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Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya for Children Guide

Fun for the whole family!

Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Mexico

Are you looking to travel to Playa Del Carmen with kids? Do you want to explore the Riviera Maya? Know about kid friendly hotels in Playa Del Carmen and more? Well here is our big guide of activities, restaurants, all inclusive resorts and hotels that all will make for a great vacation with the kids.

Note: We suggest general age ranges for certain things. This is just a general guideline and the actual size, maturity of your children and age requirements of each establishment supersede our recommendations.

Kid friendly all inclusive resorts and hotels

All inclusive resorts

  • Grand Palladium Hotel is great for small children up to about age 15 because they have shows at night that are more geared toward children and the new kids pool is great for young children (see lead photo above). For mid age children they do a good job with fun pool side activities.
  • Grand Sirenis Resort is good for kids 4-17 because they have large pools and a lazy river for kids to play in. There is the kids club for young children and they have a game room with Xbox to keep the kids happy. The snorkeling is great just off the beach and the shows are good for kids more ages 13-18 years old. One show is the Lion King, a popular show at many resorts.
  • Grand Occidental Xcaret Hotel is good for older children because it is a quieter resort without the youthful atmosphere of other all inclusives but the real winner for this hotel is the location. It is right next to Xplor park and Xcaret. Both are great for kids. If you plan on going to both parks or doing multiple days at Xcaret  and your children are about 12-18 years old, then this resort might be a good choice.

Kid Friendly Hotels in Playa Del Carmen

  • Aventura Mexicana Hotel is in the center of Playa Del Carmen and has one side for families and a separate side for adults only. You can expect to see other families here and enjoying the pool.
  • Hotel Riviera Maya Caribe is a nice kid friendly hotel in Playa Del Carmen. This hotel is on 10th Avenue near 30th Street in Playa. There are larger then normal rooms and a pool, plus the prices are more family friendly to people trying to raise children.
  • Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen. This large hotel is right in the middle of Playa Del Carmen but feels like an all inclusive resort. This hotel is especially good for young children and mid range children because there are play rooms (see photo below) and even places to places with Xboxes. For adults there is the spa and modern rooms. This hotel can be a nice balance between an all inclusive and a hotel.
Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen

Children’s play area at thee Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen.

If you want to check prices at any of these hotels and others in the Rivera Maya, click the link below to get information.

These are just some good options for you and we will keep adding to this list. You can also check out our recommended hotel guide to the Riviera Maya for more options.

Activities and tours for children in the Riviera Maya

Activities for Kids in Cancun

  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park. This place is great to get the energy out of your kids. This is an indoor trampoline area in Plaza Las Americas Mall in Cancun. This can be a good place for a kids party too.
  • Also in the Plaza Las Americas Mall in Cancun there is not only regular movie theaters but a they have the only 4D movie theater in the Riviera Maya. This theater is like a ride complete with moving seats. This would most likely be good for children about ages 8 and up.
  • Xcaret Park is always fun for kids and adults but now even more special for kids 0-12. Children’s World is a new section of Xcaret Park. Here kids can have their own place to play and discover.
  • Crococun Zoo is an interactive guided tour to visit local animals. This is good for children about age 4 and up. Cococun is on the 307 Highway just north of Puerto Morelos.
  • Pirate boat dinner cruise. This is fun for families and especially children about age 5-15. These boats leave from the Hotel Zone and give you dinner and a show.

Activities for Kids in Playa Del Carmen

  • Kanki candy making store. This place does a demonstration some mornings around 10:00am. Be sure to call ahead to see if they are making candy on a certain day. It is fascinating watching them make candy!
  • The 3D Museum is an interactive fun place to visit and take photos. Here you can see about 50 different visual tricking art pieces and jump in them to take photos.
  • For some kids the glass blowing workshop would be a cool thing to see. Here you can look into the workspace and see men form glasses out of molten glass. For more about visiting Vidrio Soplado Mexicano, see our article here.
  • L’Aquarium is the new aquarium in Playa Del Carmen at Plaza Corazon. This is open daily and good for all ages.
  • Xenses Park is a great place to take kids. It is located just outside of Playa Del Carmen. For more about visiting Xenses Park, see our article here.
  • The playground at Parque Fundadores. This park is right next to the beach and Cozumel Ferry Pier. The playground is good for ages 3-10.  But also this park has the flying papantla dancers that swing off a pole that might appeal to children of other ages. In the evening there are also Mayan dancers by the sculpture. So there is always something going on here in the park to entertain children for a little while.
Playa Del Carmen with kids

Papantla dancers at Park Fundadores.

  • At both shopping malls in Playa Del Carmen there are game rooms. These have pool tables, video games and other things that kids about ages 5-16 would appreciate. At Centro Maya Mall there is a children’s train that goes back and forth in the mall. This is good for children about 2-11 years old.
  • Going to the movie theater in Playa Del Carmen is actually a pretty nice experience. Both shopping malls have theaters and you can read more in the link.
  • Kiin Ha indoor swimming. This swimming center has lessons for kids and also they have other spaces for gymnastics. This is more for people with children living here but it can be an option if you are on vacation as well.
  • MTB Bike Tour in Playa Del Carmen is a great way to get your kids out for some exercise and explore the Mayan Jungle. This bike tour is on quality bikes and take you through trails near Playa Del Carmen. You will also get to swim in a beautiful cenote. This tour is very affordable and eco friendly. There is a minimum age of 9 for this tour.
  • Park La Ceiba is a local park where there is a small playground and they often have activities for teaching children about the environment and recycling. This is not really for tourist and more for locals that live in the area but if you had the time you could visit here. We recommend this park for ages 3-10 years old.
  • El Arbol Park is another small park that is great for kids. They have kids yoga here and other programs. This is located in the backside of the Playacar neighborhood. Check them out on Facebook for current events.
  • If your children have an interest tropical birds there is a small bird park right in Playa Del Carmen called Xaman Ha. Children under 12 are free.
  • A walk on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen in the evening will be very entertaining because there are many street performers like a Michael Jackson impersonator, break dancers and live statue people.
  • If you want a special beach for the younger kids, there is a public beach at the north end of Playa that is actually a cenote that flows fresh water into the ocean. This creates a natural stream of crystal clear water and is only about 1-2 feet deep. For all the details on this beach, here is an article for you.
Playa del Carmen with kids

The secret beach that locals go to, perfect for kids!

  • Feed the fish with your feet! Along 5th Avenue in Playa there are “fish spas” where you can put your feet in the water and the fish nibble at the dead skin. This may sound gross but kids might like doing this. It tickles most people. At the store Wayan you can find these. One location is across from Quinta Alegria Mall near 16th Street.
  • Yoga for children can be found at Casa Ananda. This is a fun way for children to play and stretch. They have a special room for the classes and if you want to take an adult class at the same time in a separate room, you can.
  • Halloween in Playa Del Carmen is a great time for kids to dress up and walk on 5th Avenue. If you are in town during this time make sure you make plans and get costumes.

Activities for children in the Riviera Maya

  • Xplor is an adventure park just outside of Playa Del Carmen. There are zip lines, underground rivers to swim in, golf carts to drive in the woods and paddling in the underground rivers. This park is not good for young children because there is a height limit for the zip lines and the driving is not for younger ages but you still can bring your teens here and have a great time.
  • Xel-Ha is a snorkel park where you can float around, swim and explore the natural area all day long. This can be for all ages of children. For kids about age 3-7 there is a special play area complete with a treetop crawl playground with netted tubes. There are also two waterslides that go into the lagoon nearby. For kids that are about 7 and up there is an extra feature to this park and extra fee. It is a skybike where you peddle bikes on a cable and go through the woods and a cave. you do all this by being suspended high above everything.
  • Xcaret is an very full day of Mexican culture and activities. There are shows, an aquarium, animals and underground rivers to swim in. This can be for kids off all ages but we recommend age 7 and up. It does make for a long day and the grand show at the end runs for two hours so younger kids might get a little antsy.
  • Cirque Du Soleil’s Joya show is a great experience for children. This is great for children 5 and older(children under 5 are not allowed in the theater). Children’s tickets are available for ages 5-12 years old.
Playa Del Carmen with kids

You can see the detail and creativity of the set design and costuming.

  • Cenote Azul is a good cenote to visit with small children because it is not as deep and the two that are right next to this. This is a natural area and you do need to keep an eye on your kids. For older kids there is a cliff that kids love jumping off.
Playa Del Carmen with Kids

A small trail passes through the center of the cenote.

  • Paddle boarding lessons. Do you kids want to get out there and paddle? Here is the perfect place for kids about 7 and up to learn because it is in a lagoon and the water is super flat. Call ahead to see if they have children sized paddles available or how they can best accommodate you. This is in Puerto Aventuras just south of Playa Del Carmen.
  • Of all the Mayan ruins we recommend Coba because it is fun to bike between the ruins and you can climb to the top of the tallest pyramid. It is also closer to Playa Del Carmen, so less time in a bus and more time for the kids to have fun. These ruins are also the most shaded and that means you will deal less with hot kids and more time looking around an amazing place. If you don’t want to bike you can walk or have a tricycle taxi take you around.
  • If you are looking to do some tours, allTOURnative tours is a good company to check out. They offer tours to ruins and activities that are fun for kids 12-18 years old. They do some zip lines, rappelling and cenotes.  These tours are good for families and a little less intensive than Xplor park.
  • If you want to swim with your kids and maybe see some sea turtles you can visit the Yal Ku Lagoon in Akumal. If your kids are of snorkeling age then this is a good place to see the natural lagoon with fish and maybe sea turtles. Just stay away from the mouth of the lagoon near the ocean because the current is stronger. This would be a cheaper option then spending the Xel Ha Park.

Restaurants in Playa Del Carmen for Kid

  • Alux Restaurant is a fun place to take kids because the restaurant is in a cave. You can walk around a circle and see different parts. This may not be the best place to eat with kids since it is more of a fine dinning place but you can also come here for drinks.
  • If you want a Mexican restaurant with somethings to keep the kids entertained, check out Frida Kahlo Restaurant. This is an upper end Mexican restaurant on 5th Avenue but is great for a nice night out in Playa Del Carmen with the kids. Besides creative presentations of the food there is the gastromapping. What is gastromapping you ask? It is a way of projecting images on the table and they do a show for people coming to the restaurant. See our video in the article.
  • If your kids like burgers then they can get their fill at Shark Burgers. Make sure your kids order the small because they are big!
  • If you kids have been really good you might want to treat them to some bake good you can check out our Bakery and Sweet Treats Guide here.

We hope this list has helped you plan out your vacation. Playa Del Carmen with kids can be fun because there is so much to do here. We will keep adding to this list when we come across more things that families will appreciate. Happy vacationing!

Do you have some tips for traveling to Playa Del Carmen with kids? Please share with us and other readers what activities or places you have enjoyed in our comment section below.

Playa del carmen children activities

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11 Comments on Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya for Children Guide

  1. Excellent information you’ve mentioned in this article. I am looking for activities for my children while on vacation in Playa Del Camren. This is our first time coming and your guide gives good suggestions.

  2. Katrina Foust // December 27, 2016 at 7:08 AM // Reply

    I am coming for the first time to the Riviera Maya with three kids ages 3, 6, and 10. I am looking for some tours that might be good for the family. Can you suggest anything? Thanks

    • Hello Katrina

      Tours with kids is a little difficult because mostly many of the tours require some physical activity or minimal size to enjoy activities. Catamaran tours are nice because they are smoother ways to get out on the ocean and even swim or snorkel. We like Catamaya because the boat is bigger and that means a smoother ride. We also offer special prices in our article on them here: http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/get-out-on-the-water-with-a-boat-tour-from-catamaya/
      Some of the Mayan Ruin tours are nice but some to Chichen Itza and El Balam do involve longer transportation time and that can be hard for kids to sit for 3 hours. Tulum and Coba are closer ruins to visit. Xel Ha can be fun for the whole family as well and there is a kids playground if they don’t want to get wet.

  3. Hi. We just got back from the Riviera Maya and had a great time with our three kids age 7,10, 13. We loved things on your guide. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. Preeti Shah // March 17, 2017 at 8:34 AM // Reply

    Hi, I am looking for spanish classes for my kids. We are going to be there a week and I wanted to get classes for children ages 6 and 7. Or even a daycare…

    Any recommendations?

    • Hello

      We do not know of any Spanish teachers that specialize in working with kids, but one Spanish teacher that is very loving and comes well recommended is Susanna. Here is an article we have on our site. http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/looking-for-a-spanish-tutor/ She comes to you or meets in a place for classes.

      For daycare, we do not have any personal recommendations. We have seen advertisements for some but would you rather get personal recommendations.

  5. Claudia Ferreira // April 4, 2017 at 11:29 AM // Reply

    Do you know exactely when the Paplanta dancers perform at Parque Fundadores?

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 4, 2017 at 12:01 PM // Reply

      Hello Claudia

      There is not set schedule for the Papantla dancers. They do it about every 30 minutes so you are pretty much guaranteed to see it if you hang out in the park for a short while. If you have kids, there is a playground and that can keep them busy until it starts.

  6. Hello,

    I am traveling to Playa del Carmen in June for a month and was wondering if there are any gyms that provide childcare? I have a 3 and 4 year old and would like to get a membership to a gym but I will have my children with me.

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 20, 2017 at 6:03 PM // Reply

      Hello Jennifer

      The Evolve Gym on 24th Street has a child area. This is not a regularly used for child care but is set up for kids. You would need to talk to them at the front desk about cost and setup.

  7. Paradise Kids near the 10th Av entrance to Playacar is really great. 50 pesos an hour for what is essentially daycare on steroids. They have a couple of ball pits, the ladies who work there play games with the kids, and the value is fantastic. My daughter can’t get enough of that place!

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