Kid-friendly destinations to take in some fresh air and run wild during GCQ.
It’s been almost a year since lockdown began, and as difficult as it has been for a lot of us, it’s even harder to see how tough it’s been for the kids. Children adapt quickly and they’re more resilient than we give them credit for, but months in GCQ can certainly take a toll.
So, with safety precautions and our children’s best interest in mind, you might want to look into placing an order for kiddie face masks and shields— we’re going on a trip to make childhood memories.
Open space and a natural environment is a luxury we easily take for granted. You’ll realize this as soon as you see your little ones marvel at the wonders of a fresh new experience. We often forget how small things can have such a huge impact on the young ones, and we believe that this is a much-needed break that everyone fully deserves.
Block off your calendars, book your slots, and get planning. Make a day out of it! This is something your kids won’t soon forget. Check out these places where kids are allowed to wander freely, that’s sure to be a breath of fresh air.
Where to take the kids during GCQ
1. Avilon Zoo
Seeing animals up close and personal is something kids will never get tired of. The Avilon Zoo is currently the largest zoological institution in the Philippines. Its 7.5 hectare facility houses more than 3,000 specimens of exotic wildlife representing more than 500 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fish, and invertebrates. The zoo also has a diverse collection of Philippine native and endemic fauna.
They offer guided tours for guests to learn about wildlife and the various conservation efforts being done to preserve these threatened species and to protect the environment. For the full experience, you can interact with the animals and feed some of them, too!
Interacting with animals has proven to be extremely therapeutic, and after the year our kids have had (and who knows for how much longer), therapy would probably do us all some good.
2. Dinosaurs Island
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
The first-ever Animatronics dinosaur theme park in the Philippines, Dinosaur Island is designed to offer visitors a unique interactive learning experience of the time of the dinosaurs, complete with life sized creatures and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Among the educational highlights of the park, they also have a multitude of other things to keep the kids engaged. You can take a ride on the Jurassic Jungle Safari (and kill off hungry predators), feed a T-Rex, watch a dinosaur hatch from an egg, experience a 7D dino movie screening, or give some adventure activities a try.
Let the kids’ imaginations run free and soak up prehistoric wilderness as a welcome relief from pandemic life. Because at this point, we’d rather be running away from a gigantic carnivorous reptile than be trapped in a house for much longer.
3. Hiraya Childhood Play Farm
Hiraya Childhood Play Farm is a family run farm where children can enjoy an open and safe environment. With their tagline, “A farm for kids and kids at heart,” it’s a beautiful sanctuary that embraces a humble, authentic, and rural way of life.
The farm spans over 1.2 hectares of flat land at the foot of Mt. Sembrano, where families can come together through hands-on farm experiences. It’s the perfect place for children to play freely and learn from grounding activities, while grown-ups relive their childhood or relax while taking in all the open space.
They offer farm animals interactions, fruit picking, fishing, pottery, bonfires, and mini hikes. They also have childhood games available like patintero, sepak takraw, palosebo, and tiyakad. Tap into your inner child and run wild, because life is not meant to be lived within the confines of four walls.
4. The Fun Farm at Sta. Elena
Sta. Rosa, Laguna
The Fun Farm at Sta. Elena is an outdoor playground where both kids and grown-ups have access to animals and the natural world. They boast amenities and activities ideal for a full day of fun for the whole family, while appreciating all the wonders that nature has to offer.
The kids can keep themselves busy on the obstacle courses and playgrounds, have an adventure in the garden maze, feed the fish, plant trees, or climb up a treehouse to use the viewing deck.
It’s a refreshing escape, even for a day, to unwind and get a feel of the great outdoors. The kids may never want to leave, and honestly, you can’t blame them.
5. The Ayala Triangle Gardens
A fresh breeze and the rustle of trees in this metro oasis is enough to make you forget that you’re actually in the center of Manila’s business district. There’s enough open space to keep yourself socially distanced, and more than enough room to throw a ball around or run wild.
You can even get a workout in while the kids do their thing, or simply just lounge. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours, getting out does wonders for a reset. It’s also a win for everyone to allow the little ones to burn up some of that energy, because we all know what it’s like when kids don’t have that outlet.
6. Legazpi Active Park
Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati
This privately owned public space and pocket park in Legazpi Village has a playground for kids to use, a bike and jogging trail, and enough open ground for everyone to roam free.
If you make your way out there on a Sunday, The Legazpi Sunday Market sets up shop just around the corner. Take advantage of all the goods they have to offer and take it to the park for a family picnic.
7. Subic Bay
Remember the Ocean Park and Zoobic? Your kids have probably been wanting to go back to those places. It’s not everyday they get to feed a tiger up close. Subic Bay has just opened up again to people who are from MGCQ areas with a few requirements. So, you might have to check what they need first and if they’ve got a few hotels open. But Subic’s known for a lot of things including the horse riding club known as El Kabayo where kids can bond with retired military or race horses.
8. Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
Named after one of the very first Philippine heroes, what better way to help your kids celebrate Independence Day than to go to Lapu-Lapu City itself in Cebu? After landing in the Mactan Airport, you’ll find yourself craving for a fresh catch meal since they’re near the beach. And if you’re lucky, you and your kids might be able to catch a play or a representation of the Battle of Mactan by the waters of Lapu-Lapu City.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay, Shang Mactan is a perfect place for your kids with the white beaches, snorkeling, and playground to play in.
9. Baguio City
If you’re craving Baguio Country Club’s Raisin Bread and Strawberry Taho, you’ll be pleased to know that Baugio’s opening its doors again provided you need some documents. But if you’re having that itch to golf and you want your kids to learn how to play golf after hearing about Yuka Saso, you can check in Baguio Country Club or Camp John Hay. Or if you want freshly baked Peanut Brittle, we hear Good Shepherd is open too!
10. SM Aura Sky Park
26th St. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Metro Manila
Remember the Sky Dome in SM North EDSA? SM Aura has one known as the Sky Park! Lining the paths of the sky park are a variety of restaurants which you and your kids can get a cool drink to beat the heat while looking up at the clear blue sky. While there, you can also check out a few stores and shops that are outside. It’s a pretty spacious place so your kids have enough running area.
11. Open Area in Venice Piazza
While we can’t go to Italy to try authentic Pizza and Gelato just yet, we can at least give our kids an overview of what Venice looks like when the world opens up again. For your teenage kids, they’d probably would appreciate this place too, especially if they want to take photos for their social media. And since it’s an open space, there’re less chances of it being crowded and kids can go moving around without causing too much of a ruckus.
12. Marikina Riverbanks
1800 Riverbanks Ave, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
While we often remember Marikina Riverbanks as the culprit to why Marikina always floods, we forget that it’s also a beautiful place to sit down and relax. Marikina Riverbanks is also known as one of the more eco-friendly malls since it’s open air which is good, since COVID-19 spreads faster in enclosed areas. While you’re there are Marikina, you can also get some well-made shoes and support the shoemaking industry in the Philippines.
13. Harbor Square, Pasay City
1202 Bukaneg St, Malate, Manila, 1307 Metro Manila
Harbor Square was known for their line of restaurants and their fantastic view of the bay. Your kids would most likely enjoy watching the ships come in with the cargo (whether bringing fish or other things) while you enjoy a cold drink. On some days though, there are a variety of events like Zumba Classes, Tai Chi classes, and even dance classes. A lot of families come here to stretch their muscles and breathe in the fresh bay air before heading back to work.
14. Biking Areas in BGC
For those from the south and find it a big hassle to head all the way to the UP Oval to bike then, BGC is the place for you! BGC has several biking areas where your kids can either learn how to bike or just practice biking around. Teaching them how to bike helps improve their balance, coordination, leg strength, and lung capacity especially if you want them to get into sports. Some areas like the NBO Bike Lessons can show you what good places there are to bike in Taguig.
15. Farm Hills Silang, Tagaytay
Barangay Ulat Silang Cavite, Tagaytay, 4118
Perhaps one of our greatest frustrations with this pandemic is that we don’t have enough fresh air. But the good news is that Farm Hills in Tagaytay is open for kids now especially since they’re all about alfresco dining. One of the beauties of eating in Tagaytay is that they have a lot of fresh air, especially since they’re not an urban jungle yet like Manila. Besides, it’s also a way to have your kids appreciate nature instead of just seeing it from a computer screen.
16. Angel Fields, Tagaytay
Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Rd, Silang, 4118 Cavite
If you’re seeing angels jump out of your computer, that’s a signal for you and your family to go take a break and visit the Angel Fields in Tagaytay. While you don’t see real angels, you’ll get to experience a paradise similar to what angels do experience. Surrounded by nature and the open fields, Angel Fields offers families and visitors a sanctuary to achieve spiritual and mental peace before having to dive back into work again.
17. Rancho Leonor, Tagaytay
165 R-2, Silang, Cavite
While Subic has El Kabayo Horse Stables, Tagaytay has Rancho Leonor. Riding a horse is something that kids don’t really experience nowadays since majority of the horses are either smaller than them or, a little temperamental. But, the beauty of Rancho Leonor is that majority of these horses may be retired race horses and are guided by stableboys so that they don’t panic or the sort.
18. Yoki’s Farm, Mendez
Tabluan Road, 1, Mendez, Cavite
Known as the South’s Hidden Treasure, Yoki’s Farm takes pride in being able to showcase the beauty of a completely balanced ecosystem. They have a variety of displays, including crops, flowers, and a variety of flora. But they’re not just restrained to plants, they have animals too! They have a variety of exotic animals that your kids can learn about all the while experiencing the beauty of a perfectly balanced ecosystem.
19. Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo
1 Sierra Madre St, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
For your teenage kids who have a passion for art or you wanting to expose your kids to all sorts of art, the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo takes modern-day items to make art. The best part is the Pinto Art Museum is an open-air museum so, lower chances of getting COVID-19. Plus, the Pinto Art Museum is also surrounded by a variety of trees which make sure that the air flowing in and out is always fresh.
20. Teresa’s Garden at Luzville
1 Macopa St, Tanay, Rizal
If you’re looking for a place to have some private time away from all the mess in Manila, Teresa’s Garden’s a good place to start. Around 1.5 to 2 hours away from Manila, Teresa’s Garden has several rooms for your family to stay in. Some of the rooms have bunk beds and others have solo rooms. There’s also a pool in the area to help beat the heat in case you guys want to stop feeling sticky from all the humid air.
21. CVM Orchard and Eco Park
If you’re looking for a place to experience the great outdoors via a camping trip, look no further than CVM Orchard and Eco Park. Take in all the fresh nature sights by pitching up a tent, cooking your own meals, and waiting for the sun to set so you can see the stars glitter in the sky. It’ll be a great experience for your kids too who possibly are the kind to stare at their phone all day. Instead of just watching campfires on TV, they can actually experience one themselves.
22. Philipp’s Sanctuary
Pestaño Farm Trail, Antipolo, Rizal
Famous for being a fun team building resort, Philipp’s Sanctuary offers a lovely mountain get away with fun areas to explore for kids. They’ll have jungle gyms to explore and they’ll even get to go through the different farm trails to experience how nature interacts with one another. If your kids are thrill seekers, they can go ziplining or even kayaking to take in the sights from a different angle. Or, they can also go chill out while fishing.
With travel restrictions constantly changing, we’ll be updating this article as more places open up, or if the rules change with those on this list. Although other places are open, a lot of them are still requiring a lot of logistical stuff so we narrowed it down to places that don’t have much. But, it’s still of utmost importance to stay vigilant with disinfecting as necessary, wearing the proper protective gear, and following guidelines within the venue’s premises.
Check their designated sites or social media pages for bookings, regulations, and more information.