The oldest colonial city in the Americas, and the most important colony for the Spanish Empire, Lima is filled with colonial treasures.

Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum, Monterrico) - If you only have time for one museum, this is the one. Room after room of every imaginable item of gold, artifacts from the Inca, Mochica, Chimu, and Nasca peoples, plus gorgeous textiles. Your kid's eyes will glaze over with daydreams of Indiana Jones-type adventures.
Museo de Armas del Mundo - In the same building with the Gold Museum is the "Weapons of the World" museum, a collection of arms dating back to the 1500s. And what a collection - guns, knives, daggers, battle axes, blunderbuses, swords, pistols, armor, spurs, saddles and military uniforms from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America! Highlights of the collection include the sword made for Pizarro and sword of the Marquis de Lafayette.
Convento de San Francisco - The convent is a time warp into sixteenth century colonial Lima. Beautiful both inside and out, with grand medieval style and lovely Sevillana hand-painted tiles and a magnificent library. But to really spook the kids - lead them down to the 400 year old catacombs below the Convent, where you'll wind your way through corridors stacked with ancient bones from the colonial period.
Palacio del Gobierno - This is the massive "Palace of the Government" which dominates Lima. Be sure to get there before 11:45 am, to see the daily changing of the guards in all their gold-helmeted pageantry.
Catedral de Lima - Get up close and personal with history, for this is where the greatest Conquistador of all is entombed: Francisco Pizarro who, with only a few hundred soldiers, subdued the great Inca Empire. The Cathedral is quite grand and, like the Convent, dates back to the beginnings of the Spanish Empire: 1555. It was reconstructed after an earthquake in 1746.
Parque Japones - A small Japanese-style park with a lovely koi fish pond, local children like to feed the enormous fish, while parents relax in the tranquility of the spot (you can buy fish food there). Located on 28 de Julio Avenue (Parque de la Exposicion), this is a nice rest during tourism or shopping trips.
Museum of Anthopology and Archeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Anthropologia e Historia del Peru, Plaza Bolivar) - The museum has wonderful exhibits from pre-Inca and Inca cultures, including Paracas mummies and skulls with trepanning, Moche ceramics (thematically organized by food, transportation, music, etc.), a detailed model of Machu Picchu, a recreation of the frozen Inca girl from Mt. Ampato, dioramas of prehistoric scenes.
Parque de las Leyendas (Park of the Legends) - This park is situated amidst the ruins of pre-Inca Maranga "huacas" (holy sites). The zoo is oriented towards Peruvian plants and animals. It's divided into the three principle climatic regions of Peru: coast, mountains, and jungle. This is the place to see Andean condors, llamas, vicunas, guanacos, pumas, great horned owls (mountains) jaguars, green anacondas, toucans, parrots, coatis, spider monkeys, owl monkeys, caymans, (jungle) and Galapagos tortoises (coast). If you can't get to all three zones in Peru, this is a nice way to get a taste of these areas.
Don't miss the Mina Modelo, a replica of the interior of a mine, with mining cars piled high with minerals such as quartz, phosphates and galena.
The park has a big picnic area, where you'll see Lima school kids playing soccer. The picnic area is next to the ruins of two huacas from 700 years ago.
Kids will enjoy the huge playground with swings, slides, teeter totters, a maze, train to climb on and circle roundabout. There are also amusement rides for little kids, and a go-kart track, Chachikart, for bigger kids.
Museo de la Fortaleza Real Felipe (The Royal Philip Fortress Museum, Callao) - This is where, three centuries ago, the Spanish General Jose Ramón Rodil signed the agreement which declared Peru completely free of Spanish domination of their richest colony.
Miraflores -
Parque Kennedy (also called Parque 7 de Junio, Parque Central) - This pleasant park has swings, slides, and an excellent kids' playground. Around the park are cafes where you can find snacks.
Parque el Faro - Watch the paragliders sailing on the wind currents coming off the cliffs above the beach.
Parque de la Amistad (Santiago de Surco) - Looking for a park to relax, the Parque de la Amistad has miniature steam train and typical Andean train station, artificial lake, Cultural Center and lots of grass to run around.
Catch a soccer game - Soccer, anyone? Called futbol in most of the world, it's played with a passion in Peru. If you have players in the family, attend a world-class match (maybe they'll pick up some pointers for the team back home). Teams to look for: Alianza Lima, Universitario, Sporting Cristal and Alianza Atletico.
Beaches - If you need a beach day, El Silencio, San Bartolo and Santa Maria are good family beaches. Spend the afternoon relaxing and building sand castles. However, if you come in summer, days can be gray and overcast in Lima.
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