What is one of the easiest ways to make your child happy, get them to sleep well and that can be done easily with a newborn?
Easy. A park visit. And no trip to the park would be complete without a delicious picnic.
Emilio just loves a picnic, thanks to one of my childhood books about picnicking on the moon called “Whatever Next”. There really is nothing simpler or better fun than packing up a blanket, hitting the supermarket for goodies or even baking a few treats, before searching for the perfect spot to unwrap it all and indulge.
Our usual spot is the Parque Bicentenario in Vitacura because it’s only ten minutes away from our house by car, plus it has birds and fish to feed (and Mestizo, one of my favorite restaurants here). In summer they put out sun umbrellas and loungers that are free to use, which is great because the sun in this city is fierce. However it does have a few down sides, like it can be hard to find a park and the grass always seems to be sodden wet and full of bees (and Mestizo staff can be snobby too). So when a friend recommended Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete we decided to give it a try.
This park only opened in January last year but I had never heard of it. Why is that?? The place is FANTASTIC! My friend described it as “crisp” which I think is a pretty good summation because it still has that nice feel of being new … so crisp in other words. It’s a big park – some 20 hectares according to Wikipedia – and it’s divided into two sections. The first is focused around a lagoon area where you can rent paddle boats (including life jackets) and the second follows the Mapocho river.
It’s pretty lovely and wonderful to walk around in. It’s filled with bridges that succeed in transporting you out of Santiago and into somewhere much more romantic.
The downside is that because the park is so new, all the plants have a long way to grow still so shade is scarce. We did find a spot to linger in and it was glorious just to be so close to the water. Being from NZ I am used to having the sea in close proximity at all times so I often feel claustrophobic and stifled in Santiago. If you feel like that too then you will definitely enjoy this park, just remember the sunscreen and hat!
The Nitty Gritty
Entry is FREE
Sights: 2x football fields, amphitheater, statue/sculptures, fountains
Snacks sold at entrance
For more information visit the Quinta Normal official site here.
Or visit this excellent site (Spanish).