For a city seemingly full of small children, there are surprisingly few places in Hong Kong to hang out with young kids. Rosie Jean’s on Caine Road is a good bet, as is Café 8 as it has plenty of space to roam, but there are precious few coffee spots where you can take the weight off while the little ones run riot.
I recently went along to check out Baumhaus, a relatively new addition to Hong Kong and one that’s designed with the youngest members of the family in mind. Occupying the first floor of an unremarkable building on Queen’s Road East in Wan Chai (just opposite Star Street), Baumhaus is headed up by Crisel Consunji, an established Kindermusik teacher with a vision to offer Hong Kong parents a place to enjoy spending time with their kids.
As my boy is all grown up at four years old, he was quite happy to zoom off on his own after we’d paid, leaving me to check out the rest of the facilities. While the predominant focus is on Baumhaus’ schedule of sensory and music classes that take place in one of two bright and airy studios to the rear of the space, we were here to check out the play area, an impressive-looking wooden structure imported from Germany and assembled piece-by-piece in situ.
Space here is relatively tight, but it’s well planned out with clearly defined areas for the play area, café and a small retail zone where you can browse gorgeous, predominantly organic, wooden or recylced (so yes, expensive!) toys, musical instruments and crafts. There’s also a bright, clean kids’ bathroom complete with immacculate changing facilities for babies, and plenty of stroller parking.
The play space itself is lovely, if quite small – it’s all tactile shapes and fascinating angles and my boy had a whale of a time shooting oversized marbles into interesting dips and ridges, sliding and peering through the multicoloured persepx panes. Although Baumhaus is officially for kids up to seven years, I think this space would be best suited to those visiting with slightly younger babies and toddlers, who would get the most out of the space without getting bored. That said, we had tears when it was time to leave, so what do I know?!
Meanwhile, the adults were enjoying a drink at the colourful open-plan café, which has a good vantage point over the play area, meaning that we could sit back and relax without needing to hover. Prices here are reasonable, and there’s a decent menu of tea, coffee, soft drinks and healthy snacks for little people, as well as the odd cake-shaped treat too.
Overall I think a visit to Baumhaus is a good option for anyone with slightly younger children looking for an indoor activity on a hot or wet day, or for anyone looking to join the Kindermusik classes, as admission is included in the class price. At HK$80, admission to the play space isn’t cheap, but that’s valid for the full day and, as there’s ample space for parents to hang out, gives you something to do while the little ones are busy playing.
Costs: HK$80 per child, HK$140 for two siblings, Hk$180 for three siblings and HK$40 per child therafter.
Baumhaus, 1/F Kar Yau Building, 34-38 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2715 3376
Please note that we paid for admission ourselves, though Crisel very kindly treated us to coffee – thanks Crisel!