Grounds for outdoor larks

Hong Kong’s scenic harborfront spaces are great for hanging out, but you won’t find one as cool and, most importantly, Covid-safe, as The Grounds at AIA Vitality Park by the Central Harbourfront.

The spacious entertainment venue – which opened its doors last week – features a giant LED screen paired with a state-of-the-art sound system.

Its weekly ticketed events include live music performances, fitness and yoga sessions, stand-up comedy, and family-friendly games and movie screenings.

This weekend, there will be two Lululemon wellness classes, a live rugby broadcast and three films – Grease, Frozen and Star Wars IV – on show.

When we say the field is safe, we mean it. The Grounds is designed with the new normal in mind, featuring 100 open-air picket-fenced pods – each with seating for up to four people, spaced out by 1.5 meters.

Measures are also taken on-site, including temperature checks, pre-registration and health declarations, face mask requirements and sanitizing stations.

As an outdoor event is not complete without a picnic, The Grounds is providing a Covid-responsible contactless food ordering platform featuring delights from nearby BaseHall. From tacos to banh mi and pies to laksa, there’s something for everyone.

Finger-friendly options include Japanese-style rotisserie chicken (from HK$98) from Roti Tori, Honbo’s exclusive BaseHall burger (HK$138) and tacos (from HK$48) from Esdras Ochoa.

Looking to just grab a snack? There will also be plenty of popcorn, ice cream and, of course, cookies from Cookie Department. As for drinks, guests are spoilt for choice with a bar menu featuring cocktails, wine, beer, coffee, tea, juice and more.

Scan a QR code to place an order and the food will be delivered to your pod. More time-limited menu items are expected to be rolled out, so keep your eye on The Ground’s social media.

“As we navigate this new global normal, The Grounds is designed to allow guests to play, socialize and be entertained responsibly,” said managing director Simon Wilson.

Tickets start from HK$300 for a two-person pod. If you’re feeling lucky, check out The Grounds’ Facebook page for a chance to win a free pod.

(This article was published at The Standard on November 13, 2020: Weekend Glitz: Grounds for outdoor larks )

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