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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kid Friendly Places To Go In The Metro: The Museo Pambata

     A few months before, Jim and I talked about bringing River to the Museo Pambata. Last Sunday we finally decided to go since traffic was very light. It was fairly easy to look for the place because it was very near Ocean Park.

     To be honest, i had very low expectations because the place looked old. But i have to admit, i was pleasantly surprised.




     Upon entry you have to pay a fee of Php250 per person. Children under two get in for free. Manila residents get 50% off when they show proof of residency. They can also get in for free on Tuesdays. Teachers also have special discounts.

     There are two floors. On the first floor are three rooms plus a little Herb Garden. On the second floor are four rooms.  Each room has a different theme.

     The first room is Old Manila.
   
 
The floor looked like the streets of Intramuros..

Senorita River :)

Jim showing River a Calesa sans the horse.

Bahay na Bato. 

Miniature cathedral

Meralco Tranvia

     There was also a galleon ship which you can board and an array of spices that your kid can sniff.

     The second room is the Environment Room.

I have no idea what they're looking at.

Listening to the sound of the Ocean..
     There was also a Mangrove forest, a Seashell and Seaweed Display and Information on how to help take care of our Seas and Ocean.

Fascinated by the insect display and not even paying attention to the giant ants!

An Albularyo's clinic :)

River and a Bahay Kubo (plus all the vegetables from the song!)

The Eagle and it's nest.

Which has a swing on the side. 

Simulated Rainforest

The outdoor Herbal Garden

     This area also had a display about Rice and Rice Farming.

     The third one is the Global Village area. Here you can see dolls, food, costumes and musical instruments from other countries.

One of the many doll displays.

     The first room on the second floor is the My Body Works area.


You can enter thru this giant mouth which  leads to a tunnel maze.
Different parts of the body and their functions.
Yes, you can actually pull the red rope and see how long.

Display of different dishes from around the Philippines

A rock climbing area

     There was also another area where you can take photos of your shadow.

     The fifth "room" was the Market Place. This looks somewhat like  Kidzoona or even Kidzania. Kids can play and pretend to sell or shop in different stalls.



Bili na kayo Suki!!

The Row Of Shops


With a Fire Station too!

    At the end of the room is a Reading Area. It was closed when we went there but it looked like a very cheerful place from what we could see.

Too bad it was closed..

     The sixth room is called I Love My Planet Earth. There were exhibits and displays about how we can help save the environment. I wasn't able to take lots of photos in this room because Hunter was fussy.


River on the Bamboo bike

Go Jim, go!
     The last area was about Career Options. They are currently featuring Authors and Illustrators of Children's books.





Jim and River personalizing their comic book character :)

     The Museum also has a Playground, a Gift Shop and an Outdoor Theater.

     Overall, it was a fun afternoon of learning and exploring.  You can find directions as well as other information about the Museum on their website :) Please do visit when you get the chance.

You may contact them at (copied from their website):

Contact Information

Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc.
Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive
Manila, Philippines

Tel: (632) 523-1797/98, 536-0595
Fax: (632) 522-1246
Mobile: +63 918-382-2212 (for Booking and Reservations only)
E-mail: info@museopambata.org

Booking Hours are from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM (also office hours).

To contact a certain department, please call 523-1797/98 and when prompted, press the number of the department you wish to contact.
101-102 Marketing (direct line: 536-0595)
103 Programs
104 Accounting
105 Communications
107 Exhibits
108 Administration
109 Library/Volunteer Program 





Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Surviving Disneyland With A Toddler

She really wanted to meet Minnie but i guess Mickey will have to do. :)

     When River said she wanted to go to Disneyland for her birthday, I have to admit that I got a little bit scared. Ive heard a lot of horror stories from other moms about taking toddlers to Disneyland. How stressful and chaotic it was. Also, I've been told by well-meaning friends that she might not be old  enough to even remember it.

     Yes it took a little bit of planning and a lot of effort. But seeing River smiling and embracing the magic, I have to say that it was worth it. :) 


     So here are a few tips on making the most out of your trip with your toddler.

PREPARE YOUR CHILD
     
      When we finally decided that we really  are going, we started  letting River listen to Disney songs and movies. She already knew most of the princesses but had no clue who Woody, Buzz and the gang were. So we watched Toy Story together. We told her about the things she will see. The rides, the parade and even the food. :)
Meeting Buzz :)
     We also had a countdown to when we are finally going. This got her excited even more.


GO ON A WEEKDAY

     We went on a Wednesday and it was one of the best decisions we made regarding this trip. Jim and i couldn't help but notice how short the lines were and how less crowded it was. It took us about 15 minutes max to line up for rides.
     In connection to this, GO TO THE PARK EARLY. You would be able to avoid the crowd and take advantage of the cooler morning weather. We noticed that people started coming in droves around lunchtime when it was hot and humid. Not really ideal for a toddler.
Arrived just in time for the park to open.


PLAN YOUR AGENDA

Waiting in line..

About to enter Tommorowland
     Since this trip is for River, we wanted to make sure that she would enjoy all the activities for the day. We picked only the rides that a kid her age would enjoy. We did some research and we came up with the following:

ORBITRON
BUZZ LIGHTYEAR ASTRO BLASTERS
"IT'S A SMALL WORLD"
THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH
DUMBO THE FLYING ELEPHANT
MAD HATTER TEA CUPS
CINDERELLA CAROUSEL
SLINKY DOG
JUNGLE RIVER CRUISE
MYSTIC MANOR







     We were able to do all of these except for the Cinderella Carousel because the line was too long. There are actually more rides for kids and this list of PARK ATTRACTIONS was very  useful because we were able to determine if the ride  was okay for River. We also looked at the  MAP before  going there to give us a feel for the place. The map will be available at the entrance. While you're at it make sure to get  a copy of the TIMES GUIDE.  This will show you schedule of the different Shows, Parades, Greeting Times and other things.




     FAST PASSES are also available but since there's only one ride (Winnie the Pooh) that we can use it on, we decided not to get one.



THINGS TO BRING

     Aside from the essential travel stuff, we also brought these with us:

BABY WIPES. Not only good for diaper change but also for cleaning up messy hands and face.

DIAPERS. Just to be on the safe side. River is mostly potty trained but we made her wear one just in case. There are a lot of washrooms all over the park but it's always better to err on the safe side.

SNACKS.  There are food areas and restaurants scattered all over the park and you can easily get from there but your picky toddler might not be into popcorn or ice cream. For River, i brought her favorite cookies and gummies. These also proved to be great for in-between meals.

EXTRA CLOTHES. Depending on the weather that day, it could be scorching hot or raining. Either way, a change of clothes is essential. Pack one for your toddler and for you as well.

POWER BANK/BATTERY PACK. If you are like me then you will surely want to take lots of photos. I took more or less a hundred and it drained my phone's battery super fast. So a powerbank will come in handy.


BRING A STROLLER

     If there's only one tip that i can give, this is it. We brought our own stroller but there are options to RENT ONE.

    The park is big and having a stroller made exploring so much easier. River rested in it in between rides, she took a nap in it and even used it as a seat to see the parade.

    There are stroller parking areas all around the park and even though at first we were hesitant to leave it there, they actually proved to be safe and very convenient.



OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER


     -Bring an extra bag. You can stash your purchases there, extra clothes, food and other things. Keep your essentials (ids, money, phone, tablets...) with you in a bag that you can bring to the rides.


The black bag is my "essentials" bag while the red circle in the middle is my extra bag. 

It unfolds into a duffel bag large enough to put all our extras.

     -You can buy most of the souvenir items in the largest store along Main Street on your way home. This will save you the hassle of lugging things and bags around while still going around the park.

     -Collect stickers. Most of the staff and crew have stickers which they give to children going on rides. Getting one was one of the highlights for River.


     -Bring your own food and drinks. As i said, there are many restaurants and food stalls inside the park but they are limited. (Not to mention expensive!) We ate lunch in one of them but River didn't like any of the dishes so it was a good thing we brought snacks with us.

     -Go to the parade area a few minutes before they start so you can get a better view.


     -Listen to your toddler. We really wanted to stay longer because we wanted to watch the fireworks but River was tired and getting cranky. So we ended up going home earlier. :)

     -By the way, children under 3 years old go in for free.



Finally, don't forget to have fun. :)