For a megalopolis, BA is remarkably child-friendly. On sunny weekends Palermo’s parks bustle with families taking walks and picnicking, while shopping malls fill with strollers. Museums and theme parks are also popular destinations – and don't forget those fun street fairs!
- Parque de la Costa
Head to Tigre, just north of the center, for a great day excursion. Hop on the fun Tren de la Costa to get to Parque de la Costa, a typical amusement park with rides and activities.
- Tierra Santa
Kids might enjoy this religious theme park unlike anywhere you’ve ever been.
- Parque Norte
This large water park is perfect on a hot day.
- Museo Participativo de Ciencias
Be sure to visit this science museum in the Centro Cultural Recoleta, with interactive displays that focus on fun learning – signs say ‘prohibido no tocar’ (not touching is forbidden).
- Museo Argentino del Títere
In San Telmo, this small puppet museum has a fascinating collection of international and Argentine puppets, but it’s the inexpensive shows that will amuse the kids. Call beforehand to get hours and show times, as they vary widely.
- Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales
Outside the center in Caballito is the excellent natural history museum, with myriad rooms containing giant dinosaur bones, dainty seashells, scary insects and amusing stuffed animals and birds.
Buenos Aires has numerous plazas and public parks, many with playgrounds, and these are always popular gathering spots for families.
- Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
If you’re downtown and need a nature break, try this large nature preserve, with good birdwatching, pleasant dirt paths and no vehicular traffic.
- Parque 3 de Febrero
Up north, the most attractive green spots are the wide open spaces of Palermo, especially Parque 3 de Febrero. This huge park has a planetarium and a Japanese garden. Here you can rent bikes, boats and inline skates and range freely without worrying about cars!
Many large modern shopping malls have indoor playgrounds (often on the top floor), along with video arcades, multiplexes and toy shops. On rainy days, these are great places to be with little ones.
- Mercado de Abasto
This beautiful shopping center boasts a full-blown 'Museo de los Niños' (more like a playground than a museum) where kids enter a miniature city complete with post office, hospital and even TV station. It also has a mini amusement park.
Need to Know
- Childcare Get a babysitter or nanny at World Class Nannies (http://worldclassnannies.com).
- Tango Shows Nearly all offer 50% discount for children under 12.
- Transport Children under four travel free on the Subte, trains and buses.
Many restaurants welcome kids, but if a place looks a bit too fancy, ask if they take children.
Most places offer a wide selection of food suitable for kids (such as pizza, pasta, meats and vegetables); a few even have children’s menus.
Waiters are accustomed to providing extra plates and cutlery for little ones, though you may not always find booster seats or high chairs.
Buenos Aires is a very late-night city; most restaurants don't open until 9pm, so you'll likely have to adjust your timetable during your travels here.
Don’t forget to take the kids out for ice cream – it’s a real Argentine treat. Other local sweets to try include alfajores (sandwich cookies usually covered in chocolate, available at corner stores) and dulce de leche (a milk caramel often used in desserts).
Small boutique hotels, hostels or guesthouses are sometimes not the best places for rambunctious kids, but most hotels accept them.
Some hotel rooms come with kitchenettes; apartment rentals are another good option.
Once children are old enough to cross the street safely and find their way back home, porteño parents will often send unaccompanied pre-adolescents on errands or on visits to friends or neighbors. This is also a country where people frequently touch each other, so your children may be patted on the head by friendly strangers.
Porteños can be helpful on public transportation. Often someone will give up a seat for a parent and young child. Baby strollers on the crowded and uneven sidewalks of BA’s downtown center are a liability, however; consider a baby carrier instead.
Poorly maintained public bathrooms lacking baby-changing facilities or counter-top space are common. Always carry toilet paper and wet wipes.