Mountain, and boats moored by beach in El Nido, Philippines

8 Fun Philippines Vacation Ideas For Families with Toddlers

If you have been thinking about getting away and exploring a home away from home with your kids, you might be worried about how to incorporate them into your vacation. Exceptionally young children can sometimes be a handful on airplanes, but if you are willing to make the trip to the Philippines, you and your family can all have an amazing time. These eight Philippines vacation ideas for families, are perfect for kids of all ages, but especially for the youngsters.

Whether you are traveling with other toddlers, little kids, teens, or more older siblings, there is something for everyone on this list. Everyone is sure to have a blast while learning more about the culture and expanding their horizons. 

These 8 Philippines vacation ideas for families are perfect for any young traveler:

  • Manila
  • Boracay
  • Tagaytay
  • Puerto Princesa
  • El Nido
  • Baguio 
  • Clark, Pampanga
  • Bohol 

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COVID and Travelling the Philippines

We recommend you do your research ahead of time to see entry and exit requirements for both the Phillipines and your home country. Measures are changing regularly.

Why The Philippines Is A Perfect place for A Family Trip

If you’ve never considered traveling to the Philippines before, you may be wondering why this is such a great place for families with toddlers, and kids of all ages. Here are some of the top reasons to visit:

  • Inexpensive: The Philippines is very inexpensive to travel around compared to many island nations around the world. The Philippines is made up of a chain of over 7000 small islands accessible only by boat and plane, yet transportation costs are very reasonable. Food, accomodations and adventures are also a fraction of the cost of many other places, while still offering modern comforts.
  • Family Travel is Safe: Family is huge part of the culture in the Philippines, and children are well loved. When you travel here with children you will be treated to hospitality and kindness.
  • Delicious Food, No matter your budget: The food in the Philippines is delicious, affordable and toddler and kid friendly. The food focuses on meat, soups, and seafood, as well as plenty of fruit.
  • Adventures Await: Each island is unique, with its own language, culture and food. Not to mention gorgeous beaches, lush jungles, and cityscapes make it a wonderful place for adventures.

Manila with Toddlers

No vacation to the Philippines is complete without a trip to their capital city, Manila. While a large city may not be your first thought when it comes to Philippines vacation ideas for your family, especially with toddlers, there are some amazing things to see and do, and the food is spectacular. It’s well worth a day or two in the city.

Manila is large and sprawling and it takes a long time to get from one place to the next. Focus your activities in one neighbourhood for the day, and try not to fit too many things in.

Manila’s Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park

Kids of all ages (I’m looking at you parents) will be in awe of the creatures, and opportunities to interact and learn about them at the world class Manila Ocean Park. The best part is that kids under two feet are completely free! You could spend way more than one day here taking on all their activities such as the:

  • Oceanarium – Home to over 14,000 marine creatures from the Philippines and Southeast Asia, it’s highlight is the curved underwater tunnel you can walk through as sea creatures swim overhead. Check out the shark and stingray viewing areas.
  • Antarctica exhibit: Gives toddlers the chance to see penguins and other cold climate animals up close and personal in recreations of their natural habitats.
  • Barnyard: Here kids have the opportunity to cuddle and pet soft, furry animals like rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and chickens. Feeding them and their babies is cuteness overload.  
  • World of Creepy Crawlies: Every wanted to hold an iguana? Here’s your chance. Or you can watch from a safe distance, if you prefer.
  • Giant Ball Pit : Give everyone a chance to bring out their inner kid as they laugh and play in the giant ball pit. 
  • Birds of Prey Kingdom, kids are given the opportunity to get close to well-trained predatorial birds, and slightly older kids can put on a falconry glove and experience the majesty of a bird on their arm. 

Manila Ocean Park is just one of many activities, parks and theme parks families will enjoy in the city. Luneta Park and it’s dancing fountains of light is our next choice.

Luneta Dancing Fountains

The Luneta Dancing Fountains are located in the heart of Manila in Luneta Park also known as Rizal Park, near the old walled city. This park is a family favorite with Philippinos for Sunday & holiday picnics and socializing with friends and family.

If you have spent the day wandering around Luneta Park and enjoying some fun in the sun, or the Japanese Gardens, there is nothing more exciting than closing out the day with the fantastic display of lights.

Whether you stake out a place near the front and gaze up at the fountains’ display in wonder or find a nice park bench to relax on if your feet have gotten tired from being out and about all day, you and your toddler can admire the spectacle. At the same time, you take some time to think about everything you have seen and plan your next day in Manila. 

Explore Old Manila

The walled old town of Intramuros is the perfect place to let your kids imaginations run wild as you wander around old ramparts, take a horse and carriage ride or just enjoy the sights and people watching.

It’s near Ocean Park and the family friendly Fort Santiago. Fort Santiago is a museum and public park, with a children’s area and water to splash around in. Learn about the Spanish – Philippine history.

Mind Museum

The Mind Museum is one of the best places to take your kids on an educational adventure. It is the Science Centre of the Philippines. The Outdoor Park has a giant bubble maker (toddler fav activity right there), and funky pyhsics inspired slides. Inside you will find touring exhibits, alongside regulars like the dinosaur, space

Once you have had your fill of the city, it is time to head to the beach.

Boracay, Philippines with Toddlers (and Kids)

Mother and toddler play  on the beach at sunset Broacay, Philippines.
Sunset at Boracay Beach

As the Philippines is a string of more than 7000 islands there are no end of beaches to try.

All toddlers love building sandcastles and playing in the sand and surf. The Philippines have plenty of beaches, but the island of Boracay has undoubtedly some of the best. It’s a popular place for both tourists and locals.

There are definitely some not-to-miss activities for toddlers and older kids. The white sand and the blue water of White Beach make for a picturesque day frolicking in the sand.

Or, if they are ready to settle down for an afternoon nap, you can set up a large umbrella along the seaside and let the calming sounds of the waves crashing lull you both to sleep. A lovely afternoon nap might be exactly what you both need. Just make sure you are not out under the hot sun for too long without sunscreen, or you might both get burned. 

Boracay (the main city) is divided into Stations and the 4km of White Beach spans 3 of them:

  • Boracay Station 1 – Here you will find high end resorts, Willy’s Rock, the widest section of White Beach, and plenty of shopping and food options nearby. It tends to be the quietest station
  • Boracay Station 2 – This station is at the centre of it all, and can be quite busy. It’s home to the largest shopping centre D’Mall, small shops, mid-range hotels, and yummy restaurants.
  • Boracay Station 3 – This beach is lovely, but the water drops off quickly, making this not the best choice for families with toddlers. Here you will also find the budget hotels. It’s closest to the Caticlan Ferry.

If you are looking for a quieter, less touristy alternative to Boracay, San Vicente is a wonderful choice. Gorgeous beaches, less crowds.

Tagatay – Perfect family Vacation Spot with Toddlers and Kids

Aerial view of Taal Lake and Volcano, family destination idea, Philippines.
Taal Lake, Philippines

Tagaytay, just a stone’s throw away from Manila offers a unique attraction that your kids won’t find in many other places. The city of Tagaytay sits alongside the active Taal Volcano, who is active and has erupted over 30 times in its life. 

These are eruptions are contained in Taal Lake which houses the volcano. This creates a safe and fun adventure. Taal Volcano can actually be seen by hiking along the Taal Lake.

Vacationing near an active volcano will be exciting for your little traveler and will allow for some up-close science lessons. Tagaytay offers a lot more as well. Your family can participate in other hikes and visit famous local landmarks such as Picnic Grove for a family picnic, horseback ride or zipline and the Sky Ranch Theme Park.

Tagatay, Philippines is also home to the one and only puzzle museum which is sure to be a with the kids (young and old).

Once famished from all your fun activities, dine with a view along the roadsied eateries serving well-loved Tagaytay dishes like bulalo and fried tawilis.

Head there in May to take part in the Tagatay Art Beat festival which celebrates the art and music of local musicians and visual artists.

There are also zip line courses that travel through the beautiful Tagaytay scenery. 

Puerto Princesa

Boat full of people heading into cave in Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park
Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park

Puerto Princesa, located in Central Palawan is a unique city in the Philippines, that is fun to explore with kids. Farms and lush Karst mountains surround the city.

From here you can explore the home to one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and National Park. This national park is about a 45 minute drive north of the city, and contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

Ride a boat through underground rivers and large limestone caves. You and your toddler are able to sit back and experience views that can’t be seen above ground (if they are the type to sit still for a short while that is).

Puerto Princesa is a water city rich in culture and activity. This city is a great destination for any family vacation.

There are fun kid and toddler friendly activities in and around Puerto Princesa:

  • Stroll the 2km / 1.25mi Princesa City Baywalk Park walking path along the waterfront. between the Puerto Princesa Cultural Center and US Embassy. There are many delicious food vendors and cafes along the way if you need a break.
  • Mitra’s Ranch, home of the late senator Ramon Mitra is popular for it’s gorgeous views, well known political figure and horseback riding tours.
  • Baker’s Hill, home to a small theme park, bakery, playgrounds and fun games for the kids. It’s also close to Mitra’s Ranch, so you could make a day of it.
  • For the older kids zipline or explore the cave systems of Ugong Rock, Elephant Cave, and Hundred Caves.
  • Watch the lights of Fireflies flit across the sky during a Firefly Night Time Tour.
  • Visit a locals favourite beach, Nagtabon Beach, a 30 minute drive from Puerta Princesa City. Soft silky sand, a quieter experience and fewer vendors given its in a small reserve make this a fantastic day trip to add to your list of places to visit with your toddler.

Puerta Princesa is also the starting point for the popular beach destinations of El Nidon & Coron.

El Nido

Mountain, and boats moored by beach in El Nido, Philippines

El Nido is one of the more popular small towns in the Philippines, and for good reason, as it is the quintessential paradise. With over 45 islands, gorgeous lagoons, caves and white sand beaches with interesting undersea life make this a must stop for families.

The drive from Puerta Princesa takes about 6 hours, or you can fly direct from Manila.

Alot of the activities involve boats and tours, but make sure to bring your own life jackets. It’s hard to find appropriate sizes for the littles, even in touristy towns.

Top kid friendly activities to do in El Nido, Philippines:

  • Explore the narrow canyon of the Small Lagoon, by foot, while keeping an eye out for colorful fish in the kid friendly shallow water. Or try your hand, er…I mean fin at snorkelling the turquoise water filled with brightly coloured sea life and coral.
  • Find the tidal pools, and rocky beachline at the end of Secret Lagoon.
  • Stroll the sandbar at Snake Island, El Nido, that stretches out to the next island.
  • Swing on the Tire Swings at Pasandigan Beach, plus it has shallow waters, perfect for the littles learning to snorkel. Relaxing at Pasandigan Beach is on of the best things to do on a family vacation to the Phillipines with toddlers.

Tours and activities are well organized and kid-friendly in the Philipines. Guides will do their best to ensure all members of the family are engaged and having fun.

Baguio

Burnham Park boating, Baguio, Philippines

Baguio is a beautiful town nestled in the mountains in the Philippines. If you are looking to escape the heat, this town offers milder temperatures.

Dubbed as the “City of Pines, ” one of the best attractions that Baguio offers are mountain hikes through the forests.

Baguio’s forest hosts a large park called Wright Park. Wright Park is filled with trails that your toddler will love exploring and is a great horseback riding destination. Pay for a short ride and let your toddler ride with you! 

Some of the other top kid and toddler friendly activities in Baguio include:

  • Row your own boat in the Burnham Lagoon at Burnham Park, the heart of Baguio.
  • Pick Strawberries at the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad (30 minutes away).
  • Explore Camp John Hay, a former rest and recreation facility for American soldiers. From relaxing strolls, to adrenaline indicing ziplines, to golf and a Butterfly Sanctuary, there is something for everyone in the family.
  • Experience Asin Hot Springs, soak away your travel aches in the thermal pools with scenic mountain views. There are kid friendly facilities at the springs.

Baguio is also home to an iconic roadside attraction. There is a large lion head statue that you can find right off of Kennon Road. This enormous lion head is an attraction that your toddler will love. A picture with the iconic Lion’s head is something that your family will cherish for years to come.

Clark, Pampanga

Family vacation ideas in Philippines with kids. Mt. Pinatubo, Pampanga.
Mt. Pinatubo gorgeous blue-green crater

Pampanga is known worldwide for the marvelous cuisine it offers, but we are guessing that your toddler might not be as excited about the food as you are.

Not to worry, while you indulge your inner foodie at the numerous restaurants, your kids will enjoy going to the Sandbox. This unique attraction has plenty of activities for people of any age.

If you have older children who want to do their own thing, there are go-karts, aerial walks , atv rides and archery ranges where they can safely learn fun new skills. For the youngest, head to the kids playgrounds or their mini atv rides.

However, you and your youngest may want to skip all of that and head straight to Aqua Planet, the enormous waterpark in the Sandbox. There are toddler-friendly areas and slides for you to cool off from the heat. 

If that doesn’t peak your interest try one of these other options:

  • Bottle feed some goats and pigs at the Zoocobia Fun Zoo
  • Walk the trails and soak in natural pools at the base of the extinct volcano at Mt. Arayat National Park.
  • Go Birdwatching at the Candaba Swamp
  • Learn about the history of Clark, the American occupation in the Philippines, and its significance in World War II at the Clark Museum and 4D Theatre.
  • Hike Mt. Pinatubo, one of the most visited attractions not only in Pampanga but in the Philippines.

Bohol

View of many small hills in Bohol, Phillippines
Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

If your family loves to hike and get outdoors, combined with man made wonders, and historic sites, then Bohol is the perfect family destination in the Philippines.  

One of the most visited attractions in Bohol is the Chocolate Hills, home to 1000s of hills. For a little history lession, these conical karst hills twere formed by the uplift of coral deposits combined with rainwater and erosion ages ago. 

These little mountains are fun to hike, and they change color depending on the season. During the Bohol rainy season, these mountains are covered in bright green grass. Then during the dry season, these hills are transformed into chocolate-colored mountainside. No matter what time of year your family visits Bohol you are sure to have a fun. Also check out the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park if you are looking for a zipline or tree top rope course adventure. There’s also a Butterfly Garden and a Serpentarium (had no idea that is what it was called).

When you are done exploring the hills, take in some of the other family favourites including:

  • Stretch out on the white pearl sand at Alona Beach.
  • Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary which helps preserve and raise awareness about these cute , nocturnal creatures.
  • Take a nighttime rafting trip on the Abatan River to see thousands of fireflies.
Tarsier

In Summary

If you have been worried about traveling to the Philippines with your toddlers because you are afraid that they are too young to enjoy the cultural immersion, worry no longer. These are just a few of the best options in the Philippines for traveling with younger kids. You and your entire family will have the time of your lives on your trip.

Related family travel destinations and tips:


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