Nurture Wellness Village and Nurture Farmacy
Nurture Wellness Village is a health spa near Tagaytay with a beautiful, landscaped outdoor setting. Once you're on the SLEX it takes 90 minutes to drive there (returning should be the same, except for if it's a weekend, it will probably take you longer). I found that taking the Southwoods or Carmona exits from SLEX were faster to go there than going to Tagaytay city first, then driving there. The first time I went to Nurture Wellness Village was for a girl's day out. We had foot spas and massages outdoors, and we embraced the gorgeous, green grounds of the spa, as well as enjoyed a wonderful, fresh lunch in their outdoor restaurant. January was an ideal time to go to Nurture Wellness Village as the lower temperatures and cool breeze made for a particularly refreshing day, and one that was very cozy as we wrapped ourselves in fleece blankets for the foot spas and even lunch.
I have since taken my children back to Nurture Wellness Village as the grounds and restaurant are very child-friendly too. There's even a small swimming pool there.
Note that Nurture Wellness Village is a hotel and a place where you can go camping too! See their website for more details.
Recently, Nurture Wellness Village opened Nurture Farmacy just 500 meters away. It's a farm where you can walk-in and take a tour for 250 pesos/person of the plants growing there and learn about their medicinal or healing properties. The plants are grown in such a way that when you take the tour, you are following a representation of the human body--- there are passion fruit plants growing on a winding trellis to resemble the intestines, for example. You learn (and taste) plants like holy basil and stevia, and plenty of others. The tour also includes visiting Maria Clara the carabao, a weaving demonstration, a bahay kubo to sit in, feeding the organic chickens and the bunnies (they get organic kale!), and holding the worms, if you so please, of the vermiculture composting site. Nurture Farmacy is also a place where you can go comfing (comfort camping) overnight. See their website for more details... it includes a dinner and a bonfire at night. Nurture Farmacy even has two small swimming pools that are naturally treated, and a lawn for kids to play on, and a swing set and trampoline. You can plan here for a while!
And then it gets better. Nurture Farmacy has field trip possibilities that you can plan for your kids or a group of kids. We did this with a group of 5 moms and 11 children between us. I organized it all over email with firstname.lastname@example.org, they were very helpful and responsive. See their field trip page for more details, but basically for 440 pesos/child, what was included was a two-hour package with:
1) Welcome drink of Calamansi honey juice
2) Farm tour
3) 1 Likhang or Larowan Pinoy activity (Filipino creation or play actvity). We chose kite-making from natural materials, but we could have chosen Sipa ball-making or Kakanin (native delicacies)-making.
4) 1 Health and Wellness activity. We chose a juice demonstration, but could have chosen a Tai Qi Gong class (like Tai Chi).
5) Snacks of kale pan de sal and jam, and pandan juice
The package can be expanded and priced accordingly. We also had the option of carabao cart rides for an additional 50 pesos/person- which a lot of the kids and moms couldn't resist :)
In addition, Nurture Farmacy can prepare a boodle fight-style lunch for your group with rice, vegetables, daing na bangus (fried milkfish), chicken adobo, fried mushroom, salted egg, fresh fruits and herb tea for 550pesos/person.
The field trip was great and the kids loved it! Particularly the chicken and bunny feeding. And they would have just been happy playing on the lawn, swing set and trampoline for hours. But the activities were great and the staff so so caring and helpful in assiting the kids in making their kites--- which really did fly.
The juice demonstration was thorough and probably enjoyed as much or more by the moms. The juice demo was for 5 different healthy juice concoctions (we learned what the health benefits were of the ingredients). One of my fave was calamansi, honey, pineapple and parsley juice. Sarap!
After our two-hour package, we headed to Nurture Wellness Village for lunch and were greeted by this great table setting for all of us. The food at their restaurant, Gabriela, is varied, fresh and all very reasonably priced. See their menu
. Mamas enjoyed the salads and pastas (they have really great Filipino food too) and the kids couldn't get enough of their herbed chicken nuggets. Then, more running around the grounds of Nurture Wellness Village and breathing in the cool, fragrant, fresh air. A great outing for kiddies and moms alike!