The 23+ best things to do in Buenos Aires with kids

Buenos Aires is the second most visited city in Latin America after Mexico City and for good reason, this cosmopolitan city has it all.

The city was once the capital of one of the world’s wealthiest nations and, although, times are tougher now than they once were, Buenos Aires’ personality remains. Known as the Paris of South America, evidence of its European ties can be seen everywhere, but most noticeably in its architecture.

Our family lived in Buenos Aires for nearly two years and, after five years living in Delhi, we particularly enjoyed the blue skies, being outside in fresh air, and cheap, easy to navigate public transportation. Not to mention all the things there are to do in Buenos Aires with kids.

From beaches and wide open green spaces to the myriad colourful neighbourhoods and lively markets, excellent museums and incredible food, there is so much to enjoy in Argentina’s capital.

Read on for the best things to do in this great city.

Guest post by Kristen

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

Buenos Aires with kids
The colourful neighbourhood of La Boca

If you’re visiting Buenos Aires with kids, especially young children, then one fun way to keep them engaged is to combine sightseeing with a scavenger hunt. We would regularly make up “treasure hunts” with our kids to keep them occupied while we all explored the city.

Some fun local things to look out for in Buenos Aries include: people wearing Boca Junior shirts, dog walkers with four or more dogs, platform shoes, tango dancers and one or two favourite displays of urban art. If you have a young artist with a sketchbook in your family, he or she might want to sit a while and try to create a copy of the street art that they see.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires with kids
La Casa Rosada

Visit the Presidential Palace

Argentina’s Presidential Palace sits on Plaza de Mayo, in the heart of Buenos Aires. Although the president no longer lives here (they live in the town of Olives, north of the city), the building is still home to government offices and it remains one of the most recognisable buildings in the city of Buenos Aires.

La Casa Rosada – as it’s known owing to its pink hue – has witnessed plenty of the city’s history since it was first contacted on the site of a Spanish for in 1580. It was from these balconies that Juan and ‘Evita’ Peron addressed the masses during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

It was also from here that military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri announced war against the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands (las Islas Malvinas) in 1982.

There are several ideas as to why the building was painted its pretty pink hue. One thought is that Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the second president of Argentina, ordered the building to be painted pink as means to diffuse political tensions by mixing the colours of the opposing political parties (The Federals used red and the Unitarians used white).

Another popular belief is that it was once painted with cow’s blood – a popular form of peel-resistant painted in the 19th century.

You can watch the changing of the guard in front of the palace daily on the hour. At weekends the Casa Rosada is open to the public on guided tours (in English) and Spanish). Bring your passport with you.

Explore Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo is the main square of Buenos Aires. It’s also the oldest public square in the city and where many of the most important events in the city’s history took place. The white obelisk – the Pirámide de Mayo – in the centre was erected in 1811 to mark the first anniversary of the May revolution.

Surrounding the piramide are a handful of white women’s shawls painted on the ground. These represent the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group of women who continue to lobby the government about missing family members who vanished during the Dirty War, a period when the country’s military dictatorship turned against its own people. Some 30,000 people were “disappeared” between 1976 and 1983.

Buenos Aires with kids
Colourful La Boca

Discover the street art

No matter where you find yourself in Buenos Aires there is always plenty of urban art to check out. Big, bold colors and curious characters are the hallmark of these eye-catching, oversized pieces throughout the city.

If you have interest in learning more about some local artists and what they aspire to convey via this medium, consider a walking tour with non-profit organization, graffitimundo. One of the best places to go to see street art is in La Boca, which is where you’ll find the Caminito Street Museum

Explore La Boca

There are 48 barrios (neighbourhoods) in Buenos Aires but the most colourful is definitely the downtown neighborhood of La Boca. This colourful neighbourhood (its name translates as ‘The Mouth’) is alive with character.

It’s in La Boca where you’ll find La Bombonera, once home to footballing idol Diego Maradona. Today La Bombonera is the home stadium for the Boca Juniors football team; catch a game for a true insight into South American life! If you don’t fancy a game but would like a peek inside, take a look at our recommended walking tour below.

Nearby is El Caminito, the “little walkway” and the most famous street in the neighbourhood. It’s so full of street art that it’s been called the Caminito Street Museum

This cobblestone street is always busy with buskers playing music and vendors selling all manner of art and souvenirs. Tango dancers regularly put on impromptu performances.

Don’t miss a visit to the Museo Benito Quinquela Martin dedicated to local artist Benito Quinquela Martin. He is the man responsible for the vibrant murals that you’ll see throughout La Boca. Martin also donated to numerous local causes including a theatre and public school. The popular museum is home to his private collection of art and includes some of his own works.

Do be aware of your belongings while enjoying La Boca, pickpockets are active.

Buenos Aires with kids
Tango dancers on San Telmo flea market in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Enjoy the San Telmo Market

On Sundays head down to San Telmo, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, and take in the art, crafts, and antiques for sale at the Feria de San Telmo. This is a great place to spend the day, exploring the cobblestone streets in search of gifts and souvenirs and chatting with the artists who make them.

For antiques your best bet is to head to Plaza Dorrego. This is where you’ll find antiques dealers selling all manner of items from matchbox cars and gramophones to fully functioning old telephones, art and more.

For entertainment or a short break, there are musicians, food vendors, and plenty of ice cream shops in the neighbourhood as well.

The Mercado de San Telmo takes place from 10am to 4pm every Sunday. You can visit on other days of the week and enjoy the lively indoor market where dozens of food stalls rustle up tasty local foods.

Go to the brilliant Museo de los Niños

The excellent Museo de los Niños has been specifically designed for children aged 0 to 12-years-old and is a wonderful day out. The interactive museum revolves around pretend play and children can go to “work” in a bank or a TV studio or even in the kitchen at McDonalds.

It’s a good place to spend the day with fun for the whole family (but especially the kids!). 

You’ll find the Children’s Museum in the Abasto Shopping Mall, one of the biggest shopping centres in the city.

Buenos Aires with kids
Take some time out in the Bosques de Palermo

Enjoy the wide-open green spaces of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is home to some wonderful parks. The largest of these is the Parque Tres de Febrero, popularly known as Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Woods). This enormous green space covers some 400 hectares and can be found in the neighbourhood of Palermo. There’s a lake, Lago Regatas, where you can hire pedal boats. Other popular outdoor activities include running, walking and cycling. 

Also located within the Parque Tres de Febrero is the Planetario Galileo Galilei. This planetarium is considered to be one of the best in the world but is just as enjoyable for space newbies as it is intergalactic geeks. On display is a moon rock collected by Apollo XI and a meteorite that is over 4,000 years old. The five-story spherical dome shows a variety of films about space and the universe.

Other popular parks in Buenos Aires with welcoming open spaces   include the Rosedal Rose Garden in Palermo, the Buenos Aires’ Japanese Garden and the Buenos Aires’ Botanical Gardens.

Buenos Aires with kids
La Bombonera, home to the Boca Juniors Football Team

Take a walking tour

Buenos Aires is a fantastic walking city and Buenos Aires Free Walks provides opportunities to learn about the history of different neighborhoods. Probably the most kid-friendly is the one offered in La Boca, the neighborhood at the southern end of the city limits from where the Tango originated.

The tour lasts about two hours and perfectly doable for children. It concludes just outside the Boca Juniors stadium with a few stories about the history of this club, the most successful fútbol team in Argentina. When the tour is over there are usually friendly parrillas (grill) nearby for a traditional Argentine lunch.

Taste the best ice cream in the world!

In all our travels we’ve not found anywhere that does ice cream better than Buenos Aires. Thanks to the city’s Italian heritage (from 1880 to 1920, Buenos Aires experienced a massive wave of Italian immigration) the city makes the best ice cream.

And, no matter what the temperature is outside, Porteños (locals) will wait in line to get their fix.

A unique feature of how it’s done in Argentina is that unless you order the tiniest option on the menu (and why, oh why, would you do that?), you will be expected to choose TWO flavors and it’s fun to watch as one is skillfully stacked and swirled on top of the other. Be sure to try Argentina’s most popular flavor, Dulce de Leche.

Have an empanada picnic 

Snacks are essential when traveling with kids and this city has you covered, producing the best empanadas in South America (in our opinion!). Empanadas are inexpensive, available on every block, easy to transport to a picnic spot, and come with range of fillings to suit everyone’s palate.

The most popular empanada options are beef, ham and cheese, chicken, and spinach. The fold on the empanada indicates what is inside. The neighborhood of Palermo contains several large parks which are filled with families on the weekends. Pack up your empanadas and get ready for great people watching under blue skies.

Look and Touch 

The wonderful interactive Museo Participativo de Ciencias is housed within the brightly coloured Centro Cultural Recoleta, an exhibition and cultural events centre.

The No Tocar Museo proudly boasts the slogan “Prohibited Not To Touch” and is constantly encouraging young visitors to learn through play. It is a perfect place on a rainy day or whenever the kids to burn off some energy in between seeing the sights.

Even with little or no Spanish skills the exhibits, which include Perception, Mechanics, Art, and Forces of Nature, are accessible to children (and adults) of all ages.

The museum is located in the Recoleta neighbourhood, within walking distance of the “must see” Recoleta Cemetery. It’s housed within the brightly coloured Centro Cultural Recoleta, an exhibition and cultural events centre.

Buenos Aires with kids
The historic cemetery Recoleta, Buenos Aires Argentine

Visit the Recoleta Cemetery

After you finish at the science museum it’s well worth stopping by the Recoleta Cemetery. Although visiting a cemetery with kids might seem like an odd choice, this is actually one of the most interesting places to see in Buenos Aires and a very popular attraction. 

The Recoleta Cemetery has been called the most beautiful cemetery in the world (it’s also considered to be one of the most unusual). It’s home to some 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins and crypts all organised in neat rows. It’s located on prime city real estate and is the resting place for some of the city’s most famous and wealthiest residents.

The most famous grave belongs to Eva Perón, the controversial former First Lady of Argentina.

Buenos Aires with kids
The incredible Ateneo Grand Splendid

Look for books at El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Surely one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, a trip to Buenos Aires would not be complete without a visit to El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

The building began life in 1919 first as a performing arts theatre and later as a cinema before becoming the bookstore that it is today. You can still see the original frescoed ceilings on display today as well as the elegant theatre boxes, curved balconies and even the red stage curtains.

You’ll find children’s books in the basement and a cafe on the old theatre stage. The bookstore is located in the Recoleta neighbourhood.

Buenos Aires with kids
Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires Argentina

Check what’s on at La Rural

This centrally located exhibition center offers something new throughout the year. We have see the traveling Bodies Exhibition, filled our bellies at a food truck festival, bought souvenirs at a handicrafts fair, attended a wine tasting (okay, that was without kids in tow!) and most recently went to our first international auto show.

In July, La Rural hosts a ten-day exhibition of Livestock, Agriculture, and International Industry at which representatives from all provinces across Argentina share their traditions and expertise.

Brush up on your Argentine history at Museo Evita

The Museo Evita in Palermo is dedicated to one of Argentina’s most beloved and controversial political figures, the former First Lady Eva Perón. Housed within a beautiful 1923 mansion, Casa Carabassa, that was once the headquarters for the Eva Peron foundation, the museum is a fascinating insight into the life of the Argentine heroine.

On display are videos and historical photos as well as books and posters. The real draw, however, is Eva Peron’s wardrobe. The wife of President Juan Domingo Peron was a style icon and the museum is a wonderful glimpse into her fashionable wardrobe: dresses, shoes, hats, blouses and handbags are all on show.

Next door is a good restaurant with a pretty garden.

Get your thrills at Parque de la Costa

Take some time out from sightseeing and spend the day in Parque de la Costa, an amusement park in the north of the city centre.

Older kids in particular will love the variety of rides on offer, which include a flume ride (Saltos del Delta), a sky coaster (Vertigo Xtremo) and several speedy rollercoasters perfect for thrill-seekers.

Buenos Aires with kids
Explore the Tigre Delta from Buenos Aires by boat

Float upstream for lunch

When in need of a break from the big city, it’s great to spend a day on the Tigre Delta. It’s easy to access via the Mitre from Retiro Station. From the station in Tigre it’s a very short walk to the boat taxis or you can book a half-day tour and cruise from Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires with kids
The magnificent Iguazu Falls

Visit Iguazu Falls

Depending on how long you have for your family vacation, you might want to consider a full-day tour to Iguazu Falls, the incredible waterfalls of the country’s UNESCO-listed Iguazu National Park

You’ll have to catch a flight from Buenos Aires to the northern province of Misiones, near the border with Brazil. Low-cost airlines Flybondi and JetSmart run domestic flights between the two. 

Here, a guide will lead you through the park pointing out native plant and animal life and, of course, the falls themselves. At 1.7 miles wide, they are one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

Where to stay in Buenos Aires

The below map details the best places to stay in Buenos Aires including hotels and vacation rentals.

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