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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Keeping Kiddos Busy in BsAs

As with most of the other mom's I know, now that the city has returned to normal after the January-February hiatus, I'm looking for activities to occupy the hours of Gretchen's day.  I know that I am a super fun playmate, but there certainly are times that she's looking to hang out with other kiddos.  So, here is a list of the classes and activities that I have come across while searching for ways to occupy my one year old.

Gymboree: www.gymboree.com.ar/
Location: Palermo, Guatemala 5614 (with other locations in the greater suburbs of BsAs)
Phone: 4775-8504 or 4831-0831
Gymboree offers music, art and general play classes for children 0-5 years old (separated by age, of course).  The instruction is in Spanish, but the songs and many of the games are in English.  You have the ability to pay per class (AR$100 each) or have them automatically charge your credit/debit card on a monthly basis and attend a variety of classes during the week (AR$300 - AR$450, depending on the number of programs you choose).  Gymboree also offers a first-time trial class for free, though you need to sign up for this in advance online.  If you sign up the day of your trial class, they wave the inscription fee of AR$150.  They keep an up to date calendar online with email updates each month.  Beware of January and February, their class schedule completely changes - in my opinion - for the worse.

Kindermusik: www.kindermusik.com/
Location: Inside the Museo Evita, Palermo, Lafinur 2988
Kindermusik class is taught by independent teachers, so you need to be cautious with which classes you seek out, but from what I'm told, Alcira is a great instructor.  The classes focus on music and dance for children 0-5 years old (separated by age).  They offer sign up for monthly classes, one class per week, for AR$360 per month.  There is a one time inscription fee of AR$300, though you are able to attend a trail class before committing to the monthly fee.  The classes run on a semester schedule, March 6 - July 12 is the first semester of 2012.

Ocampo Wellness Club Swim Lessons: www.ocampowellness.com.ar/
Location: Palermo, Ortiz de Ocampo 3250
Phone: 4802-8877 / 4803-2963
Ocampo Wellness Club is a fully functional gym with an indoor pool where you can sign up separately for swim lessons.  They offer "Mommy & Me" classes for baby's 6 months - 2 years and solo classes for kids 2 - 12 years.  Their indoor pool is great for little ones since they have a super shallow end for little ones to practice standing.  You can choose 1, 2 or 3 classes per week from AR$290, AR$370, or AR$450 per month.  They also offer prenatal swim classes for expecting mamas.

Museo de los Niños: www.museoabasto.org.ar/
Location: Shopping Abasto, Av. Corrientes 3247, Nivel 2
Phone: (054-11) 4861-2325
The Museo de los Niños is a children's museum located in the second level of the Abasto shopping mall.  In true Buenos Aires fashion, it is open from 1pm - 8pm Tuesday through Sunday and has a special calendar available on their website to discuss their hours on holidays.  Children 2 and under are free, as are teachers (when you provide a pay stub and DNI) and people over the age of 65.  For kids 2 - 17 tickets are AR$50 each, and adults are AR$20.  Also, using your DNI as proof, the entrance fee is waved on your birthday.  I have yet to go myself, but I've heard really positive things about the museum, and their website boasts special activity rooms for children 3 and under.  For the older kids, there are spaces where they can pretend to be a number of different "careers"; nurse, captain, mom/dad, actor, pirate, just to name a few.  Now that Gretchen is walking around, I'm sure we'll make the trip.

Bioparque Temaiken: www.temaiken.com.ar/
Location: Ruta 25, Km. 1, Escobar, Provincia de Buenos Aires
Phone: (03488) 43-6900
I have already written about our trip to Temaiken, but this is a great day trip for kids of almost any age.

Zoologico Palermo: www.zoobuenosaires.com.ar/
Location: Av Las Heras and Sarmiento (main entrance located at Plaza Italia)
Phone: 4011-9900
I have also previously written about the Palermo Zoo, but my perspective has changed a bit over the years that we've lived here.  I still feel like the zoo could use some additional funding, but if you don't go in the smack-dab-middle of summer, it's a much nicer experience. This zoo is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10am - 6pm.  General admission is AR$25, or AR$40 if you choose the "passporte ahorro" that includes the reptile and aquarium areas and a ride on their little boat attraction.  Their website says that tickets are free for kids under the age of 12 and over the age of 65, though I'm not 100% sure that's true.  I have been back to the zoo two times since my initial post, and both times were far better than the first trip.  It is a nice way to see the animals without driving the 30 minutes to get to Temaiken.

Jardin Maternal:  This is a general writing about the option of a "Jardin" or preschool for little ones as young as 12 months.  It is a much more culturally acceptable practice here to send your young child to "school" for anywhere from 2 - 5 days per week.  Depending on the school, they either speak Spanish or are bilingual and run anywhere from 2 - 7 hours per day.  Here are the list of schools that have a jardin level that I've been made aware of:

Bayard (Palermo): http://bayard.esc.edu.ar Castex 3348, Tel. (54-11) 4803-0902
Starts with preschool and continues to high school. *Bilingual.

Belgrano Day School (Belgrano): http://www.bds.edu.ar/A school that starts in preschool (2 years old) and continues through high school. *Bilingual.

Colegio del Arce (Canitas): http://www.delarce.com.ar/Starts in preschool (1 year old) and continues through high school. *Bilingual.

Nightingale (Palermo): http://www.florencenightingale.com.ar/ Bulnes 2571, Tel 4802-1913
Preschool only located in Palermo. *Bilingual.

Risas de la Tierra (Palermo): http://www.risasdelatierra.com.ar/ Cerviño 3760, 4802-2683
Music and dance centered preschool starting at 18 months. *Spanish only.

So there you have it - your one stop shop for all of my information on entertaining little ones during the day.  Please let me know if there is something I've forgotten, I'm always on the lookout for new activities!


  1. Hello Dawn thanks for this fantastic entry blog.
    I also have a Kindermusik in Buenos Aires. We are located at Instituto Cambridge. (Tucumán 1483) a few blocks away Plaza Vicente Lopez.
    We offer Family Time on Wednesday evening (7.30 pm) and on Friday mornings (9.30 am) and Imagine That! on Thursday evening (7.40pm)
    We charge only 160ARG thanks to Cambridge's support and only an annual fee of 150ARG. which, as you can see, is way more affordable than other options of the area. Plus, besides of being certified Kindermusik educators we are certified English teachers and I am professional singer. And we offer the Home Materials option because that is something that not everybody is doing because of the customs situations nowadays. All this upgrade the kindermusik experience!
    Pleas feel free to come and take a free class with us if you are around. And please share this info with other mums!


    1. Thanks for the information Vanessa! I will certainly take you up on your offer to try the class out when we return from a trip to the US. Which class is most appropriate for a 1 year old? Thanks again!