Many people have asked me if it’s a good idea to travel to Mexico with kids. The short answer is yes. There are many places you can visit with them and that they will find amusing. You will find a vast array of activities to choose from. Some places will offer more activities than others, but it’s just a matter of looking.
Mexico is extremely family-oriented. Families are very important in Mexican society. That’s why it’s not hard to find places and activities that suit them.
If you have an upcoming vacation and you were searching for good places for your kids, you’ve come to the right place. I will provide you with some guidelines to consider for your next trip.
Eco-parks in Cancun
You will always see Cancun in Mexico travel guides. It’s a favorite among national and international tourists alike. With its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, nature, and plenty of activities for all ages, Cancun is always a good option.
Remember Cancun comprises other areas such as Riviera Maya, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, etc. For practical purposes, we usually refer to it as simply Cancun.
Of course, some people just book all-inclusive resorts where there’s no need to venture outside. Those places have lots of activities to keep their kids entertained. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you’re like me and prefer to explore your surroundings, there are plenty of places you can visit with your kids.
For instance, there are really cool eco-parks in the area such as:
Xcaret. Activities include snorkeling, swimming in underground rivers, Maya performance, night shows, a butterfly pavilion, swimming with dolphins, among other things. You can easily spend a whole day here.
Xel-Ha. Activities include snorkeling, zip-lining, cliff jumping, just to name a few. Oh, there is also a kid-friendly obstacle course. It’s another great option for kids.
Xplor. Activities include zip-lining, amphibious vehicles, exploring caves, and, of course, swimming in underground caves.
Other Parks You Can Visit
Mexico has many different parks for its visitors. Some of the most famous ones are:
Parque Fundidora (Monterrey). It’s one of the most important parks in the north of the country. Activities include biking, an aviary, paddle boats, museums, playgrounds, among other things. Spend a whole day of fun with the little ones!
Parque Bicentenario (Queretaro City). An amusement park with rides and water-related activities.
Parque Explora (Leon). Activities include bike riding, an IMAX 3D movie theater, and an artificial lake.
Bosque de Chapultepec (Mexico City). One of the largest parks in all Mexico. You can visit the only castle in Latin America. Your kids will love it!
Parque de Aventura Barranca del Cobre (Chihuahua). Adventure park that features zip-lining, rappelling, climbing, and a cable car.
There are way more parks we could mention. Remember amusement parks are another excellent option for the whole family. Keep these in mind:
- Six Flags (Mexico City) Yes, there’s one in Mexico!
- Bosque Magico (Monterrey)
- Plaza Sesamo (Monterrey)
- Kidzania (Mexico City and Monterrey)
- Mundo Divertido (Tijuana)
- Selva Magica (Guadalajara)
Zoos and Aquariums
They never get old. Kids love watching animals, interacting with them and learning about them. The good thing is, you can usually find a zoo or an aquarium no matter where you go. Some of the most popular zoos are:
- Chapultepec Zoo (Mexico City)
- Zoofari (Cuernavaca)
- Africam Safari (Puebla City)
- Bioparque Estrella (Montemorelos)
- Zacango Zoo (Toluca)
- Masi Mara Safari (Guadalajara)
- Tuzoofari (Pachuca)
The cool thing is, some of them are not the traditional zoo you might visit. Bioparque Estrella and Africam Safari, for example, offer interactive activities for kids where they can pet and even feed the animals.
With such a long coastline, it shouldn’t come across as a surprise that there are many aquariums throughout the country. You might want to check these out:
- Inbursa Aquarium (Mexico City)
- Veracruz Aquarium (Veracruz City) The most famous of its kind in Mexico.
- Interactive Aquarium (Cancun)
- Mazatlan Aquarium (Mazatlan)
- Guadalajara Aquarium (Guadalajara)
- Acuario del Bajio (Leon)
If you go to any of the cities mentioned above, don’t miss out! You will have a blast with your kids.
What? Museums? I know they may not be the first thing to spring to mind, but trust me, they can be an excellent option. There are museums designed exclusively for kids. They will learn new things and have fun at the same time. Isn’t that great?
These are some of the most visited museums for kids:
Papalote Museo del Niño (Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and Monterrey). Divided into several sections, kids will be able to explore with their senses and express themselves artistically.
Anahuacalli Museum (Mexico City). Exhibits featuring pre-Hispanic life. Kids will be able to learn about Mexican culture, folk art, and legends. There are also workshops for the whole family.
Museo del Chocolate (Mexico City). Kids will be able to learn about the chocolate-making process.
Museo del Juguete Antiguo (Mexico City). Collection of Mexican toys from times long gone. Your kids will love it!
Museo El Rehilete. (Pachuca). Activities include a planetarium, an archaeological site, a botanic garden, and a dino park! There are real-size dinosaur figures. How cool is that!
Museo Bebeleche (Durango City). Your kids will experience virtual travel to natural ecosystems and even outer space!
Museo La Burbuja (Hermosillo). Your kids will learn about ecology through the exploration of open/closed spaces, buildings, shapes, and colors.
As you can see, there are plenty of options. You may have noticed that Mexico City has a lot of kid places. Yes, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean other destinations don’t have any options.
Some museums were not exclusively designed for kids, but you might still find something. There are museums with cool exhibits that kids will find interesting. So, don’t discard the museums altogether.
Eating out with kids can be challenging. Kids can be really picky when it comes to food. When they go to a different country, it may be hard for them to try different foods. Many a time I have seen kids throw a tantrum because they don’t want to eat or didn’t like what they were served.
Luckily, you will always or almost always find foods you are familiar with. There are international chains like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, among others. They may not be the healthiest choices, but they can be a life-saver.
Many restaurants in Mexico offer kid’s menus. This can be a great option, although even in a few cases I’ve seen kids reject the food because it tastes different from what they’re used to. If your kids are that picky, your best bet will be to bring your own food and cook yourself.
A Few Recommendations
Planning a trip with kids is totally different from traveling with adults only. There is a myriad of situations you have to foresee. So, what are some things to keep in mind?
- Make sure to bring all the legal documents required. If your kids are traveling with one parent only or with another relative, you will need a notarized consent letter. This will save you a lot of trouble and inconvenience.
- Ask your doctor about any vaccinations or medications your kid needs. Kids are more vulnerable to diseases. Prevention is key.
- Bring a tablet, a coloring book, and/or toys to keep your kid entertained during the trip. Kids tend to get bored during long trips.
- Don’t forget some snacks!
- Travel insurance is of the essence, especially when traveling with kids. Kids are more susceptible to diseases due to different foods, changes in temperature, etc. Hopefully not, but you might need to see a doctor abroad.
- Watch your kids at all times. If they break anything, you will have to pay.
- Be creative! If the weather is not good outside, you can go to a museum, the movies, or another closed space. Make the most out of your vacation!
It’s important to understand kids and adults are different. Kids have different needs and preferences. It’s hard for them to remain seated the whole time. They tend to get bored easily. They might also want to eat several times a day. If you have a baby, it can be even harder to know why he’s crying. It can be frustrating for adults when kids keep crying or don’t stop running around. Patience, my friends!
Traveling with kids is doable. It requires some extra planning on your part, but it’s certainly not impossible. I understand it can be overwhelming at first, but luckily there are many resources at your fingertips.
Mexico is a very family-oriented destination. Some places like the Cancun area and Mexico City have lots of options for the little ones. Whether you go to one of those places or somewhere else, you will always find a park, a museum, an aquarium, or something else to have fun.
Travel is all about experiences. Do it with your family. Discover new places, embark on an adventure, try something different, learn something new. You will cherish those memories in the future.
That’s it for now, my friends. Feel free to drop a comment or ask a question below. See you soon!