Children are naturally drawn to animals. They are fascinated by the sound they make, how they look like, or even the way they walk. Sometimes, simply watching these animals delight children. While a zoo is the most common place to see different animals, a lot of venues like resorts, stables, or farms are now available for children to have a closer look and experience with these creatures. These spots provide not only the opportunity to take lots of photos, but also allow the visitors to have a meaningful interaction with the animals and the activities they offer. Check out our list of places in the Philippines where you can bring your animal-loving kids.
1. Manila Ocean Park/Hotel H2O
Manila Ocean Park is a marine theme park and educational facility that offers not just attractions, but also different animal encounters to further level-up your experience. Besides marine creatures, they also have bird shows, creepy crawlies, and the barnyard. And there’s more! You can ride their Instagram-worthy neon pedal cars, watch the spectacular symphony evening show, or join the back of the house educational tour. If you need more time, you can go and book a room at Hotel H2O, the country’s first marine themed hotel. They have rooms with life size aquariums featuring different species of fish and jelly fish. You can watch as they glide across your hotel room’s walls in their fascinating shapes and colors!
2. Avilon Zoo
Avilon Zoo is a 7.5 hectare facility that houses a diverse collection of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles, and other exotic animals. They provide guided tours for guests to learn more about the animals as well as teach them to preserve and protect these creatures and their environment. Prepare your cameras as Trixie the Orangutan is always ready to pose with you! Are you brave enough to flash a smile while holding a snake? Grab that chance and feed other animals too.
This is every nature and animal lovers your destination! Located in Mendez, Cavite, Paradizoo is not your typical zoo. Instead of the usual tigers, monkeys, or crocodiles, they have camels, horses, ostriches, and other animals that are also not often seen in local farms. They also have the Honeybee Farm and Butterfly Garden for those who love these vibrant and colorful flying creatures. You can also go ahead and try their Camel Ride and Zing Ride, a swing and zip line combined.
4. Hotel Kimberly, Tagaytay
A few kilometers from Paradizoo is another gem for animal lovers. Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay is a very kid-friendly place. Aside from the standard hotel amenities, the grounds have enough attractions to keep you and your kids outdoors. They have fruit trees, vegetable farms, and a petting zoo. They also offer horseback riding for bigger kids and adults. And if your kids want to take home some animals, they even have rabbits, chicks, chicken, turkeys, and bunnies for sale!
5. The Fun Farm at Sta. Elena
Located in Sta. Rosa, the Fun Farm is the perfect place for kids to run around in open spaces and interact with different animals. They have animal feeding stations, horse stables, and lagoons. Kids can go fishing, row boating, or zip line riding (for the adventurous ones)! They can also ride the horses or the carabao carts, too! This place is also a favorite venue for birthday parties, family outings, field trips, and even pictorials.
6. Holy Carabao Holistic Farms
Also in Sta. Rosa is another treasure for animal and nature lovers. Holy Carabao Holistic Farms practices holistic farming following the bio-dynamic, organic, and permaculture principles. They offer a guided farm tour that includes farm lecture, planting, animal feeding, and carabao cart rides. Kids can also ride their zip swing and try the educational games and activities. And if you feel tired after the tour, swing by their Farm Shed Café, their coffee shop that serves healthy and organic food!
7. Magaul Bird Park
Located in Subic Bay, this place boasts of being the first and only bird park that showcases five hundred birds in one show! Choose from their morning or afternoon shows to experience hundreds of colorful birds flying over you. Whether your child likes free flying birds, insects, butterflies, or even flightless birds, he or she will surely enjoy these attractions. Does ostrich feeding interest them? Have some more fun by playing their Angry bird themed games. They have the Life Sized Sling Shot, Angry Birds, jousting, and football for both adults and bigger kids.
8. Ocean Adventure
Ocean Adventure is the first open water marine theme park in Southeast Asia. Head on to their Ocean Discovery Aquarium and be captivated by the beauty of different fish, rays, eels, jellyfish, and so much more! Aside from shows, they also allow you to swim and dive with the dolphins and sea lions. One unique activity is the interaction with reef sharks, jack fish, and sea turtles. They have three stations where you can meet, feed, and even touch some of them! Aside from marine animals, kids can meet rain forest creatures like Larry the Civet Cat, Noynoy the Hornbill, Luna the Bear Cat, Lea the resident reptile, and more. Before heading home, make sure to get a ticklish foot spa courtesy of their nibble fishes!
9. Montemar Beach Club
Does you family love beach trips? Then consider going to Montemar Beach Club. It boasts of having a 500 meter long white sand beach, and they offer both indoor and outdoor activities. What’s to love in this resort is that they are an accredited Pawikan Conservation Center that aims to preserve the marine turtle population in the country. Visit around February and November since the releasing of hatched turtles are celebrated during these months. Horseback riding and fishing are also allowed here. While this is a private, members-only resort, they also allow guests who are accompanied or sponsored by members in good-standing.
10. El Kabayo Stables
Do your kids love horses? Head to this place and ride their magnificent horses! Aside from horseback riding, they also have 1-hour and 10-hours riding lessons. For the artistic adults and kids, you can try their horse painting. They have a vast space so you can be sure to find lots of perfect spots for your photos! El Kabayo is managed by an NGO that specializes in animal welfare. What’s good about this place is that all proceeds from the riding activities go to the care of the horses.