In Buenos Aires, ’tis the season all kids wait for and most parents dread – vacaciones de invierno, or winter break. When as a student you can finally say chau to homework and class, and as an adult you’re wondering why the hell kids even *need* vacations, they play all the time anyway. You know the answer: to pass the time a little bit easier, get out of the house, explore the city. The Bubble is here to help with a detailed guide of fun activities to do with your toddler or tween this break. You may be staycationing in Buenos Aires this time around, but that’s just all the more reason to make the most of your quality time with the fam.
Is your kid the one who loves to make up stories and giggles when you pretend you actually believed she saw a dragon on her way home from school? Use this vacation to fuel that creativity. Maybe her babbling will transform into words on a page.
- Wednesday, July 24th: Join two famed children book writers and illustrators, Isol y Jorge Luján, as they talk through their poetic and drawing process in an engaging and fun way. Join the conversation at Cultural Space Auditorium of the Congressional Library (Alsina 1835) at 6:30 PM for free. The space is also offering an activity for each day of the week (with a pretty dope International Children’s Fair on July 26-27 at 2 PM – 8 PM). Visit their website for details.
- Wednesday, July 24th: Come one, come all to Grand Splendid El Ateneo (Av. Santa Fe 1860) in Recoleta for a story-telling hour at 5 PM. Four children’s books will be read aloud and participating children will be asked to identify its basic elements – the characters, plot, setting, etc. Afterwards, each child will have the opportunity to invent and narrate their own story, inspired by the one they just heard. Visit their website for details.
- Monday, July 29th: The Dailan Kifki Center of the National Library offers a participatory storytelling adventure for 6 to 12 year olds. The event is free and will take place in Sala Augusto Raúl Cortazar (Agüero 2502) at 3 PM. Visit their website for details.
Yikes… your kid is the one who somehow manages to draw on your freshly-painted white walls in permanent marker even after you threw out all your permanent markers? The drawing may just be a squiggle for now, but don’t despair – your offspring might just turn out to be the next Picasso (only if you encourage their talent, of course).
- Fridays, July 26th & August 2nd: The Cinema Museum (El Museo del Cine) is organizing a workshop for children ages 8 through 12 that will teach them how to make figurines and costumes. For those movie buff kiddos, show them the work goes into the final product the museum (Caffarena 51) at 3 PM for the small price of AR $50. The museum is also offering a host of other family-friendly activities for winter break, including ones related to optical illusion games, video-games, mini-stories, and short film workshops. Visit their website for details.
- Sundays, July 28th & August 4th: Take your 5 to 9-year-old child on an educational journey through Frida Kahlo‘s life and work that will end with an interactive art workshop. You should count on accompanying your child through the experience, which will take place at MALBA (Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415) at 5 PM for a fee of AR $150. Visit their website for details.
- Sunday, July 28th: Museo Sívori (Av. Infanta Isabel 555), the small modern art museum, is offering an all-family collage workshop, using magazine clippings and other recyclable materials, intended for children ages 5 t0 14. Entrance to the museum is AR $50 for those 14 and older and will start at 3 PM. Visit their website for details and other similar events offered at the museum. The museum’s prime location in Parque 3 de Febrero makes for a lovely picnic trip, and weather allowing, there’s paddle-boating right across from the entrance for when your kids are all arted-out.
- Thursday, August 1st: Museo de Arte Moderno, or the modern art museum located at Av. San Juan 350, will host a children’s class, teaching them to analyze modern art by color and through the five senses. Visit their website for details of the event, which will take place at 4 PM.
- Sunday, August 4th: Visit the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) at Av. del Libertador 1473 with your 5 to 10-year-old child at 5 PM to an account of the history of circus, featuring acrobats, magicians, balancing acts, and much more. Entrance to the event is free. Visit the event page to learn more.
#3: Music & Theater
Ah, I see, your kid may not be a future writer or artist, but you have high hopes for that slightly melodic humming that keeps emitting from him. Buy your child a violin, make him take piano lessons, but most of all, make sure he’s listening to music, too. These vacaciones are the perfect time to start. For more theater opportunities in Buenos Aires than we could fit here, check out La Nación’s listing of over 50.
- Teatro Colon: The prime opera house of Buenos Aires welcomes the youth during these next two weeks for four different productions. For one, there’s the “laboratory of opera and ballet production” featuring fantastical beasts, with shows available multiple times per day July 23-28 at a cost of AR $300 for children ages 4-12 and AR $500 for accompanying adults. There’s also the choreographed story of a robot discovering his ability to feel with music by Mozart, premiering August 3-4 at 11:30 AM and 2 PM both days for AR $200 for those aged 4-12. Purchase tickets at the box office at Libertad 621 or online at their website.
- Hansel and Gretel: Enjoy the classic tale of the brother and sister who got lost in the woods and trapped by a gingerbread house witch this winter break, with production by Julián Ignacio Garcés and music by Engelbert Humperdinck. The beautiful show will take place at Teatro de la Ribera (Pedro de Mendoza 1821) Tuesdays – Sundays at 11 AM. Best of all? Completely free of charge and open to the public. Check out their website here.
- La Usina del Arte: La Usina is known for its free concerts primarily for adults but you’ve never seen the La Boca venue pull all the stops like they’re doing for Vacaciones de Invierno this year. Every day from July 20th to August 4th at 2:30 PM and 5 PM, take the bus out to Caffarena 1 for a free musical performance by one of the following groups: Mariana Baggio, Dúo Karma, Rayos y Centellas, Hugo Figueras, Mundo Arlequín, Los Raviolis, Koufequín, Mecache Rock, Cuatro Vientos, Lala y el toque toque, Gertrudis y Perro Vaca, Capitán Sanata, Cielo Arriba, Orquesta Sudamericana, or Soy Valiente. Visit their website for details.
#4: Staying Healthy
Art, music, and theater are all lovely, of course, but breaks from school are also great opportunities for kids – and everyone – to get back into shape and eat healthy. The city of Buenos Aires knows this well and is offering lots of options for that sort of entertainment as well.
- Healthy Stations: Nutrition experts are setting up shop in Belgrano Market (Juramento 2527) and San Nicolás Market (Av. Córdoba 1750) with various break-out sessions aimed at educating children 3-12 years old and adults alike. Free gardening workshops and participatory cooking classes (called Cocina para Todos, or Cooking for All) will highlight the event. Visit the San Nicolás Market August 2nd at 5:30 PM for a regular children’s cooking class and the Belgrano Market August 1st at 5 PM for a celiac accommodations cooking class.
- Outdoor Play: The city is bringing three different outdoor play stations for your enjoyment this winter break at Parque Patricios, Parque Centenario, and Rosedal. All are open Mondays – Fridays, 1 PM to 5 PM, from July 22nd to August 3rd, and feature opportunities for team sports and individual ones. The children may be playing but they’re also learning: nutritionists use the stations as venues to educate about healthy habits, hydration, exercise, and more.
#5: Puppets, Playtime, and More
Here’s the category of all the most fun things to with your children that couldn’t quite fit into any other category. Saddle up, cowboys. You’re gonna want to attend these.
- iUpiiiii: La Usina de Arte has transformed one of its halls into a full-on magical wonderland for 0 to 3 year olds, open for seven forty-minute rotations a day every day from 12 PM to 6 PM. The space was designed by professionals to evoke curiosity and surprise in the toddlers, with eight stations for them to experience, including a “cloud mountain,” a “bird house,” and a “rainbow in action.” We won’t spoil it for you or your kid – go explore for yourself.
- Star Wars: The Toy Museum (El Museo de Juguete) will be welcoming Star Wars fans far and wide on Saturday, July 27, at Lamadrid 197, Boulogne from 1 PM to 5 PM. The experience will include costumes, games, and “Jedi training” outdoors. Visit their website and discover all the other playful (no pun intended) events they offer.
- International Puppet Festival: The 8th edition of this festival brings puppet artists from Uruguay, Israel, Brazil, England, Chile, Spain, Peru, the United States, Italy, Ecuador, Taiwan, and India. Your child is sure to enjoy the daily performances (available at 4, 4:30, and 5 PM) at various locations throughout the city, including La Boca and San Telmo. Check the website for options that work best for you.