Most families typically take advantage of long weekends and holidays by driving out of town for a vacation. However, those willing to remain within city limits can find plenty to do in the metro, with the added perk of having the roads practically all to themselves. Pasay City is one of the best places for a family staycation, with a good number of accommodation options and several activities for kids and parents to enjoy. Below are some of our favorites:
Check into a Resort Hotel
The city’s proximity to Ninoy Aquino International Airport makes it a foreigner-friendly spot, and plenty of hotels in Pasay pride themselves on having a full range of in-house services. First-class accommodations, fine dining selections, a spa, and various children’s activities and workshops can all be found in under one roof, or within the same complex.
Notable spots include Resorts World Manila, an integrated resort located just across NAIA Terminal 3. There are four hotels in the compound, a shopping mall, premium cinemas, and an assortment of entertainment options, including nightclubs, a theater, and a casino. City of Dreams Manila is a similar resort and casino complex where you can choose from 6 luxury hotels to stay in, all with access to the DreamWorks Animation theme park called DreamPlay, a Virtual Reality arcade, international nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Most hotels include swimming pools and fitness centers among their amenities; some even offer kid-exclusive play areas and workshops for the little ones.
Venture into a Museum
A day at the museum can be both fun and educational, and there are several in Pasay worth a look. There’s the CCP Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino, located in the CCP Complex along Roxas Boulevard, an integrated humanities museum that aims to showcase and preserve various aspects of Filipino art and culture. The GSIS Museo ng Sining features colonial to contemporary period Filipino-made artworks as well as rotating exhibits.
The Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum in Villamor will delight anyone with an interest in aviation—it features several sections dedicated to the history of the Philippine Air Force, science and technology, art, and an outdoor display for retired aircraft. Less formal, more fun-focused museums include the Upside-Down Museum, also located in the CCP complex, an illusion museum designed to boggle and enchant young minds; and the Dessert Museum in S Maison, a colorful interactive museum where kids and their parents can eat their way through 8 dessert-themed rooms.
Visit an Amusement Park
Before Enchanted Kingdom was built in San Pablo, Laguna, Star City was the amusement park of choice for many Filipino families. Established in the early ‘90s at the CCP Complex, it is the only all-weather amusement park in the country, with 70% of its attractions located indoors in a fully-airconditioned space. To this day, rides like the Grand Carousel, Viking, and Jungle Splash continue to entertain children of all ages, and they’ve only added more features since then.
There’s also Kidzooona, an indoor playground located inside the W Mall along Macapagal Avenue. Guaranteed hours of fun for small children, Kidzooona branches often feature ball pits, a dedicated roleplay section, and various areas that encourage physical activity.
Finally, DreamPlay at City of Dreams Manila is sure to attract fans of Dreamworks Animation—it’s an indoor theme park where kids can play, create and learn with their favorite characters from Kung-Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, the Shrek trilogy, and more. Notable features include cooking classes with Gingy, the gingerbread man from Shrek, a virtual kung-fu lesson conducted by the Furious Five from Kung-Fu Panda, and the Dreamtheater, where the entire family can watch classic Dreamworks Animation titles.
Go to a Shopping Mall
Pasay is home to SM Mall of Asia (MoA), a gargantuan lifestyle and shopping destination with over 600 shops and 217 dining establishments. In the Philippines, malls offer much more than shopping—the MoA complex includes an amusement park along Manila Bay aptly called SM By the Bay, which features an assortment of both thrill and kiddie rides, including the air-conditioned Ferris wheel called the MOA Eye.
There’s also an ice-skating rink, the Mall of Asia Arena, where world-famous artists such as Lady Gaga and Maroon 5 have performed, and the SMX Convention Center, which hosts a number of comic book, anime, cosplay, and game conventions throughout the year. Mall of Asia continues to be expanded, and attractions soon to open include a history-themed interactive museum, a FIFA World Cup-size football pitch, and a botanical garden.
There’s no need to go far to find places where you can have fun with the rest of the family. A short staycation in Pasay City is a perfect opportunity to make happy memories that both the young and the young-at-heart will cherish.
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