For the adventurous and young at heart, there is no shortage of cheap but awesome family bonding destinations in Cebu City.
1. Sun, Sand and Surf
A main attraction of Cebu City is its proximity to various islands that are excellent for daytrips. For those desiring to stay close to the city, Mactan Island has a variety of resorts ranging from high end to budget friendly. Mactan is also the best place to book ferry trips to Pandanon Island, which is great for leisurely picnics on the shore or on the boats, followed by swimming in the relatively calm waters. Snorkeling enthusiasts and scuba divers may be interested in visiting Nalusuan and Pescador to see a whole rainbow of fishes and corals. Another island, Olango, is renowned for bird watching. For longer trips, one may head further out to the northern islands of Bantayan and Malapascua to really get away from it all.
2. Splash, Play and Swim
Cebu City also has other options to cool off away from the crowds on the beaches. The Mountain View Nature Park in Busay has a picturesque swimming pool situated amid tranquil greenery. The park also has a rope course, view decks overlooking Cebu City, as well as cozy accommodations for overnight guests. For those not as willing to commune with nature, the city has several water parks replete with themed pools and water slides. Proper swimming attire is required in all these venues. Recommended water parks include the JPark Island Resort and Waterpark, as well as the Sky Water Park atop the J-Centre Mall.
3. Race, Rush, and Go
Feeling more adventurous? Cebu City also boasts of its very own go-kart course open for both young and old. The Kartzone, located within Cebu City proper, is manageable even for novice drivers. Kids are permitted to drive the go karts for as long as they meet the specified height requirements. As always, safety precautions must be observed to make the best of this thrill-seeking bonding experience.
4. Treat, Sample, and Dine
The weekend market trend has now also reached Cebu! The Sugbu Mercato, a weekly event held at two venues, is a great way to enjoy al fresco dining while sampling specialties of Cebuano cuisine. The market is located at the IT Park, as well as the South Road area. Both local and foreign cuisines are available, giving both timid and adventurous diners much to choose from. Going through the different stalls can allow families to sample different dishes from appetizers, entrees, all the way to desserts. Live entertainment such as bands also helps cement the family bonding experience.
Those desiring the comforts of air conditioned facilities can dine readily in malls such as SM Seaside. This mall also has its own park and other child-friendly facilities that make the place a day trip onto itself.
5. Stay, Relax, and Chill
A staycation is an excellent way to unwind away from the lively pace of Cebu City. Staying in does not always mean booking into a swanky hotel. Many accommodations such as budget hotels, inns and even Air BnBs provide a wide range of options to suit all needs and comfort levels. Some places offer basic amenities including but not limited to hot showers, cable TV and Wi-Fi access. Others such as Hotel Pier Cuatro, Golden Prince Hotel and Suites, and Red Planet also offer complimentary breakfast, or even guest discounts on restaurant buffets. Those willing to shell out a little more can book at the Quest Hotel and Conference Center and enjoy additional amenities such as massages and use of the swimming pool. A bonus to some of these staycation locations is an excellent view of the sweeping Cebu cityscape, especially in the evenings.
Cebu City is an excellent place for families to create amazing memories, without wrecking the budget. The highly urbanized city offers many activities for all ages, with the additional benefit of remaining close to metropolitan services and conveniences.
- Caulin, V. (2019). “Top 13 Things To Do In Cebu With Kids – Updated 2019.” Trip101. Retrieved from: https://trip101.com/article/top-10-things-to-do-in-cebu-with-kids
- Trip Advisor (2019). “Cheap Hotels in Cebu City.” Retrieved from: https://www.tripadvisor.com/HotelsList-Cebu_City-Cheap-Hotels-zfp11059.html
- Cebu Tours (2019). “5 BEST ISLANDS IN CEBU FOR ISLAND HOPPING.” Retrieved from: https://www.cebutours.ph/5-best-islands-cebu-island-hopping/
Disclaimer: This particular blogpost is contributed by Lamudi Phils.