Visiting the Granja Colonia Arenas Museum, Uruguay

With five Guinness Book of World Records collections, the Granja Colonia Arenas Museum, Uruguay is an interesting to spend an afternoon.
What started off as a modest souvenir collection ballooned into four rooms containing over 80,000 items meticulously collected by the farming Arenas family patriarch over the past 50 years.Granja Colonia Arenas Museum VIEW
This museum of oddities boasts one of the largest pencil collection in the world: two roomfuls with pencil filled display cabinets.
The free of charge venue also has an impressive collection of 36,000 key chains, 4800 ashtrays, 3600 perfume bottles, 10,000 matchboxes and several hundred, drink cans.

Located in the quirky, quaint town of Colonia de Sacramento, the museum has created such a name for itself that it is recognized by the Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay.

Besides checking out the world’s largest collection of lead pencils, kids can get a kick out of identifying vintage trinkets and random objects that the family has amassed over half a century.
Older children might appreciate the history and the effort of the owner to scope out and visit pencil factories around the world to add to his collection.

Added Attractions

While famous for its collection of, tchotchkes, the Arenas family is known in the area for their delicious jams. Visitors will find the traditional fruit-flavored jams as well as some more unique flavors, such as onion or pepper ones. Tasting is free and makes sure you grab a jar or two to take home with you!

Our Visit
We visited the Museum, in the late afternoon, on a day trip to Colonia from Montevideo.
After getting a brief introduction from our guide, we had a chance to explore the displays on our own.
Our son with autism who loves to collect souvenirs felt right at home and was fascinated by especially by the pens and pencils featured. As the owner, he too would like to start a collection that will eventually lead to a mention in the Guinness book of Records.
Next, after using their clean restrooms, we got a chance to taste the different products that the ranch produced and especially liked to eat the cheeses and jams. Regrettably they sizes of jars sold were too large for us to pack and bring back to the US in our carry on luggage, but we did take the email address of the owner so we could contact them about shipping a couple of jars back to California via the post.

Granja Colonia Arenas Museum BOTTLESGetting There

Almost all day trip bus tours from Montevideo stop there on the way to or from Colonia de Sacramento.From Buenos, Aires travelers need to take a ferry to Colonia and then take a short 15-minute bus ride.

Location & Hours of Operation

The Arenas Museum of Oddities located at Ruta Nº1 km. 167 – Riachuelo in the town of Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay is open daily from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Amenities

The Granja Colonia has toilets and a playground area which is ideal for active kids.Furthermore, this is a working ranch so visitors can walk around and see farm animals.

Autism Travel Tips

  • Since the Arenas is a working farm, there are animals in the back, which could be frightening or bothersome for those with allergies or scent sensitivities.
  • Prepare the kids before visiting the fact they can’t touch any displayed items.
  • The walls of the museum rooms are covered with trinkets and collections, which could be overstimulating to people with autism.

Contact

You can email or call the Arenas family for more information: (+598) 4520 2025

 

Exploring Eva Perón’s Buenos Aires with Kids

Following Evita, the 1996 blockbuster musical starring Madonna in the lead role, there was a renewed interest in Argentina’s former first lady Eva Perón, commonly known by the diminutive form of that name – Evita.
She was a controversial figure who started out as a struggling actress before marrying President Juan Perón, becoming his second wife.
She was both loved and hated because of her political affiliations through him. Despite the controversy, what is clear is she managed to make strides in empowering women and helping the poor before succumbing to cervical cancer at the age of thirty-three.

We discovered that almost seven decades after her untimely demise Evita is still revered by many and has become a tourist draw for Argentina and Buenos Aires.
Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids CASA ROSATA

The Tour

We started our day trip with a tour of  Casa Rosada, which translates to The Pink House – the official offices of the President and their in-house museum established in 1957.
At ‘La Casa Rosada’, Spanish for the pink house because of its outside, we saw memorabilia from Argentina’s past presidents that proved fascinating, giving us a rare glimpse into Argentinean politics.
Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids IDWe did look for that famous balcony from which Madonna sang ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ but got conflicting reports as to which one it was since the building has multiple balconies.

Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with KidsPORTRAIT
At the Labor Building in San Telmo, the whole second floor resembled a shrine dedicated to Evita, made by people who loved her and wanted to keep her legacy alive.
Turns out, she was not only the pioneer for women’s rights but the first woman in Argentina to cast her vote in a presidential election.
Seeing Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids: desk

And then is that story about her embalmed body secretly kept in the office for over two years before mysteriously kidnaped to Milan, Italy for two decades!

Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids AUDITORIUM

The Evita Museum in Buenos Aires, we explored next, provides visitors with a more personalized view of the icon’s life.
The exhibits are divided into the different periods of the legend’s life: her humble birth, her work as an entertainer, her time as First Lady up to her untimely death.

Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids DRESSES

Displays include stylish clothes, fashion accessories, officially received gifts and portraits of the first lady. There is even some earth brought from the town where she was born.
Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids SOIL

Our last stop of the day was the Recoleta Cemetery. It is the final resting place of many famous artists, painters, sculptors and the famous first lady.
In many ways, it looks like a miniature town with spectacular mausoleums and statues, closely resembling Paris’ Pere La Chaise cemetery but much better maintained.

 Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids CEMETERY

It is here, in the Duarte family tomb (separated from her beloved husband) that Eva Perón was buried after her body was recovered from Milan, Italy.
A clear indication of Evita’s ongoing popularity amongst locals and visitors are the almost daily fresh flowers placed there to show respect for this woman who left an incredible legacy.

Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids MUSOLEUMS

Autism Travel Tips

  • The official government buildings and museums have specific visiting opening times and are not always accessible to the public. Check with the related websites to make sure you don’t go on a day or at a time when they are closed.
  • Don’t forget to stop at the Mafalda (comic strip heroine for kids) that is close to Evita’s Office in San Telmo for a photo op.
  • This tour and subject matter are suitable for older children who are interested in the history of Argentina, the late Eva Perón, and her life achievements.
  • Prepare your child with an overview of what you will be seeing and doing during your visit.
  • You can rent the Evita musical (be aware it is PG 13 rated) and acquaint your kid with the tunes.

Exploring Eva Perón's Buenos Aires with Kids GRAVE

 

 

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit, located in the Parque de la Reserva, a historic 19-acre city park is registered as the world’s largest water fountain complex in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The interactive aspect of the park’s fountains provides hours of fun for kids and many adults while its exposition tunnel murals teach visitors about Lima’s water sources and conservation efforts.

We were debating whether to visit the park since we had seen other fountain shows and felt this one might be similar. However, our hotel concierge insisted it is one of Lima’s top five attractions, so we decided to give it a try.
Against all odds, we all ended up enjoying the park more than we thought.
Not only could the unique laser show rival any Disney production but walking through the water jets made us return to our childhood for the two hours we were there.

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

By the end of the evening we even voted our personal favorites:

Most Interactive

The Maze of Dreams( Laberinto Del Ensueño) with its unpredictable vertical fountains shooting sideways or upwards at any given time while you try to make it to the ‘safe’ dry center, this fountain is THE place for those seeking to get seriously wet.

Most  engaging

The Fantasy Fountain (Fuente de la Fantasía) Light and Sound show schedule is Wednesday-Sunday at 7:15 PM, 8:15 PM and 9:30 PM. You might want to arrive on the early side to save a spot since it can get somewhat crowded.

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

Most romantic

The Tunnel of Surprises Fountain (Túnel de las Sorpresas)  is comprised of a  series of water arches that form a  38-yard long tunnel you can walk through without getting wet.

Most sensory

Walk-in Dome (Cúpula Visitable) sports overlapping jets that create continuous water arch visitors can walk under without getting wet unless they touch and disturb the flow.

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

Most Interesting

The Harmony Fountain (Fuente de la Armonía) is an orange pyramid shaped fountain whose water jet sides make it look like a continuous structure.

Most colorful

The Rainbow Fountain (Fuente Del Arco Iris) is a series of colored-lit fountains that create a wall of color when viewed from a distance.
Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

Most famous

The Magic Fountain (Fuente Mágica) is one of the park’s highlight with its mention in the Guinness Book of records.The best spot to see its full vertical jet of 87 yards is from the Walk-in Dome area.

The cute factor

The Tangüis Fountain (Fuente Tangüis) is a mini garden with several flower shaped fountains created as a tribute to  Fermín Tangüis, an agriculturist who helped save Peru’s cotton industry in the 19th century.

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

Autism travel tips:

Consider bringing a poncho, anti-slip shoes and even a change of clothes if your child wishes to run around in the fountains.

For the kids who don’t want to participate in water activities closed shoes are strongly advised as the ground is uneven at times and tricky to navigate in the darkness.

If your child is temperature sensitive, you might want to pack a jacket since the area can get cold at night, especially in winter.

Noise cancelling headphones can be a good option for kids who are noise-sensitive when attending the laser show and the free concerts given on weekends.

Lima’s Magic Water Circuit

 

Circuito Magico del Agua

Entrance  Fee I: S/.4

Opening Hours : Wednesday to Sunday (and holidays) from 3:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Location: Parque de la Reserva (between Av. Paseo de la Republica and Av. Arequipa)

Getting  there
A taxi from Miraflores to the Magic Water Circuit costs about S/.7
Minibuses run up and down Av. Arequipa, for S/.1
Lima Metropolitano bus to the Estadio  Nacional stop, S/.1


I’m participating in the IGTRAVELTHURSDAY blog link-up. Today, I’m linking to @LUXURYTRAVELMOM for inspiration and new travel tips.

Visiting Cabo San Lucas’ El Arco With Autistic Kids

 Cabo San Lucas is one of the best destinations when cruising the Mexican Rivera., made famous back in the 1980’s by the popular  Love Boat TV series.
For first time families traveling with kids that aren’t strong swimmers and can’t snorkel, a glass bottom boat tour to the iconic El Arco’s (Land’s End ) where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean are a good choice.

Since weather can be stormy or windy at different times of the year, it might be best to book a tour the very day the ship docks in port instead of ahead of time..

Land’s End

Travelers will see multiple vendors offering the glass boat tours upon arrival at the pier. Since the cruise price isn’t fixed and can be ‘negotiated’ you can get a better and cheaper deal if you are part of a larger group.
For families seeking an interactive experience check out the Buccaneer Queen pirate ship offering day and sunset trips that include a buffet style meal and unlimited drinks.

During the short cruise, you can enjoy spectacular rock formations some home to colonies of sea lions and pelicans that feed on the local fish without even getting off the boat. If you chose to get off the boat, you could check out the area’s famous beach called Lovers’ Beach with its calmer waves that are best suited for families and younger kids.Those seeking adventure can try ‘Divorce Beach’, yes, that’s what the locals nicknamed it; with rougher waters and better snorkeling opportunities. Needless to mention that families with younger kids can just opt to play in the sand or watch the marine wildlife.

Autism travel  tips

As the boat sails into the open sea, the water waves often  get rough, so if you or your kid are prone to sea sickness, you may want to take some Dramamine pills or patches before boarding.Many of the boats are open to the elements so have your kids sit on the inside part away from the water to avoid them from falling into the water or getting wet.If your kid is temperature sensitive look to book a boat that is partially covered and provides some sun shade. It would be useful to bring a  one dollar packable poncho along to cover him /her from the water splashing on them when the boat speeds up if they are sitting in an open vessel.
There aren’t many places to buy any food items particularly for those with dietary restrictions so bring along snacks, bottled water, and sunscreen in a day bag from the cruise ship.
Closed toe shoes such as Crocs or water shoes are highly recommended for getting on and off the boat where there are slippery floors to negotiate.
In case, your family members are planning to swim or snorkel consider purchasing life jackets and bringing them along since the beaches authorities do not employ lifeguards.
Remember to warn your kids against climbing the steep rocks since they can get seriously injured.


Have you visited Cabo San Lucas with your family; if so what are your tips?

 

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