Friday, December 30, 2011

Manila Ocean Park: A Destination for Kids

For the past 3 times I've been to Manila Ocean Park, it was always because of a field trip for my students. Hence, it was such a relief to visit the place this December as a mere visitor- without the numerous kids I have to take care of.

My family and I availed the Holiday Delights promo of Manila Ocean Park. For P600, we can take a glimpse of the various fishes at the Oceanarium and take the Trails to Antarctica. Personally, I had enough of the Oceanarium but since we have a baby with us, it seemed like a good idea to have her see the colorful fishes.

the gang visiting the Oceanarium

 The Ocenarium starts with fresh water fishes including an unmoving crocodile. 

motionless croc
Moving on are salt-water fishes enclosed in different aquariums. For first timers, it would be a surprise to see unimaginable fishes like the rock-like stone fish, the grandiose lion fish among others.

my sister posing with unknown fishes

the lionfish!

The highlight of the Oceanarium is the section named "Sa Ilalim ng Karagatan," wherein an aquarium surrounds the place- left, right and overhead.
 a friend "underwater"

The last section contains the big fishes underwater. There's a tank with sharks where visitors can swim with them for a fee. (Honestly, it's not worth it. The swimmers will just be dropped in the tank caged. It's not really swimming but a close encounter.)

What I was excited about was the Trails to Antarctica which is a new attraction that just opened this year. It has three parts- the Slide O'Fun, Penguin Exhibit and Snow Village.

my mom and niece posing against a snow-covered backdrop
Upon entering, the Humboldt Penguins can be seen already. This is the Penguin Exhibit. According to the Manila Ocean Park's website, Humboldt Penguins can thrive in warmer climates. The exhibit is a glass encased corner. There are several small penguins with large statues of big penguins.

the Penguins!
 Across the Penguin Exhibit is the Slide O' Fun is similar to sledding. The good thing about it is it's a new thing in Manila Ocean Park. And the rest is that it's not worth mentioning. For first timers, just try it to get your money's worth.

after the end of the slide
Last stop is the Snow Village. This is similar to Star City's Snow World but it's smaller yet colder. According to the staff, the temperature is about 15 degrees Centigrade. The best thing to do here is take pictures! Just a friendly reminder, wear closed shoes and pants if you're planning to go to the Snow Village. It's really cold so after a while, your hands and other exposed skin will get numb. Free jackets are offered but beware that a lot of guests have already used them.

my mom and niece chillin' at Snow Village

trying to be serious amidst the cold

"choking" Santa at Snow Village

It took us three hours to go through the Oceanarium and the Trails to Antarctica. Manila Ocean Park offers other attractions such as the Sea Lion Show, the Musical Fountain Show, Birdshow and Jellies. They also have a swimming area. So I think, an entire day is needed if you're planning to experience them all.

The best way to experience the place is when you have kids with you. They haven't loss their sense of wonder yet and everything may seem new to them. And unless the park offers a new set of attractions, a visit to this place once or twice is something to look forward to. 

After visiting Manila Ocean Park, you can go for a historic walk at Rizal Park which is just across the park. You can also dine and shop at SM Mall of Asia, a few minutes away from Manila Ocean Park.

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