Lima with kids

Best Things to do in Lima with Kids

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Are you considering a family trip to Lima, Peru? Lima, the capital city of Peru, is not only rich in history and culture but also offers a wide range of family-friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained. Many visit Lima for a day on their way to Machu Picchu with kids, but we think you should spend more time exploring this awesome city.

From visiting a park known for its friendly resident cats to enjoying the vibrant cuisine, here’s a guide to making the most of your family vacation in Lima and our 3 day Lima with kids itinerary.

And if you want to see videos of some of the family friendly Lima attractions, be sure to follow our family travel Instagram!

Lima with kids and teens

Things to know when visiting Lima with kids

  • Every single place we went to (including street vendors) took credit cards (Apple Pay) so if you don’t want to deal with cash, you won’t need much here. We struggled to spend the rest on our last day.
  • Uber is super cheap here, most of the rides we took were $2-4 For this reason, we either walked or used Uber for the duration of our stay.
  • Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods as you don’t want to be out in some of them, especially in the evenings. The neighborhoods near the airports are really not for tourists.
  • Lima is a very family friendly city, kids are welcomed pretty much everywhere.
  • It’s super easy to navigate on your own, you do not need a guide for anything. We went all over the city without issues.
  • Lima is actually a desert, many people don’t know that because there’s an ocean. It takes significant effort to keep it as green as it is and you’ll see watering trucks everywhere trying to keep the foliage green. Lima is the world’s third largest desert city, after Cairo and Karachi. Rainfall is rare in Lima, it’s the second driest capital city in the world, after Cairo.

Where to stay in Lima with kids

There are lots of family friendly hotels in Lima and since we knew we wanted to stay in Miraflores, I chose Aloft Lima Miraflores since we had Marriott points to use. The hotel was in a great safe area and walking distance to a lot of the attractions we wanted to see. I highly recommend choosing a hotel vs. AirBnB in Lima for safety reasons and access to a front desk should you need any assistance.

Lima with kids and teens

There really are some neighborhoods you should’t stay in while in Lima and if you choose an AirBnB in Miraflores or Barranco (the safest neighborhoods in Lima), there’s a great chance you’re renting from an expat and not a local so you aren’t exactly supporting locals and immersing yourself in culture while here. And if you truly want to live like a local and rent in one of the local neighborhoods, I urge you to research crime and safety in that area.

If you want to see other hotels in Lima, use the interactive map below.

How to get around Lima with kids

Our favorite way to explore a new city is on foot so we walked a ton while visiting Lima with kids! If the destination was too far, we used Uber. It’s so cheap here that I personally wouldn’t bother with any other forms of transportation. Avoid the taxis, they are likely to rip you off. There’s a reason they’re just sitting in their cars without passengers all day!

If you want to use public transportation, the buses have dedicated lanes and avoid the heavy traffic Lima is known for. We were told by locals not to use the buses and we had no intention given the cheap Uber prices.

What to do in Lima with kids

Take a cooking class

One of our favorite things to do when traveling to new places is to take a local cooking class. We took an amazing family friendly Lima cooking class and highly recommend it! We first visited a local market to purchase all the items needed for the class. Part of the cooking class was a local fruit tasting, so we learned a lot about local Peruvian fruit at the market and then got to taste them all.

Lima with kids
Part of the fruit tasting

They are really great with kids and encourage them to use the knives and actually cook/prep the food. My 12 year old really wanted pollo saltado and the adults chose aji de gallina as their meal so they accommodated her and she was able to cook her entire meal by herself from start to finish. It came out amazing and she was very proud for putting it all together! I highly recommend this if you are visiting Lima with kids.

Lima with kids and teens
Lima with kids and teens
Lima with kids and teens
She was so proud of her creation!

Parque Kennedy

This city park was just a 20 minute walk from our hotel and it’s famous for the cats that call it home. As you get closer to the park, you will start to notice cats everywhere. We saw 50+ in or near the park and they were all so cute! Cats were introduced here more than 25 years ago by a pair of priests to control the plague. They have since set up residence in the park and now many visitors from all over the world come to the park to visit the cats.

Lima with kids and teens

My daughter said this was her favorite part of the trip and she wants to move here to see the cats daily. We stopped at a local pet store (just 2 blocks away is an indoor mall with a pet store called Super Pets) to buy some cat food. get the long tubes, they loved licking the food out of them and we quickly became their best friends as they ignored everyone else. The cats are super friendly and seem to be in great health despite living outdoors. If your kids like cats, this is one of the best things to do in Lima with kids. My daughter still talks asks to go back!

Lima with kids and teens

Magic Water Circuit

Located in Parque de la Reserva in downtown Lima, the Magic Water Circuit is a fountain light show that happens at specific days and times, be sure to check their website. The first show is usually soon after sunset. Tickets cost just over $1USD each and they do take credit cards at the entrance in case you are wondering.

Lima with kids and teens

This was super cool to see and definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Lima. We took Uber here and back, avoid the taxis that are going to hound you as soon as you exit the park after the show.

Parque del Amor

Do you want some great views of the ocean? Then head to Parque del Amor in Miraflores. The views here are amazing and there’s a snack stand if the kids get hungry. Check out the famous kissing statue and walk around while you take in the beautiful ocean views.

Lima with kids and teens
Lima with kids and teens

Visit the Larcomar Mall

If you want some amazing seaside views, then head to the Larcomar mall. You will never go to another mall with such amazing views! The mall is up high, overlooking the ocean. We didn’t come here to shop just to walk around and take in the views. It was a short 15 minute walk form our hotel and a great place to go with kids in Lima.

Lima with kids and teens
Look at these mall views!
Lima with kids and teens

El Malecón de Miraflores

If you’re in Lima on a warm day, then head to the coast and take a walk on on El Malecón de Miraflores. The views here are amazing, you’ll get amazing views of the ocean below as you walk on this path.

Inka Market

Looking for souvenirs? Then head to the Inka Market. Here you will find just about any souvenir you can imagine from the typical keychains and magnets to alpaca sweaters and scarfs.

Lima with kids

Where to eat in Lima with kids

Peruvian food is some of our favorite food in the world and Lima definitely didn’t disappoint! There are many family friendly restaurants in Peru and while we didn’t get to try everything we wanted, we found some new favorites. Here are some of our favorite family friendly restaurants in Lima.

Restaurant Moyas

If you only go to one restaurant in Lima, make it Restaurant Moyas! Located right by Plaza Mayor, their upstairs deck overlooks the plaza with some amazing views. The food here was really good as well. My husband loved his ceviche and said it’s one of the best he’s ever had. My daughter loved her pollo saltado and I loved my shrimp skewers. Great food and great views, a must in Lima! They are closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly.

Lima with kids and teens
View from our table

Pasteleria San Antonio

On our first night, we wanted something near our hotel and walked across the street to this cafe. It was packed at 8pm, which was a good sign. It’s a cafe with sweets/ice cream and they also have a food menu. We each got a sandwich and they were all really good. Great place to come for dessert and dinner!

Churros San Francisco S.A.C.

If you’re visiting Lima with kids, you are going to want to try their churros! There are many churro shops in the city (we tried a few) but the one that stood out the most was Churros San Francisco S.A.C., just a short walk from Plaza Mayor. Keep in mind that there are a few churro places on this block but you’ll know you’re at the right one when you see the big line outside. It moves quickly, so don’t skip it!

They have 3 churro flavors here-chocolate, caramel and custard. They are less than $1 USD each and huge! The churros and filling are hot and fresh, you get them as they are made unlike others that have them sitting out all day. This is definitely one of the best churros in Lima and we highly recommend visiting! You can walk here in around 5 minutes from Restaurant Moyas.

Mercado 28 Miraflores

If your family can’t decide on what to eat, then head to Mercado 28 in Miraflores. It’s a food hall with lots of different options. Everyone can order from a different vendor and sit at the same vendor. We each had a meal from a different restaurant here and everything was delicious.

Lima with kids

I’ll be honest, we didn’t have high expectations when coming to Lima but it very quickly became one of our favorite cities in the world. What was supposed to be a stop before visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu quickly became a top favorite for our family. It’s super cheap (it’s been a while since we’ve been to a country this inexpensive!), the food is great and the city has lots for tourists to explore. If you’re looking for a great family friendly city to visit in South America, we highly recommend Lima.

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