As our second year is over in Playa Del Carmen and I wanted to make a list of some great things to do with the kids while in the area. We spend 3-4 months a year there and absolutely love it. Like most places, the locals have the ins on the best spots. We dine out a lot and with 2 very active boys I need to keep everyone busy. Here is my list! (Not in any particular order):
A small cenote at the end of playa, great for wading with the kids. Its shallow water is filled with fish and view of the ocean is amazing. There is also a playground onsite and street meat. NO BATHROOMS but lots of trees! This is our favorite beach in Playa with the kids. Side note: Weekends are VERY BUSY so try and make this a M-F thing
A super cool beach front restaurant with the best view! The tables sit on the sand so the kids can play and the music is loud enough that they can make lots of noise. The food is ACTUALLY great as a bonus feature of this must see place
Breakfast spot, Delicious, super cheap breakfast spot IN THE SAND! Watch the waves as you eat amazing food with beautiful atmosphere
Breakfast spot, Amazing garden and pools of turtles & fish for the kids to explore while eating; AMAZING food and baked goods
Great space to spend an hour or 2 maximum. There are 3 floors filled with fish, sharks and jelly fish. Not hands on interactive but fun to see
A play space with snacks and wonderful attendants. They will watch your children if you want to drop off (Also double check hours as the door says 9 AM M-Fri but its noon weekdays and 9 AM weekends)
This play space is in Costa Maya Mall. You can drop off or hang out. Super clean and fun. They sell light snacks and the mall is good for riding the train, Seeing a movie, grocery shopping or toy store & they have wifi
Walmart (Centro; walkable), Chederaui (Centro but need taxi & Centro Maya), DAC Centro; walkable),
AMAZING PLAYGROUND! This park has everything from an amazing outdoor playground area made of tires an old boat to a kitchen with great food and classes available for kids. There are tons of activities available. They offer cinema night and yoga as well. Wear bug spray and be ready for a few hours of exploring
This is where my children go daily. Its a nursery school/daycare/preschool/drop off baby sitter. They offer classes as well in music, dance and art. Its an awesome newer space with great teachers, new toys and activities. They are extremely organized! They also have an outdoor farm area, playground & pool when its warm. We LOVE Miss Erica! (Bonus feature: There is a great playground across the street)
(For my Jewish Peeps) Chaya & Mendel Goldberg run the Chabad house on 10th Avenida and Calle 8. They are warm, welcoming and so accommodating. If you need to go there for shabbat or have food delivered they are there! (Challah, wine, candles… The whole mushbucha) There are a few kosher restaurants here as well that will deliver shabbat meals. They have activities for holidays and really welcome you into their “House”
There is a ship playground here that my boys love. They sell local snacks and every evening at sunset there is a Mayan show. Dancers dress in traditional Mayan warrior clothing and dance, chant & drum. FREE!!! After the show for a few pesos you can take pics with the warriors as well… Just keep a close eye on the kids while playing, There were a lot of random people just “Hanging out”
Though the service can be slow the atmosphere is SO CUTE! Dream catchers hang from the ceiling in this hippy chic cafe. The coffee is AMAZING and food great
Xaman Ha Aviary
My kids loved getting up close with the birds. Flamingos were their favorite! Worth the trip into Playacar (Or as I say… PLAYA FAR)
This restaurant has OK food, But it has a bounce house and to me thats everything if I am alone with the boys and want to just CHILL. Wifi, bounce house, booze and food. Thats what you get here. Basics!
If your kids are older or you love or want to try paddle Sanders & Ilsa are amazing!
If looking for a day trip or to see a deeper cenote consider this one with the kids. There are shallow parts and plenty of fish to see. Its own route to Tulum so maybe a day trip? (Check out some of our Tulum posts for things to do in Tulum)
Don’t be afraid to explore, Rent a car. Head to the Mayan Ruins (Coba, Tulum, Chichen Itza). Check out Puerto Morales, Tulum, Akumal
DO EAT THE STREET FOOD
Marquesitas, Chicharones, Churros… ENJOY!
There are many adventure parks that offer zip lines, snorkeling and so much more. There is so much to explore in this part of Mexico. Road trips through the Yucatan, adventure, nature, dining, You can definitely be kept busy for a while. In recent times there has been a lot of bad press about Playa Del Carmen in specific but as I always say you should keep your eyes & ears open anywhere you go.
Don’t let fear stop you from experiencing this amazing place. I love Playa for so many reasons but it is truly what you make it. It has something for everyone, If your a nature traveler, adventurer, resort lounger, all inclusive lover, fine dining fan, cheap eats lover, shopper you will find SO MUCH of it all. OH! and the weather is really close to perfect from October – May. So when friends ask me for things to do in Playa. I will send them this list! Also check out our VLOG for cool day trips from Playa or updates that may have been missed here, Always feel free to reach out and our instagram has live footage daily.
Enjoy your stay and don’t get hurt REMEMBER TO USE SUNBLOCK… Sunburns can be painful!