It’s summertime, and the kids are on vacation! But instead of video games and YouTube, how about some fun under the sun? Don’t forget the sunscreen when you visit these outdoor parks and playgrounds, all within Metro Manila.
Jaime C. Velasquez Park Open daily Location: Between Tordesillas and L.P. Leviste streets in Salcedo Village, Makati
It is home to Art in the Park and the Salcedo Weekend Market. But when those events are not happening, it's a nice and compact park that for the kids to get some sun. It has small playground.
La Mesa Ecopark Open daily, 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Location: Quezon City
Dad Edmund Martinez says: “There are picnic tables. You can also sit under a tree. There’s a butterfly garden and a playground outside. There are lots of trees, and you can go and see the top of the dam.”
Entrance fee: Php40 for QC residents (with proof of residence) Php20 for Quezon City students (with valid ID) Php50 for everyone else
Legazpi Active Park Open daily Location: Between Gamboa and Legazpi Streets in Legazpi Village, Makati
Mom Corinna Pettyjohn says: “My daughter goes to Legazpi park every day. There's a small playset, an area for exercise, and a jogging path. They sometimes have concerts and movie showings.”
Mom Anna C. Gamboa adds: “Bring sunscreen! It's not very well-covered, as the trees are still growing back.”
Mehan Garden Open daily Location: Plaza Lawton next Manila City Hall
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As Carlos Celdran mentioned, this green space is where you will find the students of Universidad de Manila practicing dancing, studying, and using the free wifi. It’s a nice place to stroll and comfortably spend the day thanks to shaded nooks.
Entrance fee: Free
Mind Museum outdoor park Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays Location: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, The Fort, Taguig City
If your kid is too young to appreciate the Mind Museum, maybe you can bring her to Science-in-the-Park. The exhibits are divided into four themed pockets: Music, Math, Living and Water. Through slides, drums, bubbles and various interactive displays, families can have fun while learning about science concepts.
Entrance fee: Free for ticket holders of The Mind Museum. For others, the admission is Php100
Museo Pambata Playground Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sundays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and selected official holidays Location: Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila
Who hasn’t spent a whole day roaming around the many exhibits? You can learn about the environment, old Manila, planet Earth, the human body, career choices and children’s rights. But most people don’t know there’s a playground outside! There’s an old helicopter that’s been upcycled and named the Tutubing Bakal Peace helicopter. Sometimes there are storytelling sessions and games here. You can even rent the venue for a party!
Entrance fee: Php250/head (for children above 2 years old and adults) Museum workers and teachers (with valid IDs) - FREE Manila residents (with valid IDs) - FREE on Tuesdays and 50% discount on other days
Quezon Memorial Circle Open daily Location: Quezon City
Mom Darlene Ramos Gan says: “I was there just this April with my daughter. We didn't go to QMC for the playground. We were there to accompany my mother-in-law to the garden supplies area. Amy was getting bored, so we went exploring. That was when we discovered the playground behind the garden stalls! Surprisingly, it was in good condition, for a public park.
"It was around noon so I was expecting it to be very hot, but it wasn't because of the canopy of trees. We didn't spend anything, because we didn't expect to find a playground there. But there were street food stalls and bike rentals.”
Entrance fee: Free
Terra 28th Open daily Location: 28th St., Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig
Who would have expected a small playground in BGC to bring back traditional Filipino games? Aside from curiously designed slides and monkey bars, there are play spaces for piko, patintero and luksong baka. There aren’t too many trees though, so if you’re there in the daytime, slather on the sunscreen!
Entrance fee: Free
Washington Sycip Park Open daily Location: Legaspi St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Just across the street from Legaspi Active Park is the more densely-wooded Washington Sycip Park. Mom Corinna Pettyjohn says: “It has koi ponds, gazebos, a Japanese garden and some art installations. There are clean bathrooms, but you have to pay Php10. Parking should be easy on weekends, as there are two parking lots nearby. And the Legazpi Market is next door on Sundays.”