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Booked a Family Vacation in Cebu? Don't Miss This Digital PlaygroundKids and even kids-at-heart will enjoy playing inside this indoor playground!by Kitty Elicay .
Cebu is a great family-friendly destination known for its white sand beaches, adventure parks, and tasty lechon. But if your summer travels include a visit to this beautiful city, you're in luck because there’s a new attraction you can't miss. It's called PlayLab, the first permanent and interactive digital playground located in Robinsons Galleria Cebu, and SmartParenting.com.ph got a sneak peek!
PlayLab makes use of technology for its 14 attractions, so it feels like you're in a futuristic video game the moment you step inside. Many of its attractions feature giant LED screens where children (and parents!) can immerse and create various experiences through play. It’s a vast space at 850 square meters so up to 170 children can play all at once.
You may think what makes it different from your child using gadgets. But the attractions do encourage the kids to move, learn, and mingle with the other kids, so they're not just sitting on the couch for hours. According to Darwin Renolayan, Robinsons Land Corp.’s (RLC) regional operating manager, the attractions were chosen after consulting with developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists; parents, are assured they’re safe, wholesome, and fun for the little ones.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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Kids 6 years old and above may play without a guardian since there are trained staff inside the playground. They can also assist the younger ones on how to manipulate the different attractions, especially if they’re visiting for the first time.
A mom we met during our visit told us her son had already visited the park a few times since its soft opening in December. “I limit my son’s gadget use, but my husband and I let him play here since it’s a playground for his generation,” says Azenith Jacalan, who homeschools her son Joshua. “We like that the kids still get to play with each other and not just stare at the screen.”
While you’re waiting for PlayLab to come to Manila (RLC says they’re planning to open branches in Robinsons’ premiere malls like Galleria Ortigas, Magnolia, and Manila within the year), here’s what to expect when you visit the playground in Cebu:
Tap ‘N GlowADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
The moment you enter the play area, you’ll see an installation consisting of brightly colored lights. Think of it as an electronic drawing pad — kids can trace patterns and watch as the light changes hue with every tap and swipe. Ask your kids to make a “light angel” by moving his arms up and down while his back is on the screen and take an Instagram-worthy snap!ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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The large-scale interactive video projection allows kids to create art through movement. They can step in front of the screen and raise their hands, dance, or run around. They’ll see a digital reflection made up of fire, light streaks, meteor showers, or streams of fluid. It’s like the universe is literally at their fingertips.
Music WallADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
This attraction lets kids learn music virtually. Each tap produces a different note so kids can play the piano, percussions, trumpet, violin, and guitar even without the actual instruments.
Save the Reef
Teach your kids to care for the environment and preserve our country's beautiful corals by throwing softballs on the screen and targeting harmful trash floating amongst marine animals.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Piece together different shapes, and your kids can create their virtual rocket ship using the touchscreen! Once they’ve accomplished the task (choose from three levels of difficulty), they can “launch” the rocket and see it blast off on the giant screen in front of them!
Butterfly GardenADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Just like the Tangram, kids can color their butterflies via touchscreen and see it fly amongst the other kids’ creations.
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Sand BoxADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Dig deep and get their hands “dirty” by making sandcastles, animals, and more! This attraction makes use of 3D cameras and augmented reality—depending on the height of the structure they’re building, sensors will identify it as belonging to mountains, land, or sea and project it onto a screen.
Live ForestADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Live Forest is one of the attractions that will inspire awe and wonder! Choose an animal template and color it to your heart’s content. Afterwards, a PlayLab PH staff will scan it and in seconds you’ll see your artwork become part of the virtual jungle onscreen!
Poppin’ PondADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Yes, the screens inside the playground are durable and are designed for interactive play, so feel free to marvel at the colorful stars and bubbles and watch them burst as you slide down.
There are a whole lot more attractions in store for children inside the playground, like Room Racers, which combine 3D gameplay with live action — they can design tracks, checkpoints, and finish lines using actual toys, and then let a virtual car race through their creation. Head Rush enables them to race against other kids using virtual reality and 3D glasses. Avoid obstacles by running, bending, and jumping and get to the finish line before their opponent does! Growth Chart uses cameras to detect their height while World of Zodiacs transforms them into the different animals represented by the zodiac. Light Brite lets them use their hands and create their own light installation using colored acrylic pegs, making the possibilities endless.
PlayLab will open new attractions in the coming months, so kids definitely won't get bored even after a few visits. Entrance fee is P200 for the first two hours on weekdays and P250 on weekends (additional P100 for every succeeding hour).ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
PlayLab is located at The Greens, Level 1 at Robinsons Galleria Cebu.