Remember the 90s when theme parks became one of favorite hangouts of families and barkadas?
BOOM NA BOOM, PAYANIG SA PASIG (eventually named MEGA CARNIVAL), STAR CITY, and ENCHANTED KINGDOM were such a hit that they turned out to be like the branded version of a local perya you’d only have every time there is a town fiesta.
Our visit to Star City last month was like revisiting those childhood up to secondary school days, when amusement parks were the common field trip destinations.
At first glance, you’d see that most of its facilities seemed to not have been refurbished since it opened in 1991. Our kids enjoyed most of the indoor rides during the day to avoid the scorching heat outside.
We started off with the Red Baron, Happy Swing, Wacky Worm, and Bump Cars (which was enjoyed mostly by our kids). You’ll also find plenty of kiddie rides inside including the Rodeo, Ball Pool, and the Road Race.
As for the teens, they can get to enjoy extreme rides like the Star Frisbee, Vikings, and the Star Flyer. You’ll find many of these at their Annex section.
Interestingly, Star City also features arcade sections and horror houses like Gabi ng Lagim (yeah, remember the title of a radio show you used to listen to scare yourself to sleep?).
Other attractions include Dungeon of Terror, Lazer Blaster, and Time Tunnel. It also has a display of 3D arts in Art Alive Museum, comparable to that of Art In Island in Cubao, where you can take Instagram-worthy photos.
Here is a list of rides that we tried and how we rate each.
Egyptian Spinning Coaster
Giant Star Wheel
For the Kiddie Rides, the park has height requirements posted to ensure the safety of your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much is the entrance fee?
Admission Fee – Php80
Ride All You Can Inclusive of Admission Fee – Php490
3 Cheers Inclusive of Admission Fee – Php440
Art Alive – Php120
Lazer Blaster – Php100
Snow World – Php100
How can I go to Star City?
Star City is located in the CCP Complex Pasay City, part of Bay City.
If you are commuting, you may take the LRT and get off the VITO CRUZ station. Along Vito Cruz, you can take the orange jeepneys stationed at Rizal Memorial.These jeeps go through the CCP Complex.
If via MRT, get off the Pasay station and transfer to the LRT.
Can I bring food in Star City?
Outside food and drinks are not allowed, except for baby foods. At the main entrance, guards checks each bag for security purposes as well. There are plenty of food kiosks inside, though you can expect it to be pricey.
What is the park schedule / operating hours?
Park opens daily at 4:00 PM from Mondays to Thursdays while 2:00 PM every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It ceases operations between 10:30 PM to 11:00PM.
Art in Island has fascinated for the past years, not only art fanatics, but even the common Filipino who loves to take photos and post them on their social media feeds.
It is the first interactive art museum in the country that allows you to take creative shots with various art themes including, the underwater, animal, Christmas, religious, and even optical illusions.
Needless to say, you’ll be amazed by the artwork displays. Here are a few of our favorites.
Helpful tips prior and during your visit:
A power bank will come in handy, especially if you will be taking tons of photos with your smart phone.
You may bring your DSLR but it is recommended to avoid using the flash.
‘Photo point stickers’ can be seen on the floor. Use it as a marker that will direct you to the best angle for the 3D Arts.
Entering the venue will require you to put on shoe cover, provided by Art in Island. Wear or bring socks, if you would opt to leave your shoes at the entrance. As much as possible, avoid wearing shoes with high heels. This is to ensure that paintings extended on the floor will not be damaged.
If you do not have a companion, you can seek assistance from the staffs inside the museum to take your photos. They’d be more than happy to assist you.
Bringing in of foods and drinks are not allowed. They have food establishments inside.
Paintings outside are also Instagram-worthy. Don’t fail to appreciate them.
You don’t have to worry about parking spaces. There’s plenty of it.
Don’t miss the light display / media art presentation 5pm onwards.
Lastly, if you feel that this is a memorable experience for you and your family or friends, souvenir items can also be bought.
Art in Island is located at 175, 15th Avenue, Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays of the week, from 9:30am to 9:30pm.
Ticket prices: Php500 per adult, Php400 for students, and free for kids below 3 ft.
Opened in March 2012 at the heart of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, The Mind Museum is by far the biggest science museum in the country.
The museum is filled with about 250 educational exhibits which kids and even those young at heart will surely enjoy. Its various themed sections mostly offers an array of interactive displays that everyone can play with while learning.
Upon your entrance, you will be welcomed by a robot named Aedi.
Who wouldn’t be amazed? Advancements in robotics has been exponential since the creation of ASIMO by Honda back in 2000 and even other humanoid robots during the 80s. Aedi is the word idea spelled backwards.
Galleries are divided into the Atom, Life, Earth, Universe, and the Technology located at the second floor.
THE ATOM GALLERY
This gallery showcases some of the building blocks of matter. Of course, they have upsized the particles for you and your little ones to see and imagine.
This exhibit shows the components of a chocolate, deconstructed showing its molecules down to the smallest particles of quarks.
The light bridge is one of my favorites in The Mind Museum as it exhibits various colorful lights which depicts the colors in our universe.
THE LIFE GALLERY
This section of the museum interestingly displays that help us understand life as we know it on earth. From the human evolution, parts of the human brain, and different plant and animal models.
THE EARTH GALLERY
The Earth Gallery tells more about the planet earth, the creatures that used to rule its surface and even some of nature’s phenomena (typhoon, earthquakes) that continues to shape the world we live in.
You will definitely not miss out the T-Rex exhibit of this gallery.
THE UNIVERSE GALLERY
Another favorite for kids and adults is the Universe Gallery. Visitors are treated to several displays of known astronomical bodies in the outer space. It includes the Lifetime of Stars which explains the birth to death of a star, the Solar System, the Spaceshell which is like a mini planetarium, and the Moon which allows you to control its different stages.
THE TECHNOLOGY GALLERY
Located in the upper floor of the museum, this section shows different human inventions made over time, a vision of the future cities, and even a game section for kids.
The Mind Museum is located at the 3rd Avenue of the Bonifacio Global City. Each tickets sold has a maximum 3-hour stay inside.
It doesn’t have its own parking facilities. You may, however, opt to use the Crescent North Parking which is only a few meters. Be sure to have your ticket validated so you can avail of its Php50 flat rate.
If you are looking for more restaurant options after your visit, you may want to park at the Bonifacio Stop or check out the Burgos Circle for more choices.
And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @dadandmore. Catch our latest adventures in our IG TV channel.
Well, that includes some of those who claim to never grow old.
I remember as a kid, we used to run to the nearest sari-sari store (neighborhood sundry store), whenever we had spare change to buy chocolates or candies which are usually displayed in glass jars. For quite some time, it became like a weekend morning ritual.
Every morning, I would ask for a peso or two so I would have something to buy and eat later for snack or dessert.
Back then, every kid’s favorite are those egg or football-shaped chocolates wrapped in foil. Anyone who can relate is definitely an 80’s kid!
Now, Cadbury has even made opening a piece of chocolate an exciting, experience for kids with the launch of the Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables in the Philippines.
It seemed like no one could be more excited than Gavin with this new chocolate in town. It was a fun-filled afternoon where kids got their first taste of a chocolate flavored cream with cookies and wheat crispies.
Instead of having his face painted, Gavin chose to have the art piece placed on his arm instead. He said he wanted a rocket ship with a ghost inside.
He also got to play an interactive game on screen, where he had to shout to control the upward or downward movement of the character.
Each Lickable will surely be a treat for you and your young ones as each comes with a toy inside. So, whether he is simply having a bad day, finished his homework early, or helped you with the household chores, a Cadbury Lickable will surely turn his day into an extraordinary one.
The launch in the country features collectible Pokemon toys in every piece.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables was initially sold to the Indian market in 2017 and is now available in Malaysia and the Philippines for every kids and parent to enjoy during bonding activities.
With the onset of today’s digital age, most kids find it easy to fill in their time with online games, tablet games, internet surfing, and by sitting in front of the TV the whole day. Many parents may find these tools convenient as kids put their attention into these gadgets instead of interfering with their parents’ personal time.
I remember decades ago, we used to play a lot in the outdoors with our neighbor friends. Back then, Filipino kids used to play patintero, piko, saranggola (kite flying), trumpo, tagu-taguan (hide and seek). Indoors, girls play bahay-bahayan and lutu-lutuan.
As technology developed rapidly, these traditional games faded slowly and was replaced by the modern toys such as smart phones and tablets.
While it’s good that we have establishments like Kidzania Manila, where children can role play to be a chef, artist, or even a pilot, there are other playgrounds in several malls that are cheaper where kids get to do imaginative play as well.
These places allow them to build, cook, shop in the market, sell, jump around and even be a fire fighter.
Parents should never ignore the role of imaginative play in children’s development, whether it be physically or mentally. These old-fashioned games allow them, especially the smaller ones develop their motor skills and bring out their creativity as they are able to create their story line, assign roles to playmates, and learn to socialize with other kids.
To make it even more exciting for them, be their playmate. Oftentimes, kids love playing with their parents. It becomes a special bonding activity as it shows your child that you care about their interests.
The Disney On Ice 2017 in Manila has already come to an end but many of those who witnessed the show may still haven’t gotten over the experience of seeing their favorite Disney characters come to life.
We watched the show back in 2016 and thought it best to share what we have experienced.
The recent Disney On Ice shows are now being held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, a perfect venue for such event as it has a capacity of as much as 20,000 seats. It also has ample parking spaces especially that most would opt to go there with their own transport. Several years ago, it was held at the Araneta Center in Cubao.
As you enter, you will be welcomed by a lot of Disney merchandise that you can purchase for your kids’ souvenir. Expect that it is a bit pricey though. Bringing in of food is not allowed as well so you will need to stuff before going in or buy food from a limited selection inside, which is mostly burgers and soft drinks.
The show starts on time while they allow entry of guests about an hour before. This should give you enough time to select and buy souvenirs and have your photos taken.
Highlights of our favorite Disney movies are performed including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Aladdin, and even The Little Mermaid. The stage comes to a bright color as display of lights, costumes, and even fireworks embrace each of the characters’ appearances.
Visit our YouTube Channel to watch scenes from the Frozen movie performed in Disney On Ice
The movie Frozen, of course, is one of the favorites especially among girls where Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Hans, and Olaf appear to relive the story of how their kingdom was freed from the unintentional ice spell of Queen Elsa. Oh yeah!
The finale is a dance performance of the characters altogether. Of course, you wouldn’t miss the mouse who started it all. Mickey together with Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were all at the show too.
DISNEY ON ICE - FINALE - at the SM Mall of Asia - YouTube
At the end of it, lucky kids who were at the front row seats had the opportunity to come close to the stage, interact with the characters, and have their pictures taken.
With the continued success of the show, we can expect that Disney On Ice will continue to visit us in the holidays of years to come. Be sure to catch it as a live experience is so much different than watching it on videos.
A few years back, Gen and I went to Divisoria for the usual shopping for Christmas gifts. Divisoria is a place where most wholesalers go for bargains. You can expect to have interesting finds as you stroll inside the 168 Mall. And this was what we got, a set of paper finger puppets. If I remember it right, this was less than PHP50 or USD1.
We nearly forgot we have this until Gen did a general cleaning of our room during one weekend. Each set contains four (4) pieces (dog, horse, sheep, and a mouse) of finger puppets for assembly.
Each piece is easy to assemble. However, you will need a glue to put them altogether. Gavin would usually love to help but he accidentally tore a part of the mouse so we never got to assemble it.
And so, we got to play with the horse, which Gavin insisted to be a dragon, and the sheep. Surprisingly, the sheep wins every time in his stories. At first, the dragon tries to eat the sheep but it manages to struggle and beat the predator. Pretty good imagination there.
To make a finger puppet, you need not to buy one. you can make use of used paper materials at home which you and your kids can draw, paint, and assemble together. It may look simple but finger puppets make effective tools to fuel your child’s imagination.
“Look!” Gavin said as he pointed to the cranes on top of ongoing building constructions across the street.
It was a Saturday morning when I decided to take the one (1) hour drive from home to Bonifacio Global City (BGC). I wanted to take Gavin for an outdoor play instead of the usual stroll at the mall during weekend.
I have always thought outdoor activities for kids will always be beneficial for them. It gives them more physical activities which most of today’s generation doesn’t have with the onset of digital toys and programs available to watch in cable TV.
While Gavin still has to master his balance, we had him use a 3-wheeled scooter. It was cloudy, so we were lucky as the weather was perfect.
Having his protective gears (helmet, knee pads, and all) on, we started early around 8am. For one (1) whole hour, Gavin played with his scooter following me as I walk from the High Street 11th avenue to Bonifacio One Central 3rd avenue.
I think I got tired more than he did as he would insist to continue while I sit on the available benches. I even made an excuse to have our selfies so I can take some rest.
At around 9 am, I decided we should take a break so I took him to Krispy Kreme to grab some donuts. He ordered the usual sprinkled donut while I took the original glazed. We stayed there for about 30 minutes to finish our snack and have a quick look on the final stages of donut cooking.
After our break, I asked Gavin if we can go back to the car to return his scooter and change his clothes. To my surprise, he said otherwise and wanted to continue playing. So for the next two hours, we were going back and forth from one end of High Street 9th to the other end at 7th avenue. He tried his scooter in all the ramps he can find.
Finally he said enough by 12 noon, not because he was tired by because he noticed the Timezone arcade and said he wanted to play inside. We stayed there for about an hour more to consume the amount I had loaded in the card.
After which, we headed straight for lunch as it was past 1 already. I assumed all of us were hungry but Gavin refused to leave the arcade saying he wanted to play more. It was as if his playtime for the whole morning was not enough. We were only able to convince him when we said that we will have his usual favorite, carbonara.
We ended the day having dessert. I bet he ordered the cake not because of its flavor but because of the color.
At his age, I never thought Gavin would have so much energy as he had during that day. I guess I will to look more of having outdoor activities for him every weekend.