Popularly referred to as the “Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires is a vibrant, exciting city. It’s famous for its steak, its wine, its cafe scene, and its unparalleled nightlife. Unfortunately, drinking Malbec and dancing tango into the wee hours of the night aren’t exactly the best activities for kids. But not all of Buenos Aires is only for grown-ups: there are plenty of kid-friendly places and activities that make Argentina a fun, affordable hotspot for your next family vacation.In this blog post you will find a complete travel to Argentina guide for kid friendly hotels, restaurants and things to do in Buenos Aires.
Short Guide When You Travel to Argentina – Buenos Aires
Kid-friendly Places to Go: Museums, Fairs, and Tasty Treats
A must-visit destination for kids, the Museo Participativo de Ciencias (Participatory Science Museum) is great fun for the whole family. With the charming motto “Prohibido No Tocar” (“Not Touching is Prohibited”), kids are given a tactile and exploratory experience — they’re encouraged to touch and engage with all of the science displays. In addition to being a fun, interactive experience, kids will learn from the science displays, which teach them about electricity, gravity, and other scientific concepts.
There are lots of family-friendly hotels in Buenos Aires as well, so starting off your activity-packed day with the kids well rested is guaranteed!
A favorite among children — and adults with a sweet tooth — is Argentina’s famous caramel-like treat, dulce de leche (literally “sweet of milk”). It’s made by slowly heating sweetened milk until it has a creamy, sticky texture and a rich brown color. Every panadería (bakery) in Buenos Aires will have a host of treats with dulce de leche — something for the whole family to indulge on. Kids will love alfajores, which consist of dulce de leche sandwiched between two cookies, and covered with chocolate. Warning: dulce de leche can be addictive!
On Sundays, Buenos Aires is mostly closed — many stores and attractions maintain the old-fashioned tradition of closing up until Monday. However, if you head to the picturesque neighborhood of San Telmo, you’ll find Calle Defensa to be bustling with activity. Indeed, the cobblestone street is home to the Feria de San Telmo (San Telmo Fair), an enormous bazaar that attracts over 12,000 people per week. On Sundays, there are hundreds of stalls with homemade novelty goods, street performances, and authentic (not to mention inexpensive) food carts. Your family will be able to spend all day shopping for souvenirs, watching talented tango dancers, and tasting the rich and fresh offerings of the Argentinian cuisine.
Off the Beaten Path: Outdoor Recreational Activities for Kids
When the weather is nice, the Bosques de Palermo (The Palermo Woods) are a wonderful place to take a leisurely stroll with the family. You can smell the flowers in the Rosedal, a beautiful rose garden in the middle of the parks; or, for a taste of something a bit more exotic, you can take a tour of the Jardín Japonés (Japanese Gardens), which is one of the largest Japanese gardens outside of Japan. On a sunny afternoon, the parks fill up with joggers, street vendors, rollerbladers, and families just enjoying the day, creating a unique energy that your family will love.
If you have some extra time to spare, considering checking out the Zoológico de Buenos Aires (The Buenos Aires Zoo), which is conveniently located right next to the Bosques de Palermo. With over 2,500 different animals, the zoo is big and diverse, and contains something for everyone. Your kids will be delighted by the peacocks, ducks, and parrots that roam free on the footpaths.
Finally, in the upscale and tourist-friendly neighborhood of Puerto Madero, the Reserva Ecológica (Ecological Reserve) is an 865-acre reprise from the hustle and bustle of city life. It contains lengthy trails that take you through swamps, forests, and offer a spectacular view of the Río de la Plata river. You can even go birdwatching, as the Reserva is home to several species of unique amphibious birds. And when you’re done, treat the family to a bondiola — a staple of Argentine street food that consists of pork, egg, cheese, and special sauce.
Tips for Traveling to Buenos Aires
If you’re traveling to Buenos Aires, it’ll do you good to learn how to use the subte, an extensive subway network that underlies the city. The subte is heavily subsidized, and thus tickets are very inexpensive. With five different lines that take you all over the city, knowing how to use the subte will save you a fortune on taxi fares, and will help you get where you want to go more quickly.
Finally, given that English is not widely spoken in Buenos Aires, it’s worth spending some time with the family to brush up on your Spanish. There are plenty of free online resources to help with your Argentinian Spanish, such as suggestions for movies and songs that can help you learn the Argentinian dialect. Before you embark on your flight to Argentina, try your hand at a Latin American Spanish listening test, and you’ll be well on your way to understanding the natives.
From fun-filled museums to beautiful parks to tasty treats, Buenos Aires is chock-full of activities that the whole family can enjoy. With a little bit of planning, it makes a great destination for your next family vacation. Enjoy your trip!
Paul writes for Language Trainers, which provides individually-tailored language training on a one-on-one or small group basis worldwide. Language Trainers offers several free educational resources, such as foreign language listening tests. Don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Language Trainers’ Facebook page for more information.