Visiting a museum is one activity that’s great for kids who are looking for something new to do while on vacation. When my little sister visited me from the province, I took the opportunity to let her explore what Manila could offer.
Instead of taking her to the malls, we opted to spend our weekends visiting several museums nearby. We had a lot of enriching experiences at the Mind Museum, Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), and the National Museum. Besides the National Museum, it was my first time visiting the other two so I was as excited as she was.
I’ve always wanted to go museum-hopping, and there was no better way to do it than tagging along my ever-inquisitive sister. It turned out to be a great bonding experience for us.
Here are some museums to check out:
My sister raved about the many science-based exhibits inside the museum. Some of the interesting things to be seen include the hair-raising static ball, large table of elements, planets and constellations shown in 3D movies, the giant T-Rex, a look human evolution, and the outdoor playground.
This science museum, located at the heart of Bonifacio Global District, has interactive exhibits in its five galleries: Life, Atom, Earth, Universe, and Technology. We had full three hours exploring these galleries and we started off meeting the robot named Aedi at the entrance.
I liked the 3D film shown in the Space Shell, a dome where the story of the universe is shown and the film was narrated by no less than Robert Redford! Also in the Earth Gallery and a must-see is the Ang Simula, a Filipino-made film depicting the history of the universe and relating it to our history.
What I liked most about this museum is that it’s cool and interactive. We got our hands “dirty” trying out some of the exhibits like how kids could try printing using a model of the first printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1440).
We also enjoyed the educational outdoor playground called Science-in-the-Park. It has the usual playground facilities, just with an educational touch.
Just a heads up to all children going, don’t forget your school IDs so you can take advantage of the discounted admission rate.
Summer schedule (from March 16- May 31, 2014)
- Tuesday – Sunday 9am -6pm
- Closed on Mondays
- No 3-hour time slot
- Saturdays 9am – 9pm
- No 3-hour time slot
Summer day pass rates:
- P450 (adult, child, private school student)
- P150 (teacher, public school students)
Location: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
After our visit to the Mind Museum, I caved to my sister’s prodding to go to the Museo Pambata. I’ve heard good things about this place, and I was not disappointed when we got there. (READ: Visiting magical Museo Pambata)
We were led on a historical journey dating back to the times of Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, the use of Tranvia along Escolta, the display of antique household items, saw a miniature cathedral, and the traditional dresses worn during the Spanish Era.
Also on display are artworks, musical instruments, and huge exhibits of the parts of the human body, a jungle area, writer’s corner, pharmacy and barber shop.
One of the many interesting things in the museum is the moon rock displayed at the 2nd floor. The rock was loaned to Museo Pambata by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
I highly recommend parents visiting this museum with their kids. It’s informative, interactive and entertaining.
- 9 AM to 5 PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays)
- Closed for lunch break from 12 nn to 1 PM
- 1 PM to 5 PM (Sunday)
- Php 150 (for children and adults)
- Museum workers and teachers – FREE
- Manila residents with valid IDs – FREE on Tuesdays and 50% discount on other days (not applicable for group tours)
The museum is closed on Mondays and selected official holidays.
Address: Museo Pambata, Roxas Boulevard cor. South Drive, Manila, Philippines
Spending hours exploring the galleries at the National Museum is a great way to take them back to a different time.
At the entrance, I was impressed by the massive and intricately designed columns I saw at the façade of the National Museum, formerly known as the old Legislative Building. It gets even more interesting when I remember that these walls are silent witnesses to several important events in our history.
The main gallery near the entrance holds one of the most important pieces in the museum – the Spoliarium.
Other galleries house important masterpieces including paintings and sculptures by no less than our own art masters including national hero Jose P. Rizal, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Guillermo Tolentino, Fernando Amorsolo.
- The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Good news – free admission on Sundays
- Museum of the Filipino People and National Art Gallery (also includes visit to exhibits of the National Planetarium.)
- Individual Fee
- Student P50.00
- Senior Citizen P120.00
- Adult P150.00
- Groups of 51 or more
- Students P40.00
- Adult/Senior Citizen P120.00
Location: Padre Burgos Drive, City of Manila (near Luneta Park and Intramuros)
Dubbed a “social history museum,” the Quezon City Experience (or QCX for short), allows visitors to learn more about the history and culture of the city.
It’s like a march through the sprawling city’s history – from its foundation, to wartime, and how it is today. There are also galleries dedicated to its namesake, former President Manuel L. Quezon.
It has 16 interactive galleries that don’t just hand over information, but there are even plenty of photo opportunities to be found here. Check out the detailed replicas of its iconic landmarks such as the towering Quezon Memorial Shrine and the University of the Philippines (Diliman) campus as well.
Museum hours: 9am – 5pm (Tuesday – Sunday)
- Students with ID – P80
- Quezon City resident – P100 (must present valid ID with address)
- Non-Quezon City resident – P150
- Group of 50 – 20% discount
- Group of 50 students – 30% discount
- Senior citizens/Persons with disability/Solo parent – 20% discount
- Family of 5 members – 20% discount
- Free admission for children 6 years and below
Location: Quezon Memorial Circle, R-7, Diliman, Quezon City
At Art in Island, you can actually make yourself part of the artworks on display.
This 3D art museum is a photo opportunity paradise where you can be part of all sorts of different scenes, from Renaissance artworks to quirky optical tricks – you just need to take a snapshot from the right angle.
Bring your friends or family and snap away!
Museum hours: 9:30am – 9:30pm (Tuesday – Sunday)
- Adults – P500
- Students, PWDs and senior citizens – P400
Address: 175 15th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City
Che Gurrobat is the blogger behind backpackingpilipinas.com. She founded the literacy project, BookSail, and spent the last 5 years traveling 80 (of the 81) provinces of the Philippines. Visit her Facebook here.