Lima for Kids – 10 Things to do in Lima with Kids
We had heard from friends that Peru’s capital city of Lima was a South American gem — with gorgeous art galleries and world class food. What we were unsure of, however, was what there was in Lima, Peru for kids. During our 48 hours exploring this megacity as a family, we set out to discover parks, museums, pyramids and more. In the following article, you will find our top picks for things to do in Lima with kids. In a hurry? Take a quick peek at our adventures in this 3 minute video on 48 Hours in Lima, Peru with Kids.
10 Things to do in Lima with Kids
1. Stroll or Bike Along El Malecón de Miraflores
Stroll or bike El Malecón de Miraflores — Lima’s cliffside boardwalk. This 5 mile (8km) pathway has a beautiful view of the ocean, and can include lots of interesting stops (parks, flower gardens, sculptures, restaurants and even the open-air luxury mall Larcomar). Our kids were especially interested in watching the paragliders take off over Coste Verde from the whimsical Parque del Amor. If you are looking for Lima bike rentals, there is a Mirabici bike rental kiosk right outside Larcomar Mall. They offer rentals and bike tours, and even have several kids bikes and toddler seats available (be sure to reserve these ahead of time).
2. Visit a Chocolate Museum – The Choco Museo
Break up the cultural crawl with a visit to the Choco Museo. Now really, this is more like a chocolate shop, but there is an educational component if you take time to read through the displays or sign up for a chocolate making workshop. Popular with kids is the 45 minute “Make your own mini chocolate bar” class ($15 – register online). Although we did not attend any classes, my kids liked this store so much that we visited two different locations and came home with bags full of chocolate tea, cocoa nibs, and dark chocolate from different regions of Peru. Learn more at: www.chocomuseo.com
Note: Promising my kids that we would visit the chocolate museum “next”, bought us just a little extra time in places that we parents enjoyed more (such as an art museum).
3. The Museum of Contemporary Art – M.A.C.
I have learned that my kids do much better in contemporary art museums than in those filled with works from the old masters. Contemporary artwork can be so wacky, that it seems to keep them quite intrigued. Along with the indoor pieces, the boutique-sized MAC also has a nice little sculpture garden, and makes for the perfect picnic spot within the trendy Barranco District. Also close by, is a cute little park called Parque de La Familia, where you will find a little playground and a pond full of ducks and geese (shown in above video).
4. Huaca Pucllana- A Pyramid in Lima
Dating between 200AD and 700AD, Huaca Pucllana is a restored adobe pyramid and ceremonial center located right in the middle of Miraflores. Your admission includes a one hour guided tour (English or Spanish option), but kids may enjoy visiting the resident farm animals most (llamas, alpacas, chickens and even the bizarre looking Peruvian Hairless Dog). If you visit on a sunny day, be sure to wear a hat as there is no shade at this site. Huaca Pucllana also has a nice restaurant which is particularly pretty at night when the pyramid is lit up. Read reviews for Huaca Pucllana here.
5. Parque de la Amistad – Friendship Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city streets with a visit to Parque de la Amistad — a large green space in central Lima. Enjoy a picnic, ride the restored steam locomotive, or rent a pedal boat and cruise around the lagoon. Read reviews for Parque de la Amistad here.
6. Parque Kennedy
We really enjoyed visiting Parque Kennedy in Miraflores for its South American energy. We popped by on a Saturday evening on our way to dinner in Miraflores — taking some time to wander through a craft market, watch people dancing, and check out the work of local painters. The oddest thing, however, and something that was of great interest to my children, was the fact that this park is filled with cats. These cats are relatively well taken care of by a local association and seem to enjoy the evening festivities as much as their human counterparts. See Parque Kennedy reviews here.
7. Double Decker Lima Bus Tour with Mirabus
If you are a little nervous about wandering the city streets, or if you have a child who might love to ride the top level of a double decker bus, Mirabus is for you. They have numerous tours daily including a one hour ride around the Miraflores District, an evening tour of the catacombs of San Francisco, and even some full day tours (with both English and Spanish commentary). Their website is not the best, but with luck you may be able to reserve with Mirabus online. Otherwise, you are better to visit their kiosk in Parque Kennedy, Miraflores. Read Mirabus Lima bus tour reviews here.
8. Cirquito Mágico del Agua del Parque de la Reserva – Fancy Fountains
I can’t believe we almost skipped this one. Honestly, it sounded a bit cheesy to me….a bunch of fountains set to music in an amusement park style setting. Since we had a midnight flight out of Lima, however, we decided to pop by the Magic Water Circuit anyway. Well, what a riot ! And so inexpensive too, at only a little more than $1USD per person to enter. It felt like a quintessential Limeño experience — wandering through the lively park along with tons of local families and the odd young couple out on a romantic stroll. There are about a dozen fountains to discover within the park as well as a couple of amusement rides. Learn more at www.circuitomagicodelagua.com or read reviews for Parque de la Reserva here.
9. The Lima Zoo – Parque de las Leyendas
Quite frankly, I am not a huge zoo fan, but many families visiting Lima have commented that the animals at Legend Park Zoo seem to be well cared for. An effort has also been made to improve the animal enclosures in recent years. Some families may wish to visit both the zoo and the Museo Larco in the same day, as they are only 10 minutes apart by taxi (traffic dependent, of course). Read reviews for Parque de las Leyendas here.
10. Other Family Friendly Museums in Lima
If you want to hit a few museums in Lima, the Museo Larco it very popular with visitors. If nothing else, your child will be amused by their large collection of pre-Columbian erotic pottery.
Although I wouldn’t normally recommend a photography museum for kids, your child just might discover their favorite pop star adorning the walls of famed fashion photographer Mario Testino’s MATE museum in Barranco.
Where to Stay in Lima
I would strongly recommend staying in either the Miraflores or Barranco districts of Lima because they are both lovely neighborhoods where you will find the top Lima attractions, great restaurants, chic boutiques, and pretty parks. We were lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Hotel B in Barranco. This restored mansion, has art-filled rooms and lounge areas, a beautiful atrium for breakfast and afternoon tea, a great bar (the best pisco sour of my Peru trip) and a gorgeous rooftop patio. While rooms at the Hotel B are typically suitable for 2 people, rooms 228 and 229 can be combined to become a locked off family suite.
Learn more and check availability on: Booking.com.
See reviews: Hotel B on TripAdvisor
For more luxury hotels in Lima, Peru see this post on : Boutique Hotels – Lima, Peru
Affiliate Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Professional Disclosure: We were kindly offered a complimentary stay at the Hotel B, Lima. All opinions are entirely my own. I would always like to encourage you, however, to take the time to read reviews from other travelers prior to making a booking on review sites such as Tripadvisor.
Is Lima Safe?
Quite frequently, I am asked this question about a city we have visited. Certainly, when it comes to large latin american cities like Lima, safety can, and should be, a concern. Before we visited, we made sure that we were aware of any specific safety issues by checking several government websites. Personally, I like to check the U.S. Department of State website (under Traveler Alerts and Warnings) as well as Foreign Travel Advice on GOV.UK . If your country has an embassy in Lima, you can also check their website for specific and regional issues. For our stay in Lima, we chose to pre-book our cab from the airport through our hotel, and did not walk around after dark (also taking “official” taxis). Although UBER is a very cheap and convenient way to get around in Lima, I couldn’t always find enough seat belts to have our whole family safety secured, so I felt better with cabs. We also hired a driver for a separate full day of visiting attractions (around $100 USD for the day). This particular driver had been personally recommended to us by a friend in Lima, but most hotels should be able to help you with this.
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