Family Things to Do
Traveling is an effective way of how family members can bond together. It is a given that the interests of each member of the family are diverse, so preparing an itinerary or initial travel plans that will suit everyone’s expectations can be difficult. But do not worry about all the hassle on organizing or planning a Macau trip; this city has various world-class destinations for any kind of traveler as well as any age. The whole family will definitely have a superb time building memories here.
Macau is a place for witnessing exciting family-friendly shows, experiencing a unique shopping experience in its malls, strolling around the fascinating landscapes or public centres and going for a staycation at five-star hotels. It has a rich history and culture and at the same time, its sites as well as its friendly people make present Macau a must-visit city. Everyone in your family will surely find fun-filled places they can wander and participate in activities they find interesting, which we feature through this list.
Macau Science Center
Children will fall in love with the Macau Science Center, a science-themed museum in the city. This 23,000-square-meter area is developed to popularize science and make the public enjoy the learning process more. It is also an interactive museum, showcasing the roles of science in everyday life through every exhibition and convention. Parents who want to convince their kids to embrace the fun in learning should bring them here.
Inside, the Exhibition Center, Planetarium and Convention Center can be accessed by the public. There are fourteen amazing galleries at the Exhibition Centre - twelve have permanent exhibitions and the other two galleries are saved for special exhibitions.
The young ones can learn more about outer space through the fascinating 3D films and documentations about space exploration shown at the Planetarium. Its projection system also has an ultra-high definition of 8,000 x 8,000 pixels. The interactive live shows and dome movies are played in 3D too.
Even the design and structure of the Macau Science Center is extraordinary: it has a unique asymmetrical shape and a cone-shaped exterior. It also has a spiral walkway and a huge atrium inside. World-renowned architect I.M. Pei designed this science center, adding silver aluminized steel sheets and a glass curtain in the exterior for a more breathtaking look.
The science center uses real-time astronomical database too, so the whole family will find the “space journey” this museum offers truly enjoyable.
Senado Square / Largo De Senado
For a great family stroll, you can go together with your loved ones at the beautiful Senado Square or Largo de Senado. It is a public square located in the central area of the Macau Peninsula that was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List last 2005. With a 3,700-square-meter area, it is one of the four largest squares in Macau.
If you have a family member who loves to shop for trendy clothes and taste unique food, you should bring them here. Traditional Chinese restaurants and shopping centers are thriving around the square. Families usually dine and shop here as well as walk around to experience its captivating charm.
Hing Yi Waffle (Macau waffles), Arabian Kebabs (kebabs), and Loja De Comidas Sio Seong Hoi (dumplings) are some famous food stalls you can check out for a street food-eating session with your family. Some of the world-known shops located here are Nine West, Body Shop, Sa Sa, Angel, and H2O+. The square’s also paved by hired Portuguese experts with colored stone mosaic patterned after the image of waves in the early nineties, turning the square into a fascinating place to be.
The square has a colorful history indeed. It has been in front of the Leal Senado Building during the Ming Dynasty. It served as a venue where local authorities used to review the troops as inaugurations were held here during the Portuguese control era. Everyone in the family will appreciate how past events during this era have shaped the square’s look and functions.
Up to the present, Macau’s cultural activities are held here, which families look forward to. Some of the events you will enjoy are the firework displays and lion and dragon dances during the Chinese Spring Festival and Christmas.
Ruins of St. Paul
Families love to take as many photos as possible when traveling. If you are in Macau, Ruins of St. Paul is one of the best landmarks for a great family photo-opp. This 16th century facade is a beautiful historical sight you should not miss. Admission is free, and its grandeur will not disappoint. It is also near Senado Square, so you could travel from the square to the Ruins of St. Paul easily while passing through shops and food stalls.
Probably, you have a child or a partner who is fascinated with world heritage sites. If so, bring them here—this widely considered “altar to the city” is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of the Historic Centre of Macau.
This is Macau’s captivating landmark which is found at the top of a hill, and at that time, it was known as the “Vatican of the Far East.” Before it became as ruins, this place originally had St. Paul’s College and the Portugese church dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle named Church of St. Paul or “Mater Dei.”
You and your family can be in awe together as you observe the grand details of the church that has served as the symbol of the Roman Catholic Church’s triumph in spreading the religion in Macau. Originally made of wood, its original structure was burned down back in 1835 due to a fire during a typhoon. Hence, what you can see now are ruins.
Appreciate the granite façade and 68-stone-steps grand staircase and all its glory. The design has a mix of the East and West, showing Macau’s identity itself as a diverse and multi-cultural city. Whether you opt for a morning or evening tour, the Ruins of St. Paul's beauty and rich history is a memorable place families can cherish together.
The Macau Tower is a famous landmark that offers not just wonderful panoramic views of the city, but also various thrilling activities as you and your family go to the observation deck or travel to the top. Here, you can take various photographs with your partner and kids with the Macau skyline as a background—it gradually and beautifully changes hues every now and then, turning your pictures into “Instagrammable” or “social media-worthy” posts. You can also see the nearby Pearl River Delta skyline, which expands every day. With a family member beside you, going inside its glass-fronted elevator to soar in a breathtaking 223 meters under 60 seconds to the tower’s top becomes less frightening. It is truly more fun to be thrilled by a place with family.
How each perceive great heights will be tested in the tower’s reinforced glass floor. You can dare your loved ones and yourself to look down and find yourself more thrilled than ever. The Observation Lounge in the Macau Tower is spacious. Taking time to bond and cherish the surreal views of the entire Macau Peninsula, Taipa, Coloane, and even China is a must-do here.
The adventurous family member(s) will surely try the exciting and challenging activities here. AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungy Jump that’s 233m / 764ft high is a challenge anyone—regardless of age—can try. Once you jump, you become a part of the Guinness World Record for the Highest Commercial Bungy Jump in the world.
Protective parents won’t worry about the dangers of these activities in the Macau Tower for the developers ensured people’s safety by making sure of the quality of the bungy cord, guide cables, and recovery system utilized for the tower’s bungy jump adventure as well as for the other things one can try for themselves.
The SkyWalk is another great activity for a family who are not up for bungy jumping. It allows you to walk around the outer perimeter that encircles the tower. The walkway is 1.8 meters wide.
The House of Dancing Water
Macau offers many fascinating shows that families will find enjoyable. The House of Dancing Water, considered as the world’s largest water-based show, is one of them. Conceptualized and directed by Franco Dragone, known as one of the world’s greatest show makers, the show displaces state-of-art effects, amazing choreography, and a unique water-based theme.
Millions visit this water-based show that lasts for 90 minutes. The young ones will not get bored while watching the show, for it has awe-inspiring exhibitions to showcase its spectators. An array of acrobatics as well as 80 gymnasts, dancers, circus artists, divers, actors and motorcyclists grace the House of Dancing Water Show. They also perform alongside a stage that transforms into different sets as the show goes on.
The stage holds about 3.7 million gallons of water. It can be transformed from a deep diving pool to a completely dry swimming pool floor in just a matter of seconds—an extraordinary feature that leaves each family member's jaw open in amazement upon watching.
You can purchase the limited VIP Reserve tickets for your family. Getting the theater’s best view is achievable thru special tickets. The theater where the show is performed has a 270-degree view, so each kind of seat can offer various perspectives to the whole family.
You can zoom onto the performers by sitting in a special angle at C Reserve seats. For a close and personal view of the performers, you can sit at B Reserve. A breathtaking panoramic view awaits you if you choose to sit at A Reserve area.
The Venetian Macao
Do you want to experience a Venice-themed destination in Macau? The Venetian Macau is a self-respecting imitation of Venice that has three artificial canals where the whole family can go for a gondola ride. The gondoliers will also entertain everyone through their beautiful voices; they are known to sing for tourists who request them to do so. It is also a big complex that offers many dining, gambling, shopping and entertainment places. Families can stroll and take photos around the complex, appreciating the beautiful sites around the area.
You may book for a hotel stay at the Venetian Hotel, the 7th largest building that has the largest casino in the world. Venetian Macau also has an innovative activity center for children. It has climbing structures with slides and nets, so the young ones can spend time here and play without you worrying about their safety. This famous children’s playground has a 6-meter-high multi-climbing facility, zig-zag net climbers, rainbow slides and more. There are also computer games and WiFi connection available here, so even the techy kids will not get bored.
Couples who want to spend time together and take a break from all the stress will definitely enjoy Venetian Macau’s outdoor pools. Four outdoor pools are located here, and there is an adults-only pool as well as a heated Jacuzzi for more privacy. The Venetian Casino is also a great place to gamble and unwind. It offers 800 gambling tables and 3,400 slot machines.
The complex also boasts of many dining venues that offer various cuisines from around the world. To check the Italian, Chinese, Indian and other restaurants in Venetian Macau, you may check the official website. If your family is more adventurous when it comes to food trips, check out the Venetian Macau food court with its ceiling that is painted to look like the sky. Variety of food choices can be found here, so each family member’s dining preference and palate will be satisfied.
The Venetian Macau houses the ultimate shopping destination that is considered as the largest indoor shopping mall in Macau: Sands Shoppes. It has more than 850 duty free outlets for your shopaholic, fashion-forward family member.
Museum of Macau
The Macau Museum is the city’s biggest museum. If you and your family want to learn Macau’s history and how its people created cannons before, this is the place to be. Located at the famous Monte Fortress, it features the different nationalities peacefully living together in Macau during past centuries. Your family will find Macau Museum unique, because compared to other museums in the city, it has only one specific theme: Macau’s development. It is a museum that instills the importance of preserving tradition, customs, and culture evident in the city.
This three-floor exhibition building is divided into three categories: Original Civilization (first floor), Popular Art and Traditional Culture (second floor), and Contemporary Macau (third floor).
The origin of Macau and how prosperous it is from the Neolithic period to the late 17th century are exhibited in the first floor. Touring together with your family here will make your Macau experience a more memorable one, because you will be familiar with the “Golden Period of Macau” in the Original Civilization category.
To know about Macau’s traditional festivals, customs, handicrafts, and typical professions of its people through the years, check out the second floor of the museum. The Popular Art and Traditional Culture category will also introduce you to Macau’s religious ceremonies, as the museum was built by Jesuits during the 17th century (and it was only inaugurated and opened on April 18, 1998).
For the history buff in your family, the third floor that exhibits Contemporary Macau will make him or her see not just Macau’s past, but also a panorama of modern Macau. It shows the works of some writers based on Macau as well as opportunities available in the city. You will also see Macau’s unique cultural diversity because of its mixed Chinese and Western identity.
Your family should also check out the topmost level of the Fortress, because the former Meteorological Service was housed here before. Everyone will truly be amazed on how Macau Museum has been successful in being a space dedicated to showcasing and preserving Macau’s history and culture through its exhibited valued objects.
Batman Dark Flight
Studio City Macau’s Batman Dark Flight is a flying theater attraction. It gives a unique 4D film production-themed adventure that you and your children will surely enjoy. This pulse-racing adventure takes everyone to a new dimension as it is enhanced with the latest in-flight stimulation technology. Its audio design and visual graphics are superb, so this action-packed ride themed on DC Comics’ superhero is a must-try.
Both the young ones and the young-at-heart will be thrilled as they are exposed to Batman’s encounters with the “super villains in Gotham City,” like The Joker, Two-Face, and Bane who want to destroy the city.
It provides a multi-sensory entertainment experiance that gives justice to the famous story line of Batman from the comics and the movies. The simulation ride also lets you experience flying through the city in the Batplane and go for a high-speed car chase in the streets. Disaster upon disaster will come upon you and Batman’s way, but together, you will save the day. If the villains try to reach you, Batman will also come to your rescue.
You also do not need to worry about understanding what Batman and the villains are saying. The dialogues are in English, and Chinese subtitles are also available.
Going for a Batman Dark Flight experience in Studio City Macau is a great way of bonding with your family. Together, you will become superheroes fighting crimes in Gotham City. With visuals and voices based in its Arkham video game series, it is a stimulated flight every Batman fan in the family will look forward to.
You may purchase a ticket here.
A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macau and is one of the three well-known Buddha halls of the city. It even already existed before Macau became a city. This is the place where the city is also named as Macau, so your family should not miss going to this famous destination. When the Portuguese landed near this temple around four hundred years ago, they asked the locals about the name of the land. They thought that these foreigners were asking for the temple’s name, so they answered: “Ma Ge.” The Portuguese coined the name “Macau” with the locals’ answer, hence the official name.
Meditate with your family and enjoy spectacular views here. Series of classical Chinese architectural treasures are contained in six main parts of the temple. Upon entering, you will see the Hongren Hall where a statue of Mazu is located and being worshipped. Mazu is a Chinese sea goddess who is revered mostly by fishermen and sailors. She is also worshipped by the people from China’s coastal regions and other overseas Chinese. Believers of Mazuism claim that she roam the seas to protect seafarers, intervening during danger. This religion also has many followers in Taiwan.
Walk ahead and discover the Hall of Avalokitesvara that is made of bricks and stones with simple yet elegant style. The Zhengjiao Chanlin, a famous Buddhist hall, has the more intricate architectural style and bigger in size compared to the temple’s other halls.
Various carved poems and inscriptions can be found in the temple’s stone along the cliff. This ancient architectural complex features a rich and profound Chinese culture that you and your loved ones will find fascinating.
Many disciples gather here during Mazu’s birthday as well as during the Chinese New Year to burn incense and pray for prosperity. You may decide to come here together with your family during these special dates for a unique cultural immersion.
Taipa Island is connected to the Macau Peninsula by two bridges: the Macau-Taipa Bridge and Friendship Bridge. One of this island’s major attractions is the Taipa Houses-Museum. It is composed of five houses distinct from each other, featuring the following themes: Macanese Living Museum, Exhibitions Gallery, Creative Casa, Nostalgic House, and House for Reception. Its beauty and historical value are reasons why this museum is considered as one of the must-see destinations for tourists planning to go to Macau. Here, you and your family will witness the large-scale tourism and urban development of the island, even with its laidback nature.
Built in 1921, this museum is acclaimed as one of the top eight sites of Macao last 1992. The houses were residences of senior civil servants known as “Macanese families” in the past, so the government has seen its architectural value. It was also in 1992 when the houses were revamped into a museum site, and it opened at the end of 1999 for the public. Outdoor performances grace the museum too, which you and your loved ones will enjoy.
The Macanese Living Museum shows the daily lifestyle of the Macanese, the word used to call the ethnic group whose Portuguese ancestors married Chinese, Malay, Filipinos, and Indians. Here you will learn about their religious beliefs and life patterns of the Macanese that are fusions of both Western and Chinese influences.
The Exhibitions Gallery is a place for specific temporary exhibition themes that happen from time to time, while the Creative Casa is a place for selling specialty products that promote the culture of Macau and Portuguese-speaking countries. The Nostalgic House is for special exhibitions on the Macanese’s religion, cuisine, among others. Only the House of Receptions is not accessible to the public, because it is a place for official banquets and other special activities.
You will learn about the fashionable lifestyle of both the Portuguese and the Chinese folks in these houses. Folk clothing and handcrafts as well as mixed furniture from these two nationalities can also be found inside.