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Mexico City may seem like an overwhelming place to travel with children, but millions of Mexican families find fun, fascinating, safe places to take the kids every day of the year and foreign visitors can too.

This article is about tips and insights specifically for families traveling with kids. Details for specific places are found in the myriad District articles found on the main Mexico City page.

Getting around[edit]

The best option for getting around is to walk when you're spending time in one part of the city. Rideshare and Metro are the best bets for families traveling longer distances.


Ride-hailing apps Uber, Didi, and Cabify serve Mexico City and are a great option for families with kids. Ride-hailing is cheap in Mexico City. Dirt cheap. Ride-hailing is far more convenient than having to figure out transit maps and schedules, and there's no worries about getting separated in a crowd. If you have a large family, you can also request a large SUV, though a sedan might work fine if you're a couple traveling with 1 or 2 kids.


Metro station in Mexico City

Using the Metro subway system is not only ridiculously cheap, it's also a fun adventure for kids who haven't ridden a big city subway train before. Mexico City's Metro system provides excellent coverage with 195 stations throughout the city. Many lines cross through the historic downtown area and there are stops near many of the kid-friendly attractions recommended in this article.

Stations each have their own identity and character. Some have fascinating artwork in the tunnel corridors, educational exhibits, and historical murals. In one, the tunnel lights are dimmed and the night sky is projected on the ceiling. A kid could spend hours fascinated as he finds objects from a night sky rarely seen so bright in a downtown urbanscape.

Information about routes, costs, and rules can be found in the main Mexico City article, but here are a few tips to keep in mind for families with children:

  • Crowds - Mexico City's Metro (and Metrobus) routes get very crowded during hora pica (rush hour). Crowds are worst around 09:00 and 19:00 (plus or minus an hour or so). Families will find trains less crowded between 10:00 and 17:00, which are the hours you'll most likely want to be out doing things anyway. Carrying large items (like strollers and big diaper bags) is impractical, especially during peak times. If you must travel like a beast of burden, use rideshare.
  • Safety - Traveling on Metro is generally safe, however, Mexico City has historically had problems with macho perverts who think it's okay to grope women on the subway. Metro responded by reserving the first car on the train for women and children only. If you do find yourself dealing with uncomfortable crowds, that first car can offer some peace of mind. Reserved women and children areas are also on the red Metrobuses that travel major arteries.


Monday can be a difficult day to be an active traveler in Mexico City. Most of the city's museums and major attractions are closed as are some of the most popular restaurants. Plan ahead for Mondays so that you have activities planned that don't rely on closed venues. Check ahead to verify hours before setting out. Some family friendly places that are open on Monday include:

  • Papalote Children's Museum
  • Acuario Inbursa
  • Teotihuacan
  • Antique Toy Museum (Museo de Juguetes Antiguo)

See and do for families with young kids[edit]

Papalote Children's Museum[edit]

Children's museums are popular in many major cities, but none seem to ever have children on display. What they do have are lots of hands-on activities to nourish a young mind. Papalote is much the same as other children's museums, with similar activities. There are exhibits about bubbles, and the human body, and about how grocery stores work, but there are also exhibits that seem to reflect a real sense of celebrating Mexico, like the archaeological dig. Papalote is best suited to younger children, up to about age 10.

Chapultepec Zoo[edit]

Panda in the Chapultepec Zoo

Every kid loves a zoo, especially a classic urban zoo set in a world-class park. Visiting the Chapultepec Zoo is like taking the kids to the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Neither are huge zoos, but both are very well managed zoos with a great mix of animals to delight and educate young minds.

The star attraction of the Chapultepec Zoo are the giant pandas, Xin Xin and Shuan Shuan. The Chapultepec Zoo has been very successful at breeding pandas with 8 cubs to their credit. The pandas are just the beginning though: the zoo houses more than 2,000 animals from 250 species. The zoo is clean, modern, and best of all for the family on a budget, it's free! The only downside to planning a visit to the zoo is that you better not do it on a Monday – they're closed, just like most of the major museums around town.

Acuario Inbursa[edit]

Close to the hearts of all zoo-loving kids are the underwater animal kingdoms viewed through the lens of an aquarium. Mexico City's aquarium is big, but it doesn't look it when you approach the building. That's because this modernistic structure goes down 5 levels below the street. There's exhibit halls for penguins, sea mammals, sharks, coral reefs, and much more. Located in the Polanco section and open 7 days a week (so a good choice on Mondays when most attractions are closed).

Museo de Artes Populares[edit]

Mexican folk arts are amazing reflections of the nation's collective heritage and cultural values. Travelers sometimes get glimpses of these arts through popular media, like the Disney movie Coco, which touched on the traditions surrounding alebrijes -- the fanciful, colorful animal carvings that represent spiritual beings, and catrinas -- the festive skeletons who dress up, especially for the Day of the Dead. These and plenty of similar traditions are celebrated at this wonderful museum that plays to the human imagination. Kids will find not only strange ceramic works, and carved devils, but huge pinatas that will make them want to grab a stick and commence to whomping! (A visit here will also clue in mom and dad as to what are the souvenirs worth bringing home and what are the junk items to leave behind.)

Torre Latinoamericana[edit]

Bill Haley might like to Shake, Rattle, and Roll, but the people of Mexico City....errr, not so much. The city has frequently suffered massive destruction during major earthquakes, and erecting tall buildings can be a risky proposition.

The Torre Latinoamericana, built between 1947 and 1956, isn't the first skyscraper in Mexico City, and it certainly isn't the tallest — not anymore — but it was the first major skyscraper designed to withstand major earthquakes. The tower withstood a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 1957 and a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in 1985. But your kids won't care about all that. What they will care about is the fun stuff: you can take an elevator to the observation deck on the 44th floor and get a sweeping view of the historic city center and beyond. On a clear day, you can see more than 30 km away. Bring some coins for the telescopes so you can see the smog up close and personal.

Antique Toy Museum[edit]

In the Roma area is a low-key toy museums with a huge collection of toys, ranging from miniature cars and trucks, to trains, building blocks, dolls, action figures and a whole lot more. Every kid loves toys and there's sure to be something unusual here that they've never seen before, but sometimes it will appeal even more to Mom and Dad as they get all teary-eyed at seeing their first Barbie or G.I.Joe displayed behind the glass. Open Mondays too! About a 4-block walk from the Obrera Metro station.

Cable cars[edit]

Cablebus in Mexico City

Most kids have never experienced a chance to ride cable cars, so taking a ride in one might be a fun experience for kids to get a birds-eye-view as they slowly wind their way up and down hillsides. Mexico City has two cable cars: the original route in the northern part of the city, and a new route that is under construction in the south (as of 2022). The cable car system is called Cablebus. To use it, take the Metro to the Indios Verdes station, where you can transfer to Cablebus.


Marketplaces are largely extinct in the U.S. and many other industrial nations, but in Mexico, mercados thrive as a living, breathing connection between a city's population and the producers of fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, and household goods. Mercados are often the commercial hub of Mexican neighborhoods and dozens of them thrive throughout Mexico City. Some specialize in certain kinds of goods, while others are general marketplaces where you can find everything from fresh avocados to truck bumpers. The mercado will often have a great selection of souvenirs and artesanias, the freshest produce in the city (if your family is preparing meals in your condo or suite), and vendors specializing in candies and toys to catch the eyes of the youngest members of the family. Most markets have food vendors preparing some of the cheapest, tastiest, and most authentic food you can eat.

The best mercados for a family to explore are: Mercado Coyoacan (great food offerings and lots of artesanias, close to the Frida Kahlo house); Mercado Medellin in Roma Sur has lots of fresh locally grown and unusual produce and gourmet foods from other Latin American countries, Mercado Jamaica has an amazing number of fresh flower vendors (take Metro to the Jamaica station), and La Ciudadela in the Reforma area is an artesania market with lots of crafts and folk art from around Mexico – great place for souvenir shopping!

Mercados are usually permanent buildings with daily hours, but Mexico City has several markets that pop up on certain days of the week. These are called tianguis. Most famous is El Bazar Sabado in Coyoacan (Saturdays), but there is also Tianguis de Condesa (Tuesday farmers market), and La Lagunilla (Sunday flea market in Cuahtemoc).

See and do for families with teenage kids[edit]

As kids grow into adolescents, they grow bored with playgrounds, crafts, clowns and all the wonderful things that amused them when they were cute and adorable. They want things that are more active and more challenging. Here are a few ideas for family friendly places that will appeal to teenagers and precocious pre-teens.

Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre[edit]

Today's kids often know more about the Mexican wrestling sport of lucha libre than we adults will ever grasp. If it doesn't come from watching too many episodes of Mucha Lucha! on the WB, then it comes from watching Jack Black as Nacho Libre. Popular culture though is based on a long-time tradition in Mexico, and every boy older than 6 will just love spending an evening watching a real-life lucha libre match. It's loud. It's rough. It's masks. It's high theatre. It's guys throwing other guys over the ropes into the audience. It's a lot of fun and it's very affordable.

In Mexico City, lucha libre usually happens at Arena Mexico in the Roma section on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 20:00 and Sunday at 17:00. The Sunday performance is billed as the "family" show, but the only difference between it and events on other nights is that it occurs 3 hours earlier so you can tuck in the kids at a reasonable hour. Tickets are sold through TicketMaster. High-class parents who can't imagine taking their kids to such a low-class event can take solace in knowing that lucha libre is recognized by UNESCO as part of the "intangible cultural heritage" of Mexico.

Science and Technology[edit]

Teenagers are often captivated by technology and the sciences of the natural world. The best place to explore the sciences in Mexico City is at the Universum. Its a sprawling science and technology museum on the University City campus of UNAM in the Coyoacán area. They have a planetarium, dinosaur exhibits, a geology hall, a physics hall with lots of hands-on interactive stations, and enough to keep a curious kid engaged for the better part of a full day.


Archaeology might not excite too many kids, but the grandeur of actually seeing and touching the big pyramids might change their attitudes. Before 2021, this was a great place for kids because they were allowed to climb to the top of the two major pyramids. Sadly, authorities have closed the pyramids to climbing. It's still fun to walk along the Avenue of the Dead and climb up a few of the smaller structures. If you're a well-heeled family, you can also arrange for a hot air balloon flight over the pyramids. It's an unforgettable experience!

Six Flags Mexico[edit]

Six Flags Mexico

Like all Six Flags theme parks, the place is filled with thrill rides like rollercoasters, a Superman drop, and the latest thrill: the Wonder Woman 4D Free Fall coaster. Of course there are gentler family-friendly rides, but we all know that teens are going to head for the biggest, fastest, most terrifying ride they can find. The park is in the southern part of Mexico City.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor[edit]

This is a new option for the thrill seeker who prefers wet and watery over steel and wheels. Similar to Hurricane Harbor parks in the U.S. Bring your swimsuit and jump into the wave pool, ride the waterslides, take a tube float down the lazy river. Hurricane Harbor is in Oaxtepec, about an hour from Mexico City, near Cuernavaca. Six Flags runs buses there and sells packages that include park admission and round-trip transportation from CDMX.


Kid-friendly food[edit]

  • Churros - Long strips of donut dough squeezed into a stick and fried, then rolled in sugar and cinnamon. They're absolutely delicious and widely available throughout the city. Street food vendors sell them and so do upscale restaurants.
  • Quesadillas - Any kid who loves grilled cheese sandwiches back home will eat quesadillas, it's simply melted cheese between two flour (usually) tortillas. Simple and tasty.
  • Elotes - sweet fresh corn, often roasted over a charcoal grill. Often available as street food. Sometimes sold like corn-on-the-cob, sometimes sold in a cup. Top it as you wish, though the Mexicans typically use lime (limon), chili powder, and mayonnaise.
  • Fish fillets - Filete de pescado (or tilapia, etc.) is usually a safe bet. Simple fried or broiled fish fillets.
  • Tacos - Tacos are everywhere and many will appeal to a kid's appetite, but don't get too fancy because Mexico City has a number of local specialties that may be delicious, but may use unfamiliar ingredients or aggressive spicing.
  • Ice cream - ice cream is generally much better in Mexico than in the U.S. Find a good ice cream shop (neveria) and you'll find wonderful flavors you never imagined, and you'll likely be getting a hand-churned scoop made that day. Sorbet and gelato is also common in Mexico City. Look for flavors like guava, soursop, tequila, cardamom and more. A couple good places are Glace Bistro in Col. Hipodromo and Gelatoscopio in Col. Condesa.

Outdoor restaurants[edit]

Outdoor patio restaurants are usually a good choice for families with kids. There are some good options in Chapultepec Park as well as in Polanco. Look for listings in the District topics under the main article.

Kid-friendly restaurants[edit]

Most restaurants in Mexico City tend to be pretty family friendly. Sanborn's has several locations around the city that are a great choice for families: they serve breakfast, often have in-house bakeries, they have candy counters that can have a kid drooling. The most scenic location is in the historic city center in the Casa Azuelejos.

Have you ever met a kid who didn't like chocolate? Kids will enjoy a visit to the Chocolate Museum (Museo de Chocolate) in Col. Juarez. Aside from exhibits on how chocolate goes from cacao fields to candy bar, there's an enjoyable Chocalateria y Cafeteria where kid-friendly food is a given. There's a shop selling, you guessed it...


Mexico City has thousands of hotels and there are recommendations in each of the District articles under the main article. When traveling to Mexico City with kids, there are three rules of thumb that you can use to make hotel life easier:

  1. Prefer big hotels with recreational amenities. A pool makes the hotel stay fun. Kids like pools. Cable TV in the rooms is good too. Many parents like sitting by pools with a cold margarita while they watch the little guys, so a poolside bar is a bonus. Most hotels in Mexico City do not have pools. The Galeria Plaza has a rooftop pool and the hotel is family-budget friendly. The Four Seasons has an awesome courtyard pool, but is only budget friendly to Scrooge McDuck. You might expect a modern hotel like the Fiesta Americana Grand Chapultepec to be family-friendly: it's not and they don't even have a pool. If you want to be close to Chapultepec Park, a better choice for families might be the Marquis Reforma which has a glass-covered swimming pool and an outdoor patio restaurant. Another good choice near Chapultepec is the St. Regis which despite being posh and ritzy is very kid friendly with special activities just for the little guys.
  2. Stay central. It's best to be in one of the centrally located areas. Centro Historico can be fun, Reforma and Chapultepec have some bigger hotels, Polanco is nicely upscale. All are good family-friendly locations. There are some large, modern hotels in Santa Fe and other outlying areas, but beware the distance to sites you want to see. It can be a hassle to stay out in the 'burbs where transit is not as good and travel times are easily underestimated. Also be aware that cheap hotels in non-tourist parts of the city often cater to local sex traffic or other aspects of society that you probably don't want your kids asking you about. Better to stay with the upscale international crowd.
  3. Consider apartments. Condos can be a good choice, but you often give up the pools and breakfasts that make big hotels so attractive. You do get more space, more privacy, and a kitchen if you like to cook. Airbnb was once a good choice, but they are becoming notorious for problems with absentee landlords, bait-and-switch ads, poor customer support when problems happen, and gotcha "cleaning fees" that can eclipse the budget of some third-world countries. A better choice is to look for condos through hotel sites like Expedia. In Mexico City, a group called Sonder has several nice properties in Roma, Condesa, and Polanco. It can a bit difficult to do business with, but a fully equipped 2-bedroom condo in a secure building for US$100 per night is hard to complain about. A Sonder unit has free WiFi and the TV is ready for Netflix or Amazon Prime.


If you're looking to get out of the city and explore central Mexico a bit more here are a few thoughts to help keep the kids engaged. There are myriad great places within a few hours by bus of the capital, but let's face it, too many historical sites, colonial churches, archaeological digs, and craft markets and the short guys are going to go bonkers.

Places that a kid might like are in the nearby states of Estado de Mexico, Veracruz, and Tlaxcala.

  • Estado de Mexico: Check out Zacango Parque Ecologico in the town of Calimaya (near Toluca). It's a good-size zoo with rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and about 170 other species. If you've got older kids who like hiking, then a visit to the twin volcanoes of Iztacchuatl-Popocateptl National Park can easily fill a day.
  • Veracruz: Veracruz is a big state stretching along the Gulf of Mexico and its full of history, archaeology and natural sites with jungles, rivers, beaches and more. The state capital, also called Veracruz (or Heroica Veracruz), has lots to interest a kid including a big aquarium (Acuario de Veracruz), and a couple of big, old Spanish forts that were built to fight off pirates — especially San Juan de Ulua which movie buffs will recognize as the "fortress of Cartegena" from the movie Romancing the Stone. Families will enjoy downtown Veracruz, especially strolling along the Malecon (which you might translate as "boardwalk", but there are no boards.) There's a cool, low-key beach at Tecolutla, which is known for its sea turtle hatching from April-September. Kids might also enjoy a visit to Papantla, which is famous for its voladores — guys who hang upside down from ropes and spin around a giant pole.
  • Tlaxcala: Older kids who like hiking will probably enjoy trekking up to the top of El Malinche, the state's most famous volcano, while families with younger kids would have a blast at the Puppet Museum (Museo Nacional de Titeres) in the town of Huamantla (which also has Bullfighting Museum that teenage boys will dig on).

This travel topic about Mexico City with children is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.