While many associate Cancun with drunk college students and spring break, it’s actually a perfect family holiday destination. With its white-sand beaches, bright blue waters, and near-perfect weather, there are many things to do in Cancun for the kids.
Cancun is on the Caribbean Sea and is in southeast Mexico. The Cancun you know today didn’t exist until the 1970s when the Mexican government decided to turn an island sandpit into Mexico’s next big resort destination. Over the decades, it has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and its economic capital.
Certain tourist areas accept US dollars, Euros, and the Pound, however, you will need to convert your foreign currency into Mexican Pesos as most places will need to be paid in pesos.
While the city is hot all year round, it is comparatively cooler between December and April. Unfortunately, this is also peak tourist season. Ideally, you would want to visit in late November or early May.
Mexico is allowing travelers to visit however you have to fly into the cities rather than drive across the border if you are coming from the States. Hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and many are operating at only 50-60% capacity.
You can find the latest updates on traveling to Mexico here.
Top Things to do in Cancun
From beaches to water parks, or snorkeling at the underwater sculpture museum to swimming with whale sharks, there are many water-related fun things to do in Cancun. If you prefer more land-based activities, you can go birdwatching, hiking, or head to the coolest interactive zoo on this side of the Pacific.
This park is where the whole family can spend an entire day. WIth different areas or ‘worlds’ including Grand Prix, Fun World, Dolphinaris, Underworld, Aaah!Ventura, and Wet n’ Wild there are plenty of things to do for each member. There are specific play areas for smaller children and the park offers various packages which may include food and drinks.
Go behind the wheel at Grand Prix a beautiful seaside go-kart track, or date to go down Wet n’ Wild’s Kamikaze water slide. If you prefer adventure, head over to Aaah!Ventura and try out their ziplines and bungee swings or take the small ones to Fun World’s child-friendly activities. Play it safe and glimpse into the future with Underworld’s state of the art virtual reality activities.
The park is open from 10 am to 5.30 pm.
Dolphin Discovery is located on the south side of the island of Isla Mujeres which is a 30-minute ferry ride from Cancun. Surrounded by bright green trees, white sand, and deep blue water, this is one the best places to have a dolphin experience. Even better than the Dubai Dolphinarium in the UAE.
Here you not only get to swim with the dolphins but also have the opportunity to kiss, hug, and belly ride these wonderful, and intelligent marine creatures.
In addition to this you can also with sharks, sea lions, stingrays, and manatees in their natural habitat.
Jolly Roger Pirate Show
A 3 and half hour family-friendly pirate ship tour is a must for all families. The tour includes dinner and all you can drink. The pirate show departs from Playa Linda Pier and is available all year round. While the price for an adult may feel steep USD 100, it does allow 1 child per adult between the ages of 3 and 11 to enter free.
Try and book online to avail of the discount.
Printable Kid's Travel Journal
It’s time for your next family adventure―and kids will remember every second of fun-filled adventure. You went WHERE? is packed with journaling prompts and activities so that no memory goes unwritten. Young adventurers can write down everything they see, taste, hear, and more with prompts to guide observations.
Keep this travel journal at the ready to let kids create their very own souvenir for multiple family adventures
When you’re back home and bags are unpacked, your little adventurer can always open You Went Where? and relive every minute of every adventure.
Explore The Ruins
This is more for older children as the Mayan ruins are a long drive from the hotels. Learn about the ancient Mayan civilization with guided tours of Chichen Itza or explore the ruins at Tulum, which majestically overlooks the sea. It is best to go early and walk the ruins so you can spend time relaxing at the beach
Both are around 120-150 mins drive from Cancun.
This is the most famous viewpoint in Cancun and a popular Instagram destination. With the imposing Caribbean Sea behind you, it will be one of the best memories you will take back home with you.
Croco Cun Zoo
Located just 19 miles from downtown Cancun, is Crococun, an interactive conservation zoo that protects and promotes crocodiles. The tour lasts only an hour but is a great way to learn about local flora and fauna, spider monkeys, and crocodiles.
It is a memorable experience for families and the best bit is children from ages 0-5 are free!
Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA)
The Underwater Museum of Art or MUSA has more than 500 sculptures installed on the seabed and distributed over three galleries. The two galleries in Cancun – Punta Nizuc and Punta Sam are at a depth of 4 meters while the Manchones Gallery, in Isla Mujeres, is at 8 meters.
Shoppers will love Mercado 28. Located in the city center and the icon of Cancun, you will find various Mexican souvenirs and handicraft work. Once you are done shopping, take a break and head over to Palapas Park which is a few blocks away from Mercado 28.
Here you can enjoy traditional Mexican food at the local restaurants, watch musical groups or public and cultural shows. You can even buy snow to relieve yourself from the heat!
Money and Costs
Are things expensive in Cancun? How much does a trip to Cancun cost? The average Cancun trip cost is broken down by category here:
You have a variety of food to choose from and a price range. You can get Tacos or an economical meal for M$200 – 250 while lunch or dinner in a local restaurant could cost you M$100 – 200 per person. A meal at an uptown restaurant would set you back M$700–1500
A budget hotel will cost M$600-800 per night, a double room in a mid-range hotel will cost M$800–1600, and a suite in a high-end hotel is M$1600–5000.
A cheap way to get around Cancun is by the local buses. A journey will cost up to a maximum of M$50. If you plan on taking taxis for short trips, set aside M$25-50 for the fare. If you plan on taking a day trip out of Cancun, I suggest you rent a car. Prices range from M$500-700 per day.
Cancun is the Ultimate Family Vacation Destination
Considered the heart of the Mexican Caribbean with its beautiful beaches, amazing weather, and clear waters, Cancun has much more to offer than what I have mentioned. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Whether you come to enjoy the beach, the culture or the luxury hotels, there are plenty of reasons to visit Cancun.
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