Manila activities for children and kids

Teach your kids how to ice skate in Manila

Teach your kids how to ice skate in Manila

Manila is a vibrant city with an excellent blend of sights, sounds, colours plus friendly and hospitable locals, which make it a good place for children to enjoy fun activities. To kids, it can be a big and spiralling jungle made of concrete, or a wonderland where they can feel secure while having the time of their lives. It just depends on where you bring them.

Filipinos generally adore kids so if you decide to take your little ones with you on a trip to Manila, you can expect a lot of locals to admire your family and tell you how cute your child is. But while local government is continuously making Manila a safe place for everyone including children, it still pays to practice extra caution when bringing your children to public places like malls, tourist attractions and outside in the streets. The main hazards for kids in Manila is getting lost, traffic and pollution.

Fun everyday activities for kids in Manila

Boat rides
Manila Bay remains among the top attractions of Manila, so if your kids are the adventurous type, take them on a boat ride on the water. Tour agencies can arrange for a Manila Bay boat ride for you and your family. You can also consider looking up the yacht charters of the Manila Yacht Club if you want to go sailing with your family. More on day trips.

Sightseeing
Manila is home to fascinating places to stir your kids' imagination while making sure they have fun. The main attractions include the Manila Ocean Park, Museo Pambata (Children's Museum), Rizal Park or Luneta, Coconut Palace and Manila Zoo. More on attractions.

Go skating
The SM Mall of Asia houses the only ice skating rink in Manila which is open all year round. The ice skating rink is located in the food court area. For roller skating, try Luneta or Rizal Park where there is an outdoor roller skating rink. More on activities.

Video games
If your kids are fond of video games, take them to the SM Mall of Asia where there are quality gaming arcades such as Power Station and Timezone. You can also take them to Netopia Internet Cafes if your kids enjoy network or online gaming. Netopia also has a branch in SM Mall of Asia as well as in Robinsons Place Manila and Harrison Plaza.

Kids love super-sweet Filipino dessert Halo Halo

Kids love super-sweet Filipino dessert Halo Halo

Shopping Centres
Manila is home to large shopping centres housing plenty of shops, entertainment, state-of-the-art cinemas and dining establishments suitable for every taste and budget. Shopping centres are also equipped with children's playgrounds and gaming arcades, and there are also daycare centres so your kids can have fun while you are shopping. Manila's malls are air-conditioned and very modern with a plethora of popular fast-food restaurants kids love like KFC and McDonald's. The SM Mall of Asia is the largest shopping centre in Manila and it also has a playground by the bay area. More on shopping malls.

Amusement parks
Manila's amusement parks are seasonal and open during peak seasons like summer and near Christmas and New Year's. Star City is the leading amusement park in Manila, but you can also take your kids to malls for indoor amusement parks if Star City is closed. More on amusement parks.

Search hotels near Manila Ocean Park

Travelling with children in Manila

Taking kids to a foreign destination can become tedious so it pays to do your research and know which places can truly appeal to your entire family. Fortunately, Manila offers a lot of activities. Filipinos love kids and they can't help but adore foreign children, so you won't have a hard time looking for babysitters or people to amuse your children in case they start becoming impatient or restless.

Getting around with kids in Manila is easy and travelling around with them won't be expensive. You can bring them with you to a lot of places because you can find impromptu activities for them. Still, don't expect your kids to be in a Disneyland type of place, but with advanced planning on where you can take your kids, you can assure them of a good and fun time in Manila.

The city can be large and overwhelming for a child especially because of the heavy traffic and humid weather. Just be sure to keep your child close to you or have a trusted adult look after them for you. Kidnapping cases in the city have gone down in the last ten years, but fair-skinned children may become a target, so it pays to be extra careful.

Stray dogs are also common in the city and kids should refrain from summoning or touching them as there is a risk of rabies. Mosquitoes may also be common especially during the rainy season, and they may cause dengue fever. Therefore, have your kids wear mosquito repellent and protective clothing when going out and have them stay indoors at nightfall. There is no risk of malaria in Manila. More on health.

Manila offers a wide variety of food choices for kids and you can find a McDonald's or any other internationally known fast food restaurant almost anywhere in the city. In-season fruits can also be introduced to kids as well as local sweets made of milk and sugar with healthy ingredients like coconut.

Make sure your kids wear protective clothing and sunscreen and that they keep themselves hydrated all the time. The high-end hospitals of Manila offer good services and quality health care in case your child gets sick so don't think twice about taking him or her to the doctor. The most common complaint of tourists is diarrhoea especially if they have low tolerance for local delicacies or street food.

Travel tip
It is easy to show your kids a good time while they’re in Manila because the city has a good selection of larger four to five-star hotels with family-friendly accommodation and facilities such as playgrounds and games rooms. Smaller hotels and budget accommodation make up for lack of a playground or a daycare with an attentive and caring staff. They can even offer you personal recommendations regarding where you can go with your kids while in Manila so the entire family can have fun. More on hotels.

Some points to keep in mind with children in Manila

Here are some points to consider before you take your kids to Manila for a holiday. Remember these pointers to ensure you and your children can make the most of your stay in the Philippines capital city.

Teach children about cute civets in Manila Zoo

Teach children about cute civets in Manila Zoo

Remember the heat: Because of global warming, temperatures in Manila can become extremely hot especially during the summer so exercise caution when exposing your kid to extreme temperatures. A strong sunblock and hats are advisable to have throughout the year.

Reconsider using a pushchair: Manila streets and pavements are not really smooth enough for pushchairs and potholes are very common in undeveloped areas of the city. Therefore, you are better off using a pushchair in shopping centres and enclosed tourist sites where the flooring is more stable and smoother. Consider using a taxi to get around in Manila instead of walking from one place to another.

Adult-oriented areas: Manila does have an underground sex industry, which is obvious in some areas of the city such as Malate and even on the bay area by night. If you have teenagers with you on your trip, exercise caution when letting them explore the city at night.

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