Just west of downtown is shady Parque Quinta Normal, a 75-acre park with three museums within its borders, another just across the street, and two more down the block. This is an especially good place to take kids. The park was created in 1841 as a place to experiment with new agricultural techniques. On weekdays it’s great for quiet strolls; on weekends you have to maneuver around noisy families. Pack a picnic or a soccer ball and fit right in.
Near the park is the Museo de la Memoria, a museum in memory of the dictatorship, and the modern Biblioteca de Santiago. Closer to the Alameda is the arts and performing center Matucana 100 and the Quinta Normal branch of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, both of which have cafés outside.