Here are places, books, games, movies and more that you can enjoy with your children this year. Or, as we like to call them—20 ways to lead your kids away from their gadgets.
1) National Planetarium
The National Planetarium reopened in 2019 after renovations. You can explore the solar system and view the gallery for free, but if you want to watch any of the Planetarium shows (there are three: “A Planet for Goldilocks,” “Hayabusa: Back to the Earth” and “Journey to a Billion Suns”), there’s a charge of P30 for students, P50 for adults and P40 for senior citizens and PWD. Children need to be at least 4 years old to enter the show.
The Planetarium: Dr. Jose P. Rizal Park, Padre Burgos Avenue Ermita, Manila; open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays.
Bring your kids to Kidzania for realistic role-play experiences and help them discover and nurture their interests and passions. They can try various professions—being a pilot, a police officer, a journalist, a baker, an actor, an athlete and more. The role-playing are for kids age 4 to 17, but toddlers can also have fun at designated areas.
Kidzania: Park Triangle in BGC; open 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays to Fridays, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; manila. kidzania.com or book through KTX or Ticketworld. Tickets also available at the venue.
3) ABS-CBN Studio Experience
Is your family Kapamilya? Then get tickets to Studio XP at TriNoma where you get to step into the world of ABS-CBN. Talk to your favorite stars at the Celebrity Calling booth, perform tasks from Kuya inside the Pinoy Big Brother house, star in your favorite movie scenes at Starlab, and more. And if you get hungry, we recommend the komiks-inspired burgers at Heroes Burger—they’re pretty damn good.
XPasses are available at the venue or ktx.abs-cbn.com. Ticket prices range from P275 (returning guests) to P375 (XPass Prime).
4) Dinosaur Island
Travel back into the dinosaur age, explore the dino trail, visit the Unearth Museum, watch dinosaurs come to life and ride the Jurassic Jungle Safari for thrills.
Dinosaur Island: Clark Picnic Grounds, Gil Puyat Avenue, Mabalacat, Pampanga; open Mondays to Sundays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets are P350 for adults, P300 for kids age 16 and below. Tickets available at the venue or through Ticketworld or Klook.
5) ‘Snow White and the Prince’
Repertory Philippines stages this clever retelling of the classic fairy tale, with book, music and lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. In this musical, Snow White meets a handsome prince at her birthday ball but her evil stepmother gets in the way. Directed by Joy Virata, it will have its run beginning September at Onstage Theatre at Greenbelt Mall in Makati.
Tickets (P600 to P1,000) are available at Ticketworld.com.ph.
6) National Museum of Natural History
There’s much to see and learn in this beautiful museum, which opened in 2018. Don’t miss the Tree of Life, the rainforest and mangrove dioramas, and Lolong (the skeleton of the Philippine’s largest crocodile in captivity.
National Museum of Natural History: Agrifina Circle, Rizal Park, corner T.M. Kalaw and General Luna Streets, Manila; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesdays to Sundays. Entrance is free.
7) ‘Nasaan Po Sila?’
Let your kids find hidden objects in this series of books by Jomike Tejido. There are many titles in this series including books inspired by the Philippines, Asia, the World, and Outer Space. The text is in Filipino and English. Each book is P150.
8) Climb Central
This indoor rock-climbing gym is family-friendly and offers kid-size climbing shoes and harnesses. Kids need to be at least 5 years old and 20 kilograms and 1.1 meters tall to enter.
Climb Central: The Portal, Mayflower Street, Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City; open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends and public holidays, and 1 p.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays.
9) Monopoly Cash Grab
This new version of the classic board game will have your whole family rushing to grab as much cash and chance cards as the Money Blaster blasts them into the air. The player with the most cash at the end of the game wins. There’s also a Monopoly for Millennials game with the tagline, “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.” Both games are available at Toy Kingdom for P1,299.75 each.
The live action movie “Mulan” is coming to theaters this year. But before that, watch first the animation on which it was based. Make it a family movie night. Pass the popcorn and sit back to enjoy this tale of a fearless young woman who disguises herself as a man to join a war.