Family Fun in Manila

Updated 2014-02-03 08:01

Being Australian, being outdoors is something almost in my blood! One thing I found difficult to adjust to at first in Manila was the fact that it is a completely different lifestyle. Rain, pollution and other issues can get in the way of being outdoors as much as I would like. So now, 3 years later - I have compiled a heap of places and experiences that I have come across along the way. Its all just a matter of knowing where to go and when! 

Firstly, when I am looking for something to do with the family I will go online and check or these sites are free to join and offer huge discounts on leisure, eating out and travel.

For example we were able to take my daughter to Disney on Ice for only 99 pesos each! (courtesy of metrodeal)

?Also consider the time of year, during the rainy season any outdoors event is pretty much a no-go.

?Here are some other ideas:

Checking out a zoo?

They have quite a few zoo's here in Manila, which are very well presented and animals are kept in good condition. You have Manila Zoo, Manila Ocean Park, Avilon Zoo, Kinder Zoo. All of these often have specials on the sites I mentioned before. We got tickets to Kinder Zoo and Avilon Zoo for 99 pesos per head.

Avilon Zoo is smaller, but they have a good variety of animals and on chosen days Jenny the Chimp will be walking around. Very artistic and creative artwork everywhere and have a nice little cafe. Its indoors so you wont have to mind the weather and also next to Tendisitas (a popular market) if you want to do some shopping after.

Kinder Zoo not only has the zoo, but also other activities such as horse riding, swimming etc.

Looking for a park?

You have to pick and choose which parks to frequent, as it can sometimes be a haven for the homeless. But some great parks I have been to which are very clean and safe are:

High Street in The Fort Taguig. Freshly built with plenty of room for the kids to run, water fountains and sometimes street performers it really has a great family feel. Plenty of cafes for mom and dad to grab a coffee. They also have a huge indoor activity centre - Active Fun, and a great bookstore with a lounge area to read to the kids.

San Juan Memorial Park - This is located at their Municipal Hall, it has a huge grass area. No playground, but a great idea to take a ball, frisbee or the likes and run free. They have roaming guards and Ice cream vendors.

Market!Market! This is a shopping mall in Taguig but they have a huge playground outside. Best suited for older kids as it is very busy and lots of possible dangers for the toddlers!

SM Aura in Taguig is the newest addition, a higher priced mall which finds the crowds a little less hectic, it has a beautiful roof top garden with a grass area, water fountains and more.

Rainforest Park in Pasig - This one is in a league of its own! tucked away and easy to miss this has a zoo, skate board park, basketball courts, giant tree house w rope bridge and more! They also have bbq and sink areas with plenty of places to sit or you can hire a hut really cheaply. Entry is only 10 pesos (!!!) to enter the zoo is another 10 peso fee last time I went. All the areas are sectioned off so you can pick and choose where you want to go. This is certainly a place to take a packed lunch and spend the whole day.

Malls, Super Malls and more

The malls here are built to entertain, most Filipinos will spend a whole day at the mall just hanging out. You will find almost every mall has a Kids Activity centre. These places are kind of like indoor playgrounds with padded walls. You also have the standard Movies and Timezones, but if you really want to make a day of it head off early to Mall of Asia. The largest Mall in Asia, it houses a skate rink, bowling alley, Movies, and 3 levels of kids entertainment of all sorts!

Pretty much every mall you will go to offer some sort of kids entertainment, just check out your local.

Out and About

some good things to try:

- Bowling

- Ice Skating (Mall of Asia)

- Laser Tagg ( various locations - google for the nearest)

- Ace Water Spa ( great for the whole family and their cafe is a MUST do!)

- SM by the Bay - across the road from Mall of Asia it is a mini amusement park with rides, (they usually have a running deal on metrodeal for only 250 pesos per head)

- The Mind Museum Taguig

- 3D Art at the Miracle Art Exhibition in China Town. A unique idea.


There is plenty to discover in Manila, and the history & culture is interesting.

Rizal Park - Rizal Park has gardens, historical markers, plazas, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, an artists' sanctuary, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, and dozens of fountains.

Intramuros: Its the oldest district of Manila, and still maintains cobbled streets and guards dressed in traditional Spanish costume. You can also ride around in a horse and buggy. Enjoy looking at the ruins of history, and some of the still maintained Spanish architecture. Some beautiful churches to view. Be wary of "tour guides" standing by the entrance. You can hire stand up scooters from White Knights and they offer tours also - its worth having a tour guide to tell you the full history and show points of interest.

Theatre: There are always alot of stage shows happening, you can google for them, also check Resorts World.

The National Arts Centre: they always have something running, either exhibitions or Filipino Movie Premiers.

If you want to get into real history and culture go to: and follow the links to various sites.


If you want to go swimming expect to pay. I haven't come across anything like public pools, it seems mostly Hotels will allow day visitors at a minimal fee.

Ace Water Spa, Richmonde Hotel and Remidios Resort are a few.

Kinder Zoo has a pool and there is a waterpark by Manila Zoo but I've ever been.

There are plenty more things to do, but hope this gets you started!

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