Take it Outside: 10 Outdoor Experiences to Try in Metro Manila with Your Kids


By Nina Malanay

There is something fundamentally healthy about being outdoors. Perhaps it’s the fresh air, the warm sunshine, or simply being one with nature.

The outdoors is undoubtedly the best place for children to learn and practice emerging physical skills. Children freely experience and master gross motor skills like leaping, running and jumping, as well as manipulation skills like pushing, pulling, kicking or throwing.

But the outdoors has something more to offer than just physical skills. Through outdoor play, cognitive and socio-emotional aspects are developed too. Children learn communication and negotiation skills. It promotes autonomy and decision-making, enhances creativity, and teaches social customs and dynamics. Kids learn how we fit in the natural order of things through interaction with the natural environment. It is the ultimate place for children to be children because being outdoors fulfills children’s basic needs for freedom, experimentation, risk -taking, adventure and fun.

Families living in highly urbanized communities often find it a bit challenging to find a safe place for children to just roam around and experience the great outdoors. But kids need not feel trapped in the concrete jungle of Metro Manila because we’ve rounded up a list of cool places to take the entire family to experience the great outdoors without even leaving the metro.

1. UP Sunken Garden and Oval

On weekends, the UP Academic Oval is closed to vehicles making it the perfect place to go biking or jogging. In the middle of the Academic Oval is the Sunken Garden, with its vast field ideal for playing football, Frisbee, flying a kite or just simply running around. Lay a mat or blanket under one of the acacia trees and have a picnic. If you get hungry, have your fill of street food from vendors selling kwek-kwek, isaw, dirty ice cream, karyoka and fish balls.

Address: University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City

2. RAVE Pasig

RAVE or Rainforest Park as it was originally known among Pasiguenos, is a humble oasis in the heart of Pasig City. It boasts of jogging paths, well-manicured gardens, a mini-zoo, playground, public pool and fitness center. When it was rebranded a few years ago to RAVE or Rainforest Adventure Experience, new attractions were added, namely, a zip line, boating lagoon, wall climbing and a skate park. Whether you are seeking an adrenaline rush or just wanting to commune with nature, RAVE Pasig has something in store for everyone.

Address: F. Legaspi St., Maybunga, Pasig City
Website: http://rave.pasigcity.gov.ph/

3. Terra 28th

Somewhere in busy BGC is a patch of open space called Terra 28th. It has a jogging path, interactive art installations, and a playground. But what makes Terra 28th unique is its “Larong Pinoy” area that promotes traditional Filipino games. Stick figure drawings on the markers encourage and teach kids to play timeless Pinoy games like patintero, piko, holen, and luksong baka.

Address: 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

4. La Mesa Eco Park

The La Mesa Eco Park is a 33-hectare ecological reserve site in Quezon City that was developed to protect the La Mesa Watershed, a major source of drinking water for millions of residents of Metro Manila. More than just a park, families can have picnics, go biking, take the trail to the mini forest, swim in the pool, or go fishing or boating in the lagoon. It also has an Adventure Zone with a zip line, archery, and bungee jumping.

Address: La Mesa Dam Compound, Greater Lagro, Quezon City

5. Flying Trapeze

Flying Trapeze Philippines is the first and only trapeze rig in the country. Kids (and kids at heart!) as young as 6 years old can join a two-hour class where they will be taught the basics of trapeze flying. The highlight, of course, is jumping off the 25ft high platform and flying in the air! Talk about the ultimate adrenaline rush!

Address: Lot 11-A, 34th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Website: www.trapeze.ph

6. City Kart Racing

Satisfy your need for speed at City Kart Racing, a 600-m outdoor race track in Makati. The specially-designed race track has straight roads and technical turns to challenge beginners and advanced racers. Even kids 4ft and above can try their hand at driving because there are karts for every age and skill level. A safety briefing is mandatory for first time racers. Whether you are feeling competitive or just in the mood for trying something new, this promises to be a lot of fun.

Address: AP Reyes St., Brgy. Carmona, Makati
Contact Number: 0915-4471060

7. Rizal Park

No childhood is complete without at least one visit to Rizal Park or Luneta. This iconic park is a historical and cultural landmark as much as it is a childhood family tradition to many. With over 60 hectares of open spaces, ornamental gardens, paved walks and ponds, Rizal Park offers kids and families a beautiful backdrop for picnics and enjoying the great outdoors. Visit the iconic Rizal Monument where Jose Rizal’s remains are buried, the tableau featuring the exact site of the National Hero’s execution, the Children’s Playground, and at night fall, enjoy the Musical Dancing Fountain Show.

Address: Roxas Boulevard, Manila

8. Bambike Ecotours Intramuros

Roam around the Walled City and visit the cultural and historical sites on hand-made bamboo bikes. Choose between the Full Intramuros Experience and the Express Tour, or you may even opt to rent the bikes and explore the vicinity on your own. Who says learning about history is boring? Now, you and your family can engage in a fun physical activity while learning about Philippine history and culture – perfect for a family bonding activity.

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St., cor General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila
Website: http://bambike.com/intramuros-experience

9. Star City Adventure Zone

Unleash your kid’s pent-up energy with the wide range of outdoor activities Star City Adventure Zone has to offer. Play a friendly game of Jurassic Mini Golf, unleash your inner Ninja Warrior by having a go at wall climbing, zoom through the park on a zip line, compete in a game of paintball, test your balance and precision by walking on the High Ropes, and ride on the Ninebot, a battery-powered electric vehicle. With so much in store for the whole family, everyone will surely have fun while keeping your kids active and physically fit.

Address: Vicente Sotto St, CCP Complex, Pasay City
Website: http://www.starcityadventurezone.net/index.php

10. Blue Bay Walk

Blue Bay Walk or The Met is the ideal place for wholesome family fun. It has a wide open space where kids can run around, ride a bike or fly a kite. Restaurants line the park, making it convenient should the kids get hungry after an afternoon of playing. Occasionally, special events such as outdoor film showing, sunset music jams, and fire and LED shows are held at The Met.

Address: Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard cor EDSA, Pasay City
Website: https://www.facebook.com/BlueBayWalkOfficial/

Spending time outdoors has loads of benefits, not only for the kids, but for the entire family as well. Ultimately, the biggest gain is the fun memories shared together as a family. So what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy the great outdoors.


Nina Malanay is a mother to two rambunctious, affectionate boys, aged 7 and 4. Her husband-slash-best friend died in a tragic bombing incident in 2013. As she tries to navigate through life with her boys as a solo parent, she hopes to rediscover herself beyond the many hats she wears – mother, teacher, writer, baking enthusiast, student of life – and move boldly into her future.


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