Christmas break is the happiest time of the year that both young and old look forward to. If you're a mom, though, it can be bittersweet: while it's a merry occasion, one of the things you dread for sure is having the kids at home all day with "nothing to do". Don't fret -- the break may only last for 2 and a half weeks but there's definitely no shortage of activities you and the kids will enjoy. From the Smart Parenting family to yours, here's hoping you enjoy these activities and attractions and make holiday memories with your loved ones!
1. Visit the Future Park
Open only until January 31, Future Park is the first interactive digital play place in the country. Kids and kids-at-heart get to immerse in a play experience powered by cutting-edge technology. Take Head Rush, one of their attractions, for example. You get to physically dodge obstacle through a holographic 3D world. A levelled up version of Temple Run! Read more about it here.
The Future Park opens from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. It’s located at 4th Level of Century City Mall along Kalayaan Avenue Century City in Makati. Tickets, priced at P350 on weekdays and P550 on weekends, can be purchased at Ticketworld.com.ph or by contacting 891-9999.
2. See Disney on Ice
Marvel as Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Olaf, Rapunzel, Ariel, Rapunzel and other Disney characters take to the ice for a magical and enchanting performance. Show runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City. Ticket prices start at P175 and can be purchased at Ticketnet outlets or online at Ticketnet.com.ph.
3. Stroll down Policarpio Street
Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong lights up wih beautiful and metriculously decorated houses. Walking through it feels like stepping into a picture book! From Nativity scenes to Santa Clause, the festive scene is an inexpensive way to enjoy some holiday cheer.
Bond with your child and adorn your house with lovely handmade knick knacks by making super cute and kid-friendly DIY crafts and decorations. For ideas and inspiration, check out our list of 9 Christmas DIY Crafts and Decorations.
5. Go on a family vacation to see the latest attractions at Hongkong Disney Land
Planning on taking a holiday this holiday season? Why not go to Disneyland Hongkong and experience all their latest attractions? There's the "Frozen" Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the new show at the Disney’s Storybook Theater called "Mickey & the Wondrous Book", the newest attraction in Fantasyland that is the Fairy Tale Forest and many more. Read more about it here.
6. Catch Hi5 live on stage
Call all the moms and dads, Hi5 is back in Manila! Join Ainsley, Dayen, Mary, Stevie, and Tanika’s slumber party where they enter the magical world of dreams. Ticket prices start at P2,400 and is available at Ticketworld.com.ph.
7. Enjoy Christmas songs performed by an orchestra
What's Christmas without Christmas songs? Treat your senses to the Manila Symphony Orchestra's Music for the Holidays concert. Catch their one night performace at The Theater at Solaire, Solaire Resort & Casino, Parañaque City on Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices start at P780 and are available at Ticketworld.com.ph.
8. Get your hands dirty by trying out organic farming
The Jensen Kinder Farm is well-equipped to teach your child all about farming. They have their own plots that they grow actual crops on, an array of tools, prepared kid-friendly agriculture lessons, poultry and fish, and soon an aquaponics system. Book a tour and let the whole family learn a thing or two at the hands on Jensen Kinder Farm experience. Read all about it here.
9. Play pretend at KidZania
Photo by Vincent Coscolluela
KidZania opened at the latter half of this year and already it's picked up quite a buzz. From police officer to recording artist to urban farmer, kids can choose from over 70 immersive role-play activities inside the amazing KidZania play city that's built-to-scale for children. Read more about it here. Visit Ticketworld.com.ph for tickets.
What's the closest thing to snow you can get here in the Philippines? A Frozen Science Show! Before you judge, hear us out. It's going to be done by the Mind Movers over at The Mind Museum so you know it's not only going to be educational, it will be fun too. Demonstrations are on Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 10 a.m. The Mind Museum is located at J. Y. Campos Park, 3rd Ave, Taguig. Check out their website TheMindMuseum.org for more info.
12. Be enthralled at a lights and sounds show
Photo by Jazer Basan
Everyone looks forward to the annual Christmas Ayala Triangle lights and sounds show. The show is a beautiful 5-minute display of lights and sounds featuring millions of multi-colored LED lights, shaped rays, long beams, fogs and lasers all synchronized to the sound of Christmas songs. This year's theme is "Beats and Hues" so don't miss it. Playing now until Jan. 4, 2016, it plays every 30 minutes from 6PM to 10PM.
Greenhills Shopping Center is again bringing The Christmas on Display back. A display of moving mannequins will tell a story with this year's theme "A Hometown Christmas". Share the old traditions with your kids by coming to see the show happening now until Jan. 30 every 30 mins. from 6:30pm-11:30pm. The Greenhills Shopping Center is located at Ortigas Ave., Greenhills, San Juan.
14. Embrace your family's inner geek at a Star Wars exhibit
The SM Mall of Asia has a new exhibit and it's come right in time for the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Star Wars exhibit has a life-size replica of the X-Wing Fighter on display, PlayStation4 stations for playing Star Wars Battlefront on, cool merch to buy and Star Wars figures to marvel at. The exhibit will be up in the mall's Atrium area from now until Jan 3.
15. Watch Christmas movies
Photo still from Home Alone (1990)/Hughes Entertainment
Rewatch some favorite family Christmas movies like Home Alone, Elf, The Muppets Christmas Carol and you can even introduce your kids to the oldie but goodie classic It's a Wonderful Life. For more suggestions, take a look at our list of 10 Favorite Family Christmas Movies.
16. Shop for toys
Can there be a more perfect season to shop for toys than Christmas? If you're looking for non-gadget gift suggestions, we've got the perfect list for you here. It's got toys like the Taste n' Fun Ice Cream Maker, Tegu Wooden Blocks, craZsand and the I Do 3D Draw in 3D Pens.
17. Spread the love, give to charity
Christmas is the season of giving so spead the love everywhere by giving to charity. Involve the kids by giving pre-loved toys (you can do this at Jollibee's Maagang Pasko), children's books (National Book Store offers children's books at their counters specially for this) or family Noche Buena packages (give at Habitat for Humanity Philippines' Pamaskong Handog).
18. Watch local films at the Metro Manila Film Festival
If you're shying away from mainstream media and looking for films more on the indie side, you might not know it but the Metro Manila Film Festival can provide. There's animated shorts like Little Lights, Alamat ng Giraffe and The Seed. There's also the feature-length film Turo-tuto which tells the tale of a "no read, no write" father and his son who teaches him how to. For a complete list of films and schedules, visit the MMFF New Wave Facebook page.
19. Buy tickets for the upcoming KidsFest
Catch international theatre productions for kids here in the Philippines early next year. Direct from London's West End comes The Gruffalo, Aliens Love Underpants and Erth's Dinosaur Zoo. For more info, visit the Kidsfest Manila Facebook page.