I just want to start by saying that I really love Mexico City. It’s colourful and chaotic and ridiculously big, and it’s been our home for the last five years. During that time we’ve explored a lot of what this city has to offer families (and in doing so we’ve realised how much more there is to see and do!). Contrary to what you might think, Mexico’s capital is a brilliant place for children with so many sights, activities, parks, museums and more, that they will love.
The following list of things to do in Mexico City with kids is by no means exhaustive but it includes some of our favourite activities, and some that are on our wish list. One note, just remember that most museums are closed on Mondays, as is Chapultepec Park. Sights and activities have been divided by neighbourhood, because that seemed the most logical. If I’ve missed something, such as your favourite sight or activity, then let me know!
50 Things to do in Mexico City with Kids
El Centro Histórico with Kids
1. El Zócalo
El Zócalo has been the heart of Mexico City since Aztec times when it was the main ceremonial centre of the capital Tenochtitlan. Since then it has witnessed the royal proclamations, military parades, Independence ceremonies and more. It has also been the setting for celebrations, for protests and, most recently, the opening scene in the James Bond movie, Spectre. It’s also known by its formal name, Plaza de la Constitución and is one of the largest city squares in the world. 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
2. Churros y chocolate
If you’ve not had churros before then you need to head over to El Morro. This characterful churreria is open 24-hours a day selling little more than hot chocolate and piping hot churros – Mexico’s answer to the humble doughnut (but better!). El Moro was started in 1935 by Francisco Iriarte who arrived in Mexico from a small town in Spain and started selling churros from a cart in the Zócalo. So tasty were his churros that he soon set up shop and named it “El Moro”. The churreria remains a family-owned business today. 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
3. El Templo Mayor
Every time I visit El Templo Mayor, The Great Temple, I’m amazed that excavation on this major archaeological site only began in 1978. This 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. The Templo Mayor has a gory history. This temple saw many a human sacrifice; the stepped pyramid’s staircase is where the bodies of those sacrificed were thrown once they’d had their heart ripped out. Some kids find the blood and gore fascinating, others might prefer a more PG version. However, I have visited several times with my kids and they find it fascinating. The accompanying museum, that 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.
4. Dulcería de Celaya
This incredible sweet shop on Avenue 5 de Mayo is simply divine. Established in 1874, little has changed in the last 126 years and this bustling 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. Kids will love it!
Address: Av. 5 de Mayo 39, Centro Historico
5. Downtown Hotel
Located in the heart of the Historic Centre is this hotel, part of the chi-chi Habita Hotel Group. Downtown is housed within a 17th-century palace and, in addition to boasting a chic hotel, is a restaurant and retail complex. It’s worth going just to look at how the architects have transformed this ancient building into a modern day hotel. On the ground floor sits the restaurant Azul, where diners enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine under the canopy of trees, lit by candlelight. The second floor is where you’ll find the shops; the stores feature Mexican designers, there’s an art gallery and the chance to buy traditional crafts. On the third floor is the hotel itself and the rooftop pool sits on the terrace. It’s a fun place to simply browse, but it’s also good for a coffee stop (Que Bo!, the chocolatier, also serves coffee) and sandwiches at the deli on the second floor.
Address: Av. 5 de Mayo 39, Centro Historico
6. Torre LatinoAmericana
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. It gained even more recognition when it successfully withstood first the magnitude 7.9 1957 earthquake and then the 8.1 magnitude 1985 earthquake. 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, apart from a final flight of stairs.
Address: Eje central No.2, Centro. Website
7. Palacio de Bellas Artes
Next to Alameda Central Park (which is also worth a stroll with kids) is the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes (Bellas Artes Palace), one of Mexico City’s most prominent arts venues. After a rather tumultuous beginning, the building was finally inaugurated in 1934 and today hosts exhibitions and performances, including the twice-weekly performance by the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. It’s best for older kids (aged 8+ years), although I have visited with my middle child who is six years old. 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 El Hombre en Control del Universo (Man in Charge of the Universe) by Diego Rivera. If you speak Spanish then it’s well worth timing your visit for the free tour of the main theatre (held daily at 1pm) to see the incredible glass curtain. Created by Tiffany in 1912, this stained-glass panel represents the landscape of the Valley of Mexico with its two volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztacchihuatl, and was made from a million 2cm crystals. You can only see the main theatre and its curtain on the tour of if you see a performance. The top floor houses the architecture museum.
Address: Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico. Tickets: A visit to the foyer is free, if you wish to see the art on the second and third floors then you need to buy a ticket (cash only). Website
8. 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’. On display are various art forms such as ceramics, textiles, pottery, glass and brightly painted wooden toys – great for kids! The museum also holds regular displays such as the annual piñata competition, when colourful piñatas 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.
Address: Calle Revillagigedo 11, Centro Histórico. Website.
9. Futura CDMX – Centro Interactivo
Without doubt one my favourite museums in Mexico City is Futura CDMX. This is a large scale model of the City of Mexico that measures 234 square meters and includes every single colonia in the capital. Your visit starts with an audiovisual show which tells a potted history of Mexico’s capital from the beginnings of Tenochtitlan to present day. Once the presentation is finished (it takes approximately 15 minutes), you can head up to the second floor and the multimedia installations. Here, there are interactive screens where you can compare demographics between Mexico City and other cities including Mumbai, New York City and Sydney. Categories include life expectancy, the number of cars per household, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, number of taxis and more. You can only visit on a tour, which start on the hour every hour. If you’re keen to beat the crowds, and enjoy a presentation in English, then I’d recommend turning up for the 9am showing.
Address: Jose Mariano Jiménez 13, Cuauhtemoc, Centro. Website
10. 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. It has four permanent galleries: growth and welfare, finance in society, fundamentals of economics and sustainable development. All these spaces have been designed to expose children (and adults!) to useful concepts about the economy. Exhibits are interactive and hands-on and kids can learn everything from how the stock market works and how to save money by consuming less water.
Address: Tacuba 17, Centro Histórico. Website
Polanco with Kids
11. Acuario Inbursa
I’ll be honest. 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. That said, my kids really enjoy it. If you live in Mexico City then it’s a good outing. 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. Website
12. Museo Jumex
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 for post-art snacks.
Address: Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Amp Granada. Open: 11am – 8pm, closed Mondays. Website
13. Museo Soumaya
My kids think this giant museum looks like a pepper pot. Or an enormous silver mushroom. Neither of which, I believe, were what Carlos Slim had in mind when he commissioned the building of this art museum, which he named after his late wife. Plated with 16,000 aluminium hexagons, el Museo Soumaya (the Soumaya Museum) shimmers on the Mexico City skyline. Inside the six-storey museum houses 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. Personally, I find it a little showy but there’s no denying that it’s an impressive collection. And, unlike many museums where you can only admire the artwork from behind a velvet rope, at Soumaya there are no such barriers. Which may mean you want to hold on tight to your kids’ hands!
Address: Boulervard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo. Website.
14. Parque Lincoln
Parque Lincoln stretches from Edgar Allen Poe to Aristoteles but is best known among kids 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. 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, which is fun for younger kids.
Address: Parque Lincoln, Polanco
15. Café Biscottino
Ideally positioned just around the corner from the playground in Parque Lincoln is one of my favourite cafes in Mexico City, Café Biscottino. This small coffee shop not only makes some of the best coffee in town but it also has a delicious selection of pastries including oatmeal biscuits (best served warm) and cinnamon rolls. They also make sandwiches. It’s a great place to stop pre- or post-park. Or you can grab a coffee to take along to the playground with you.
Address: Luis G Urbina 4, Polanco. Website.
16. Cycle Sunday
Not restricted to Polanco but definitely a fun family activity is Cycle Sunday. 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”, which he made himself!
Open: Sundays 8am to 2pm. Website
Chapultepec Park with Kids
17. El Castillo de Chapultepec
One of the most interesting places to visit in Chapultepec Park 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 itself has had something of a tumultuous history and has played the role of royal residence, military academy, presidential home and its current incarnation as Mexico’s National History Museum. It’s a very fun place to visit with kids; there’s lots of space to roam, some fantastic views over the city (particularly on clear days!) and the exhibitions are interesting, even for children. Rooms are dedicated to different periods in Mexican history as well as the history of the castle. And, during holiday periods, the castle holds workshops for kids. For more information, take a look at this post here.
Address: Section 1, Chapultepec Park
18. El Papalote, Museo del Niño
I can not tell you how surprised we were when we arrived in Mexico City and discovered El Papalote. This is such a great museum for children, the kind of innovative, hands-on place that you would expect to find in London or New York. Not surprisingly, kids love it here. The museum, which has been recently renovated, 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. Website
19. 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. 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. Website
20. Audiorama de Chapultepec
We only recently discovered this open-air auditorium, hidden beneath the Castillo de Chapultepec. It’s a sheltered open space where visitors can sit on colourful wooden benches and listen to music. Open daily from 9am – 4pm, there is a weekly music programme with New Age on Tuesday, traditional Mexican music on Wednesdays and so on. We visited on a Friday when it was Jazz day. There’s a small lending library (in reality, a table stacked high with books) with a handful of children’s titles. Books are to be kept within the audiorama. 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: 9am – 4pm, closed Mondays. Website
21. 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. It’s also the most visited museum in the country. For kids, it’s an intriguing museum to visit as well as being easy to navigate. 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. But all the exhibits are historically important and interesting. 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
Open: 9am – 7pm, closed Mondays
22. Danza de los Voladores
In a clearing near the entrance to the Anthropology Museum, indigenous Totonac people perform their incredible 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. It’s really very impressive to see. 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.
23. Parque Infantil La Tapatía
In the second section of Chapultepec Park is this large playground, 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
Open: Park Hours (closed Mondays)
24. Parque Hormiga
The newly renovated Parque Hormiga, in Section 1 of the park, is fantastic. There are ziplines 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
Open: Park hours (closed Mondays)
Colonia Juarez with Kids
25. Mundo Chocolate
My eldest doesn’t like chocolate but most other kids do so this is a fun outing for children with a sweet tooth. Here you can learn about the origins of chocolate, its history and how it is made. Regular weekend workshops are held, including ones for kids, where you can get your hands all gooey and chocolatey. Check the website for details. There’s a cafe on site with good coffee…and chocolate!
Address: Milán 45, esquina con Roma, Colonia Juárez
Open: 11am – 5pm daily
Condesa with Kids
26. Parque Espana
One of two parks in the leafy colonia of Condesa, this is where we spent many an afternoon when we first arrived in Mexico City. The playground has recently undergone huge renovation and is once again open for play. 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.
Address: Av. Sonora s/n, Cuauhtémoc, Condesa
Open: Open Daily
27. Avenida Amsterdam
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
28. Parque Mexico
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) that has recently been renovated. 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 (there’s a dedicated dog park in the section opposite the Lindbergh theatre). 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
Open: Open Daily
29. Neveria Roxy
This family-run 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
Open: Daily 11am – 8pm
San Lorenzo Tlaltenango with Kids
30. Parque Bicentenario
North of Polanco is the colonia of San Lorenzo Tlaltenango where you’ll find Parque Bicentenario. This large green space is home to football (soccer) pitches, a volleyball court (as well as a beach volleyball area), a basketball court and a skate park. There’s a well-marked bike path making it great for cycling and there are playgrounds for younger kids as well as plenty of picnic tables.
Address: Av. 5 de Mayo No. 290, Miguel Hidalgo, San Lorenzo Tlaltenango
Open: Tuesday – Sunday 7am – 6pm
Colonia Doctores with Kids
31. 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 (you’ll find Castle Grayskull and She Ra on display, too!) and, of course, lucha libre memorabilia. It’s a little strange but a lot of fun and something both you and the kids will enjoy. 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
Open: 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday, until 4pm Saturday. 10am – 4pm Sunday
32. Lucha Libre
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. I have been several times to the Friday night fights and loved it but I have yet to take my kids. That said, I’m planning to take them to one of 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: Calle Dr. Olvera 15, Cuauhtémoc, Doctores
Open: Check the website for days and times.
Coyoacán with Kids
33. La Casa Azul
The most famous address in the southern neighbourhood of Coyoacán is Frida Kahlo’s childhood home, La Casa Azul. The house is filled with memories and personal items belonging to Frida and her husband, Diego Rivera, as well as works by both artists. Kitchen implements, jewellery, traditional cookware, photographs, letters and postcards are on display throughout the museum’s 10 rooms. It’s a truly intriguing glimpse into the lives of some of Mexico’s most famous artists and their bohemian, intellectual lifestyle. I’ve visited the museum several times with my kid and they find both the house, and Kahlo’s life, fascinating. In particular, they enjoy wandering through the upstairs rooms where Frida Kahlo’s studio once was along with her bedrooms. Activities for kids are often held on weekends.
Address: Londres 247, Del Carmen Coyoacán
Open: 11am – 5.30pm Wednesdays, 10am – 5.30pm all other days except Monday when the museum is closed.
34. 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
Open: 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday
35. 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 leafy 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
Lomas de Sotelo with Kids
36. Granja las Americas
Granja las Americas, or the Farm of the Americas, is great fun for kids. 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
Open: Opening hours change so do check the website. As a guide they are open, 9am – 5pm Tuesday – Thursday, 9am – 6pm Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday.
San Angel with Kids
37. 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. We picked up some fun Christmas decorations one year as well as lots of presents to send home. 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,
Open: Open 10am – 7pm Saturdays
38. San Angel Inn
Once you’ve had your filling 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
Open: Open daily
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, where they can deliver parcels for DHL, where they can 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
Open: Open daily
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 (my kids usually think one hour is enough). Instructors can also be booked.
Address: Santa Fe Mall
Open: Monday to Sunday 11am – 4pm, Fridays – Sunday (plus holidays) 4.30pm – 9.30pm.
Interlomas with Kids
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
Open: Daily 11am – 8pm
South of the City with Kids
An afternoon spent floating along the ancient canals of Xochimilco is one of my favourite things to do in Mexico City, especially if you’re visiting or have guests in town. It’s hard to imagine today that the seemingly limitless urban sprawl that characterises Mexico City today 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. Meaning ‘garden of flowers’ or ‘place where flowers grow’ in the Aztec’s Nahuatl, Xochimilco (pronounced so-chee-mil-co) is a neighbourhood in the south of the capital where you can catch a glimpse of not just pre-Hispanic but pre-Aztec Mexico. 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. Read more about enjoying Xochimilco with kids.
43. Kidzania Cuicuilco
We’ve not made it to this Kidzania yet but my understanding is that it’s 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
Open: Tuesdays to Thursdays 9am – 7pm, Fridays 9am – 8pm, Weekends 10am – 8pm.
44. Six Flags
Another place that we’ve not made it to yet is the amusement park Six Flags. We have friends, however, who’ve been and said that it’s a lot of fun for kids. 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 get damp, you get soaked.
Address: Pico de Sorata 195, Jardines en la Montaña
Open: Opening times change so do check the website but as a general rule Six Flags is open 10am – 6pm on weekdays and 10am – 9pm on weekends.
45. 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 manor, which feels a bit like stepping back in time… in England!
Address: Carretera Picacho Ajusco Km.14.5
45. 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. The newest member at the farm is Hercules, the giant tortoise!
Address: Camino Viejo a Mixcoac 3615, Álvaro Obregón, San Bartolo Ameyalco
Open: Daily 9am – 6pm
Mexico City Tours with Kids
47. The Turibus
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.
48. Eat Mexico
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 still 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! Some of the dishes are very kid-friendly (tacos de canasta for example) and others are definitely for the more adventurous eater!
49. Sabores Mexico
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. Thanks to this tour we’ve also discovered our new favourite place for tacos in the city! My two children (aged 8 and 6 at the time) also thoroughly enjoyed this 3.5-hour tour.
50. 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. The three-hour tours take place every Saturday at 11am and private tours area also available. Like what you see? You can even commission your own piece of street artwork.
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