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No, Really! Here Are 10 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Cancun

Kid-Friendly Cancun
Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on July 25, 2023.

When most people hear the name “Cancun”, it conjures images of hoards of spring break partiers and umbrella drinks as far as the eye can see. And while that’s true, the popular vacation spot also has a lot to offer families. In fact, there’s a wealth of things to do for than just one kid-friendly Cancun trip. Here 10 places and activities that prove it!


Interactive Aquarium – La Isla Shopping Plaza

Kid-friendly Cancun at the aquarium

La Isla Shopping Plaza is a great place to hang out and enjoy world-class shopping and entertainment. Kids will especially enjoy watching the dolphin shows and even having the chance to swim with these enchanting creatures at the Interactive Aquarium. If you’re feeling brave, you can even feed the sharks as you’re lowered into their habitat in an acrylic cage (yikes!). You may want to reserve spots for both of these activities as soon as you book cheap flights in July — believe us, you won’t want to miss out on this one.


Isla Mujeres/Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Located 20 minutes by ferry from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a breathtaking island with plenty to offer families. If you’re in the mood to lounge on the beach, head to Playa Norte (if you choose to swim, be careful since there tends to be a strong undertow in this area). Garrafon Natural Reef Park, also located on the island, offers a variety of recreational activities, such as dolphin encounters, swimming, snorkeling, zip-lining, parasailing, kayaking, and hiking.


Chichen Itza

Kid-Friendly Cancun in Chichen Itza

One of the main tourist attractions near Cancun, Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Mayans. One of the most impressive sights is the Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as “El Castillo” (the castle), which was named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007. Kids of all ages will be captivated by this amazing historical spot.



Crococun Zoo

Kid-friendly Cancun at the Crococun Zoo

[Above image “Spider Monkey” by GorissM on Flickr – licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0]

Take your young animal lovers to the Crococun Zoo. Home to a variety of indigenous animals, including macaws, swamp and river crocodiles, scorpion snakes, and tegus (a South American reptile), Crococun offers visitors the chance to explore the zoo on their own or take a guided tour. If you opt for the tour, you’ll have the chance to touch and hold some of the animals.



Xoximilco Cancun

The whole family will enjoy taking a colorful boat tour through a five-mile trail of canals that runs through the jungles on Xoximilco Cancun. Enjoy Mexican food and Mariachi music while learning about this UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally part of an Aztec agricultural technique used in wetland areas.



Captain Hook Pirate and Dinner Show

What kid doesn’t want to feel like a real, live pirate onboard an authentic Spanish galleon from the 18th century? (Well, it’s a replica but we can pretend). The Captain Hook Pirate and Dinner show is one of the most popular attractions for kids in Cancun, and the show sails five days a week from the Hotel Zone. Guests will enjoy real live-action pirate battles, the booming sounds of cannons, and a fully narrated adventure. But watch out, there’s another ship on the horizon. Guests shriek in amazement as a darkened ship approaches, and your ship’s pirates take up swords to protect you from the invaders! The Captain Hook Pirate and Dinner show is a night of fun and excitement that both kids and adults will talk about for years to come.

All Ritmo Resort and Waterpark

Guests of the All Ritmo Resort enjoy free access to the on-site waterpark, one of the largest in Cancun. The waterpark offers hours of soaking fun for kids of all ages. From twisting slides to splash bays and sprayers, there is no better way to beat the heat than at All Ritmo waterpark. The highlight of the park, however, is the giant water bucket which dumps thousands of gallons of water at regular intervals onto guests below. There is even a toddler area geared toward the park’s smallest water-lovers. Guests of other resorts can purchase day passes to enjoy the fun as well.

El Parque de Las Palapas

Families looking for some leisurely outdoor time will love El Parque de las Palapas, a beautiful outdoor space filled with grassy areas, benches, shade trees, and play areas. A destination for live events, El Parque de las Palapas hosts concerts, plays, and bands monthly. Guests of this park will find concession stands serving delicious Mexican delicacies, vendors selling everything from jewelry to souvenirs, and local artists displaying their talents. The best time to go, however, is on Sundays, when local Cancun residents enjoy their days off with their own families, making it a great place to enjoy authentic Mexican culture.

Museo Maya de Cancun

Kid-Friendly Cancun at the San Miguelito archeological site

Holding the Yucatan Peninsula’s largest collection of Mayan artifacts, the Museo Maya de Cancun is a must-see on any history-loving kid’s list. This museum features more than 400 pieces found in the region, from jewelry to ceramics and more. The museum is small in size, making it an easy stop in a packed day of sightseeing. Don’t let the size fool you. Museo Maya de Cancun is packed with artifacts that tell the Mayan story, and well worth the trip. For the price of admission, you can also check out the San Miguelito archeological site, which includes some amazing archeological finds, from prehistoric bones to Mayan pyramid artifacts.


Kid-Friendly Cancun in Xcaret

[Above image “DSC00164” by Eduardo Ribeiro on Flickr – licensed under CC by 2.0]

There is no attraction in the Riviera Maya more thrilling and popular than Xcaret. This huge nature park spans hundreds of acres and combines a theme park with natural wonders for an experience you won’t soon forget. Kids will love diving in cenotes, exploring marine life at the Coral Reef Aquarium, floating along underground rivers, and dazzling in wonder at the butterfly pavilion. Discover Mayan ruins, taste authentic Mexican cuisine, and take a trek through the jungle where you’ll be greeted with sounds of nature.

Children’s World is the exclusive area for the youngest explorers and features water attractions that are safe for them to navigate freely. The bigger kids will love snorkeling, beaches, and lagoons perfect for splashing or just spending a lazy day out in the sun. Swim with turtles and keep your eyes peeled for iguanas, tropical birds, and other wildlife that live in the parks. Xcaret is open year-round and offers shuttle service to the parks from nearby resorts and hotels.


Q: Are there any age restrictions for the activities in Cancun? 

A: Most activities in Cancun have age restrictions for safety reasons. However, there are plenty of options available for kids of all ages. Always check with the tour operators or attraction websites for specific age requirements before planning your activities.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Cancun with kids? 

A: The best time to visit Cancun with kids is during the spring or summer months when the weather is warm and ideal for beach activities. Keep in mind that these months are also popular with tourists, so it’s advisable to book your accommodations and activities in advance.

Q: Are there any water parks in Cancun suitable for young children? 

A: Yes, there are several water parks in Cancun that are perfect for young children. Xel-Ha and Ventura Park are two popular options that offer kid-friendly attractions and water play areas suitable for all ages.

Q: Can I bring my own snorkeling gear for my kids? 

A: Yes, you can bring your own snorkeling gear for your kids if you prefer. However, most tour operators and water sports rental shops provide equipment suitable for children. It’s recommended to check the sizes available and hygiene protocols before deciding whether to bring your own gear.

Q: Are there any kid-friendly restaurants in Cancun? 

A: Cancun has a wide range of restaurants that cater to families with kids. Many resorts offer family-friendly dining options, including buffets and themed restaurants. Additionally, there are several restaurants in Cancun’s hotel zone that specialize in kid-friendly menus and entertainment.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Cancun with kids? 

A: Cancun is generally considered a safe destination for families. However, it’s important to exercise caution and follow basic safety guidelines, such as staying in well-lit areas, avoiding isolated beaches at night, and keeping an eye on your belongings. It’s also advisable to research and choose reputable tour operators and accommodations to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Are there any other kid-friendly things to do in Cancun that we missed? Tell us in the comments below!

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