Open places where children can do unstructured play have never been more precious than now when gadgets keep kids indoors most of the time. Luckily, there are plenty of open places for kids in Metro Manila—and outside of the metro—if you know where to look. Pursuit of Passion points you to seven places where to take your kids on a weekend, many of which are close to an Avida neighborhood.
Open green spaces are what keep Bonifacio Global City a breathing neighborhood—and it has three of these open spaces close to your BGC residence or within driving distance of ARCA South, the most recent addition to Ayala Land’s growing list of Estates.
Track 30th features, obviously, a jogger’s track. Kids, though, will find the interactive art installations stimulating. And when they’re done appreciating the art, they can run around in the open lawn (that’s perfect for early morning yoga for their parents). Terra 28th is a wide open space with a larong Pinoy playground (for patintero, piko, luksong baka, etc.) and interactive art installations. Blocks away, on 9th Ave., is Turf, where parents can enroll their kids in football camps.
Track 30th: Katipunan Circle, 30th St., BGC; Terra 28th: 28th St., BGC; Open hours for both parks: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; Turf: 9th Ave., BGC; Phone: (for Turf reservations) (02) 8162372
An elliptical national park, the Quezon Memorial Circle has something for everyone, especially children. There are wide open spaces to run in, several playgrounds, restaurants, rows of plants for sale, gardens, monuments, even a museum.
If you’re a resident of the Vertis North on Quezon Avenue, Diliman, the memorial circle is just a few minutes drive from home! However, on days that you don’t want to make the drive, you and your kids can just stay right at home and still have lots of open spaces to play in.
Diliman, Quezon City; Open 24 hours daily
This sprawling outdoor playground is perfect for the adventure-seeking family. The epicenter of this place is the Adventure Tower—the take-off point for Asia’s longest ‘roller coaster’ zipline at 280 meters. All around the tower are other activities that get the heart pumping: obstacle courses, a three-story aerial walk, rope courses, and a bike path.
If your kids don’t know how to bike, Camp N has instructors who can teach them. The best part? Camp N is just a short drive away from several Avida developments in NUVALI: Avida Parkway Settings, that offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Makiling; Ridgeview Estates NUVALI, which is a stone’s throw away from schools, hospitals, and commercial establishments; Avida Woodhill Settings, the highest point of NUVALI’s Eco-City; Avida Village Cerise, which has nature right at its doorstep; Avida Southfield Settings NUVALI, located on rolling terrain south of NUVALI; and Hillcrest Estates NUVALI, with a great view of the Tagaytay ridge.
Not to be mistaken for La Mesa Eco-Park, La Mesa Nature Reserve is a lush forest within Quezon City. It’s kid-friendly, affordable, fun, and clean. There is also a wide range of activities you can do with your children in there: go on a hike, go on a picnic, go mountain biking, and plant trees. For city-bred kids, this could be their first time to see an actual forest within the city. Book your trip two to three days in advance, though, to make sure that there is a guide available for you.
Quirino Highway, Quezon City; Open hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends; Hiking fee, inclusive of guide’s fee: P200 per head for a minimum number of 5; Phone: (02) 9382540
A two-hectare adventure destination within Alviera, Ayala Land’s mixed-use development in Porac, Pampanga, SandBox makes sure your kids have lots of fun under the sun.
A giant swing—the country’s tallest—can hold three people at once. There’s also an aerial walk and a 180-meter zipline. For water lovers, the Splash Tub is a 1,200-sqm water obstacle course with a section for adults and kids. After all the action, you can hang out at the lounge pool, a themed kiddie playground, and the picnic grounds.
A short distance away is Northdale Settings Alviera, a residential community developed by Avida Land, with its own pocket parks as well as a central open space for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Alviera, Porac Access Road, Porac, Pampanga; Open hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday; Email: email@example.com; Phone: 0917-8033099, (045) 4320014
A visit at Mount Purro lets you and your kids appreciate how it is to go back to the basics—i.e., going off the grid. It is a wi-fi-free and AC-free environment, not that the kids would complain.
They can go hiking and camping, go ziplining, take a dip in the lagoon or the swimming pool, plant trees, enjoy the outdoor playground, eat home-cooked food, and learn from the Dumagats, an indigenous tribe living within the reserve.
In fact, by visiting Mount Purro, you will be helping empower the tribe and rehabilitate the Upper Marikina Watershed. There are few more worthwhile trips to take than this one.
Purok 5, Barangay Calawis, Antipolo; Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; Email: GNP@mountpurronaturereserve.com; Phone: Front desk– (02) 5423005, 0908-8812701; For reservations–0949-3981799; Facebook: Mount Purro Nature Reserve
Their website warns: prepare to unplug. Not only is 3 Springs Mountain Park a great way for kids to breathe in clean air; it’s also a chance for their parents to go off the grid. The park is both an outdoor park and an event venue—it’s big enough for both. The main activity for families with young kids is camping; tents can be rented at the park. There’s a nature trail for adventurous souls, and a swimming pool for more play.
KM56 Marcos Highway, Sitio Mayagay 2 Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal; Open hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily except Tuesday (open to walk-in customers Friday to Sunday only, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 0998-5759675
Living close to nature and open spaces is not just healthy for your kids. It also gives you more opportunities to ask them to drop their gadgets to get some sun and fresh air outside. An Avida home definitely gives you this perk. Visit Avida Land to find your home close to nature.