Macao with Kids

Grand Lisboa Hotel
Macao, termed the Las Vegas of the East, is the last place anyone would think to take their kids to. Some 20 years ago, no one would even consider taking their kids with them when they go to Macau.  It was definitely frowned upon. The city pooled with casinos, strip clubs, bars and luxury international hotel and resort chains, has always been a popular destination for bachelor/bachlorette parties. But times are changing. The city once filled with adult entertainment, gangs and prostitutes are now widely advertised for its cultural heritage sites, eclectic museums, and Michelin starred restaurants. In addition, the era of leaving your kids with the Grandma while Daddy and Mommy go out and play is slowly fading. The present trend of attachment parenting has slowly transformed even "adults only" destinations like Macau into a family friendly destination.

Museums in Macao offer more than the typical historical and fine art collections. The eclectic selection of museums will entice even those with the most intense aversion to museums. There are quite a few even kids will enjoy visiting. Some interesting museums include (but are not limited to): Grand Prix Museum, Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt, Heritage Exhibition of a Traditional Pawnshop Business, Fire Services Museum, Macao Tea Culture House, Natural and Agrarian Museum, Wine Museum, Handover Gifts Museum of Macao, Maritime Museum...the list goes on. Not only are these institutions a great way to escape those hot and humid summer days but most of the exhibits are free to the public. Free entertainment and free air condition; it just doesn't get any better than that. Some great choices for a museum visit with the kids are: Maritime Museum, Fire Services Museum, and Natural Agrarian Museum.
Fire Services Museum
Sightseeing and walking tours while surrounded by hordes of tourists doesn't sound very enjoyable even for someone who doesn't have kids. With the crowds, the heat, and over stimulated kids, sightseeing has often proven to be difficult. But it doesn't have to be so in order to take in the sights of Macao. Visit the city's  signature landmark, the Ruins of Saint Paul's Cathedral first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. Kids will enjoy exploring the ruins in the cool morning air. For a quick respite from walking in the sun, take a seat in a nearby garden bench on the way up to the Museum of Macao. There are also plenty of fortresses kids can run around freely while adults take snapshots of panoramic views of the city. Walking on the main street coming down from Saint Paul's, there are endless shops selling snacks such as pork jerky and almond biscuits. Each store offers free samples to anyone willing for a taste. It is the perfect time to do some souvenir shopping while kids sample new flavors.
Ruin's of Saint Paul's
Interest the kids in an unique mode of transportation. For a tour of the waterfront in style and relative comfort, a pedicab can be rented by the hour. If a pedicab is not within your budget, taking a picture in it as a souvenir can be done for free!   

Sad but true. There are a select few upscale restaurants in Macao that denies service to children under 5 years old. Please check for age requirement before booking a restaurant. But luckily, like its neighbor city Hong Kong, Macao does not lack local and international cuisine of all price ranges that can satisfy even the most fussy eater. For local eateries, Cha Chan Tang or tea houses are immensely popular in Macao for sampling local snacks without breaking the bank. Tea houses offers kiddy friendly items on their menu and an environment where it's acceptable if your toddler just happens to forget their table manners.
For a tasty insight into Macao's colonial past, try one of the many Restaurants advertising "authentic" Portuguese cuisine. Restaurante Platao is a popular choice serving Portuguese food among local, expats and tourists for its reasonable priced fine dinning experience. Outdoor seating is available in this restaurant in case kids get loud. Another excellent fine dinning selection with children is the IFT Educational Restaurant. This restaurant offers great value for the money and exquisitely prepared dishes by chefs in training. The dessert buffet is the highlight of the meal for both grown ups and kids.
Water fountain in front of IFT Educational Restaurant
Due to the Portuguese colonization of the city, Portuguese influence in the local flavors is especially prominent in bakeries around the city. Do not leave Macao without trying the egg tart from Lord Stow's Bakery. Egg tarts make for a great afternoon snack whether it's eaten at a cafe, on a park bench or after a swim in the hotel pool. It is insanely satisfying especially after a swim. For a little something distinctly Macan, try the pork chop bun widely sold in Bakeries and Cha Chan Tang around the city.

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