As with most travel, there seldom is anything more helpful than tips from an on-site parent about where to take kids. Here are a few suggestions for the little ones:
Avoid more crime-prone parks downtown and be selective, there are some parks in Miraflores that are ok. Ask desk clerks or locals for their assessments of local green spaces before hanging out with your tot.
Lima's many cultural centers often have marionette theater, hands-on workshops and other programs just for children.
At 30-40 minutes from Lima, Cieneguilla is a short drive by local standards. Typically the weather is much nicer than downtown. There are a variety of restaurants that have good food, large kid-friendly play areas and reasonably good service. The playgrounds are complete with trampolines and sometimes even horse rides. URL: www.cieneguilla.com.
The Museo de la Nacion
The museum is home to a childrenâ€™s theater. It also features a variety of exhibits of native Peruvian artwork and hosts different art-related events, including an evening of art called Noche de Arte. URL: www.nochedearte.com.
Restaurant La Rosa NÃ¡utica
Enjoy the sweeping view of Miraflores from your table. You will feel as if you are right over the surf as it comes to shore at sunset. If you or your small companion insist on sand between your toes, park near the restaurant and walk the beach looking for shells, rocks or observing the local surfers catching a wave. Tips on ordering in a restaurant: Stick with the appetizers and skip the main courses. The appetizers are simply more varied. The variety makes for a great shared dining experience. URL: www.larosanautica.com/rn_homeing.html.
San Francisco Church and Catacombs
The church and its design are grandiose and magnificent especially from the perspective of a seven-year-old. The catacombs are chilling and fascinating for parent and child. You can go to the underside of the church building and look at all of the bones of the people interred there.
If your children speak Spanish fairly well, then they can join local kids at Divercity. This "city" occupies one entire level of a mall, and allows children (3-13 years old ) to experience their parents' world. Kids can tour a soda pop plant and other factories, a hospital, take their drivers license test, go to the beauty parlorâ€”in fact, there are 60 activities (allow one hour per diversion, including wait in line). Entry includes a debit card for food, drink and other purchases, and to which kids can add more points by "working." (Daily 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-9 p.m. Centro Comercial Jockey Plaza, second level, Javier Prado Este 4200, Surco. Tel: 617-6464, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, URL: www.divercity.com.pe. Entry: children $13, adults $5.60).