When in Davao: Family Friendly Things to Do Starting at Php120/US$2.40
Inspired by our current month-long “vacation” across the Davao Region, here are four inexpensive family-friendly things you can do when in Davao.
Touring this 80-hectare nature preserve, you wouldn’t think it was 95% man-made at all –the forestry and other plant life is so lush and vibrant—and you can take the guided tour around Eden Nature Park for just Php120 (US$2.40) per head.
Keilah’s favorite part of course was the playground just below the buffet restaurant. The restaurant actually reminds me of a greenhouse because of its sunlit architecture. The buffet, (which costs Php550 for adults, Php350 for kids 4 years old and above, and free for children under 4 years old), includes fresh salads with greens grown via hydroponic systems on the park grounds.
My favorite parts were the Flower Garden because it reminded me of the book “The Secret Garden,” and watching Keilah go fishing for tilapia in Eden Nature Park’s fish farm.
There’s no entrance fee for the fishing lake, you only pay for what you catch at Php280/US$5.60 per kilo – you pay a little extra if you want them cooked before you take them home or if you want to eat them at the on-site al fresco dining area.
If you’ve missed so many of your favorite flicks on the big screen then your trip to Davao is the best way to make up for it! Movies at SM Lanang in Davao City are just Php180 (US$3.60) and even cheaper in G-Mall in Tagum City at Php150 (US$3.00). Tagum City is one (1) hour from Davao City. Even though it’s non-reserved seating, it still beats Manila prices by a landslide (plus I don’t think they do free-seating screening in Manila anymore).
Trust me, the 1 hour drive from Davao City to Tagum City is worth it to visit and dine at this quaint little café on Quezon Street. The 823 Kitty Coffee Shop is truly a hidden gem because you wouldn’t expect to find such a whimsical place in Tagum, a small city that’s more rural than urban.
Before you even enter 823 Kitty Coffee Shop, the wrought iron windows shaped into the silhouette of Hello Kitty’s face already sets the mood of your unique dining experience. The entryway of the café is a shop kiosk of curated genuine Hello Kitty items that are surprisingly cheaper than mall prices.
When you get in the actual café your eyes won’t know where to look! There’s Hello Kitty goodness EVERYWHERE! 823 Kitty Coffee Shop is tastefully designed and accessorized with everyone’s favorite Sanrio character.
As in every corner and tiny detail of 823 Kitty Coffee Shop is a selfie background waiting to happen!
And to top it all off, the food served is delicious! They have home-baked cakes with Hello Kitty toppers and refreshing hot and cold drinks. But unlike typical coffee shops, 823 Kitty Coffee Shop also serves savory dishes should you find yourself there during mealtime hours.
Cakes are Php135/US$2.70 per slice, while you can have a delicious cup of coffee-based drinks hot or cold for less than Php100/US$2.00. Savory snacks like fries start at just Php50/US$1.00 and meals start at Php120/US$2.40.
If you’re not too particular about sand color and are fine with all things rustic, then you and your family will have a good time at Magnaga Waters Beach Resort in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, still in the Davao Region, 45 minutes drive via private vehicle from Tagum City and two and a half to three (2.5-3) hours drive from Davao City.
Kids age 0-7 years old get in free while adult entrance fee is at Php20/US$0.40 on weekdays and Php30/US$0.60 on weekends and holidays. There's a charming, rustic dock with a fun slide at the end a little ways past the shoreline.
You can make home-cooked adobo and pancit or buy boxes of family-sized pizza in the city or any dish that can last all day without spoiling, and bring it to the beach because there are no on-site restaurants at the resort and it is a good distance away from any fast-food or dine in restaurants.
There are dozens of beachfront dining cottages (with built-in benches and a family-sized table) with electrical outlets for charging your gadgets and other electronic devices. You can rent the cottages all day for just Php700/US$14.