Starting Our Christmas Season with Cubao Fiesta Park's Christmas on Display

Animated Christmas Display in Cubao Fiesta Park

"Ang Pasko ay para sa mga bata" - this is one popular saying here in the Philippines during the Christmas Season. In English it means "Christmas is for kids" and I believe it is true indeed because I felt Christmas was more magical when I was a kid than now when I was an adult.

I still remember that one night when our parents brought me and my brother to Cubao to watch the COD Christmas Display. I can still remember how we tried to squeeze through the crowd so that we could go to the front. I can vaguely remember the whole show but I remember the belen that shows Mary and Joseph with the newborn Jesus, the angel delivering the good news to the shepherds, and the three kings delivering their gifts to the Holy Child. There was even an exciting scene where a child climbs, and oftentimes slides down the stick, while doing the palo sebo.

Now that I am a parent, it is my turn to bring the kids to Cubao. We brought them to Araneta City's Fiesta Park, now known as Christmas Carnival.

Christmas at Cubao Fiesta Park

Fiesta Carnival or Christmas Carnival is an open air mini-amusement park or peryahan located beside the Araneta Integrated Terminal. The place is actually a bit underwhelming because it only has a few rides. Despite this, our kids had fun riding the bumper boat and having their photos with the giant Christmas tree.

Giant Christmas Tree at Araneta Fiesta Park

We were dismayed after losing at the "ring toss game" and "catch a duck", where we lost hundreds of pesos. I will definitely these money traps in the future.

The highlight of our night is the Christmas Display. Our kids enjoyed the retelling of the Christmas story using the animated dolls. They were truly amazed and Bunso's favorite is the angel moving up and down the clouds.

Christmas Belen at Cubao Fiesta Park


The Christmas Display at the Araneta Christmas Carnival is the latest revival of the COD Christmas Display, which was one of the highlights of Cubao during the holiday season.

The Christmas animated display was started in 1966 by the Manila COD, which was a shopping mall at the then Araneta Center. The show ran until the mall's closure in 2002.

The old COD Christmas Display brought great memories to me. I do hope that the revived Christmas Display at the Araneta City Fiesta Park will also brought great memories to our children.

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Reference:

Araneta City FB Page

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Family Bonding in Tagaytay (Part 3): The Newly Improved Picnic Grove

It is many years since my last visit to Tagaytay Picnic Grove. It was so long ago that we had only two children, who were still babies, back then.

I was actually surprised and amazed with the changes of Picnic Grove. The city government of Tagaytay applied the much needed renovation of the park, which I recommended in a previous post

One of the changes that surprised me is the presence of a big Ferris wheel.

Ferris Wheel in Tagaytay Picnic Grove

The Ferris wheel is the first thing that welcomes visitors to the park. This means that Sky Ranch can no longer boast of having the only Ferris wheel in Tagaytay.

Picnic Grove was developed from 1956-1964 during the presidencies of Carlo P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. Back then, Tagaytay City Government wanted to turn their city into a prime tourist destination. The plan failed and Picnic Grove was abandoned.

The park came to life in the 1970s when wealthy Metro Manilans started building vacation houses in Tagaytay. From time on, Picnic Grove became a popular destination in Tagaytay. 

Picnic Grove Entrance Fee

Entering Tagaytay Picnic Grove is never free. We paid 80 pesos per person. Sadly, the ticket lady said that even kids had to pay. So we paid a total of 320 pesos for four people.

People's Park in the Sky is much better because my 6-year old daughter entered that park for free. I guess the renovations of Picnic Grove made the park management more "business-oriented".

What We Saw in Tagaytay Picnic Grove

There are more changes to Picnic Grove other than the presence of the Ferris Wheel. What's noticeable is that the park became more organized.

Souvenir Shops in Tagaytay Picnic Grove

There is a new building that has spaces for souvenir shops, food stores, and other shops. The building has a second floor for more shops and a bridge, also known as "Sky Walk".

Sky Walk in Tagaytay Picnic Grove

Sky Walk didn't lead us to the sky. It is just a bridge over the path that leads to the main part of Picnic Grove.

The good thing about Sky Walk is that it has a good view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

View of Taal Lake from Sky Walk in Tagaytay Picnic Grove
View of Taal Volcano from Sky Walk

One end of Sky Walk has a close-up view of the Ferris wheel.

Ferris Wheel in Tagaytay Picnic Grove

The other end has a wide deck for viewing Taal Lake.

View Deck of Tagaytay Picnic Grove

The picnic area is still the same. The only difference is the absence of hawkers who pester visitors into buying picnic mats and snacks.

Picnic Area of Tagaytay Picnic Grove

The zip line, which is one of the Picnic Grove activities even before the pandemic, is operational. My kids enjoyed watching people fly along the wires.

Horses in Tagaytay Picnic Grove before the Pandemic
Horses in Picnic Grove before the pandemic.

Horse riding in Picnic Grove, another of the pre-pandemic activities, is absent during our visit. 

The birds that we saw during our previous visit are also gone. Maybe they perished during the pandemic?

A hornbill in Tagaytay Picnic Grove's mini-zoo before the pandemic.
A hornbill in Picnic Grove's mini-zoo before the pandemic.

Our Bunso enjoyed Picnic Grove. He didn't want to sit. What he did was walk on the grass and roam the whole park. He is the same as our firstborn when he visited Picnic Grove when he was a toddler.

Our Eldest Child Running in Tagaytay Picnic Grove
Eldest son, Samuel, exploring Picnic Grove

Our Bunso and I reached the cottage area of Picnic Grove. We also walked the whole length of Sky Walk, from the viewing deck to the other end. My other two children had their own explorations and even made friends with other kids.

It was a fun picnic for the family. I can say that Picnic Grove is the perfect end to our family bonding. We will definitely return to Tagaytay to once again experience the fun.

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Read more about our recent adventures in Tagaytay:

Family Bonding in Tagaytay (Part 1): A Taste of Bulalo in Taste Ride Tagaytay

Family Bonding in Tagaytay (Part 2): Going High in People's Park

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References:

1. Incorporating Environmental Management on Tourism Activities at Picnic Grove Tagaytay by Anjeline Park

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