xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' World Toddler: 5 Rattles for Santiago, Chile: A City of Art



Thursday, March 31, 2016

5 Rattles for Santiago, Chile: A City of Art

Santiago, Chile Overall Rattle Rating:

Santiago has all of the culture, bustle, and entertainment you could ask for on a family trip.  At the same time, it is neither enormous nor sprawling and so it is easily navigated on foot.  Here it is possible to expose your child to incredible art outside the confines of a quiet, expensive museum.  From grafitti on pubic walls to exquisite statues in parks and fascinating architecture from the 18th and 20th centuries, Santiago is filled with art. A particularly unique element of this art is that much of it features women: from street murals of Mapuche people to white busts of important Chilean authors, women are very much at the center of Santiago public art. Asked for her thoughts on this, a curator at the children's art museum, Museo Artequin, surmised that since no formal training is needed to become a street artist, a more diverse group of artists are able to make the street their canvas, which leads to a more diverse depiction of art subjects.  Whatever the reason, it was truly inspiring to walk through a city where strong women cheered us on from every wall.

Baby on a Budget:

Santiago offers an incredible variety of restaurants serving food from all over the world and at all different price points.  Our whole family savored a dinner of empanadas and pastries one night for just under 10 USD.  At the same time, with the favorable exchange rate, it is possible to eat a high end meal for the equivalent of less than 20 USD per person.  Activities are similarly affordable: entrance to the train museum, Museo Ferroviario de Santiago, for instance, costs only $4. 

Trying Pisco Sours at CHPE: Independent Republic of Pisco Sour

Playing with Fish Heads at a Colombian Restaurant

Swings per Capita:

Santiago is a land of swings and seesaws.  Every public park, of which this city has many, had at least a small playground.   The park next to the Fine Arts Museum has two (making this neighborhood the best for staying with children). With climbing facilities for children of all ages, two trampolines, and a lovely picnic area, the kids' area of these parks bustle with local families.  On the weekends, children sit at miniature easels spread in a semi-circle near the playground, creating works of art.  Magicians and musicians entertain for tips while carts sell toys, balloons, and drinks. 

Our favorite playground is located in the Lastarria neighborhood, across from a church, Parroquia de la Vera Cruz.  Although relatively humble, this playground has all the toddler basics and is in the middle of a street with some of Santiago's hippest restaurants and bars, so parents and grandparents can take turns watching the baby play while enjoying pisco sours at a nearby restobar.


Santiago has well-maintained, clean sidewalks.  Pushing a stroller around this flat city is easy.  In addition, with so much street art, a stroller-riding child is never bored. 

There are also taxis everywhere, so it is easy to get home in a pinch.

Happy to Have You:

Locals seem happy to have all of you, not just your child.  Indeed, local business people go out of their way to offer insights about Santiago and recommendations for sites to see or places to eat.  Many people speak English and those who don't are patient with imperfect Spanish, making it easy to communicate.  Even fine dining restaurants offer high chairs and go out of their way to accommodate children.

Fun for the Whole Family:

There are four main levels at Santiago's Costanera Center, one of Latin America's largest malls: Food and Gifts; Sporting and Electronics; Women's Clothing; Men and Children's Clothing.  This thoughtfully organized mall is a microcosm of the city at large: Santiago considers and serves the needs of people of all ages and from all places.  From this enormous mall to street art walking tours to an interactive children's museum, Santiago truly has something for everyone.

Making Drawings at the Children's Art Museum
Fun at the Costanera Center

No comments:

Post a Comment