With all that wine drinking, tango dancing and steak eating the city of Buenos Aires is known for, you might not immediately think of the Argentine capital as a place for the whole family to enjoy. Yet Buenos Aires has lots of family-friendly activities and sights, such as the Humor Museum (Museo del Humor, also nicknamed "MuHu") located in Puerto Madero.
Opened in 2012, MuHu is a place both kids and adults can appreciate, as this museum is dedicated to the graphic arts of comics and animation. On display you can see examples of Argentine comics and animation - including political cartoons - from the 19th century to the mid-20th century.
Mafalda in action — Photo courtesy of Patrick Janicek
The best reason to go now, however, is the Quino por Mafalda exhibit on now until Nov. 15, 2014. This exhibit is a loving retrospective of the famous Argentine comic strip from the 1960s and 1970s - Mafalda - created by Joaquín Lavado (also known by his pen name Quino). Six-year-old Mafalda is the comic strip’s title character. She is very intelligent and curious about the world; she also hates soup.
Mafalda and her grownup insights are well known in Argentina, Latin America and Western Europe, but unfortunately not so much in English-speaking countries. In terms of cultural importance in the United States, Mafalda can be compared to Charlie Brown from Charles Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. However, Mafalda was always overtly political, claiming to be a reflection of the Argentine middle class as well as progressive youth.
Before or after a visit to the Humor Museum, one fun idea is to go see some of the city’s statues dedicated to Argentina’s comics, starting with the statue of Mafalda in neighboring San Telmo. The smiling Mafalda sits on a bench at the corner of Chile and Defensa in front of Quino’s former home. It’s a popular place to sit down and get your picture taken.
Other photo ops include the statue of comic playboy Isidoro Cañones at the corner of Chile and Balcarce; Larguirucho at the corner of Balcarce and Mexico; the skateboarding Matias on Balcarce Street between Mexico and Venezuela Streets; and Don Fulgencio, who's holding balloons at the corner of Balcarce and Venezuela, among others.
Hours for the Humor Museum include the following:
Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Argentine holidays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.