Family time this Christmas at SM by the BAY

Everytime Christmas comes around, it’s always great to find new ways to share and celebrate the festive season with friends and family.

The Philippines is known to celebrate Christmas the longest compared to other countries in the world. And during this long period, we Filipinos love to get together, eat out, and have a merry time with people we love.

My family similarly loves to find time to be together and bond over good food and fun activities especially during the Yuletide season. So, finding new attractions and great places to dine is always something we take seriously.

A couple of days ago, one of our many simple family getaways to celebrate Christmas time was by heading over to SM by the BAY to check out the various cool establishments and attractions.

SM by the BAY

We decided to visit SM by the BAY because, for one, the 1.5 Km entertainment complex boasts of having one of the best views of the Manila Bay sunset. Apart from that, the place also offers a vast range of dining and buffet options and a unique park experience that are perfect for friends and family.

With the complex operating from 6AM-2AM and restaurants that are open from 11AM-1AM, SM by the BAY offers non-stop fun all year round. The place is open every day – especially during Christmas and New Year.

I particularly loved how one can easily feel the holiday spirit at SM by the BAY because the place is adorned with Christmas decorations, a 75ft Christmas Tree and festive lights installed along the entire stretch of the complex. In addition, music and fireworks can be enjoyed on Fridays and Saturdays at 7PM. Whee!

Also, SM by the BAY offers a wide variety of mouth-watering food as well as fun and exhilarating amusement rides like the iconic MOA Eye.

All aboard for Christmas at SM by the BAY

This particular evening, we opted to have a uniquely fun dinner cruise at SM by the BAY with Sun Cruises.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

Sun Cruises is actually no stranger to us since my wife actually surprised me with a fun dinner cruise in one of their yachts a couple of years ago during our 10th wedding anniversary. Then we had another dinner cruise with them a year and a half after. This was back when their terminal was still located near the PICC and Folk Arts Theatre.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

Now, Sun Cruises receives passengers at the beautiful and much better Esplanade Seaside Terminal conveniently situated inside the SM by the BAY area. The place has ample parking, bright lights and a convenience store right by the entrance. Definitely safer and more welcoming.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

My kids were excited for this dinner cruise at SM by the BAY even days before. And it felt great doing something different and new with them.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

We were comfortably seated at our table inside the yacht eagerly waiting to get going.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

Other guests were also with us during the cruise… some were families, others seemed to be a group of friends, and others looked like couples out on a date.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

As the boat started to set out to traverse the beautiful bay, an acoustic duo started performing a good number of songs to the delight of us passengers. Soon after, dinner was ready in the form of a buffet. The food was great and very satisfying.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

After dinner, we decided to walk up to the deck where we could enjoy the incredible view of Manila Bay and the wonderful breeze.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

From there, we enjoyed looking at the various structures and establishments that were colorfully lit, including the Mall of Asia and unmistakable MOA Eye. What a sight!

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

My family and I had so much fun sightseeing during our dinner cruise that we didn’t notice the time fly. Before we knew it, we were already heading back to the Esplanade Seaside Terminal to dock.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

Our dinner cruise as a family at SM by the BAY, is something we won’t soon forget. It made for one really great family bonding moment during this Christmas season.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

It is worth noting that apart from dinner cruises, Sun Cruises also continues to provide ferrying services, tours and hotel in Corregidor.

This most definely won’t be our last visit to SM by the BAY because there are still tons of other establishments to check out soon. We plan to visit these equally amazing attractions in the coming days to further celebrate the yultide season.

Apart from Sun Cruises, some of these SM by the BAY establishments are:

La Fiesta

Widely considered to be the “Largest Filipino Buffet”, this place offers unlimited plates of street food, party staples and hearty Filipino fare like Kare-Kare and Dinuguan.

678 Kang Ho Dong

This Korean Barbecue Restaurant provides an authentic Korean experience with (get this!) unlimited kimchi. Wow! Dishes are always served fresh and cooked in front of diners.

Movie Stars Cafe

Travel to Hollywood without leaving your seat. Enjoy tasty meals surrounded by authentic film memorabilia and life-size figures from Hollywood’s greatest movies. Not just that! There are actors and actresses in the restaurant that interact with customers – they sing, dance and play their roles just like in a real movie… while serving dinner!


Meat lovers rejoice! This SM by the BAY establishment has over 50 kinds of food ready for grilling. This includes a mix of Korean and Japanese yakitoris, traditional Filipino barbeque like isaw ng manok, and a variety of fresh seafood. You also get to choose what you want to grill in your very own grilling station.


If you love Japanese food like I do, you will most definitely love this place. This SM by the BAY restaurant offers a wide selection of sushi, sashimi and rolls, teppanyaki, tempura and tonkatsu, yakitori, noodles and ramen, cold soba, takoyaki and more. Wow! It is regarded as the being the largest Japanese buffet restaurant with a seating capacity of 500 persons.

There’s just so much to experience at SM by the BAY which makes our spectacular dinner cruise via Sun Cruises only the tip of the iceberg.

SM by the BAY - Sun Cruises

I can’t wait to head back with my family and see what other surprises SM by the BAY has in store for us.

But more than anything, the Christmas spirit is evidently alive and strong at SM by the BAY – something we all wish to feel not just during December, but every day of the year.

So, if you’re longing for that much needed holiday cheer, there’s no better place for you and friends to be at than SM by the BAY.

Merry Christmas, folks!

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Family time this Christmas at SM by the BAY was last modified: December 24th, 2015 by Chuckie Dreyfus