Post and photos by Philippa Langrish
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The island of Boracay in the Philippines is a true tropical idyl with turquoise seas and sand so brilliantly white it literally dazzles you. It’s a tiny island, just 8km long and 1km wide at its narrowest, only accessible by boat. In recent years, however, Boracay has become one of the most visited destinations in The Philippines, which is pretty impressive given that there are over 7,000 islands to choose from! This wasn’t the case 20 years ago when cheap beach huts lined White Beach and a handful of dive shops catered to the few visiting tourists. There were no roads, no cars, few visitors and not much electricity either.
Today there are chain hotels and more than 500 restaurants (including a McDonalds!), nightclubs, shops and a golf course. But despite the crowds this is still a great destination for families with lots of activities to do on land and in the water.
10 Things to do with kids on Boracay
1. Go Kite Surfing
If you fancy a go at kite surfing book a lesson as early in the morning as possible on Bulabog Beach. The beach becomes packed with kite surfers during the day, but if you can drag yourself out of bed you will be able to experience the solitude of surfing almost entirely alone. Some of the kitesurfing schools such as The FunBoard Centre offer ultra-light rigs for children and women as well as wind surfing lessons for kids. This is best for older kids from about 12+.
2. Visit the Spider House
Take a tricycle to Diniwind Beach, this is a big hit with kids! From here you can take the bamboo elevator to Nami which has some of the best views of White Beach and some rather delicious food too. The bamboo elevator is guaranteed to please the children, it even has a lift attendant! From Nami you can walk to the Spider House which is a chilled resto with a little bamboo ladder into the sea. Here you can take a quiet dip to cool off. There is also a floating ocean station accessible from the Spider House, which is really fun for the kids to play on. My daughter Maya loved climbing on and jumping off into the ocean. Access to the ocean is down a rustic bamboo ladder which makes the plunge into Boracay’s crystal clear water a real adventure.
3. Eat oysters
Try fresh Rockerfeller Oysters. Los Indios Bravos at the road onto Bulabog beach has great ones. If shellfish are not your kids’ thing (unfortunately my daughter’s pallet does not venture to oysters!), there’s plenty of kid-friendly fare here including bangers and mash, macaroni cheese, chicken goujons, schnitzels, shepherd pie, nachos and cottage pie amongst other yummy dishes which the kids love. Happy Tummies!
4. Go paddling
Hire a paddleboard at sunset and paddle around Willies Rock. You can pop your kids on the front of the board while working out your abs or let them have a go themselves. Paddle boarding is great for kids of all ages; older children can paddle solo but younger children will need accompaniment. The sea in Boracay is great for learners as the water stays shallow for about 100m out and the waves are tiny. If you stay close to the shore you will be able to touch the bottom if you fall in.
5. Stroll along White Beach
Go for a tranquil early morning stroll on White Beach before the crowds arrive. White Beach is one of Boracay’s two primary beaches (the other one is Bulabog Beach). The two beaches are located on opposite sides of the island’s narrow central strip; White Beach faces westwards and Bulabog faces eastwards. Stop off for a fresh fruit shake at Jonah’s Fruit Shakes, which has an extensive list of mouth-watering shakes that our kids loved.
6. Bounce Along the Ocean
Hire a jet ski or go Banana Boating and get your adrenalin rush zooming over the ocean. A speedboat transports passengers out to the floating platform about 10min from White Beach and from here you can choose from a range of water sports. The kids will love pretending to be action hero’s as the boat zooms out to sea! Jet skiing is not really suitable for kids but the whole family can enjoy the rush of banana boating.
7. Eat Local
Try a cheap and cheeful Chori burger, BBQ chicken intestine or steamed corn from one of the dozens of local stalls dotted along White Beach. The steamed corn makes a great cheap healthy snack for the kids.
8. Make the Most of Happy Hour
Go to one of the many bars for Happy Hour. We liked Aplaya, a new Italian place with bean bags, frozen margaritas and sumptuous Italian appetisers. Happy hour starts about 5pm and kids are welcome. Our two kids loved playing on the bean bags and making sandcastles while we enjoyed the ambiance (and the drinks!).
9. Watch the Fire Dancers
Fire dancers perform every evening at Astoria and The District and you can book a table on the beach at either of these resort restaurants. Astoria offers a large buffet for 500php per person while The District has a lovely Italian restaurant. Our kids were mesmerised by the fire dancers’ energetic routines to a sound track of “Let it Go” and “Gangnam style”.
10. Visit Shangri-La
Take a tricycle ride up to Pukka Beach in the North of the island, our kids loved this! This tranquil beach is best visited in the late afternoon when its not too hot (since there is limited shade). From Pukka Beach take a short trip to the Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa and dine at one of their elegant restaurants (you will need to book). If you book an early table the kids can come too and be treated to a golf buggy ride from the reception area to one of the three restaurants. If you don’t fancy taking a tricycle back then the Shang can organise a shuttle.
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Where to Stay on Boracay with Kids
In addition to the Shangri-La Resort & Spa, which we can’t recommend highly enough (you can read our review of this hotel here), there are some other good family hotel options on Boracay. Boracay Holiday Resort is located on the main road, a block from the beach at Station 2, but it does offer good studio-type apartments that come with a kitchenette. Rates are also reasonable and there’s a pool and kiddy pool. Beachcomber Resort Boracay is another good option. The Family Suite is a good option and can accommodate six people. 7Stones Boracay Suites has lots of great accommodation choices for families including the Super Family Suite that can sleep 8 people. It’s positioned near Bulabog Beach on the eastern side of the island. Asya Premier Suites get consistently great reviews from families. It’s located away from the hustle and bustle of Boracay town centre with fabulous views and wonderful staff. For more family-friendly hotel ideas, take a look at these reviews.
You May Also Enjoy the Following Posts:
The Philippines with Kids: 10 Things to do with Kids in Bohol
My Family Adventure: Brilliant Bohol, The Philippines
Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, The Philippines
The Best Family Hotels in Manila, The Philippines
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31 thoughts on “10 fun things to do on the island of Boracay”
My kids would love all of these ideas! I think the fire dancers would be an amazing show.
Absolutely! Young kids in particular find it mesmerising but I think it’s a great one for children of all ages.
This looks and sounds beautiful with so much to do for kids. I absolutely know mine would love it – especially all the activities like the kite surfing!
It’s such a beautiful island, definitely a great one for the family!
Gorgeous photos! Looks beautiful. My kids would go crazy over the corn.
What, no chicken intestine?! Not for us either I hasten to add!
Would love to explore the Philippines someday! Looks like an amazing adventure. Great tips for getting away from the crowds a bit too.
There are so many places to go in The Philippines! And most of them seem to have incredible beaches too 🙂
I have been trying to talk my husband into making the Philippines part of our travel plans for next year. I love seeing all of the family adventure ideas you listed 🙂 I will be passing this along to my husband to check out!
It should definitely be part of your travel plans!! How could you not visit a beach like this?!
Wow, this looks absolutely stunning! I’m glad you made the list because I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin. We have never considered visiting the Philippines, but this place looks beautiful. Pinning.
It’s a beautiful place! Definitely a great option for a family holiday if you ever find yourself in Asia.
Hard to tell that there is a McDonald’s anywhere nearby! I love finding the unique local treasures in places like this.
We couldn’t agree more!
We’re looking forward to visiting Boracay this year. Probably just at the start of the off season. Looks beautiful.
Lucky you!! Look forward to reading about your adventures!
Perfect place to learn windsurfing! Probably a bit safer and easier for the kids. Also done at Bulabog beach
Thanks for commenting!
Thank you for the fab info! I’m thinking of taking my kids (age 1 and 4) to Boracay at the start of off season in July. However, we’re a bit worried of the recent terrorist threats and kidnappings. How did you feel about the level of security there and were there any precautions you had taken? Thanks for your help!
Hi Kellie, The following answer is from Philippa who is based in Manila: Thank you for your comment and questions on Boracay. Sadly like many popular destinations in the world Boracay receives some terrorist threats. I believe from the Abu sayyaf which is a muslim group operating on the island of Mindano. However, this group is concerned with the independence of Mindano and generally any action is seen in the far south of the Philippines.
Boracay is very much a thriving tourist destination attracting European, Chinese, Korean, American and local visitors amongst others.
The security on the beach is probably one of the best in the Philippines, because they want to keep the island attractive to visitors. There are regular patrols on the beach at night and all the larger hotels have their own security staff.
I have been to Boracay 3 times now and have never felt unsafe or threatened. Advice I would give to tourists visiting the Philippines who are concerned about security would be to stay away from remote areas, do not visit Mindano and never get in an unmarked taxi.
Hope this helps!
Hi, awesome info????????we just booked our holiday this dec in boracay, what its like there during this month, guess would b busier, travelling with our daughter will be 2yrs old n our son who will be 8 month old, ???? So excited xxx
Hi Ally, Yes December is one of the busier months to go, but it is also a great time to go as the weather is favourable which means more time on the beach. Your kids will have a great time playing in the sand and the sea. Make sure you remind the hotel if you need a baby cot. You can even take a simple stroller to Boracay as the pathway behind the main beach is stroller friendly. Have a great time. – Philippa.
We are traveling to Boracay in Feb 2017 and at the last minute we have decided to takeout 2 girls 11 and 2.5 years, to be 100% honest I am a tad nervous as to what the girls will do , eat ect also is there any kids clubs that they can go to enjoy also any info from other parents would be great to put my mind at ease , thank you
Hi Kylie, thanks so much for getting in touch. Philippa, who wrote the post, is travelling at the moment but will respond personally soon. In the meantime I just wanted to say that you will have an amazing time on Boracay! Philippa went when her kids were very young and they found lots of things to do. I know she will give you more advice! Thanks again for commenting.
Boracay is a great place to take the children. It is the most well known island in the Philippines and is very ‘developed’ with international Hotels such as the Shangrila and famous eateries such as EPIC and Yellow Cab Pizza. Finding activities with the kids depends on where you stay. The high end hotels have their own kids activities such as the Shangrila and Discovery Shores. If you are staying in a hotel with no kids activities then the beach is filled with sandcastles and there are plenty of places to buy buckets and spades. There beach is perfect for children as the tide is so low the waters remain very shallow for several meters.
My 2 year old loves to run on the beach, play in the water and make sand castles. While older children can enjoy snorkeling around Willy’s Rock. There are lots of water sports on offer, but my top pick for families is definitely a sunset sail up and down the beach. I took both my kids on this activity (2 and 5) and they loved lying in the catamaran nets while the boats sailed through the wind. I always pack infant life vests as the standard issue are usually a bit ill fitting.
Your 11 year old may like to get her hair braided, enjoy a massage or have some funky nail art. They are really into pampering in the Philippines, I occasionally take my daughter for a 30minute massage on the beach or a little pedicure. She loves it and for 500php it great value!
My kids love taking a tricycle tour around the island. Especially the 2 year old as he is obsessed with motor bikes. You can visit the smaller beaches such as Diniwind and Pukka Beach.
Epic is a good place to eat with the kids. I also recommend Nami on Diniwind Beach as it has a cool bamboo elevator, great views and yummy healthy food. The children also love the many juice bars on the beach who make different kinds of fresh fruit smoothies,
There are many westerners who live on the island and run businesses. They have set up a few Facebook groups like “Boracay Kids Club” for locals and visitors. They host events such as mural painting and festive celebrations.
I hope this helps.
Omg Philippa THANK YOU , Thank you do so much my mind is more at ease a little now with the information you have shared with me .
We are staying at the Boracay Island Resort , I am going to for sure going to heck out all the places you said and the sail boat I was intending on taking a small swim vest ( jacket ) for the 2.5 year old .
My 2 girls are very very excited as we leave in 42 days I think this is why I’m a tad nervous too as they weren’t coming with us at all but things changed and the decisions was make 6 days ago . I will keep in contact and tell you how we went , I’m not sure ? how I can do this as I just come across your info just out of the blue and haven’t closed it off on my phone as of yet in case I can’t find it again .
Also MERRY CHRISTMAS ? i hope you had a beautiful time with your family thanks so much again
Thanks for the info. I have twins 1.5yrs, son 2.5yrs.
Where would you recommend more, palawan, Boracay or Bohol? Safest and also budget wise would be great. We’re travelling with my parents, so hopefully it’ll be a good trip.
Looking forward to your reply.
Hi Mae, thanks for your message. They are 3 very different places so it depends on what you are looking for. In terms of safety, Boracay probably tops the list as there is alot of security present on the island. However it is also the busiest and more commercial of the 3 places.
The remote beaches of Palawan are the most beautiful and awe inspiring within the country. It is secluded and a good place to find peace and tranquility. Bohol is a good middle ground, since it has some great resorts (with security), gorgeous beaches, fantastic snorkeling (balicasag island) and some brilliant inland adventures (tarsier sanctuary).
Personally if i was travelling with 3 kids under 3 i would chose Bohol (Amorita Resort) or Boracay (Anywhere on station 1 or Diniwind beach), since you will be on the beach with access to babycare needs, medical facilities, and babysitting services.
I am traveling with my family in 7 weeks and going to boracay Station 1.
I woke with some of my relatives from the Philippines and was told that they do not allow kids under 7 to get on the boat and stay in the resort we booked. I just want to know if it is true or not because now I am worried that we have already booked everything and the hotel is non-refundable.
can someone please confirm if this is true or not so I can make arrangements.
Hi Nina, in order to get the most accurate information, I would definitely get in touch with the hotel directly. All our information is correct at the time of publishing, however, I would speak to the hotel to address your concerns. Thanks, Katja
Great post! This looks and sounds beautiful with so much to do for kids. I absolutely know mine would love it – especially all the activities like the kite surfing! Is Boracay still on maintenance? I heard it was so I’m checking if it’s true. Thanks!
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