Wo Rd., Central, 2524-6433, facebook.com/TGECAsia.
Is there anything more traditionally Hong Kong than catching The Nutcracker at Christmas? Take a journey with the HK Ballet through the land of snowflakes and sugar plum fairies. Dec 18-27, 2:30 and 7:30pm. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, $180-$680 tickets available from urbtix.hk.
PoHo hipsters (or those who just can’t leave Sheung Wan) will want to hit up Noho Xmas Mart. This small indie Christmas fair is brimming with handmade crafts and gifts perfect for the holiday season. Dec 19, noon-6pm. 17 Shing Wong St., Sheung Wan.
Presented by the Hong Kong Chorus Society and music director Henry Shek, A Christmas Party will feature Christmas classics from, um “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I,” plus Beatles hits. Sure, why not? Sheung Wan Civic Centre (Theatre), 5/F Sheung Wan Municipal Services Bldg, 345 Queen’s Rd. Central. $190 ($133 student/ elderly/ disabled). 3761-6661, urbtix.hk.
Need more Christmas music to put you in that joyous mood? Ringing by the Candle Lights is a melody-filled evening featuring instrumental handbell music presented by the Asia International Handbell Association. Youth Square Y Theatre, 238 Chai Wan Rd., Chai Wan, 3721-8888. $120-200 from urbtix.hk.
More than 40 rides and games—and all in a good cause? Everyone’s a winner! In celebration of its 145th anniversary Hong Kong’s oldest charity, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, will hold a charity carnival at the 5.5-hectare former Kai Tak Airport runway space. 10 percent of ticket sales will go to the charity’s services benefitting children, youth and low-income families. Ticket price includes access to all rides and games. Dec 21-Mar 28, 2016, various times. Former Kai Tak Runway (near Kai Tak Cruise Terminal), Shing Fung Road, East Kowloon. $145-180 from twcarnival.hk.
Stanley Plaza is recreating a German Christmas market, with around 80 booths offering an authentic taste of festive Europe. Along with a German village, there will be handicrafts made in Germany including miniature Christmas trees, giant nutcrackers, wooden toys, music boxes and specialty lights—plus mulled wine and grilled sausages. Dec 12-13, 19-20, noon-8pm. Stanley Plaza Ampitheatre, 23 Carmel Rd., Stanley, linkhk.com.
The Udderbelly Festival Hong Kong presents Sing-a-long-a Frozen, a screening of Disney’s “Frozen” with on-screen lyrics so kids (or you) can belt out all the words. Best dressed Frozen-themed prizes are awarded at every screening. Dec 23-27; 31, Jan 1. Udderbelly, Central Harbourfront Event Space. $228-$316 from hkticketing.com.
The magician and entertainer Harry Wong presents Music for Kids. So on top of an HK Phil program that includes Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, “The Night Before Christmas” and sing-along carols, you can expect a little extra magic—Harry style. Dec 23-24, 8pm. Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. $180-$480 fromurbtix.hk.
With “artfully arranged lighting and music” including a live band, Holiday Icy Dance brings together HKAPA School of Dance students, Festival Walk Glacier Skating School coaches and students and Red Vocal Academy members under guest curator/director David Liu, a former Winter Olympic Games figure skater and choreographer. Dec 23, 2:30pm, Dec 24, 3:30pm, Dec 24, 7pm, Jan 14, 2016, 7:30pm. Festival Walk Glacier, Kowloon Tong, 2844-3588. Free.
Keep things traditional with a Midnight Mass at St. John’s Cathedral. Services also take place at Emmanuel Church in Pokfulam, St Stephen’s Chapel in Stanley and Discovery Bay Church. Tickets go quick, so make sure to put your name down well in advance. Dec 24, 11pm. 4-8 Garden Road,Central, 2523-4157, stjohnscathedral.org.hk.
Nothing will beat the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year), but you can still get a bit of Snoopy in your life with “The Peanuts Movie,” which opens today. In this 3D animated film, Charlie Brown tries once again to impress the red-haired girl and Snoopy takes to the skies.