Travel with Children

As with elsewhere in Mexico, kids take center stage in the capital.

Museums frequently organize hands-on activities for kids. The Museo de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público often stages puppet shows on Sunday. For something that both adults and kids can love, the colorful Museo de Arte Popular tends to win over most children. Another great option is the Museo del Juguete Antiguo México, a fascinating toy museum with more than 60,000 collectibles on display.

Mexico City’s numerous parks and plazas are usually buzzing with kids’ voices. Bosque de Chapultepec is the obvious destination, as it contains the Papalote Museo del Niño, La Feria and several lakes such as the large Lago de Chapultepec with rowboat rentals. In neighboring Polanco is the world-class aquarium Acuario Inbursa. Also consider Condesa’s Parque México, where kids can rent bikes and where Sunday is family-activity day. Plaza Hidalgo in Coyoacán is another fun-filled spot with balloons, street mimes and cotton candy.

Many theaters, including the Centro Cultural del Bosque, Centro Cultural Helénico and the Foro Shakespeare, stage children’s plays and puppet shows on weekends and during school holidays. Animated movies are a staple at cinemas around town, though keep in mind that children’s films are usually dubbed in Spanish.

In Xochimilco kids will find riding the gondolas through the canals as magical as any theme park. Also in this part of town is the Museo Dolores Olmedo, where peacocks and pre-Hispanic dogs occupy the gardens. Children’s shows are performed in the patio on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm, and the museum offers workshops for children.

In late October look out for the parade and display of giant alebrijes (painted wooden carvings), and the Día de Muertos parade, both along Reforma.

For more on activities for children, see the 'Infantiles' section at the Conaculta (www.mexicoescultura.com) website; or the 'Family' events on the CDMX Travel (www.cdmxtravel.com) site in English.

Most metro stations and trains are too cramped and hot for prams and lack elevators. Baby-change facilities are available at most museums, but only in the larger restaurants. Even without children, walking through crowds in the centro histórico can be a tiring experience, while the leafy, compact centers at the heart of the neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa and Coyoacán allow for a little more freedom of movement without having to constantly hand hold.