Big, bold, colourful and chaotic, Mexico City is one of the most exciting capitals in Latin America.
This lively megacity is choc-full of history and culture with mind-boggling archaeological sites, magical ancient ruins, world-class museums, beautiful Art Deco buildings and a gazillion cultural attractions. It has amazing food, the weather nigh-on perfect for much of the year and the people could not be more welcoming.
Yes, it’s a big city. Or rather, it’s an enormous city.
But don’t let its size put you off, this vibrant city is really worth exploring. The key to enjoying it all is organising your days right, which is where this guide to Mexico City with kids comes in handy.
If you are planning your family vacation to Mexico City then read on for the best things to do and more.
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How to explore Mexico City with kids
Table of Contents
The best way to enjoy Mexico City is to stick to one or two neighbourhoods per day. Mexico City is tiring and overwhelming when you try and do too much; trying to criss-cross the city will simply result in you spending much of the day in traffic.
One note, just remember that most museums are closed on Mondays, as is Chapultepec Park.
Getting around Mexico City with kids
If you want to use public transportation then the Mexico City Metro is fast and efficient and a good way to get around the city. Avoid rush hour, however, when the trains are packed.
Uber is a convenient and safe way to navigate the city. If using taxis, make sure to take one from an authorised taxi rank. It is not advisable to flag down a taxi on the street.
If visiting with older children and teens then the city’s bike-sharing system, ECOBICI is a fun way to travel short distances.
Mexico City Map
The above map shows sights and attractions according to neighbourhood as listed below.
When to visit Mexico City
Mexico’s capital city enjoys good weather almost year-round but, like most places, there are some months when the sun shines just that little bit more often.
March – May: Spring is high season in Mexico City bringing with it highs of around 26C, as well as beautiful violet Jacaranda trees in full bloom. Easter is a good time to visit the capital as many locals flee the city for the beaches in Acapulco or the Riviera Maya (and beyond).
June – August: The summer months are Mexico City’s rainy season. The days are still warm with temperatures of 24 – 26C but expect short, sharp and heavy downpours most afternoons. The rainy season causes havoc with the already congested city streets and traffic often grinds to a complete halt.
Benefits for visiting during rainy season include cleaner air, cheaper hotels and fewer crowds.
September – November: The weather cools during the autumn months but never really dips below 20C during the day (evenings can be chilly). Visit during October and you’ll get to enjoy the Day of the Dead festivities including a parade along Paseo de La Reforma.
December – February: The winter months are cool but the chill never lasts long. Visit during this time and you can expect temperatures averaging 20C. Be aware that the city’s high altitude (Mexico City sits at 2,240m) means that the evenings can be very cool.
Things to do in Mexico City with kids
The following lists of sights, museums and activities have been divided by neighbourhood for ease of planning. This list is by no means exhaustive but it does include some of our favourite activities (we lived in Mexico City for nearly six years so we know what we’re talking about!).
El Centro Histórico with kids
It makes sense to start your tour of Mexico City in the centre. The Historic Centre is packed full of historical sites and museums. You might not be able to see everything in one day but you can definitely fit in the highlights. If you are short on time then I recommend the following:
- El Zócalo
- El Templo Mayor
- Views from the top of Torre LatinoAmericana
- A walk around Palacio des Bellas Artes (and a quick peek inside)
- Churros from the best churreria in town
El Zócalo has been the heart of Mexico City since Aztec times when it was the main ceremonial centre of the capital Tenochtitlan. It’s also known by its formal name, Plaza de la Constitución and is one of the largest city squares in the world.
Located smack bang in the middle of the historic center, the square is bordered by government buildings to one side, including the National Palace, and the Metropolitan Cathedral in the middle. The cathedral (its full title is the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven) is one of the largest and oldest cathedrals in Latin America.
At 6pm daily soldiers take down the enormous flag that stands at the centre of the Zócalo; watch from the terrace of the Grand Hotel with a hot chocolate! One of the best ways to visit the Zocalo and the Centro is on the Turibus.
Address: Centro Historico
Churros y chocolate
If you’ve not had churros before then you need to head over to El Morro. This characterful churreria in the city center is open 24-hours and is one of the best places to get hot chocolate and piping hot churros – Mexico’s answer to the humble doughnut (but better!).
Today Churrería el Moro has various other outlets in swankier parts of town, but its the original cafe in the capital’s centre that we like to visit.
Address: Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Centro Histórico
El Templo Mayor
El Templo Mayor, The Great Temple, was the heart of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and where, according to legend, the Aztecs saw an eagle perching on a cactus with a snake in its beak. Today this is the symbol on the Mexican flag.
The temple’s history is not a cheery one; it’s where human sacrifices were held. The stepped staircase is where bodies were thrown once they’d had their heart ripped out. The accompanying museum, one of the best museums in the city, showcases all the objects discovered in the ruins, is fantastic.
Address: Seminario Núm. 8, Centro Histórico. When facing the Cathedral the Templo Mayor is to the right.
Dulcería de Celaya
Little has changed in the last 150 years at this lovely little sweet shop on Avenue 5 de Mayo. Established in 1874, the candy store continues to sell over 150 different types of sweets and desserts.
Even if you don’t come for the dulces, it’s worth stopping by to see the grand Art Nouveau decor, the wonderful tiled floor and the incredible range of goodies on display in glass units.
Address: Av. 5 de Mayo 39, Centro Historico
Located within an old 17th-century palace is this boutique hotel that forms part of the Habita Hotel Group. As well as being a hotel, there’s a restaurant and retail complex.
On the ground floor is the traditional Mexican restaurant Azul where you can dine under a canopy of trees and candlelight. The second floor is where you’ll find the shops, a collection of Mexican designers. The hotel is located on the third floor and boasts and rooftop pool.
Address: Av. 5 de Mayo 39, Centro Historico
Unless you plan to hire a helicopter and soar over the city skies, the view from the Torre LatinoAmericana is your best bet at seeing just how vast this capital is.
Construction on the building was completed in 1956 and for the longest time it was the tallest tower in Mexico City. Today it’s filled with offices but the 44th floor is a viewing platform and affords spectacular views over this megacity. Elevators go all the way to the top floor, apart from a final flight of stairs.
Address: Eje central No.2, Centro.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Next to Alameda Central Park (which is also worth a stroll with kids) is the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), one of Mexico City’s most prominent arts venues. Bellas Artes hosts exhibitions and performances, including the twice-weekly performance by the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.
In addition to being a beautiful building with some fantastic Art Deco architecture (look out for the stylised masks of the rain god, Tlaloc) there are murals by some of Mexico’s most famous artists including Diego Rivera.
The theatre is home to an incredible ‘Crystal Curtain’, which was made by Tiffany in 1912. It’s an amazing mosaic made from a million 2cm crystals composing the landscape of the Valley of Mexico.
Address: Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico.
Museo de Arte Popular
Located near to Bellas Artes is this museum dedicated to traditional and popular Mexican Art. Rooms are divided by theme and include the ‘Roots of Mexican Art’ and the ‘Roots of crafts and Popular Art’.
The museum also holds regular displays such as the annual piñata competition, when piñatas created in all manner of bright colors hang from the museum’s main foyer.
The Museo de Arte Popular is also the sponsor of the yearly Noche de Alebrijes (Night of the Alebrijes) parade when fantastical creatures are paraded from the Zocalo to the Angel of Independence. Regular art workshops for kids are also held here. The museum also has a fantastic gift shop.
Address: Calle Revillagigedo 11, Centro Histórico.
Museo Interactivo de Economia (MIDE)
The Interactive Museum of Economics (Museo Interactive de Economia) may sound dry but it’s a fascinating museum for kids, particularly those aged 10 years and older. Located in an old convent in the Centro Historico, MIDE is the first museum in the world dedicated exclusively to economy, finance and sustainable development.
There are lots of interactive exhibits where kids can learn everything from how the stock market works and how to save money by consuming less water.
Address: Tacuba 17, Centro Histórico.
Polanco with kids
Polanco is the Beverly Hills of Mexico City, a ritzy upmarket neighbourhood home to businesses, luxury hotels and lots of very nice houses and apartments. If you’re short on time then I would recommend the following:
- Museo Jumex
- Museo Soumaya
- The Playground (if visiting with young kids!).
As far as aquarium’s go, this one is not the best. Built on a strange triangle of land in the middle of “Slim City” (much of this area of ‘New Polanco’ is owned by Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men), this underground water world could have been so much better.
If you live in Mexico City then Acuario Inbursa is a good option. If you’re just visiting, then I would encourage you to skip it. It’s home to jellyfish, sharks, plenty of fish and some rather sad looking penguins. Note, the aquarium isn’t very stroller-friendly.
Address: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 386 Col. Granada.
The Museo Jumex (Jumex Museum) is contemporary art space conceived by Eugenio Lopez, heir to the fruit juice empire Jumex, and opened to much fanfare in November 2013.
It was designed by British architect David Chipperfield and named after the Lopez family’s fruit juice empire, Jumex (which stands for jugos mexicanos). This is the largest private collection of contemporary art in Latin America, with over 2,600 permanent pieces as well as temporary exhibitions.
It’s a beautiful space to wander around and kids will find many of the pieces fascinating, such as those by Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. There is also a coffee shop on the ground floor.
Address: Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Amp Granada.
Plated with 16,000 aluminium hexagons, el Museo Soumaya (the Soumaya Museum) shimmers on the Mexico City skyline. Inside the six-storey museum houses Carlos Slim’s private art collection; a mind-boggling 66,000 pieces. Among this eclectic private collection are Da Vincis, Dalis, Picassos, Renoirs and Riveras.
There’s almost an entire floor devoted to Rodin – this is the second largest collection in the world and the largest that is privately owned.
Address: Boulervard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo.
Parque Lincoln stretches from Edgar Allen Poe to Aristoteles but is best known among children for its playground. This is definitely one of the nicest playgrounds in town with plenty of climbing frames, slides and swings to keep kids happy. It’s guarded and closed at night, which helps to keep it clean as well as safe.
It does, however, get very busy at weekends and in the afternoons. And very hot! There is no shade so bring hats and / or sun cream. Parents can pick up a coffee at nearby Café Biscottino.
Your best bet to avoid the crowds is to visit in the weekend mornings. Be aware that the playground doesn’t have any toilets. Parque Lincoln also has a small aviary and some green spaces.
Address: Parque Lincoln, Polanco
Not restricted to Polanco but definitely a fun family activity is Cycle Sunday (Domingos Ciclistas). Every week, between 8am and 2pm, two lanes of Paseo de la Reforma, one of the cities main thoroughfares are shut for cyclists, skaters, scooters, and just about anyone else apart from cars.
Some streets in the Centro Historico and other neighbourhoods such as Condesa are also shut to traffic. It’s a hugely popular event and you may even spot this colourful character and his “fish bike”.
Open: Sundays 8am to 2pm.
Chapultepec Park with kids
This vast park in the heart of the city, one of the world’s largest urban park, is often referred to as Mexico City’s “lungs”. This large park is a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and also home to some of the capital’s best attractions. Don’t miss the following:
- El Castillo de Chapultepec – Chapultepec Castle
- El Papalote, Museo del Nino – Papalote, the Children’s Museum
- Museo Nacional de Antropología – The National Museum of Anthropology
El Castillo de Chapultepec
One of the most interesting places to visit in el Bosque de Chapultepec is El Castillo de Chapultepec, Chapultepec Castle. Sitting at the top of Cerro de Chapulin (Hill of the Grasshoppers), this location has played an important role for Mexicans since pre-Hispanic times.
The castle has been a royal residence, military academy and presidential home. It’s the only castle to host royalty in North America and is today the National History Museum.
It’s a fun place to visit; there’s lots of space to roam, some fantastic views over the city and the exhibitions are interesting. Rooms are dedicated to different periods in Mexican history as well as the history of the castle. For more information, take a look at this post.
Address: Section 1, Chapultepec Park
El Papalote, Museo del Niño
El Papalote, the children’s museum, is easily the best museum in Mexico City for kids. The museum is divided into sections and kids can pretend to work at a supermarket or join an archaeological dig, they can create enormous bubbles or race cars around a track. Everything is designed to be entertaining and educational and you can easily spend an entire day here.
The IMAX theatre is also fun; movies are in Spanish only. Papalote gets busy, arrive at opening time to enjoy a couple of crowd-free hours.
Address: Av. Constituyentes 268 Col. Daniel Garza, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo.
Zoológico de Chapultepec
At the heart of Chapultepec Park is the city zoo that first opened its doors in 1924. Amazingly, it is free to visit, which means that it gets busy at weekends but also that it is accessible to all. It’s a great option if you’re visiting Mexico City on a family trip.
There are some 2,000 animals here including a handful of pandas; Chapultepec Zoo is the first institution outside of China to successfully breed pandas in captivity. There are lions and giraffes, rhinos, hippos and much more.
An insectarium sits at the entrance to the zoo where children can hold giant cockroaches and tarantulas and a serpentarium sits in the middle of the zoo, home to all manner of snakes. There is a modest entrance fee for these two exhibition spaces.
There is a small food court with all the usual suspects (McDonalds etc..). Note that you can not take any large backpacks or kids’ scooters into the zoo. There is a cloak room at the entrance although the exit is in a different location, meaning you’ll have to double back to collect your things.
Address: Section 1, Chapultepec Park.
Los Pinos, the presidential residence
After housing 14 of Mexico’s former leaders the former presidential home is open to the public. Current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador decided that the stately home should be for the people and opened its doors to the public on December 1, 2018.
The former official residence and its grounds are huge (14 times larger than that of the White House) and are located in the heart of the park. Not all the buildings are open but you can see the house where former presidents and their families lived (and spot the underground bunker) and the building which was used as an office by the president and their staff.
Address: Av. Parque Lira S/N, Section 1
Audiorama de Chapultepec
Hidden beneath the Castillo de Chapultepec this is a sheltered open space where visitors can sit on colourful wooden benches and listen to music. There is a weekly music programme with New Age on Tuesday, traditional Mexican music on Wednesdays etc. We visited on a Friday when it was Jazz day.
It’s a lovely, peaceful spot and a great way to escape the noise of the city. The entrance is in Section 1, near the oldest tree in the park and the outdoor chess game.
Address: Section 1, Chapultepec Park.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday from 9am – 4pm
Chapultepec Botanical Garden
One corner of Chapultepec Park is dedicated to Mexican plants including cacti, medicinal plants and ornamental plants. It’s a beautiful garden and this modern iteration opened in 2006. However, a botanical garden is thought to have been here since the reign of Nezahualcóyotl in the 15th century, when the whole of Chapultepec was a nature reserve.
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 126, Bosque de Chapultepec I Sección
Open: Closed Mondays
Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The incredible Museo Nacional de Antropología, National Anthropology Museum, is home to the world’s largest collections of archaeological and anthropological artefacts from pre-Hispanic Mayan civilisations. This popular museum is the most visited in the country.
It’s an intriguing step back in time. Aztec and Mayan history is filled with conquests and sacrifice and even the most history-wary child will find stories of ball games played to the death fascinating.
Highlights include the enormous carved Sun Stone, or Aztec Calendar, and the Jade mask of the Zapotec Bat God. There are a number of artefacts from Teotihuacan, including a grinning skull found near the Pyramid of the Sun.
The second floor has exhibits about Mexico’s present-day indigenous groups and it’s fun for kids to see the different traditional dress and costumes.
And finally, it’s worth visiting to witness El Paraguas, the vast square concrete ‘umbrella’ in the main courtyard that is supported by a single pillar.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma (crossroads with Gandhi), Chapultepec Polanco
Danza de los Voladores
In a clearing near the entrance to the Anthropology Museum, indigenous Totonac people perform their breathtaking – literally – Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers). Also known as Palo Volador (pole flying), this is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony that, according to one legend, was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought.
The ‘dance’ consists of five participants who climb to the top of a 30-meter pole. From here, four of the five members launch themselves from the top of the pole and, tied with ropes, gently wind their way to the ground. The fifth remains at the top, playing a flute and drum. La Danza is performed roughly every 30 minutes during the museum’s opening hours.
Address: Outside the entrance to the Anthropology Museum
Open: Performances are held roughly every 30 minutes during the museum’s opening hours.
Parque Infantil La Tapatía
In the second section of Chapultepec Park is this large play area, filled with swings, slides, roundabouts and more. What I really like about this playground is that it is divided according to age group and each section has age appropriate activities.
There is also a lot of space (so it doesn’t feel that crowded on a weekend afternoon!) and there is also a guard on the gate. The playground is located near the el Lago Mayor, where you can hire remote-controlled boats at the weekend.
Address: Section II, Chapultepec Park
Parque Hormiga, in Section 1 of the park, is fantastic. There are zip lines to fly along and giant spiderweb climbing frames to venture up. Benches have been strategically positioned for weary parents and there are plenty of picnic tables for weekend lunches outdoors.
It’s well kept and there’s lots of space for the kids to run around. There aren’t very many installations for little kids, but our toddler seemed happy enough simply wandering around!
Address: Section 1, Chapultepec Park
Colonia Juarez with kids
There aren’t a huge number of sights to see in the Juarez neighbourhood but it’s still a good place to wander. Once gritty, this is now a well-heeled colonia, home to some lovely shops, restaurants and cafes.
This is a fun outing for children with a sweet tooth. Learn about the origins of chocolate, its history and how it is made.
Mundo Chocolate holds regular weekend workshops are held, including ones for kids, where you can get your hands all gooey and chocolatey. Check the website for details.
Address: Milán 45, esquina con Roma, Colonia Juárez
Condesa with kids
This lovely leafy neighbourhood is largely residential with a large sprinkling of cool cafes, bars and restaurants. It’s not big on sights but it’s a great place to base yourself.
One of two parks Condesa, we spent many an afternoon here when we first arrived in Mexico City. At weekends the park is particularly lively and a small motorised train runs loops of the park, which causes much amusement for young kids. Really little ones can take a ride on a miniature wooden bus that’s pulled along the lanes by a rope.
Condesa was my home for nearly six years and it remains my favourite neighbourhood in Mexico City. If you’re looking to stay in Condesa, make sure you take a look at these fantastic boutique hotels.
Address: Av. Sonora s/n, Cuauhtémoc, Condesa
Running through the heart of Condesa is Avenida Amsterdam (Amsterdam Avenue). This circular road was once the city’s horse racing track. Today, it’s still a focal point of the colonia. It’s a broad, leafy two-way street separated by a wide central pedestrian path, called a camellón.
This pathway is lined with trees and plants with the occasional bench. It’s a lovely track to wander and the kids can bring scooters. You have to cross roads frequently, which makes riding bikes a little annoying (particularly for beginners or young cyclists). Still, it’s a peaceful place to stroll – just watch out for the dog walkers and runners!
Address: Avenida Amsterdam, Condesa
Condesa’s other park is just a short walk away from Parque Espana and is the larger of the two. It was built in 1927 and is the former site of a horse race track of the Jockey Club de Mexico. At the centre is the Teatro al Aire Libre Lindbergh (Lindbergh Open Air Theatre).
This large space is popular for just about everything; bike riding, frisbee throwing, football games and more. Nearby is a large duck pond. The park gets very busy at weekends, particularly with dog walkers.
Enterprising locals set up regular stands where kids can paint pictures or decorate pots. Four-wheeled bicycles can be hired as can small motorised cars for kids. If you want to ride your bikes here, arrive early.
Address: Avenida México and Calle de Michoacán, Condesa
This family-run ice cream chain has been making ice cream for some 60-odd years and, despite competition from new, artisanal ice cream stores, it continues to be packed at weekends. There are various branches around the city but our favourite is the one on the corner of Mazatlan and Fernando Montes de Oca.
This really is an old school ice cream shop where the best seats in the house are the high stools at the counter. Flavours range from the standard (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) to the more unusual (tamarind, soursop and rice).
Address: Av. Fernando Montes de Oca 89, Condesa
Colonia Doctores with kids
You don’t need to spend much time in Doctores but it’s well worth visiting the Museum of Antique Toys if you have time and a Lucha Libre match is a Mexico City highlight!
Museo del Juguete Antiguo México
One of the capital’s stranger museums is the Museum of Antique Toys. It was established by Roberto Shimizu, a Mexican of Japanese descent, who started the museum after amassing a huge personal collection of toys.
For those who grew up in the 80s and 90s it’s a wonderful trip down memory lane. The rooms are stuffed with model trains, plastic superhero figures (the original ones), dolls, figures from the TV show He Man and lucha libre memorabilia.
Occasional exhibitions are also held here, we saw a PlayMobil one when we visited. There is parking on site.
Address: Calle Dr. Olvera 15, Cuauhtémoc, Doctores
Doctores is home to Arena México, which is the place to see Mexican wrestling. Lucha Libre is Mexico’s version of professional wrestling and is a combination of athleticism and showmanship with all the drama of a telenovela, it’s a spectacle like no other.
In Mexico it’s one of the most popular spectator sports, eclipsed only by football (or, soccer, if you prefer).
The rules of lucha libre are fairly simple; two or more wrestlers face off in a ring and try to pin their opponent(s) down for three seconds. There are three rounds and lots of carefully choreographed moves and shouting from the audience.
Be aware that it can get very lively and there’s some, erm, interesting language used. One good option for families are the Sunday performances that start around 5.30pm. Fights on Fridays tend to start at 8.3pm.
An alternative is to take a trip on the Lucha Libre Turibus. Check the website for more details.
Address: Arena Mexico, Calle Dr. Olvera 15, Cuauhtémoc, Doctores
Coyoacán with kids
Coyoacán remains a relatively laidback neighbourhood with leafy, dappled sun-lit squares. It’s well worth the journey here to visit Frida Kahlo’s childhood home.
La Casa Azul
The most famous address in Coyoacán is the Frida Kahlo Museum, La Casa Azul. The famous blue house, Frida Kahlo’s childhood home, is filled with memories, personal items and works of art belonging to Frida and her husband, Diego Rivera. Kitchen implements, jewellery, traditional cookware, photographs, letters and postcards are on display throughout the museum’s 10 rooms.
It’s a fascinating insight into the lives of some of Mexico’s most famous artists. Activities for kids are often held on weekends.
The museum does get very busy, it’s a good idea to buy your tickets in advance.
Address: Londres 247, Del Carmen Coyoacán
Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky
This is the home where exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky spent his final years before he was assassinated by Moscow. Personally, I find the house fascinating but in terms of child-friendliness, it’s nowhere near as stimulating as Frida’s house. However, if you are in the neighbourhood, then it’s worth making the 10-minute walk from La Casa Azul to visit this museum.
There are lots of books on display and the displays are very text-heavy, but what is interesting (especially for children) are the stark rooms where he lived out the last part of his life. You can even see his toothbrush still resting in its cup in the bathroom.
Address: Rio Churubusco 410, Coyoacán
Plaza Hidalgo & Jardín Centenario
Coyoacán’s central square, and the setting for most weekend activities, are its central plazas Plaza Hidalgo and Jardín Centenario that sit opposite one another.
In Jardín Centenario you’ll find the fountain featuring two coyotes (Coyoacan means “Place of the Coyotes” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs) and in cobblestoned Plaza Hidalgo, the statue of revolutionary leader Miguel Hidalgo.
The squares are flanked by cafes and restaurants and it’s a good spot to pick up lunch.
Address: Plaza HIdalgo
San Angel with kids
Definitely make time for this southern neighbourhood when you are in Mexico City. Visit on Saturday and pick up all your souvenirs in one go!
El Bazar Sabado
The Saturday Market is held weekly in a two-story building just off the main Plaza San Jacintos. It’s a colourful place to browse with handicrafts for sale from across Mexico including Huichol beaded work and Oaxacan pottery. You’ll also find woodwork, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and more.
The market spills into the streets and the main plaza where painters hawk their wares.
For little kids (i.e. those of pushchair / stroller age) this is not a fun excursion. But for older kids, it’s definitely worth a visit. Make sure you take a walk around the immediate surrounds as well.
Address: San Jacinto 11, Álvaro Obregón, San Ángel,
San Angel Inn
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping – or the kids are begging you to leave! – head over to the San Angel Inn for lunch. This long-standing and very popular restaurant sits within an old Carmelite monastery and is the spot to enjoy a long, leisurely Mexican lunch in this part of town.
There’s a pretty, flower-filled courtyard, perfect for kids to rumble around and the food is very good. Reservations at weekends are a must.
Address: Diego Rivera 50, Álvaro Obregón, San Ángel Inn
Santa Fe with kids
The original Kidzania in Mexico City – and the world! – can be found in Santa Fe Mall. This city for kids is a fantastic day out for children, a place where they can “work” as a pilot or a doctor, deliver parcels for DHL, make pizzas or learn to create chocolate bars. There is a police station and a fire station, a newspaper office and a radio hub.
Kids are paid “kidzos”, the currency of Kidzania, for their work, which they can then spend. It’s totally safe (parents and children are given electronic bracelets when they enter and one can’t leave without the other) and a fantastic day out.
Address: Santa Fe Mall
Also in the Santa Fe Mall is a huge ice skating rink. Open for children aged four-years-old and up, the rink has skate hire as well as those large, orange plastic seals for beginners to push around the piste.
Tickets can be bought for a one hour session, or for a morning or afternoon session. Instructors can also be booked.
Address: Santa Fe Mall
More things to do in Mexico City with kids
Jump-In in Interlomas
Jump-In is an indoor trampoline park that kids just love. There’s a huge main court made up of a number of trampolines where you can jump away, and against the walls. Kids can swing into a foam pit, climb a rope course or abseil down a climbing wall (once they’ve reached the top, of course).
There’s an area to play dodgeball and a small labyrinthine climbing zone for young kids. Parcour lessons are also held here. The area is completely safe and there’s a small food court too.
Your best bet is to arrive early as it gets busy in the afternoons, and at weekends it’s a popular spot for birthday parties.
Address: Circuito Empresarial #13 local 10 y 11, Interlomas Huixquilucan
Granja las Americas in Lomas de Sotelo
Granja las Americas, or the Farm of the Americas, is great fun for the whole family. There are a handful of animals for children to meet and greet including puppies, chicks and bunnies, but La Granja is more of a gentle amusement park than a pastoral getaway.
The park is well laid out and each ride or activity is housed within a red Fisher Price-type barn. Kids can drive race cars, learn how to mine for minerals, scale a climbing wall, cook a corn tortilla, fly through the air on a zipline and more.
It’s very clean, very tidy and really well organised. Safety is also first class; adults and children are given an electronic bracelet upon entrance and no-one can leave without the person or people they registered with.
There’s a food court on site selling the usual pizza, tacos etc.. La Granja is located next to the horse racing track, Hipódromo de las Américas.
Address: Blvd. Pípila s/n Acceso nº 3, Miguel Hidalgo, Lomas de Sotelo, Hipódromo de las Américas
Parque Lira Skate Park in San Miguel de Chapultepec
In the neighbourhood sandwiched between Condesa and Chapultepec Park is Parque Lira, home to one of the first skateparks in Mexico City that has been recently renovated. The ramps are good for skateboards as well as roller skaters, scooters and even tricks on bikes.
Mexico City’s skate scene is growing and you’ll find other skate parks around the city including a House of Vans in Colonia San Juan.
Address: Av. Parque LiraCiudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
An afternoon spent floating along the ancient canals of Xochimilco is one of my favourite things to do in Mexico City.
Today it’s hard to imagine that the seemingly limitless urban sprawl that characterises the capital was ever characterised by lagoons, canals and waterways. But during Aztec times, the Valley of Mexico, was a vast lake system connected by a complex system of causeways and canals, and dotted with islands and floating gardens. Today Xochimilco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, floating along the green waterways on a jellybean coloured trajinera (a Mexican type gondola) is a hugely popular weekend pastime. Come along on any Saturday or Sunday and you’ll find families, groups of friends and couples cruising along the ancient canals enjoying a floating fiesta.
This Kidzania is even better than the Santa Fe original. For starters, it’s huge with an outdoor section that includes a driving track where kids can stop and fill up their cars with (pretend) petrol.
As with the original city-for-kids, children can pretend to be firefighters and doctors, news reporters and detectives, veterinarians and pizza chefs, all the while earning their “kidzos”. Best for children aged 4+.
Address: Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3500, Tlalpan, Peña Pobre
For thrills and spills head to the theme park Six Flags. There are lots of rollercoasters as well as spinning teacups, a carousel, bumper cars and more. There’s a small selection of rides for younger kids, too.
One word of warning, if you do ride the log flume, bring a change of clothes. You don’t just get damp, you get soaked!
Address: Pico de Sorata 195, Jardines en la Montaña
El Laberinto del Ajusco
Of the many things you expect to find in Mexico City, a Tudor-style manor and accompanying labyrinth, is not really one of them.
Built by Mexican art historian and designer Ignacio Figueroa after a trip to England, the home and its garden maze are a welcome retreat from the urban sprawl.
The labyrinth was inspired by Hever Castle in the UK and takes most people 20 minutes to find their way out. Once you’ve made your way through the bushy maze, you can step inside the decidedly British Manor House.
Address: Carretera Picacho Ajusco Km.14.5
Tio Pepe Granja Didáctica
For a hands-on farm experience, Tio Pepe’s Granja is a great option. Kids can expect plenty of interaction with docile farm animals and even feed them. Donkey and horse rides are available and there are cows and pigs to say hello too. Smaller domestic animals also call Tio Pepe home and kids may get the chance to hold them.
Address: Camino Viejo a Mixcoac 3615, Álvaro Obregón, San Bartolo Ameyalco
Mexico City Tours with kids
Without doubt one of the best ways to get a feel for Mexico City is on the Turibus. These double-decker, hop-on-hop-off buses ply four main routes in the capital but the one I like best (and that I recommend all first time visitors to the capital try) is the Circuito Centro.
This circuit takes in some of the capital’s most interesting neighbourhoods including the Centro Historico (Historic Centre), which is fascinating.
The two main stops for this route are at the Zócalo, in the Centro Histórico, and at the Auditorio Nacional, on Paseo de la Reforma, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
However, there are 16 stops in total and you can jump on and off wherever you like. It’s a great way to see the heart of the city and a brilliant way to sightsee with kids. For more information on taking the Turibus with kids take a look at this post.
Eat Mexico specialises in street food tours of the capital led by local foodies. The company offers a handful of tours but the one I enjoyed was the Street Food Tour, which took us through the central neighbourhoods of Cuauhtémoc, Juárez and Zona Rosa.
Food plays a huge part in daily Mexican life and these tours offer an inside look at the capital’s food culture as well as an introduction to the history, the importance and the role that various food items have in local culture.
There can be a fair amount of walking involved in these tours but you do get to stop and eat at regular intervals. Some of the dishes are very kid-friendly (tacos de canasta for example) and others are definitely for the more adventurous eater!
Another company offering food tours is Sabores Mexico and we enjoyed an excellent tour with them around Colonia Roma. Our guide was great and shared a lot of history of the neighbourhood as well as introducing us to local foods and family-run restaurants.
The interesting thing about this tour was that the focus was as much on the history and culture of the colonia as it was the food. My two children (aged 8 and 6 at the time) also thoroughly enjoyed this 3.5-hour tour.
Street Art Chilango
Mexico has a long tradition of painting murals and today, the walls along the capital’s streets offer a new canvas for artists.
Discover some of Mexico City’s best street art on a tour with Street Art Chilango, a group that helps to promote this modern muralism as well as find artists walls where they can “legally” paint. Email the group for tour dates and availability.