Looking for things to do in Santiago with kids? Here’s our top suggestions.
Santiago is the capital of Chile and with a large international airport, you’ll probably end up staying in the city at some point if you’re travelling through Chile.
Here are our top recommendations for things to do in Santiago with young kids.
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Things to Do in Santiago with Kids
I found Santiago to be one of the more kid-friendly cities we’ve been to, especially considering it’s a capital city and the largest city in Chile. There are so many parks in Santiago, with fantastic areas and things to do for kids, that we spent a fair bit of time outside. It helped that we had gorgeous, hot, sunny weather but I’m sure these parks would be fun even with cooler weather.
1. Visit Parque Bicentenario
Perfect for picnicking and spending a day with the family, this is a huge park filled with trails, open spaces, and several play areas.
You could easily spend the day here, riding or walking along the paths, playing at the various playgrounds or just relaxing on the grass with a picnic.
There’s also a lagoon with flamingos, koi fish and ducks, which you can feed.
You’ll also be rewarded with some great views of the Santiago skyline and the snow-capped Andes Mountains.
Parque Bicentenario is located in the Vitacura neighbourhood, about a 15-minute drive from the Plaza de Armas or a 40-minute bus ride. Alternatively, you could also take a taxi from the city center.
2. Play at Parque Bicentenario de la Infancia
Honestly, this was our favourite park and one of the best things to do in Santiago with kids.
It’s a bit of a walk from the downtown area but well worth it!
Large stone slides line the side of the hill, there’s an area with outdoor musical instruments, swings, tree houses to play in and even a library!
But my kids’ favourite part was running and climbing in this long orange area and splashing and climbing all over the giant stone fountains. Be sure to bring bathing suits or just get wet with regular clothes!
3. Explore Cerro San Cristóbal
One of the most popular activities in Santiago – for tourists and locals alike – is to explore Parque Metropolitano, also known as Cerro San Cristóbal.
There’s loads to do in this park; a funicular takes you to the peak where you can see the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, cable cars run from the peak across to the other side of the park, and there are also two swimming pools, as well as a kids area with wooden playground equipment and an interactive water fountain.
The cable car wasn’t running the day we visited so instead of exploring the rest of the park, we just took the funicular to the top, had a picnic lunch while enjoying the view, climbed a tree and explored a few of the trails.
4. Get Outdoors at Parque Forestal
Noted as one of the greenest areas of the city, Parque Forestal is a great place to cool down and spend some time outdoors.
Large trees shade most of the park, and there are walking trails throughout as well as a few large play areas that kids will enjoy.
Pack a picnic lunch and you could easily spend a few hours away from the bustle of downtown.
Parque Forestal is located in the Bellas Artes neighbourhood, which is a great area to stay in Santiago with kids.
5. Climb Cerro Santa Lucia
A small hill right in the middle of the city, Cerro Santa Lucia is actually the remnants of a volcano from 15 million years ago. How often can you walk around on an old volcano?
Paths and steps crisscross around the hill and all the way to the top – be careful with safety on the steps though!
There are also plenty of benches and a few fountains which make a great spot for a rest.
Once you reach the top, there’s a lookout – Torre Mirador – where you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of the city.
Note: There are a few sections of steps that are pretty steep and there aren’t many railings, so be careful with young kids.
Alternatively, you could always enjoy the flatter, green spaces found throughout the park or walk the trails along the bottom of the hill without doing any of the steps.
My guys LOVE climbing steps and ‘adventuring’ as they call it, so this place occupied them for a few hours.
Santiago isn’t just about parks though! Here are some other things to do in Santiago with kids.
6. Have an Ice Cream at Emporio de la Rosa
What kid doesn’t love ice cream?
When you’re visiting Santiago with kids, you need to try the ice cream at Emporio de la Rosa – one of the world’s 25 best ice creams.
They have some interesting and local flavours including Manjar (similar to dulce de leche), Miel de Ulmo and Chirimoya, which is an indigenous fruit.
The ice cream is served in a bowl with a cone on top, which according to my boys, resembled a narwhal It’s not cheap but it’s well worth it!
7. Take in the View from Sky Constanera
At 300m tall, Sky Costanera is the tallest building in Latin America and offers some fabulous 360° views of Santiago from the top.
Tickets are not cheap, but it’s one of the most popular things to do in Santiago. Check prices and hours on their website.
After you’ve taken in the view, the first few levels of the building feature a shopping mall.
It’s a good place to spend a few hours if the weather isn’t great, or if you need to get out of the sun for a bit!
With over 300 stores and a large food court, as well as movie theatres and restaurants, you can easily spend a few hours here.
8. Explore Plaza de Armas
The city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, is a great place to spend some time. It’s home to several historic attractions, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the historic Post Office.
Benches and trees fill the plaza, and there are plenty of Chilean palm trees providing shade throughout the square.
There are also a few cafes lining the edge of the square and another Emporio de la Rosa location if you’re up for ice cream, as well as some of the best cheap food you’ll find in Santiago.
Plaza de Armas is a great place to relax and people-watch, and often there is live music or performances in the square.
There are also a few statues throughout the square and the STGO sign, which makes for a great photo op.
9. Walk down Paseo Ahumada and Paseo Huerfanos
While there is some car traffic near the square, two of the streets running south from the Plaza de Armas are pedestrian-only.
Paseo Ahumada and Paseo Huerfanos are both free from traffic and great to explore with kids. Along these streets you’ll find plenty of independent shops and well-known stores, as well as cafes, restaurants and street vendors. These pedestrian-only streets are great to wander along with kids, without worrying about car traffic.
10. Visit a Play Cafe
Santiago has a few great play cafes throughout the city.
With a play cafe, you pay an entrance fee per child, and then they play away while the adults sit and have tea or coffee. Some cafes have menus to order from, others only have snacks.
Play cafes are great to visit with kids, especially when travelling because 1) kids get to play and burn off some energy and 2) there are toys and activities they don’t have at home, and chances are you didn’t bring many toys in your luggage.
There are quite a few play cafes in Santiago, but none are in the downtown area, so will require transportation to get to. These three cafes were recommended to us:
Where to Stay in Santiago with Kids
Santiago is a large city and has plenty of accommodation options. There are a few different neighbourhoods throughout the city, all offering a unique experience. Here’s more information on the best places to stay in Santiago.
We stayed just outside the Centro, close to Cerro Santa Lucia at Sommelier Hotel. It was a great choice, as the rooms were spacious, with a separate sleeping area, as well as a small kitchenette to prepare some snacks and meals.
While it wasn’t in the center, it was an easy walk to Plaza de Armas, Cerro Santa Lucia, Parque Forestal, or there was a metro stop a block from the hotel.
Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Santiago with Kids
Whether you’re interested in visiting historical sights or enjoy spending time outdoors, there are plenty of things to do in Santiago with kids.
We really enjoyed our time in the city and hope you love Santiago as much as we did!