Things to Do in Lima With Kids

Adults will find plenty of things to do in Lima, but museums, art galleries, and adobe-brick archaeological sites aren’t exactly prime destinations for children. So if you’re looking for attractions in Lima that both you and your kids can enjoy, consider some of the following options.

  • 01 of 12

    Magic Water Circuit

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    ••• Inside a fountain at the Magic Water Circuit. Dan Herrick/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    The Magic Water Circuit (Circuito Mágico del Agua) is a series of 13 illuminated fountains -- some small, some huge, some interactive -- located in the Parque de la Reserva. For families, a trip to the fountains is about as win-win as you can get -- as long as you don’t mind getting wet.

    • Location: Parque de la Reserva, Central Lima
    • Hours: Wednesday to Sunday (and holidays) from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
    • Entrance: S/.4
    • Website: www.parquedelareserva.com.pe
  • 02 of 12

    Catacombs of the San Francisco Monastery

    Monasteries, boring. Catacombs, awesome. San Francisco Monastery is actually a fascinating place to visit even without the catacombs beneath, but it’s the dark passages and piles of bones that really make things interesting. Granted, this may scare the life out of some kids, but others -- Harry Potter fans, for example -- might just love it. Speaking of Harry Potter, the monastery library, with its huge books, looks like it came straight from the imagination of J. K. Rowling.

    • Location: Plazuela San Francisco (corner of Ancash and Lampa), Historic Center of Lima
    • Hours: every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Entrance: adults S/.7; children S/.1
    • Website: www.museocatacumbas.com
  • 03 of 12

    Parque de las Leyendas

    Parque de las Leyendas was the first -- and remains the foremost -- zoo in Peru. Opened in 1964, the zoo is home to hundreds of animal species divided into four zones: the three geographic regions of Peru (coast, highlands, and jungle) and a fourth area for international species. The entire site is also built around an ancient archaeological complex, which has its own on-site museum. There’s also a botanical garden, a boating ​lake, and a playground -- so plenty to keep the whole family occupied.

    • Location: Avenida Las Leyendas 580/582/586, San Miguel, Lima
    • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Entrance: adults S/.10; children S/.5 (ages 3 to 12)
    • Website: www.leyendas.gob.pe
  • 04 of 12

    Iceland Park

    Iceland Park is the place to go ice-skating in Lima (the competition isn’t exactly stiff -- as far as I’m aware, Iceland Park is the only place to go ice-skating in Peru). Kids have to be at least seven years old to skate. Classes are available.

    • Location: Avenida Salaverry (block 17), Jesús Maria, Lima
    • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Entrance: S/.25 for half an hour, S/.40 for one hour
    • Website: www.icelandparkperu.com
    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Mini Mundo

    Mini Mundo (“Mini World”) has seen better days, but it’s still a fun concept and worth a visit if you’re in the area (at the nearby Iceland Park, perhaps). As the name suggests, Mini Mundo is home to a series of scale models representing various famous sites in Lima and Peru. Included among the 150 models are Lima’s Plaza de Armas, the National Stadium, the Parque de la Reserva and Magic Water Circuit, Plaza San Martin, and Jorge Chavez International Airport. There’s also a replica of Peru’s most iconic attraction, Machu Picchu.

    • Location: Avenida Salaverry (block 17), Jesús Maria, Lima
    • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Entrance: S/.8
    • Website: www.minimundo.pe
  • 06 of 12

    Divercity

    According to the official blurb, “Divercity is a miniature city where boys and girls between 3 and 13 years old can take on more than 45 trades and professions while learning how the real world works.” These roles include everything from doctor to pilot to firefighter. Anyone over 13 -- including parents -- has limited access inside Divercity, giving the kids the freedom to make their own choices.

    • Location: Centro Comercial Jockey Plaza, Avenida Javier Prado 4200, Santiago de Surco, Lima
    • Hours: see website for full schedule (“Precios y Horario”)
    • Entrance: children S/.45; adults S/.20
    • Website: www.divercity.com.pe
  • 07 of 12

    ChocoMuseo

    Chocolate-obsessed families look no further: if there’s one location that’s right for you, it’s the ChocoMuseo. Actually, make that two locations, as there are now two ChocoMuseos in Lima, one in Miraflores and one in Barranco. Both have chocolate museums and chocolate workshops, with various activities for adults and kids. Keep track of the website and Facebook page for all the latest events.

    • Location: one location at Calle Berlín 375 in Miraflores, and another at Avenida Grau 264 in Barranco
    • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    • Entrance: free
    • Website: www.chocomuseo.com (and Facebook page)
  • 08 of 12

    Parque de la Imaginacion

    The Parque de la Imaginacion (Park of the Imagination) is an interactive space where children can learn more about science and technology in a fun and hands-on manner. The various interactive exhibits allow children to explore such things as the principles of electricity and mechanics, experiment with sound and light, and learn about the human body and the world of water.

    • Location: Block 8 of Avenida José de la Riva Agüero (no number), San Miguel, Lima
    • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Entrance: S/.12
    • Website: www.elparquedelaimaginacion.com.pe
    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Parque de la Amistad

    The Parque de la Amistad (Friendship Park) is a perfect place for families to relax and have fun. The steam train (built in 1926) is one of the main attractions, with daily rides taking passengers around the park. There’s also a lake with fish, ducks and geese, and paddleboats for hire that take up to four people. Other fixtures include fountains, a playground, a restaurant, a cultural center and the 100-feet-tall Arco de la Amistad.

    • Location: Block 21 of Avenida Caminos del Inca cuadra (no number), Santiago de Surco, Lima
    • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Entrance: entrance to the park is free; train rides cost S/.4; paddleboats S/.5
    • Website: none
  • 10 of 12

    El Malecón

    If you and your kids are feeling active, go for a walk or a bicycle ride along El Malecón, Lima’s cliff-top coastal path. The route is dotted with parks -- some containing interesting sculptures -- offering views all along the city’s Pacific coastline. El Malecón is also the most popular place for paragliding in Lima; the minimum age is 14, but even younger kids might get a kick from watching their parents jump off a cliff. If cycling sounds a bit more bearable, you can hire bikes at various places in Miraflores, including the Bike Tours of Lima agency.

    • Location: a six-mile strip along the coast of Lima, mainly the districts of Miraflores and Barranco
    • Hours: all day
    • Entrance: free
    • Website: none
  • 11 of 12

    Museo de Sitio Naval Submarino Abtao

    I went to a few naval museums when I was a kid (my dad was in the navy), and the best were always those located inside former naval vessels -- going aboard Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, was a particular highlight. If your kids are interested in ships and sailing, they might like to step inside the submarine ABTAO, built in the USA but sold to the Peruvian Navy in 1953. The ABTAO now serves as one of Lima’s war and military museums, with guided tours taking groups of up to 30 visitors into the submarine to see the torpedo, battery, ​and engine rooms, as well as the central command post.

    • Location: Avenida Jorge Chávez 120-A, Callao (part of the wider Lima Metropolitan Area)
    • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (tours leave every 20 minutes)
    • Entrance: adults S/.10 (free for children under five)
    • Website: www.submarinoabtao.com
  • 12 of 12

    Larcomar

    If all else fails, take your kids to Larcomar. The modern shopping and entertainment complex in Miraflores has everything you need to keep the little ones occupied, including one of the best cinemas in Lima, a bowling alley, the Coney Park amusement arcade, and ice cream.

    • Location: Malecon de la Reserva 610, Miraflores, Lima
    • Hours: various (see website)
    • Entrance: free to enter the complex
    • Website: www.larcomar.com