Top 10 What to Do in Cebu and Bohol, Philippines with Kids

This is my personal recommended guide for What to Do in Cebu and Bohol, the Philippines with Kids. Cebu and Bohol, Philippines is a perfect family island trip in Asia with swimmable ocean beaches. You are going to love visiting this very family-friendly country in Asia where kids are treasured and the lifestyle is relaxed. Getting to Bohol from Singapore, Taipei or Kuala Lumpur is easy with a stop in Manila or Cebu. There are also some direct flights to the airport in Bohol in Taglibaran.

We live in Taiwan so getting to Cebu is really easy to do. It’s a perfect place to go any time of year and can be especially exciting for Christmas in Asia or Easter celebration in the Philippines. We took a spring break trip with the kids on a school holiday. We packed in so much outdoor adventure into our trip to Cebu and Bohol! Snorkeling, adventure parks, kayak, hiking, fireflies and wildlife. Find out why we love traveling to Bohol with kids and all our favorite attractions with this guide.

Things to do in Bohol with kids

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Loboc River Resort SUP, kayak and firefly tour

Book a half-day Bohol trip to see the major sites (Bee Farm, Chocolate Hills, Panglao)

Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

Danao Adventure Park

Bohol Bee Farm

Sotera’s ATV Rides

Panglao island hopping and dolphin watching

Hinagdanan Cave

We planned a family vacation to Cebu and Bohol on a school holiday in spring when the weather is perfect. Cebu and Bohol are perfect for a long week of holiday in Asia with kids. We flew from Taipei to Cebu City and then took a fun ferry ride to Bohol where we spent the majority of our week. We were so excited to see firefly swarms lighting up the sky at night in Bohol! That was a magical experience, especially since we love nature and the outdoors so much. I wrote up our favorite places to stay with kids in Bohol and the top all-inclusive resort in Cebu perfect for a family vacation. You can check flights with Skyscanner to get some really good deals and discounts on travel.
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Best Place to Stay in Bohol with Kids

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Loboc River Resort, Bohol, Philippines is great for SUP paddle boarding, river kayaking and evening firefly tours. Check rates here!

The whole point of going to Bohol was to stay at the Loboc River Resort because we wanted to an affordable and spacious place for a family on the river.

We REALLY wanted to go on a firefly boat ride at night to see the twinkling lightning bugs light up the treetops. Even if you are not staying at Loboc, you can book a private firefly tour that includes hotel pick-up and dinner. Click here to book a firefly tour!

Loboc River Resort offers free fishing poles which are perfect for our two kids who love to go fishing when we travel.

We booked two adjoining River Suites and space was HUGE! It was more space than we needed with 2 king-size beds, 2 bathrooms, 2 sitting areas, and 2 outdoor balconies directly on the Loboc River. This allowed us to spread out without worrying about waking the kids. Or them waking us! I could play my ukulele on the balcony without any worry.

It was really beautiful to enjoy coffee on the balcony in the morning and a glass of wine at sunset.

The villas are budget-friendly while still having a few luxuries like AC in the bedrooms, great beds, and a small refrigerator.

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Bedroom with king size bed

Loboc River Resort is great for families because it has a nice mix of activities. There is a large swimming pool facing the river with lounge chairs and a waterfall. Our kids loved the floating toys shaped like a huge flamingo and a pizza!

The resort has SUP boards and kayaks for rent. You can also rent motorbikes and scooters to explore the Chocolate Hills, Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary, and other nearby attractions.

The highlight of our trip was taking an evening ride to see swarming fireflies (lightning bugs) in the treetops of the river. The boat ride takes less than 1 hour round trip. The boat ride and firefly tour in Bohol is a fun, mysterious adventure that kids will not forget.

Plan in advance and order your dinner at the restaurant before your tour. When you return to the dock, it’s easy to wash hands and sit down to food that is ready to go for hungry kids!

I like using Agoda.com to search for the best hotels in Asia for their great filters and comprehensive lists of choices.

Amorita Resort is a great choice near the beach in Bohol for location and amenities.

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Amorita Resort on Bohol, a great choice for families – click here to book!

What to Do in Cebu City with Kids

Visit a Guitar and Ukulele Factory on Mactan Island (Ferangeli Guitar, Alegre Guitar Factory)

KartZone Cebu

Papa Kit’s Marina & Fishing Lagoon

Carbon Market

Sky Adventure Experience

Museo Sugbo

SM Shopping Mall

SM Supermarket

Sky Waterpark

Tubod Flowing Water Resort


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Best All-Inclusive Beach Resort in Cebu City for Families

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Shangri-La Mactan Resort in Cebu, Philippines – great for kids! Click here to check rates.

Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa is a 5-star all-inclusive resort near Cebu City is just minutes from the Cebu airport.

Arrival and departure are very easy with a free shuttle. Cebu is famous for traffic jams so the convenience to the airport means you maximize your Philippines beach resort vacation with the kids. Click here to check rates!

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Ocean Wing double-bed room with balcony and ocean view

Book a Family Fun Package

We booked an Ocean Wing room with a Family Fun Package which is absolutely worth it for all the freebies you get with the package!

Pro-tip: if the package you want isn’t offered on the Shangri-La promotions page, email the hotel to ask about special pricing. Consider joining their Golden Circle reward program to receive even better service and start adding up points for free stays in the future.

I find Shangri-La accommodates special requests at a reasonable amount for a 5-star resort on the beach.

The kids loved the Adventure Zone “Kids Club”, free use of snorkeling equipment and kayak that came with our package, and private access to the Ocean Wing pool. Poolside snacks and pizza are always a hit with them!

As parents, we liked that there was an international breakfast buffet with made-to-order items and an evening lounge and reception in the same building. I could eat their spinach eggs benedict every day! We easily could eat as a family during the kid-friendly reception hours and then send the kids down to the room to relax while we enjoyed some kid-free conversation.

The best part about the Shangri-La Mactan is how easy it is to snorkel from the shore with kids. Life vests are free and available so you can relax and just float and swim in a life-guarded, protected area that has tons of fish (Nemo!), urchins, corals, and shellfish. We snorkeled for hours and had so much fun as a family. I want to go back now!

When it’s time to go home (wah!), Shangri-La provides a free shuttle back to the nearby Mactan airport. Click here to check their latest prices and book a Family Fun package!

How to Get from Cebu to Bohol

We took other travelers’ advice and booked our own independent travel to and from Bohol. After flying into Cebu Mactan airport, exit the airport and follow signs to the taxi line. The airport taxi staff will assist you to communicate that you want to go to the Pier and ferry departure, about an easy 15-minute taxi ride.

Ferries to Bohol leave regularly. OceanJet offers fast ferry service to Bohol (about 1 hour 45 minutes ride) and tickets are sold at a ticket counter outside the ferry terminal. When the taxi drops you off, just look around a minute and you’ll see the OceanJet ticket building. Buy a ticket for the next departing ferry and then enter the ferry terminal.

A small ‘port tax’ is charged for all passengers and this is paid before entering the waiting lounge.

Once inside, there is a luggage counter and OceanJet porters that will collect and load your bags. There is a small fee for this service in addition to your tickets.

How to Get from Bohol to Loboc River Resort

After the ferry ride, you deboard at the ferry terminal in Tagbilaran, Bohol. The Loboc River Resort staff can easily arrange for a driver to greet you and transport you directly to the hotel. I love arriving somewhere knowing that all we have to do is beeline to a driver holding a sign with our name, bypassing hawkers and confusion.

If you need to stop at a supermarket or anything else, just let the driver know. It’s a 45-minute drive from the ferry port to the resort in Bohol. It’s possible to fly from Cebu or Manila to Tagbilaran, but I like taking boats with the kids and it was a much cheaper way to get from Cebu to Bohol and back.

You can arrange transportation on Bohol with a private car, motorbike or van and customize your own itinerary. Click here to make a reservation!

Know Before You Go

“Extra” fees and charges are fairly common in the Philippines we found. It was extra for storing luggage, ferry port fees, airport departure taxes, etc. Ask in advance about this so you’re not put off or feeling like you’re being taken advantage of when arranging tours, drivers, and other activities.

Weather is a large factor in how much fun you’ll have with kids in the Philippines. Plan ahead for rain, intense sun, and mosquitoes so you’re prepared when visiting outdoor sites such as the beaches, Chocolate Hills, and adventure parks.

Market Not To Be Missed in Cebu

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A visit to Cebu’s Carbon Market is a must for travelers seeking a local experience (and fresh-cut mango!).

Carbon Market
Hours: 6 am – 7 pm
M. C. Briones St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
Map Pin

Large, vibrant open-air public market with flowers, tropical fruits, dried goods, spices, locally-made goods and lots of opportunities for photos.

Favorite Items to Pack When Traveling to the Philippines with Kids

  

  1. Bring a travel fishing pole. Click here!
  2. Travel with our favorite metal wine tumblers for outdoors. Find them here!
  3. Pack this travel knife – for delicious mangos!
  4. Protect your cell phone while on the SUP or kayak. Buy the one I use here!
  5. Order the Lonely Planet Philippines guidebook (also on Kindle). Order here.
  6. Adult and kids snorkel masks, new style for easier use and camera mount. Click here!

More Useful Resources on Family-friendly Vacation to Cebu

Cebu Travel – Lonely Planet

Cebu Island – Wikitravel

Meet the Philippine tarsier: Second-smallest primate on the planet – CNN

What do you look for when planning a family vacation? Have you been to other places in the Philippines we should know about? Read my guides for awesome family travel in Taiwan, Japan and Cambodia too!

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