We recently came back from a 2 week trip to Peru visiting ‘C’s family – it has been over 6 years since we were last in Peru and a lot has happened to our family since then! We moved to Vietnam, we had our second child Thomas, we have lived through a pandemic and we moved to Belgium! It was also 6 years ago I wrote my last blog entry – so I am sure this post is coming as a bit of surprise to my subscribers who probably thought that The Travelling Chopsticks had disappeared! Almost…but not quite!
Our trip to Peru was also the first time we have been back with our two small children (7 and 3), and it was a VERY different trip than our previous ones. Gone are the care free days of wandering around the bohemian neighbourhood of Barranco on a whim, late night dinners at one of the amazing restaurants that Lima has to offer, and even later night drinks with friends. We now have two little people we need to take into consideration when planning our days, and unfortunately for C and myself sitting for hours on end at restaurants is not something that they particularly enjoy!
Before our trip I had tried to do a little research on things to do in Lima with kids – the results were quite limited and the information uninspiring. Suggestions such as ‘Explore Mirraflores’ I found particularly unhelpful – my children hate to aimlessly walk around neighbourhoods looking at buildings! So now that I am back, I decided to make my own list! Here are my ‘tried and tested’ top 5 things to do in Lima with young children!
- Lunch and show at Brisas del Titikaka
- Afternoon at Cirquito Magico del Agua (Water Fountains)
- Half-Day at Parque de las Leyendes (Zoo)
- Afternoon walk on the Malicon in Miraflores ending with Dinner at Larcomar
- Shopping at Inka Market
These activities were the highlight for the kids while we were in Lima and there were multiple requests to go back and do them again and again! I hope that this list gives you some inspiration for your trip and if you do go, please let me know as I would love to hear your thoughts! If you have done any other activities that your kids loved, please do let me know so we can try them out on our next trip there!
You can read below a more detailed observation of each activity.
1. Lunch and Show at Brisas del Titikaka
Hands down this was the most fun afternoon we had in Lima as a family! It is a cultural show that specialises in traditional folk dances and music from around Peru. This may sound a little dry and I was a bit skeptical if the kids would enjoy it, but if you find yourself in Lima on the weekend – I would highly recommend this!
My children were captivated by the spectacular costumes, the beautiful dances and the engaging live band. Between each dance-set the dancefloor opens up to the audience, and in good Latin American style everyone goes up for a boogie! I, as the awkward Swede had no intention of dancing – however after seeing the fun everyone else was having on the dance floor the boys asked if we could dance too – how can you say no to that?
I had expected the venue to be filled with tourists, however the majority of the people there were Peruvians celebrating birthdays, engagements or other special occasions. One gentleman was there with his family celebrating his 96th birthday – what a treat to see him on the dancefloor!
Top tip: There is a lunch time show and a dinner time show. Apparently the evening show has a much more of a party and drinking vibe than the lunchtime show, which definitely was very family orientated! Make sure you book a table close to the dancefloor so you can get a good view of the dancers!
2. Afternoon at Cirquito Magico del Agua – A Water Fountain Park
Set in the historic Parque de la Reserva in down town Lima – this park has 13 water fountains of various shapes and sizes, and at one point was the largest water park in the world. In the evening there are nightly shows at the main fountain which combines water, lazers, music and video projection representing the story of Peru.
We took the kids in the evening as we wanted to see the light show, and although they enjoyed it – the REAL attraction for them was getting wet in the interactive water fountains! What kid doesn’t enjoy playing with water!? Be prepared and bring towels and extra clothes.
The park itself is a lovely oasis from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic city. Not only is it fenced-in which meant we could give the kids a little more freedom to run off on their own without the worry of a stray motorbike knocking them over, but there is also a dedicated play area for them with bouncy castles, ball pit and slide which was loved!
If I were to go again with the kids, I would spend a couple of hours there in the afternoon instead -especially in the summer months where the afternoon sun is relentless! The kids get to burn off steam playing in the park and then cool off in the fountains.
3. Half day at Parques de las Leyendas (Zoo)
I was a bit apprehensive about visiting the zoo – as you just never know what ‘kind’ of zoo it is going to be and what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. The zoo is laid out very nicely with lovely paths and lots of big trees providing much appreciated shade. The animal exhibits were all clean and very well taken care of – if a bit too small. The zoo itself specializes in show casing animals from Peru which was very interesting, and it also has many archeological sights within its grounds.
We didn’t spend too much time there as we had other commitments, however you could easily spend half a day wondering around the zoo and much to my appreciation there are actual restaurants selling proper food (all the favourite local dishes) instead of the usual miserable hotdogs or burgers and soggy fries you seemed destined to eat in Europe!
4. Afternoon walk along the Malicon in Miraflores and Dinner at Larcomar
No list of ‘things to do in Lima’ would be complete, if the Malicon of Miraflores wasn’t mentioned! With good reason! The Malicon is a beautiful 10km cliff-top boardwalk which hugs the coast of the upmarket neighbourhood Miraflores. With stunning views over the Pacific ocean and paths that are stroller and bike friendly, it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. There are many small restaurants and café’s dotted along the Malicon as well as little playgrounds or parks which makes for a very pleasant few hours.
My recommendation would be to start at the iconic light house of Faro de La Marina in the late afternoon and slowly make your way south towards Larcomar shopping complex where you can end up for dinner. The views and the light along the Malicon at sunset are spectacular. This is roughly a 20 min direct walk for an adult, however there is a lovely playground very close to the lighthouse where you could easily spend a while letting the kids play and then continue to slowly amble along until you get to Larcomar where there is another smaller playground and a statue of Paddington Bear!
In Larcomar there are numerous of restaurants to choose between – but my two favourites would be Mango’s or Tanta. Both of which serve good food and are child friendly and both of which would make an enjoyable meal for the whole family.
5. Shopping at Inka Market
Although not an attraction per se, our time at the Inka Market was a surprisingly positive one. Inka Market is a large market specilising in Peruvian handicrafts – and is completely geared towards tourists. Despite it being a tourist trap, I have always enjoyed visiting Inka Market – as they sell a wide variety of artifacts from textiles to leather to ceramics to silver, and I have in fact picked up a few fun souvenirs over the years.
Usually, I hate going shopping with the kids as they are bored within 2 minutes, but surprisingly, they both really enjoyed our time at Inka Market. The market is enclosed and not too busy so I was comfortable for them to walk on their own without me hovering over them, and there were so many fun small trinkets and knick-knacks to look at and hold their attention – that I was able to enjoy looking at things that interested me. Overall it was quite an enjoyable experience.
There you have it – my ‘tried and tested’ things to do in Lima with small kids! I hope you enjoyed it and if you are planning a trip to Lima in the near future you will find it useful!
5 thoughts on “My Top 5 Things to do in Lima with Young Kids! (Tried & Tested!)”
Good to have you back Alex!
Thanks Janet! It has been a very long time! Lets see if I can breath a little life back into things here! Big hugs! X
Good to see that you are back on your blog! Xx
So nice to see you’re bloggin again!
Thanks Marijke! Trying to get back into the swing of it – hopefully you will still enjoy it :)