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Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It’s located in Luzon, the largest island among the approximately 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago. My childhood was spent growing up in this busy metropolis where spanking new condominium skyscrapers and shopping malls rise alongside old historic sites reminiscent of the country’s long account of colonialism. The Filipino culture is very family oriented. They also love to have fun. You will see a plethora of establishments that aim to cater to that. Consider this article a starter guide for the best places to visit in Manila with kids.
You might also like to read our article on the Things You Need to Know Before Visiting the Philippines.
Located in the City of Dreams, DreamPlay is an immersive experience that brings the family together through education, technology and entertainment. The attraction showcases beloved characters and stories from DreamWorks Animation feature films. Expect to interact with themed environments inspired by movies such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon, and Madagascar.
They admit adults too if you are a kid at heart or have no child with you. Children and adults share the same admission rates while kids below two feet in height are admitted for free.
Admission rates for each person may vary according to the day you are visiting. Weekdays start from PHP 680.00 ($ 13.00) while weekends and holidays can get up to PHP 880.00 ($ 18.00). Annual passes are also available for PHP 8000 ($ 159.00).
Nothing suggests family fun more than an amusement park. Star City is located within the CCP Complex in Pasay. With attractions that caters from the kids to the adults, this park will surely fill your day with fun while you’re in the city.
Unlike most theme parks in the USA where the cost of admission includes unlimited rides, Star City has different packages that will suit your budget. It costs Php 80.00 ($ 1.50) to get in and an additional fee for rides, shows and games. Three rides will cost Php 440.00 ($ 8.75) while an unlimited ride pass will cost you Php 490.00 ($ 9.75). You can read more about their different promo packages in their website.
The Mind Museum
We have always loved science museums. You will find The Mind Museum in Taguig, south-eastern part of Metro Manila. Spark curiousity with the 250 interactive exhibits and galleries in this award-winning science museum. From cellular biology to the astronomical wonders of the cosmos, a trip to this museum is packed with learning fun.
The Mind Museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. An All-Day Pass will cost Php 750 ($14.50) per person (adult or child). A cheaper Three-Hour Pass is available for Php 625 ($12.00) per adult while children are charged Php 475 ($9.00). Children under two feet height are free. Reservations are not required.
La Mesa Eco Park
Appreciate nature while enjoying tons of family friendly activities in La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon City. Ride a horse, rent a bike, conquer the ziplines, have a picnic, catch a fish, or climb a wall. Bring your swim gear as they have a pool too. Have cash with you. You have to pay for each activity and facility that you want to do or use.
The entrance fee is Php 50 ($1.00) for non-residents. The pool can be accessed for Php 80 ($1.50) for adults and Php 40 ($0.75) for kids. You have to pay for the fish you caught for Php 80 ($1.50) per kilo. Bike rentals start at Php 50 ($1.00). Php 200 ($4.00) is the cost for using the zip lines. Round tables are free to use for picnics. Huts are available to rent for Php 500 ($10.00).
Kidzania is an indoor play place for children ages 1-17 years old. It’s an international franchise that made its way to Manila. Kidzania is a city for kids where they can role play real jobs. They take on roles like banker, firefighter, doctor, scientist, pilot, baker, and so on. Kidzania even has its own currency! Children get to practice independence and learn about fiscal responsibilities while having fun. There is a toddler section for those who are younger than four years old.
Toddler rates start at Php 500 ($9.61). Kids aged 4-17 years has tickets at Php 900 ($17.00). Adults have to pay Php 630 ($12.00). Children younger than 12 months are free.
Upside Down Museum
Get your camera-ready! Your family will have tons of fun doing silly shots in the Upside Down Museum. Housing several quirky and some oversized illusions, you can stage humorous scenes with your kids here. From floating in a room to your kid lifting a car, set your imaginations free and you would never look at anything the same way again. There’s even a gigantic foot to step on you a la “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!”.
The fun and exciting museum is open during Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It costs Php 450 ($8.64).
Museo Pambata is Filipino for “Children’s Museum”. This is the first interactive museum designed for the kids in the Philippines. It definitely inspired the rise of more hands-on learning venues for children in the city. While some might say that its age shows in the lack of updates, the pioneering museum still holds interesting exhibits, shows, and events that showcase the Filipino history and lifestyle that appeal to adults and children alike. This museum is more true to its roots of being Filipiniana compared to the other spots here, which is great if you want to learn more about the Philippines.
This is one of the most affordable stops you can do with the kids as admission rates start at only Php 250 ($5.00) for ages two and up. It’s free for Manila residents, teachers and museum workers. ID’s will be required to avail of complimentary passes.
Manila Ocean Park
Ever dreamed of being an aquanaut or a mermaid? You can be both in Manila Ocean Park. They offer these unique marine encounters alongside educational shows about our aquatic friends. Walk through one of the world’s best oceanariums. Sit back and relax as fishes feast on your dead skin cells from your foot in the fish spa. Seal your whole experience with a kiss from one of the sea lions. And if you can’t get enough of that, you can also book a room in their hotel which has Aqua Rooms with walls of aquariums of fishes and jellyfishes.
There are several packages that you could choose from. Prices start at Php 590 ($11.50).
Art in Island
Art in Island is the largest 3D art museum in Asia. The walls and floors are full of murals, which you can use to shoot out-of-this-world scenes. You have to take note that the gallery is entirely shoe-free. They will ask you to leave your shoes in their shoe counters. This is in line with their efforts to reduce damage on the paintings. Bring your own non-slip socks if you are not a fan of being barefoot.
Art In Island is open to public Tuesdays until Sundays from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Entrance fee is Php 500 ($9.63) for adults and Php 400 ($7.70) for students. The latter will probably require school IDs as proof. They do not accept online reservations or credit card payments. Make sure you call ahead to check if they are fully booked. Bring cash with you.
Rizal Park is the first urban park in Asia located in the heart of Manila. The park pays tribute to the country’s national hero Jose Rizal. You can see an obelisk with a bronze monument of him with Philippine Marines always on patrol. It is believed that his remains are being interred here. Jose Rizal was executed in this area by the Spanish firing squad for his written works that inspired the Philippine Revolution. The park has since grown from its gruesome past as a landmark for tourists and locals alike. Various events are held here like concerts and movie showings. There is also a children’s playground where the kids could roam.
There is no admission fee. Win!
There are several kid friendly places in Manila. Most of these attractions cost less than $15.00 per person, which gives you plenty of room to enjoy each of their offerings. Public transportation and delicious food are abundant and affordable which makes exploring Manila with kids doable.
Where to Stay in Manila, Philippines
Have you been to this city? What’s your favorite place to go in Manila with the kids? Share in the comments below.