Kids in Paradise – What to Do?
Mexicans love to celebrate and every April 30th is “Día de los Niños” or Day of the Children. XPM wanted to highlight some of the great kid-friendly activities in our area.
Did you know? Puerto Morelos is divided in two sections – the port side, where the beach and the mangrove are, and the colonia side, which is to the west of the federal 307 highway. Each side of town has its own personality and attractions. We’ve included fun options to do with your kids no matter which side of town you’re staying on, so take some time to explore both sides of our beautiful little town with your kiddos while you’re here!
Fun fact: Mexico uses this sign for peos: $. This is not to be confused for the U.S. dollar sign with 2 vertical lines.
Take your children to the beach for a fun day out in the sun. They can play in the sand, build sandcastles, splash around or swim in the water, and even try snorkeling to see the colorful underwater world. Pro tip: Bring sun hats and wear SPF clothing or bathing suits if possible. If not, make sure to use reef-friendly eco-sunscreen (biodegradable) to protect the animals and coral in the water.
Snorkeling at the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park
The Puerto Morelos National Reef Park is an underwater world that children will love exploring. You can take a snorkeling tour to see the colorful marine life, including turtles, stingrays, and various fish species.
If your child is interested in learning how to scuba dive, there are several scuba instructors who will take pre-teens and teenagers on an exploratory dive. Check with each shop for availability and pricing.
Hanging out for the day at a beach club comes with several advantages: access to lounge-chairs, swimming pools, washrooms, showers – and shade – all without having to bring everything with you to the beach! Here are a couple of kid-friendly beach clubs:
Unico is one of the most popular portside. Rental of a set (palapa or umbrella and 2 reclining beach chairs) is 200 pesos for the day. Additional recliners are 70 pesos each. Reservations are honored until 11:00 a.m. and can be made via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Bringing outside food and beverages is not permitted. They offer gourmet food and snacks in front of the sea. The whole family will enjoy the live music on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Bonus: it has a swimming pool that is included with your day pass.
Ojo de Agua
This club also has reclinable loungers with an umbrella. Fee is $250/pp, 200 of which goes toward what your party consumes in food and drink, i.e., you only end up paying $50. Very affordable and the use of their 2 pools is included in the fee.
Some things would make your stay here much easier but are difficult to pack and bring with you from home. Cribs, pack-n-plays, car seats, strollers, high chairs, beach gear for the whole family – you name it! Puerto Baby Rentals, operated by the one-of-a-kind Izzy, rents everything you could need at very affordable rates. And, they deliver!
La Sirena is practically a Puerto Morelos institution. Reflective of the diverse cuisines you can experience in Puerto, it offers delicious Greek food on a patio that overlooks the sea. Kid-friendly items include chicken fingers, French fries, and quesadillas.
Great place for lunch or dinner away from the crowds. They have a children’s menu that includes a combo of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, or a kid-sized burger, with a soda and ice cream for dessert.
One of our faves is El Nicho. They serve delicious breakfast and lunches. And, they have a contained play area with tables and games for the children.
Young and old enjoy eating in this colonia establishment best known for its in-house brisket and pulled pork. Chef Octavio (who used to cater for Barack Obama!) will even cook special orders if you contact them a day in advance. Bonus: Tulipan is a 2-minute walk from Parque la Colonia (see below) to run around and blow off some energy.
This restaurant is another great colonia find. It has a swimming pool with a deep end and a dipping side sectioned off. Locals love this place. So, prepare for it to be busy on the weekend. During the week, you just may have it to yourself. The food is Mexican and fresh with a variety of options from tacos, to quesadillas, and seafood. If you have a little runner in the family, the entire patio is enclosed and safe.
This seafood restaurant’s children’s menu offers chicken nuggets, quesadillas, or even a shrimp cocktail for the adventurous ones! It’s minutes from the beach.
While La Choza bills itself as “Tex-Mex”, they arguably have the best spaghetti bolognese in town. Relax on their patio with the entire family!
Another delicious option for lunch and breakfast with a children’s menu. From pancakes (locally referred to as hotcakes) to ham and cheese sandwiches and chilaquiles (very traditional Mexican breakfast of cut up crispy fried tortillas, simmered in salsa, topped with egg, chicken, or ham and garnished with sour cream and avocado).
Around Town and Day Trips
There are many fun things to do aside from the beach in and around Puerto Morelos. You can be adventurous and take a colectivo (public transit mini-vans that cost 10 pesos locally per person, with pricing going up incrementally the farther you go). Or, you can book a tour with one of the many operators port-side. We are particularly fond of Lighthouse Tours and We Love Puerto Morelos Tours.
Parks and Rec
This is the port side’s main square and is also referred to as Parque Fundadores. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings you will find an open-air artisan market with children playing on the playground and soccer in the town square. Often you will find cultural performances of dancers and musicians if you pop by. It is also next to the iconic Puerto Morelos sign that you will want a picture taken with you in it!
Crococun Interactive Zoo is a unique zoo that offers children the chance to get up close and personal with local wildlife, including an interactive tour. Your kids can pet and feed some of the animals, such as parrots and deer, and learn about the habits and habitat of the reptiles, including crocodiles.
There is also a coffee shop on site where you can have a delicious breakfast or lunch from Mexican traditional chilaquiles or enchiladas to baguette, salad, or a slice of cake (rumor has it, they have the best chocolate cake south of Cancun).
Open every day from 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Cost: 627 pesos per adult, 442 per child 6 – 12, and children under 5 get in for free. Slightly less if you are Mexican.
The park is, you guessed it, in la colonia. It has a playground and a basketball court and really comes to life when the sun sets (because we are so close to the equator, that’s roughly around 6:00 p.m. year-round). You will be able to snack on tacos, churros (delicious long, thin “donut” tubes rolled in sugar and cinnamon), paletas (Mexican popsicles) and marquesitas (Mexican crepe filled with nutella, cheese, and/or fruit). There are also lots of little shops for clothing, toys, shoes, and household items in that area.
The Botanical Garden “Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marín” is an area of 65 hectares for the conservation of local flora and fauna. Your children will see a wide range of plants and flowers, learn about their uses, and even see some Mayan ruins. Pro tips: go early in the morning to beat the heat and see spider monkeys, bring water, and definitely bring bug repellant. You will be in a tropical jungle!
Open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost: 120 pesos for foreigners, 100 for locals, 50 for children and seniors. Guided and free tours through a jungle trail.
Also in la colonia, this is a personal favorite. It has a playground and an adult outdoor gym and is decked out with lush tropical foliage. Even on the hottest of days, you will be in the cool of the shade. Pack a lunch and a picnic blanket and chill out!
Puerto Morelos “House of Culture” offers many low-cost performances and classes from Polynesian dancing, yoga, puppet making, and Spanish for foreigners to Bonsai workshops. Check their website and Facebook pages when you arrive for the most recent offerings.
Right off the main square on port side is this gem of a bookstore that has been around in Puerto for decades. You will find new and used books in both English and Spanish as well as many novelty items to take back with you.
owner will give you a tour of the museum and the beautiful garden. There is a wealth of detail to be learned about Mayan and Mexican history here. The site also serves as a very active after-school arts and crafts club for up to 40 local kids a day. You can buy local arts (made by the children and some adults) in the gift shop.
They are always happy to receive donations of clothing, children’s books in Spanish, basic toys in good shape (preferably no batteries), school and art supplies.Some airlines waive the check-in fee if you tell them you are bringing donations.
Open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: 50 pesos per person.
Melissa Troemel has been living in paradise with her pre-teen daughter for several years.
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