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Mexico City for Kids

Mexico City is a great destination for family travel. Mexicans are known for being kind and welcoming to children, and Mexico City is no exception. It is a city full of culture, museums and interesting neighborhoods. Even activities that might not at first seem geared toward children are easily turned into activities the whole family [...]

Mexico City is a great destination for family travel. Mexicans are known for being kind and welcoming to children, and Mexico City is no exception. It is a city full of culture, museums and interesting neighborhoods. Even activities that might not at first seem geared toward children are easily turned into activities the whole family will love with a little imagination. For example, the Trotsky house museum may not seem like a typical kid friendly activity, but there is a very nice garden for kids to run around and check out the flowers.  Or the anthropology museum might not be a typical choice for toddlers, but there is a great pond in the middle with turtles and fish, that will delight kids. Below are some of the activities in and around Mexico City that your whole family will enjoy.

Chapultepec Park:  This huge park is a great place to take your kids. It is a magnet for local families on weekends. A highlight is the free zoo which features pandas, giraffes, a polar bear and lots of monkeys.  The Centro de Conviviencia Infantil is a playground with slides, swings, and a petting zoo. You can rent rowboats to ride around the lake. There is also the Papalote Museo de Ninos, a children’s museum with hands-on science and cultural exhibits and an IMAX theater. Finally, La Feria de Chapultepec is an amusement park featuring mechanical rides for kids.

Desierto de los Leones Park in the Western part of the city is home to an old convent with underground tunnels to explore, and a large garden where you can go on a pony ride.

Many of the shopping centers and malls have free children’s play areas. The Santa Fe shopping center has a neat children’s play area called the City of Children where children can act out adult professions like a veterinarian or a grocery store clerk.

Teotihuacan: This archaeological site located right outside the city features some of the country’s most impressive pyramids. It is fun for kids to run around the site, walk through tunnels and climb up the pyramids. Be sure to bring sunscreen and a good sun hat.

Xochimilco: This is a colorful neighborhood south of the center. The main attraction is a boat ride through the canals to visit the floating flower gardens.

There a few nice neighborhoods for walking around. La Condesa has the large Parque Mexico, and lots of cafes that are filled with families on the weekends.  Coyoacan has the Viveros, a tree nursery with trails and a nice sized playground.

Petra in front of a pyramid of Teotihuacan, just outside Mexico City

The subway system and MetroBus make it easy to get around the city without spending much money, so take advantage and explore all the family friendly sites of Mexico City.

Mexico Travel Guide

Filed under: Mexico

About the Author:

After traveling on her own for three or four years, Chaya met up with Wade Shepard, the editor of VagabondJourney.com. They were married in 2009, and continue to travel the world together with their young daughter. From time to time Chaya blogs about family travel and life on the road. has written 102 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Chaya Shepard is currently in: Xiamen, China

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  • Pat Sheffield January 6, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I loved climbing pyramids in Mexico. It was on my trip with my mother to get a Mexican divorce in 1966 and I don’t remember those same attractions, but…I remember climbing the steps like a snake, back and forth in a zig-zag pattern, as described by a guide as easier. I used to bicycle up a very long hill at home that way without getting off the bike.

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    • Vagabond Journey Guides January 12, 2012, 6:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing this. I like these anecdotes about your upbringing and travels with your very intriguing parents. I hope that Petra has similar memories of climbing pyramids someday. That tip about riding bikes uphill in a zig zag fashion is worthy of its own travel tip page.

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  • Ryan Harbert September 12, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Hi Wade/Chaya,

    Do you have a recommendation for what part of Mexico City a young traveling family might live in? By the time we get there, one of our girls will be 3 and the other just under a year. We plan to rent an apartment for 2 or 3 months. I will work online a few hours each day, during which my wife will need to entertain the kids. Ideally, where we end up will have enough to keep the kids interested/occupied (especially our 3-year-old). Parks are a good by default, but sometimes we get sick of parks….so variety is good. Any suggestions?

    Btw, thank you so much for your work on this blog. It really gave my wife and I a big boost of confidence, in that we could actually pull-off quitting my soul bleeding cube job and start a life of travel. I’ve given notice at work and our first stop is Mexico City. We are very excited!

    Thanks for the help.

    Ryan

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    • Chaya Shepard September 20, 2013, 8:31 am

      Hello Ryan,

      Thanks for your kind words. In terms of best places to live in Mexico City, it really depends what your budget is. If you can afford it, La Condessa is a great neighborhood with parks, cafes and quieter streets. Coyoacan is nice as well. We stayed a little outside Coyoacan. In general we found Mexico City easy to navigate with the subway. Also Mexican culture is very family oriented so you can find kid friendly parks in many neighborhoods. If you live around a more upscale mall there is usually a free children’s play area in there too. You might have a challenge trying to rent for only a couple months, again it just depends on your budget. Best of luck beginning your traveling adventure!

      Safe Travels,
      Chaya

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