Santiago may seem like a grown-up traveler’s playground. Worldly adults can sip wine, enjoy the culinary offerings, and explore the city’s myriad museums. However, this city is not just for the mature and sophisticated. In the downtown and Providencia areas, there are plenty of things to do for families with children—and many of them will be enjoyable for the adults in your group as well.
- Parque Metropolitano de Santiago
If you’re traveling to Santiago with your children, your visit will not be complete without a trip to the zoo. Located at the foot of Cerro San Cristobal, this zoo is a favorite attraction for local families. Although it’s in the city, it’s actually quite expansive. It boasts over 1000 animals of 158 different species, both indigenous and exotic. There are plenty of fun activities for kids within the zoo, including a cinema and an amphitheater for live performances. Outside the zoo, there are always vendors selling child-friendly treats and souvenirs. The zoo is closed on Mondays, and admission is CLP 3.000 for adults and 1.500 for children and seniors. The closest metro is Baquedano, serviced by the green and red lines—you’ll just exit the metro, cross the bridge, and continue up Pio Nono street until you reach the park.
- Costanera Center
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, there’s always the Costanera Center, the city’s biggest and newest shopping mall. There are many things that children would enjoy within the mall, including a cinema with films in English and Spanish and a food court with lots of child-approved options like McDonald’s and frozen yogurt. There is a level of the mall dedicated to children’s clothing and toys, and this level has little play-sets for children to romp around while their parents sit down and enjoy a little rest. The only downfall of the mall is that it can be quite busy. Avoid it on Saturdays and Sundays, when it often seems like everyone in Santiago has decided to crowd inside. The closest metro stop is Tobalaba on the red line.
- Parque Quinta Normal
For an educational experience, you should head to Parque Quinta Normal, home to many of Santiago’s museums. Here, you can visit the Museo Infantíl, which is dedicated to child-friendly science-related exhibits. Many of the exhibits are in Spanish, but there are plenty of interactive activities that your child can engage in without needing to understand the language. It is open Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 to 5:30, and admission is CLP 650 for children and 800 for adults. It is rather small, but definitely worth checking out. Moreover, it’s located inside the park, which has lots of other fun activities for children. Most notably, you can rent paddleboats in the small pond, which can be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. The closest metro stop is Quinta Normal on the green line.