We, Filipinos, look forward to summer and long weekends. These are the times to create new memories with our loved ones by visiting places we have never been to. And, of course, a quick weekend getaway means spending time in areas that near yet allow us to recover physically — especially before Monday when we need to tackle new work and school challenges.
If not Tagaytay or Antipolo, you and your family should be in Laguna. There are several parks and playgrounds to visit in Laguna, such as the following.
Parks and playgrounds to explore in Laguna
1) Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden is actually a memorial park where Japanese soldiers who fought and died during World War II were laid to rest. It was built in 1978 but has been open to the public for over a decade. You can have peaceful strolls and picnics on the lush, manicured lawn. Japanese Garden is near Lake Caliraya, where you can enjoy water activities. The park offers a magnificent view of the lake at its highest point. However, it is best to bring swimming gear if you are not a strong swimmer — the current can get too intense.
2) Makiling Botanic Gardens
Makiling Botanic Gardens is perfect for nature lovers. Located inside the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB), this ASEAN Heritage park is home to endemic flowering plants, ferns, moss, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Nonetheless, there are landscaped areas and water features, such as the Molawin creek, to explore. This is a place to embrace and enjoy nature. You may practice your photography skills while hiking or having a picnic with friends. Guided tours and field trips are also available.
3) UPLB Freedom Park
Another park inside UPLB is Freedom Park. While it primarily serves as a picnic area, the management allows other activities given its vastness. For instance, visitors may play sports, jog, brisk walk, race, bike, etc. From time to time, fairs are conducted inside the park, where you can have a food trip with friends or buy native products you would not find elsewhere. February fairs, for example, are complete with a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, and other fair staples. With its calm scenery as its backdrop, you may find couples doing their prenup shoot here.
4) Splash Island Resort & Spa
Splash Island and Resort Spa is the biggest waterpark in the Philippines. Of course, it is definitely crowded during summer, its peak season. Nonetheless, there are enough water facilities to accommodate the guests — from wave pools to lazy rivers and giant slides. The must-try attraction, however, is the water splash park. Splash Island offers cottages and cabanas for rent, but food is not allowed since there are many food options inside. As a matter of fact, stalls accommodate large groups through their boodle packages.
5) Enchanted Kingdom
Enchanted Kingdom is the most popular theme park in Laguna, bringing smiles to people since it opened to the public on October 19, 1995. The 25-hectare park boasts several attractions. The most famous attractions are Anchor’s Away, Space Shuttle, Rialto, Jungle Log Jam, Disk-O-Magic, Rio Grande Rapids, and many more. Aside from attractions, the management continually adds new activities, including daily and special shows. Enchanted Kingdom can accommodate up to 25,000 visitors.
6) Fun Farm at Sta. Elena
The Fun Farm at Sta. Elena is an outdoor place where kids and kids at heart can enjoy themselves. The playground features several facilities to explore, like the garden maze, obstacle courses, tree house viewing deck, and mini zipline. Visitors may also experience horseback riding, riding on carabao-pulled carts, row boating, animal viewing, and rabbit and guinea pig feeding. In addition, there are picnic areas, natural playgrounds, a gigantic sandbox, and an amphitheater. Walk-ins are not accepted, so booking in advance through their website is best.
7) Nuvali Park
Nuvali is dubbed as the first and only eco-city in the Philippines. The estate is home to Nuvali Park. The park is beside the lake, so lakeside activities from koi feeding to having a picnic under the tree are possible. Jogging and biking on the trails are highly encouraged. Two popular areas are the Rain Garden Evozone and Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, where you can do bird watching. If you come in a group, you may arrange a tree planting activity ahead of time. Together, you may conduct a walking tour of the greenstallations in the park. There are four greenstallations inside Nuvali: The Last Tree, Flower Primitive, Community of Creation, and Luksong Lubid. During the -ber months, Nuvali also hosts a Christmas light show.
When in Laguna, you may explore these parks and playgrounds. These places are both kid- and family-friendly. Additionally, the majority of these places embrace natural wonders. This is not surprising, though, because the local government prioritizes green attractions to complement the province’s natural topography.