10 Things to Do in Playa del Carmen with Kids

Best Family-Friendly Places in Playa del Carmen

    Playa del Carmen attracts families with its pristine beaches and gentle waters, where kids can enjoy hours of swimming and snorkelling while their parents get to relax at a safe distance. Considered to be the laidback sister of Tulum and Cancun, the sandy expanse of Playa del Carmen’s main beach is a hub of recreational activities that appeal to visitors of all ages.

    If you’re looking for things to do beyond the beach, the town has several parks with pleasant walking paths, picnic benches, and playgrounds for the little ones. Adventure parks just outside Playa del Carmen are suitable for older kids as they can enjoy thrilling obstacle courses within lush jungles. Check out our guide of family-friendly places in Playa del Carmen.


    Parque Fundadores

    Watch traditional Mayan performances in the evening

    Parque Fundadores is a recreational park overlooking Playa del Carmen’s main beach. It’s one of the town’s most photographed locations thanks to its 16-metre-tall bronze arch, which has a whimsical design of a man and a women holding hands. There’s a playground built in the shape of a pirate ship, and a stage that hosts live shows all year round. A must-see is the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), which is a Mayan performance featuring acrobatic skills and traditional music.

    Location: Av. Benito Juárez, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

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    photo by Falco Ermert (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Quinta Avenida

    Check out souvenir shops along the beach strip

    Quinta Avenida is a trendy avenue that runs parallel to the main beach of Playa del Carmen. This touristy avenue contains plenty of souvenir stalls, grocery stores, and shops selling beachwear, Cuban cigars and handicrafts. It’s also a good place for checking out street performances, including celebrity impersonators, dancers, and musicians. Come sundown, Playa del Carmen becomes a lively hub of nightclubs and mescal bars with views of the ocean.

    Location: Centro, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

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    photo by Giorgio Galeotti (CC BY 4.0) modified


    Jungle Place

    See endangered spider monkeys at this wildlife sanctuary

    The Jungle Place is a wildlife sanctuary for spider monkeys in Quintana Roo. The centre is only open for guided tours, which cost around $80 per person. All proceeds go towards the rehabilitation of these endangered animals, including medical care, food, and shelter. Most of the spider monkeys are free to roam at Jungle Place, and you can see some of the staff’s day-to-day duties during the hour-long tour. Located in Chemuyil, the Jungle Place is about 47 km south of Playa del Carmen.

    Location: Rumbo Pozos De Agua Est. 13, Chemuyil, 77760 Chemuyil, Q.R., Mexico

    Phone: +52 984 116 9777

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    photo by miguel discart (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    El Acuario de Playa (Aquarium Beach)

    Check out exotic reptiles and marine animals

    El Acuario de Playa (Aquarium Beach) is an aquarium displaying over 200 species of native fish, reptiles, and amphibians from the Mexican Caribbean. It spans 3 levels of exhibits within Plaza Corazon, about 1.5 km northeast of Playa del Carmen Beach. The staff here can provide information on each exhibit in English and Spanish. The ocean enclosure is divided into several tanks that are home to marine creatures like jellyfish, sharks, coral reefs, and stingrays. Another popular feature is the terrarium, which is built to resemble an ancient Mayan site.

    Location: Calle 12 Nte 148, plaza corazón, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +52 984 879 4462

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    Xaman Ha Aviary

    See tropical birds at this walk-through aviary

    The Xaman Ha Aviary houses about 200 tropical birds from 30 different species, most of which are indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula. The bird sanctuary spans almost 130,000 sq m in size, and is decorated with rock pools, waterfalls, and beautiful plants. A stone pathway leads you through the aviary, where you can see colourful toucans, flamingos, and parrots. Admission to Xaman Ha Aviary costs around $22 per adult and is free for children under 12 years old.

    Location: Paseo Xaman-ha, Galaxia del Carmen II, Playacar, 77717 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

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    photo by Kurt Bauschardt (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Xel-Ha Park

    Cycle along the jungle path at this theme park

    Xel-Ha Park is an all-inclusive aquatic theme park that sits around a natural inlet with many marine animals. You get to enjoy a variety of nature activities throughout your visit, including bike rides, ziplining, and encounters with manatees and stingrays. The Children’s World features a wading pool with waterslides and a playground with rope climbing and hanging games. For expansive views of Xel-Ha Bay and the Caribbean Sea, climb to the top of Scenic Lighthouse, which is 40 metres tall.

    Location: Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juárez Km 240, locales 1 & 2, módulo B, 77780 Quintana Roo, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm

    Phone: +52 800 009 3542

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    photo by Kyttzy (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Cenote Chaak Tun

    Swim and snorkel in this natural cenote

    Cenote Chaak Tun is a beautiful swimming location about 7.5 km northwest of Playa del Carmen. This freshwater cenote consists of 2 underground rivers, with hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. There’s a diving platform and plenty of rope swings for you to enjoy as well. Daytrips to Cenote Chaak Tun cost around $60 per adult and $50 per child, which includes transportation, admission fees, helmets, snorkeling equipment, and locker rental.

    Location: Av. Juárez prolongación km 4.7, Ejido, 77723 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

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    photo by Ratha Grimes (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Xplor Theme Park

    Zipline across a Mayan jungle

    Xplor is an adventure park with underground caves and 2 zipline circuits overlooking a lush jungle. Located 9 km south of Playa del Carmen, adventure seekers get to enjoy hours of outdoor activities, including spelunking through a natural cave, driving through the jungle, and swimming in an underground river. There are several restaurants and quiet zones with hammocks for parents looking to relax while their little ones are enjoying Xplor’s attractions.

    Location: Carretera Cancún -Tulum Km 282, Puerto Juarez, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9am to 5pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +52 998 881 9700

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    3D Museum of Wonders

    Take fun snapshots at this interactive museum

    Playa del Carmen’s 3D Museum of Wonders attracts families with its eye-catching paintings of animals and historical buildings that seem lifelike when photographed. The interactive museum has about 50 displays of optical illusions, including a gigantic portrait of a zebra seemingly protruding outside its frame. One of its most beautiful exhibits is the Ancient Rome room, which features colourful angels ‘flying’ across the hall. Admission to the 3D Museum of Wonders costs around $30 for adults and $25 for children (3 to 11 years old).

    Location: Calle 8 Norte, 10 Avenida Nte., Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9am to 10pm

    Phone: +52 1 984 181 7782

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    Parque la Cieba

    Enjoy a variety of events at this family-friendly park

    Parque la Cieba is an eco-friendly park where kids get to play and learn about environmental issues in Playa del Carmen. It features plenty of picnic spots and walking trails, as well as an onsite playground made of recycled goods. Parque la Cieba also hosts a variety of activities all year round, including outdoor movie screenings, yoga, and music concerts. Many locals visit the park for its craft market, which takes place every third Saturday of the month. You can shop for natural products and handmade items by local artists in Playa del Carmen.

    Location: Calle 1 Sur, Ejidal, 77712 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

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    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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