Fabulously Fun Things to do in Cancun with Kids

If you’re used to thinking of Cancun as a playground for adult vacationers, think again. Cancun and neighboring Riviera Maya are also fantastic destinations for families. There are a large number of family-friendly resorts in the area with great amenities and there are a ton of attractions that kids and teens can enjoy if you venture off your resort. Here’s our list of fabulously fun things to do in Cancun with kids.

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An image of the water park at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort in Riviera Maya Mexico - All inclusive family resorts
You’ll have plenty of things to do with your kids if you choose the right resort for your stay in Cancun or Riviera Maya. This is a look at the Sandos Caracol water park.

Choose the Right Family Friendly Resort

There are hundreds of hotels and resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya. If you look at the pictures, one resort looks just as good as the next, but they aren’t. Choosing the right accommodation makes all the difference to your vacation experience. If you choose well, you’ll have plenty of fun things to do with kids right on your Cancun or Rivera Maya resort. A top pick for families visiting Cancun is the Seadust Cancun Family Resort. It has a huge water park, 5 pools, a kids club, a zipline and a climbing wall. It’s just 15 minutes from the Cancun airport on a nice beach. In Riviera Maya, the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is a top pick for families. It has an amazing water park, swimming pools, playgrounds, a petting zoo and a fantastic kids club and it’s on a beautiful beach.

An image of the Seadust Cancun Resort in Cancun, Mexico.
The Seadust Cancun Family Resort has a lot of amenities for children and families and is a good pick in Cancun.

Related: Check out our tips on how to book Great All-inclusive Family Vacations. We’ve also created a list of Fab Five All-inclusive Family Friendly Resorts.

Visit a Mayan Ruin

How about a little education with your family trip? Visiting Mayan ruins is high on the list of things to do with kids in Cancun. If you don’t want to pay for an expensive guided tour, consider a visit to El Meco. These small ruins lie north of Cancun near Costa Mujeres and you can catch a cab to get there. If you’re in Riviera Maya, you can catch a bus or cab to visit the ruins of Tulum. The most popular guided tours will take you to Chichen Itza or Coba. Chichen Itza has the most recognizable and beautiful Mayan pyramid in the region. Coba is home to the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula and one of the only ones you can still climb. We enjoyed riding bicycles through the Coba ruins with our children. We also enjoyed climbing to the top of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid.

An image of a group of people on bicycles in the Coba ruins of Mexico.
Biking through the Coba ruins is a fun day trip with kids. Our kids had so much fun, they didn’t even realize they were also getting educated.
An image of the El Meco ruins near Costa Mujeres. and Cancun, Mexico
If you want to visit Mayan ruins sans crowds, check out El Meco near Cancun’s hotel zone. Just hop a cab and you’ll have the ruins almost to yourselves.
An image of a Mayan pyramid at Chichen Itaza, Mexico.
Chchen Itza is home to the best preserved and most recognizable Mayan ruin in this region. Photo by Debbie Olsen.
An image of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid at Coba near Cancun, Mexico.
It’s a steep climb to the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid in Coba. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Theme Parks are Great Things to do with Kids in Cancun

What kid doesn’t like a theme park? Okay, maybe some kids don’t like theme park rides, but there are a lot of different kinds of adventure parks in the Cancun and Maya Riviera. There are opportunities to see animals up close, have cultural experiences, float down rivers, zipline, snorkel, ride ATVs, swim with dolphins and more. These parks appeal to adults as well as kids. Some of the most popular theme parks start with the letter “X.” Three top picks are Xcaret, Xel-ha or Xplor. There are plenty of parks that would top our list of top things to do with kids in Cancun. Check out the websites before you go to make sure the activities are appropriate for the ages of the children. It’s also a good idea to check out reviews for the parks as well.

An image of a manatee at Xcaret Park in Mexico.
There’s a lot more to theme parks than just wild rides. I met this manatee on a river float at Xcaret Park. Photo by Debbie Olsen.
An image of the Xcaret Park evening dance show near Cancun, Mexico.
The Xcaret park also has an incredible evening show that features traditional Mexican dancing. Photo by Debbie Olsen.

How to Choose the Best Tours for Families

Almost every hotel in Cancun and Riviera Maya has a tour desk. The hotels and resorts make commissions when you book a tour, so they’re eager to help. There are a lot of great tours for families that take you to theme parks, archaeological sites, natural areas and more. Read the descriptions carefully and check out websites and reviews. Those simple steps will help you choose the best things to do with your particular kids ages and interests. If you have a larger family, you might also look at booking a private tour. When we were traveling in this region with two of our teenagers, a private tour actually saved us money. Always verify the reviews of any private tour operator. Be careful about booking a tour from a random person on the beach – especially if they ask for cash upfront.

An image of the Xplor Park near Cancun, Mexico.
Xplor park has activities that appeal to adults as well as teenagers. Some activities are not appropriate for younger children.

Related: Check out our post about 5 Do-it-yourself tours in Riviera Maya and our post about a Do-it-yourself Isla Mujeras Tour.

Read up – Things to do with Kids in Cancun and Riviera Maya

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