Macau, Loud, Bright and Becoming More Kid Friendly

Family holidays can go one of two ways: they can be difficult and make you want to rip out each and every hair on your head, or they can be an amazing experience for both you and the kids. Which way a vacation or trip goes depends entirely on your vacation location and your itinerary. 

Now, ordinarily, you wouldn’t dream of taking your kids on a gambling-fuelled location. Places like Vegas, Atlantic City, Monaco, and Macau are destinations where you’ll be thinking, “hmmm if I want to do this trip then I should probably leave the kids with Mom”. But if you dig a little deeper into the options available at your destination then you might be surprised at what you can find – and how kid-friendly they can be.

Let’s preface this article by saying that, obviously, the Macau vacation is not going to be one that concentrates on the family bonding experience, overall. While there are definitely activities that you and the kids are able to enjoy together, this one is more about mom and dad taking some “me time”, letting your hair down a little, and taking advantage of some truly awesome Kids Clubs. 

The only really drawback of Macau that we see is distance. It is not the easiest way in the world to get to, which is why many people might feel inclined to choose other vacation destinations.

Macau: The Vegas of China

Macau is the southern coastal island just off of mainland China that measures a mere 30.5 square kilometres. It’s mix of Chinese and Portuguese culture – it was a Portuguese territory until 1999 – make it a unique place to visit in terms of architecture and food. 

However, it’s not this history or size that make it a drawcard for tourists, it’s the fact that it is a true gaming mecca – with no less than 38 casinos dotted across the island. So if you’re a fan of gaming, then this one is for you! If you’re visiting mainland China and you’re looking for a unique experience, then it could be a good place to spend a day or two as well.

Gambling and… kids?

Traditionally, gambling and children do not go together. Visitors to casino floors must be 21 and over and this is strictly monitored. Kids do not belong in gambling houses. But you know what the great thing about gambling houses is? Their pockets are well lined.

Casinos know that mom and dad need some time to themselves to play the tables or the slots. And while casinos themselves are not allowed to provide Kids Clubs, so as to discourage problem gambling, there are plenty of hotels (often part of the greater casino complex) that offer some great clubs that’ll have the kids occupied for hours. If you’re planning on staying in a Macau hotel it pays to see what facilities they have on site for kids.

Hotels with Kids Clubs

Because casinos themselves cannot offer Kids Clubs, you’ll need to find them in the nearby hotels in Macau, and there are plenty. Hotels offering Kids Clubs are generally your higher end options, so keep this in mind if you are travelling with a budget, and look for good deals when they come up. 

Kids Clubs do not offer supervision, so you will need to grab yourself a nanny or babysitter for the day to take advantage of the facilities if you don’t want to attend yourself with the kids. The hotels will be able to provide or recommend a service with variable rates.

The JW Kids Club at the JW Marriot is arguably the best in the city. The huge space, complete with slides, dining, and cinema, along with educational experience is the largest JW Kids Club in the world. The club is available from 9.30am to 9.30pm. The JW Marriot even has a kids salon – perfect for kids who hate getting their hair cut at the regular hairdressers!

Qube Kingdom at The Parisian Macao also rivals the JW option. This awesome space is both indoor and outdoor and has nets, slides, a ball pit, gaming consoles and more. Hire a nanny and get them to take the kids along to the site between 9.30am and 9.30pm for just MOP130 for 2 hours.

You might like to check out Kids’ City, the City of Dreams indoor fun park featuring four different zones (Dream, Excite, Create, Explore), that houses slides, climbing obstacles, bouncy areas, arcade games with virtual reality, workshops, and more, for MOP120 for one adult and one child for 2 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, or MOP150 on Saturday, Sundays, and Public holidays.

The Ritz Carlton offers families a fun experience in the form of their Ritz Kids Night Safari Adventures Package, which features a tent setup in your room, along with Safari goodies for the kids to make them feel like they’re on a special adventure – with you along too, of course. 

Other kids’ attractions

There are also sites around Macau that are specially designed to help entertain kids for hours on end, plus be entertaining for adults, too!

For older children, there’s no going past the Galaxy, which is touted as a ‘tropical holiday in Macau’ and features the Skytop Adventure Rapids river ride, Macau’s largest kids aquatic play area, the world’s biggest skytop wave pool, and more! If you have water babies, then this is the place to play with kids.

The Warner Bros. Fun Zone (with no limit play) is a great choice for the character-obsessed kid, where you can opt in for the Batman Dark Flight and Golden Reel experiences, or just live it up in the 32,000sq foot playground at Studio City Macau. There is something here to suit all ages, along with a dedicated cartoon cinema for hours on end of your favourite Warner Bros, DC Comics, and Hanna Barbera players. If your child is a fan of Bugs et. al. then this is a must-do activity.

As you can see, Macau isn’t light on kid friendly activities. Mix up your time in Macau by playing with the kids, then hiring some help and going off for a bit of adult play. You might just find that it ends up being the kids favorite holiday they’ve been on – ever! 

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Team Parle

The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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