Update: Bummer! it seems Peekaboo in Vitacura has closed. Their new locale in La Dehesa is now open. For a round up of my favourite playcafes in Santiago, click here. (Peekaboo La Dehesa Avenida La Dehesa 2870, Lo Barnechea / +56 2 2312 1489 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
When I first arrived in Chile I didn’t see the point of play cafes. The weather’s so nice here, so why stay cooped up indoors when the kids can be frolicking in the sunshine? Even Santiago winters are nothing compared to the UK.
Mind you, sometimes I just need to wear my little soldiers out without having to haul my pregnant belly round the assault course other parents call the playground. ‘Mummy push me higher! Mummy lift me there! Mummy hurry up!’
So I’m a play cafe convert. One such cafe I discovered recently is Peekaboo in Vitacura.
If you’re new to the play cafe concept, you pay an entrance fee per child and let them run wild. Or if you have kids like mine, you trail them like Putin’s security services and break up any fights resulting in significant blood loss.
Back to Peekaboo. This play cafe has lots of different play zones to keep them entertained. The trains were a big hit…
There’s also a baby area, with sensory toys and round the corner a ‘beauty spa’ with a hairdressers.
There’s a musical and dressing up area, complete with a mini stage… as well as a vegetable market, kitchen and a veterinary surgery…
Not to mention the ball pool and cafe area.
The only downside for me was that with so many separate areas, each in different rooms from the next, it was tricky keeping an eye on two preschoolers at once.
‘Muuuuuuuummyyyyyyyy!’ shouted Rafa as he wrestled a toy from a rather innocent looking toddler and went in for the kill. ‘Mummy! Come!‘ shouted Sebastian next door…
Still, it was a fun afternoon, and I loved seeing my kids play so creatively and really using their imagination. I’m a big fan of role play for children.
But my goodness, it was exhausting. I’d love to tell you about the cafe, about the perfectly brewed Illy coffee and yummy snacks, but I never got a chance. Too busy getting my hair done at the spa, pretending to be a sick dinosaur at the vets, all while fishing out Rafa from the ball pond.
Having said that, I’d still go back. That evening my monsters collapsed in front of Paw Patrol, and I finally got to drink my tea in peace.
Need to know:
Cost: 5,000 CLP per child (without time restriction). Second child pays 3,500 CLP. Children aged 8-12 months 3,500 CLP, infants under 8 months old free of charge, adults free of charge.
Opening hours: from 10am to 7pm everyday
Birthdays: Peekaboo also organises birthday parties, on an exclusive basis (for up to 30 children) or open to other members of the public basis (for up to 15 children). Snacks, drinks, a pinata and decorations are included, extra activities are charged extra. Morning or afternoon slots are available. For more details, contact Peekaboo directly.
Holiday workshops: ‘talleres’ are held during the school holidays, generally mornings from 9am – 1pm, and include classes such as painting, dance, cookery recycling etc. From 60,000 CLP per child per week / 18,000 per day, including all activiites, a snack and a drink.