Explore these 5 museums in Metro Manila

Che Gurrobat
(UPDATED) As an alternative to the malls, why not try taking the kids to one of Metro Manila's beautiful museums? Here are 5 kid-friendly options

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:  

The Mind Museum

IMPOSING. This giant T-Rex exhibit is definitely one of the highlights at the Earth Gallery

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.  

INTERACTIVE. Don't be afraid to reach out, touch, explore

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.

OUR STORY. Learn the story of human evolution at the Life Gallery

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

Museo Pambata 

ENTER. Step into the entrance of Museo Pambata where learning begins

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)

GO BACK IN TIME. Here, kids will be taken to a journey back to the bygone era of Manila. They can look at the tranvia, and see a Spanish galleon, as well as a miniature cathedral

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).

(READ: Exploring this culture space in Intramuros)

I highly recommend parents visiting this museum with their kids. It’s informative, interactive and entertaining.

MOON ROCK. Heads up kids, this moon rock is about 4 billion years old

Admission Hours

  • 9 AM to 5 PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays)
  • Closed for lunch break from 12 nn to 1 PM
  • 1 PM to 5 PM (Sunday) 

Admission Fees

  • 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

National Museum

SILENT WITNESS. The outside of the National Museum. The building has been the backdrop of many important events in Philippine history

Spending hours exploring the galleries at the National Museum is a great way to take them back to a different time. 

ICONIC. The vastness of Juan Luna's 'Spoliarium'

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.

WHAT ELSE? Apart from the paintings, artifacts and sculptures can also be found in the other rooms and galleries

Museum Hours:

  • The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Good news – free admission on Sundays

Entrance Fees:

  • 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)

Quezon City Experience (QCX)

 

QUEZON ON A HILL. Learn about Quezon City's history at this gallery at QCX. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

 

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.

PRESIDENT'S ROOM. A replica of President Manuel L Quezon's office at Malacanang. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

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.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco

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)

Admission fees:

  • 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

Art in Island

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)

Admission fees:

  • Adults – P500
  • Students, PWDs and senior citizens – P400

Address: 175 15th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City

– Rappler.com

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