Top 10 Family-Friendly Destinations Within and Near Metro Manila
Modern Parenting rounds up the top ten destinations within and near Metro Manila for your family to enjoy and have a weekend to remember.
This list of family-friendly destinations first came out in Modern Parenting’s 2022 print edition.
After two years of being cooped up indoors, the country — and the city — is opening up again. While health protocols must still be observed, there’s more freedom in movement, allowing families to go on mini adventures within their hometown and even in other cities. It’s the perfect opportunity to get out of the house to have fun and spend quality time with your family, too.
If your kids are raring to go somewhere new or experience things they never have before, then here are Modern Parenting’s suggestions on different family-friendly destinations that are sure to give everyone a good time.
The Mind Museum
This world-class science museum is located in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and houses the famous and gigantic T. Rex replica. With the goal of building a culture of scientific literacy and inspiring curiosity, this museum features over 250 interactive exhibits through five galleries. Children and adults can learn more about our universe, the earth, and the different lifeforms that inhabit it, as well as the technologies that have been invented through the years. The Mind Museum is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9 AM to 6 PM.
The Dessert Museum
The first of its kind in the country, this family destination is an interactive tasting adventure that’s perfect for those who love sweets and candy. Located in S Maison Mall, Pasay, the Dessert Museum houses eight dessert-themed rooms where kids and the kids-at-heart can play and take unlimited photos for Instagram. You can experience being in a giant gumball machine, playing the human claw machine, and swinging on cake pops. After a two-hour tour, you can take home four treats to remind you of the sweet day you just had.
If you want to feel like an F1 racer in Manila, then you don’t have to venture far. You can head to SM North EDSA to EKartraceway, the first all-electric indoor go-kart racing establishment in the city. Featuring a track that spans 300 meters, families can experience different turns, speeds, and elevations. The team behind EKartraceway wants you to have safe and serious fun, which is why they have installed proprietary safety systems that let operators stop karts with a touch of a button in case of an emergency. Visit the race tracks from 10 AM to 9:30 PM every day.
In case you are looking for some year-round summer fun, you don’t need to venture too far for your family to have a water adventure. A 2-hour drive to Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga will take you to Aqua Planet, the country’s newest water theme park. Spanning over 10 hectares, they feature 38 water slides and different attractions fit for guests of all ages. Have fun bouncing around in the wave pool and pretend to be a surfer with the Flow Rider. And when you start feeling hungry, you can choose from four dining outlets to replenish your energy for the day.
Escape rooms are back! If your family loves mysteries and solving puzzles, then, you should pay LOST Philippines a visit. Located in Greenhills, San Juan, and another branch opening soon in SM North Towers, LOST provides the ultimate escape room experience that’s more than just the lock and key. What makes this different is the use of different technologies for advanced gameplay. You can choose from a total of 12 rooms with different storylines and themes and try to crack the code for escape.
Do your kids love animals? Make a short drive to Avilon Zoo in Rodriguez, Rizal, considered the largest zoological institution in the country in terms of live animal collections. You can roam around the 7.5-hectare space and see more than 3,000 specimens of exotic wildlife, which include hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fish, and invertebrates. Plus, you and your children can learn a thing or two about the native and endemic fauna of the Philippines.
Did you know that there are co-baking studios in Metro Manila? And the first DIY co-baking space can be found in SM Aura and S Maison. Bakebe lets kids and adults learn how to bake, with recipes and instructions found in an app. All the ingredients and tools that you’ll need are at your disposal, and you can create cakes and other pastries in their pink baking studio. You don’t need any baking experience to have fun at Bakebe, and after a couple of hours, you can bring home a delicious and delectable baked good to munch on at home.
If your child has fantasies about being a superhero, they can get their own superhero training at Heroes Headquarters, an active indoor playground in Shangri-la Plaza. This space trains your children to become superheroes, helping them master skills in speed, flight, agility, strength and marksmanship through interactive play. The Heroes HQ also features the first nongun laser tag that uses blaster gloves to defeat opponents. You can ensure your child’s safety while doing the activities as staff are there to assist at all times.
Fun Farm at Sta. Elena
It’s great to step away from the city and technology for a while, especially if your kids are glued to their phone screens 24/7. If you want a family destination that lets you immerse in nature, then head to Fun Farm at Sta. Elena, which is in Cabuyao, Laguna. This outdoor playground lets you roam and be around so many plants and greenery. You can interact with animals, too— through the different animal feeding stations in the area. If you want to bring a bigger group, there are party and picnic areas where you can hang out and relax.
When it comes to local theme parks, the first place that comes to mind is Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. This world-class amusement park has seven themed zones that showcase different rides and attractions. Go then on classic rides like The Grand Carousel or Wheel of Fate or be more extreme by trying the Space Shuttle and EKstreme Tower. There are also theaters that hold shows, and the latest addition of a 7D interactive motion theater. You can also go through a multisensory experience that will take you through 20 beautiful destinations across the Philippines with Agila the EKsperience.