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There’s more to Cancun than slamming tequilas – it’s also a great place to go on holiday with the kids. Take a look at our insider's guide and discover where to go in Cancun with the family, from restaurants with playrooms to fun-filled waterparks.
Croco Cun Zoo, Cancun
This zoo is ideal for young children as the one-hour guided tour means you can be in and out before any tantrums kick off. The crocodiles are the main attraction but there are plenty of other endangered species from the local area. The focus is on touching and feeding the animals – spider monkeys eat bananas from your hands and you can hold the snakes and smaller crocs. Look out for the deer, parrots, turtles and iguanas. Admission is free for under-fives so it makes an economic toddler excursion.
Croco Cun Zoo, km31, Cancun-Tulum road, Riviera Maya.
La Casa de los Abuelos, Cancun
This traditional Mexican restaurant is always packed with generations of families from Cancun, from Grandma down to newborns. The helpful staff are geared up for youngsters and there are highchairs and a kid’s menu including hotcakes with smiley faces and hot chocolate. Fidgety nippers will be entertained by the resident clown who makes balloon animals. There’s even a children's playroom supervised by nannies, where little ones can frolic while parents breathe a sigh of relief and tuck into quesadillas or enchiladas.
La Casa de los Abuelos, Av. Bonampak, Plaza Nayandel, Cancun.
Isla Mujeres Tortugranja
If a golf cart tour of Isla Mujeres is on your itinerary, stop at this beachside turtle farm to keep the kids happy. It only takes 30 minutes to look around, but there’s lots to see. There are outside pools with turtles and nests in the sand full of turtle eggs collected from the local beaches. For hands-on action, little ones can hold freshwater terrapins. Walk out onto the pier to glimpse nurse sharks swimming in an enclosure, or head inside to the aquarium to find seahorses, lionfish, lobster and rays.
Tortugranja, Carretera Sac Bajo, km5, Isla Mujeres
Plaza las Américas, Cancun
This huge mall is the HQ in central Cancun for shopping, restaurants and cinema. But there’s also heaps of entertainment for pint-sized members of the family. In the atrium is an old-fashioned carousel, Zoo Riders (ride-on animals) and the Expresso Magico mini train ride. Meander upstairs and you’ll find two good play centres. Bumper Cars has trampolines and a racetrack with drivable electric cars, and at Recorcholis (above the food court) there's a mini supermarket for toddlers, soft play maze and video games.
Plaza las Américas, Av Tulum 260, Centro, Cancun
Wet 'n Wild, Cancun
If you have an active brood, this water park is the perfect place for them to burn off some of that endless energy. Thrillseekers will love the five slides including the twister and kamikaze, while smaller ones will enjoy the lazy river, wave pool and motorised bumper boats. There’s a fun activity play area in one of the swimming pools and plenty of sun loungers for relaxing. The entrance fee includes food and drinks, plus there are lockers and towel rental.
Wet n' Wild, Blvd Kukulcan km25, Hotel Zone, Cancun
Yal-Ku Lagoon, Akumal
For adventurous families with a love of the outdoors, this lagoon is the place to head to. Walk through lush jungle filled with sculptures to reach the water’s edge, then climb down steps and plunge into the refreshing agua. The calm lagoon is a great spot for a child’s first snorkeling experience with plenty of reef fish, rays and barracuda. Snorkel gear and kid’s life jackets are available to hire. Only biodegradable sunscreen is allowed, so wear a t-shirt to swim in.
Yal Ku Lagoon, North Akumal
Have you been on a family holiday to Cancun? What were your favourite child friendly attractions? Share your experiences below for those planning a trip.
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About the author: CatherineGordonCatherine Gordon
British freelance journalist Catherine Gordon is based in Cancun, Mexico. She writes about Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan for newspapers, magazines and online media. She specialises in travel, culture, health, luxury, water sports and off-the-beaten-track city guides. Her website can be viewed at www.catherinegordon.net