Sanborns @ Multiplaza 

A few mums has mentioned that Sanborns at Multiplaza was a good place for lunch or a coffee with kids.  This week E and I met some new friends there.

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Sanborns can be found at the end of Multiplaza by Tiffanys, Carolina Herrera etc. If you are going at this time of year, right by the Swarovski tree. It is part store (selling everything from cakes and makeup to model sail boats) and part restaurant. They have ample seating, highchairs galore and a children’s menu. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. For the kids there is also a small play area comprising of a slide and crawling tunnel over artificial grass. The area is fenced in with a small entrance that doesn’t have a gate, and parents are responsible for their own children.

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E managed to climb up the ramp and use the slide no problems but obviously needed to be spotted as her spacial awareness isn’t very good yet and she tends to get distracted then step off the edge of things. Older kids should be just fine playing in there with minimal supervision. The slide frame is taped up in places but this seemed like superficial repairs rather than a real structural issue.

The coffee was ok and service was good (although the restaurant was not busy at the time). I would say it is a good place to go with kids over 3 although how long the play area would keep them amused would very much depend on the child. It would also be fine with surefooted toddlers if you don’t mind spoting them when needed and you can get a table by the play area.

El Hombre de la Mancha Kids

This week E and I headed up to San Francisco to have a look around the new El Hombre de la Mancha Kids bookstore on Calle 71. Needless to say my wallet took a bashing.
Situated at the Via Israel end of Calle 71, in a small new strip mall called (I believe) The Plaza, El Hombre de la Mancha Kids is a welcome addition to the stores available for kids here in Panama. Situated across two floors, the lower floor seemed to focus on books and games for younger children and the first floor focused on older kids.

The upper floor had not only board games and books but a classroom that I assume is used for kids events. The lower floor has a cafe ($3 capuchino was good) with two tables and a great little childrens play area tucked under the stairs.  I actually managed to drink my coffee whilst hot as E happily played. There are a good selection of books in English, Spanish and I also saw Le Petit Prince in French/English. I noted many popular children’s titles. They seemed to have almost every Hape toy going, including their balance bike. There was a steady stream of customers making Christmas purchases. I have to admit I couldn’t resist and walked away with two toys and two books.

The kids area is small and not gated so your little one will need supervision, E did eventually tire of the toys and books on offer and began raiding the displays of toys and books for purchase, at which point I made a quick exit. It is not the cheapest place in Panama, but then new books always cost a little more here, a great place to find a special gift for your children. We will definitely be going back.