Lima is not the favorite destination on Earth for our family. Justin and I have both visited this city in the past for tourism and made the conclusion, that in the future Lima would only be a connection hub for flights to other parts of Peru or South America. However, not everything always goes the way we plan it, and it happened that on this road trip from Argentine Patagonia through Peru we decided to stay in Lima for 3 weeks. It was in June, during winter time in Southern Hemisphere, when the sun is such a rare occurrence, that we didn’t see it once.
Those who have visited Lima would probably agree, that there is not much to do there for more than a week even if you are on a Peruvian cuisine spree, unless, of course, you are on some sort of business trip, a mission or living there as an expat. So one of the questions that I asked myself was how to entertain and in what activites to engage our daughter, considering the drastic change in our lifestyle. We have been living on the road for quiet a while and she is used to being in nature way more than in an urban environment with tons of vehicles, dust, pollution, noise, asphalt instead of grass and a bunch of buildings instead of trees.
We stayed in the neighborhood of Barranco, that has an artsy atmosphere. It definitely helped that the museum of Mario Testino (MATE) and The Museum of Pedro de Osma were about 100 meters away from our apartment. The nearest plaza with benches, trees, a church and a fountain was also less than 1 km away, and the nearest park called Park Raimondi with a decent playground - 15 min of fast walk alongside the traffic and constantly honking cars. But we managed to find ways to engage Aya in different activities outside of the apartment. Plaza de Armas de Barranco with the neighboring Puente de los Suspiros and Park Raimondi became our almost daily places to visit. The days that we didn’t go there we explored other indoor and outdoor playgrounds in Lima.
When I actually googled ‘things to do with toddlers in Lima’ I was surprised how few options came up. Upon digging deeper in both English and Spanish, I had a comprehensive list of places to go and things to see with our curious little one. Some of them we visited, others we didn’t, simply because we tried to minimize driving our rig in Lima... being on the road alongside Peruvian drivers is just...unnerving, stressful and unsafe.
We arrived there on Monday morning at 10:30 am and the park had no visitors. We had the entire place to ourselves. Aya had a blast on roller coaster rides, flying rides, jumping trampolines, riding go karts, merry go-rounds, water slides, sailing in a boat, sliding on inflatables and getting on carrousels, that were all appropriate for her age and height. She is a tall toddler and was able to get on many attractions. There is a well-equipped area for even younger children to play and Aya spent there over an hour. We all enjoyed visiting a farm with domestic animals and even got to nurse a goat from a bottle. We left close to 3 pm, way pass her nap time.
With 8 locations in different areas of Lima, we found this to be a perfect place for Aya to engage herself in different types of activities alongside other kids of more or less the same age. We went a few times to the same location, in Higuereta/ Surco because it was the closest drive from where we stayed. The playground has a section that is indoors for painting, drawing, constructing railroad tracks for a train, pretend cooking in a kitchen area, a dollhouse and a trampoline and an outside area for physical activity, building lego figures and a whole wardrobe full of cartoon character outfits for boys and girls. The Coffee part in the name of the place refers to adults since there is a cafeteria serving coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, empanadas and various snacks. There is also WiFi, so it was perfect for us parents, to work on our projects while our child was having a good time exploring Small Place.
It seems like children of any age until 13 can get occupied here with diverse entertainment for the whole day. There are over 50 themed play rooms such as a beauty salon, gym, veterinary clinic, climbing wall, safari, farm, rapids, football field, driving school, art gallery, university, and the list goes on. During our stay in the capital the place was closed for maintenance on Mondays, booked for school events other days of the week and open for general public only on weekends. So it will be a good idea to check the section of Horrario y Precios (Schedule and Prices) before you go.
It has two locations in Lima. The classes are structured based on the age range starting with 4 months until 12 years. There are dance and sports and other types of classes enhancing mental and physical development. There are also winter and summer camps concentrating on art games, cooking and music. All of the information is available on their website in Spanish.
is a place where we didn’t go, but it was originally included in my list. From the website I could tell that it was ideal for infants and toddlers until the age of 3.
- Parque de la Felicidad in San Borja
- Parque de la Molina
- Parque de la Amistad / Friendship Park
- Parque John F. Kennedy and its homeless, but well taken care of cats
- Parque de las Leyendas / Legends Park