As January rounds off and we step into the Year of the Rat, these exciting events will have you feeling cultured and making the most out of the city for the new year.

Booked: Hong Kong Art Book Fair at Tai Kwun

(Image credit: Jessica Ruscello/Unsplash)

When: 16–19 January

Price: HK$30

In the spirit of spring cleaning and fixing up your home for the new year, this is your chance to pick up a few decorative and design pieces for your coffee table. ‘Booked’, the Hong Kong Art Book Fair, returns for its second edition this January, featuring over 80 exhibitors and purveyors of artist’s books, photography and art albums, zines, catalogues as well as artist and gallery prints. Accompanying the fair will be a programme of talks, displays and workshops as well as the special project, Overbooked, which showcases the works of nine international and local artists through to 28 January. More info here.

JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

The Riff Comedy Club: Wil Sylvince

When: 17–18 January

Price: HK$338 from Ticketflap

Hong Kong’s swish new hotspot for a night of laughs is none other than The Riff Comedy Club, a brand new venue billed to be a New York-styled jazz club, powered by Live Nation, which operates the legendary Punchline Comedy Clubs in the US. Following its soft-opening period in December, The Riff fully opens its doors with headline act Wil Sylvince, a Brooklyn native who made a name for himself performing on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo, garnering standing ovations for his anecdotal laughs and sharp observations. Hand-picked by comic heavyweights Dave Chappelle, D.L Hughley, the Wayans brothers, Gabriel Iglesias and more to accompany on tours around the US, the NYC comedian heads to Hong Kong for two exclusive shows this weekend.

The Riff, 8/F California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

The Underground: Funk Ska Nation

When: 18 January, 8pm

Price: HK$160–200 from Zicket, ticket include one drink.

Indie music mavens at The Underground are hosting their first live gig this year, introducing some of Hong Kong’s best funk and ska bands. Teen dup Sunrise opens the evening with their astonishing and polished musical talent. The 11-piece ska mainstay The Red Stripes is up next, beloved for their sing-along spectacles and boot-stomping riffs. Newcomers The Funkaphones join next, boasting style and musicality akin to Hall and Oates meets Maroon 5. The gig rounds out with JUNK!, a one-man audio-visual extravaganza to leave guests with a hysterical spin on life’s ups and downs.

The Hub, 1/F, Fortune Building, 150–158 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Chinese New Year Flower Markets

When: 19–25 January

The bountiful flower markets across Hong Kong ahead of Chinese New Year are always a staple on any calendar: Decorate your home with colourful blooms of fresh orchids, cherry blossoms and sweet-smelling daffodils for the season, while browsing stalls of street food and colourful toys. Full from indulging on platters of new year puddings? The flower markets, which remain open throughout the night on the 24th to the early morning of the 25th, also make for a great way to walk off the carbs after a big meal.

See the full list of venues here

‘Straya Day at Feather and Bone

(Image credit: Vita Vilcina/Unsplash)

When: 25 January

Price: HK$600 from Feather and Bone

Break out the Tim Tams and Vegemite: Australia day is just around the corner and Feather & Bone Mid-Levels is celebrating in true-blue Aussie style at its rooftop terrace, with proceeds benefitting the bush fire relief. With Triple J’s ‘Hottest 100’ as the backdrop all afternoon, you can expect a sausage sizzle spreading down under the Robinson Road escalator from noon to 5pm, with free-flow beers, wine and gin and tonics on offer. With unlimited house made sausages, as well as a variety of apps including fresh salads, cheese and charcuterie, the all-Australian menu rounds off with a sweet note with fresh lamingtons and fairy bread. HK$200 from each ticket sale will be donated to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service

Feather and Bone – Mid-Levels, Shop 1, G/F, 38 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2179 6211

2020 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Carnival

(Image credit: HKTB)

When: 25–28 January

Chinese New Year is a time of traditions, and one unmissable event Hong Kong always hosts is none other than the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Parade — this year reincarnated as a four-day-long carnival hosted at the West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park. Expect dazzling performances revisiting 24 years of Chinese New Year Parades by 50 groups of local and international talents, family-friendly thrills and games, as well as plenty of festive food to share — it wouldn’t be Chinese New Year without such classic treats. More information here.

West Kowloon Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District, 1 Austin Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

Mick the Holidays Bright: Red A x Incredible x Mickey Mouse Pop-up

When: Through 16 February

With 2019 marking the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, “Disney will continue to get our fans excited with new Mickey Mouse-themed promotional programs and products in 2020,” said Robert Tam, director of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media at a recent media launch event. Amongst new capsule collections by fashion brands, art installations around Fashion Walk, and more activations around town, this pop-up collaboration features time-honoured Hong Kong brands Red A, Lee Kung Man and modern apparel label Incredible. Celebrating the shared heritage through vintage toys, lunchboxes and clothing, the pop-up is the spot for Disney fanatics to check out some exclusive wares — from special edition BPA-free lunchboxes to classic red market-style lamps, sure to add character and Hong Kong flair to your home. 

Incredible, G/F, 16B, Fashion Walk, 27–47 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Cheongsam Heritage Exhibition: A Touch of Disappearing Craft

(Image credit: K11 Musea)

When: Through 29 February

Celebrating its first Chinese New Year, K11 Musea is exhibiting a selection of exquisite vintage cheongsams and tailoring tools used in Hong Kong’s heyday of producing these iconic dresses. Pieces include dresses by Master Yan Ka Man, whose over 60 years of expertise is renowned, with some of his creations being used in the Miss Hong Kong Pageants every year and donned by celebrities in the 1960s. Every Saturday between 11 January–29 February, third-generation cheongsam tailor Yin Kou Zhang will demonstrate the art of hand-sewing cheongsams and Shanghainese needlecraft. Visitors can also sign up to learn how to stitch flower buttons after each demonstration session.

Experience Chamber, 1/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Ecology In The Making – A History of Amateur Naturalists in Hong Kong

When: Through 22 March

It’s not quite the Hunterian Museum, but Hong Kong’s first historical exhibition examining the making of modern ecological studies in the city is well worth an afternoon stroll. Calling all budding ornithologists, biologists or just those curious about our natural history, this three-month exhibition traces the history of 12 amateur naturalists and their prized specimens and writings across fields of understanding from birds, butterflies, frogs and geology. On display for the first time include a variety of extinct animal specimens, such as the Floating Frog, as well as a series of botanical watercolours painted by a British soldier who was in Hong Kong from 1847–1851.

Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre Exhibition Hall, 50 Kotewall Road, Central, Hong Kong

Winter Urban Escape at I-Spa

When: Through 31 March

Massage away the winter doldrums with InterContinental Hong Kong I-Spa’s enticing new seasonal offering, priced at just HK$988 for a 60-minute body massage. HK$300 of the price is offered back as food and beverage credit to use at the Lobby Lounge from 10am to 6pm, perfect for a light snack and a refreshing post-massage drink. Be sure to purchase the deal on the hotel’s eShop and book your session 48 hours in advance.

InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2721 1211

Evelyn Lok
Deputy Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.