Many people arriving to Bogotá or thinking of travelling here will wonder if Colombia is a good destination for children. There’s an endless amount of activity ideas for families in Bogotá, I will endeavor to provide a concise (ish) compendium below! Bear in mind this list is by no means exhaustive, each month there are different events on that can be suitable for children so don’t forget to Google what’s on in the city for the dates you’re visiting 🙂
Most Malls in Bogotá have a childrens arcade area. In some of the large malls like Titan or Andino there are indoor playgrounds and the arcade area works with coupons that you purchase and then the arcade games dispense tickets you can use to eventually exchange for prizes. This definitely keeps the children entertained and aiming towards something, however it is not everyone’s idea of an enjoyable afternoon. I mention the malls because also many contain a chain restaurant called Archies, as well as being an affordable and perfect place to grab a delicious pizza, it’s the ideal place to take children as they can design their own pizza! It’s an ingenious idea to get the kids involved and excited about learning the pizza making process!
All kids love animals, some grow out of it as they get older (although I’ve never understood how or why), but a trip to see animals in one of the nearby parks is always going to be a fun day out from Bogota for all the family. Finkana is a popular park complete with horseriding and a petting area so the children can get up close to the furry farm friends! Approximately an hour outside of the city this makes a great day trip, however always consider the infamous traffic getting out of Bogotá and for any theme park or natural park check opening hours ahead of time as they can vary. (Finkana is closed on Mondays.)
Another option to see wildlife would be the unique immersive experience offered at the “Bioparque La Reserva.” Here the innovation lies in the fact that the exhibits can be enjoyed first hand. You can walk through a recreated rainforest/dry forest/wetlands themed habitat and witness the wildlife that would naturally occur here. Definitely educational and inspirational in terms of environmental conservation both for the young ones and adults alike. Having previously volunteered in the rainforest at an animal rehabilitation centre, I fully appreciate the importance of authentic organisations like this one working at conservation and the raising of awareness, vital components of animal protection here in South America.
Other ideas would include the various Museums here in Bogotá that have children in mind, Museo de los Niños being a prime example and the Maloka science museum being a good option for kids over the age of 10. Museo de los Niños provides guided routes that your children can take part in and learn a lot from, but nevertheless are scheduled and separated by age groups. Thus it pays to do a little research beforehand. Divercity is an interesting concept wherein kids can take part in various activities in what is essentially a mini city inside Santa Fe mall. Some activities are based on real world jobs and pay the children in Divercity cash which they can spend on other attractions inside the “city.”
There are also plenty of options slightly outside of Bogotá ranging from theme parks such as Jaime Duque to places of natural beauty such as natural park Chicaque. A good closer option would be the Jardin Botanico. Excellent, interesting and informative botanical gardens located centrally in the city with a low entrance fee.