Looking for things to do in Playa del Carmen with kids?

I have been living in Playa del Carmen for 3 years now and since having our daughter who is almost two, we are always looking for things to do as a family.

Whether you are visiting or living in Playa del Carmen with kids, here is a list of things that I personally enjoy doing with my family. All of the activities I have based on being easily accessible by taxi or colectivo, suitable for all ages and being fairly inexpensive.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen with kids

Parque los Fudadores (Founders Park) located at the top of Avenida Juarez and Quinta Avenida

Here you will see the iconic 16 ft Portal Maya sculpture and the large colorful letters spelling out Playa del Carmen, great for family photos. The park has a pirate ship playground surrounded by sand and benches located around the park. The park is situated right in front of the beach, which is open to the public. There are vendors that sell various snacks and fruit along the cobblestone pedestrian street leading up to the 5th ave. Throughout the day they usually have the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the flyers) which is an ancient ritual where one man plays the flute on the top of a pole, while 4 men attached with rope by the waist, fly gracefully around the pole, making their way to the ground. There is no fee to watch this show, however, they do welcome donations. In the evenings, the park usually has some kind of entertainment, which can include a performance of dancers and drummers in traditional Mayan dress.

Cenote azul (sink holes) Located about 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has many cenotes (sinkholes) throughout the city. I like taking my daughter to the cenote Azul because it does have a lot of shallow areas and is open. There are deeper areas for you to jump off rocks into the water. The water is natural and has little fish that swim around you. With the natural state of the cenote and the species that live in and around it, You do want to be mindful and wear biodegradable sunscreen. The cost to enter is around 80-120 pesos per person. They have life jackets, a little store to buy snacks and food for the fish. There are washrooms and changing areas attached. Things to bring would be your towel, lunch or snacks, non-alcoholic drinks in plastic containers and water shoes are for walking on the rocks. They don’t have lockers to store your belongings, most people just find an area and keep their things together. I would recommend not bringing anything valuable, however, theft has not really been an issue here, as it is mostly families who come to enjoy an afternoon of swimming.

El Acuario (The aquarium) Located in the Plaza Corazon on Quinta Avenida

The aquarium is not very big, but it does have 3 floors with an elevator. Here you will see reptiles, lots of colorful fish, stingrays and coral. The main attraction is the shark area where you walk through the glass tunnel while the sharks swim overhead. The staff is friendly and are available if you have any questions.

3D Museum of Wonders Located on 10 Avenida

This interactive museum is quite unique and is a great activity for the whole family. They have guides who will help you get into the perfect position, making your photos appear like you are a part of the paintings. You are allowed to take your own photos, so don’t forget your camera. You will also want to bring a pair of socks, as you do need to remove your footwear. The building is air-conditioned making this activity perfect for rainy days or just if you are looking for a cool expereince.

Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue)

Quinta Avenida is a cobblestone pedestrian only street lined with endless stores, restaurants, and of course ice cream shops. With its vibrant colors, local artwork and street performers, this is the most trendy and popular street for tourist and locals. With its 20 plus blocks of shopping, it is a great place to buy souvenirs, designer items, handmade merchandise and if you are interested, to test out the tequila.

souvenir shop on Quinta Avenida
Souvenir shop on Quinta Avenida

Palacio Municipal (City Hall) Located on 20 Avenedia

Situated in the middle of Playa del Carmen, this area is a great place to come to enjoy your lunch or to just get off the more tourist populated streets. In the evenings, you will see many locals gather with their families sitting around, walking through or buying local treats from vendors on bike carts. The area usually has something going on in the evenings depending on the season, but lately, it has been a market with vendors selling many specialty items from the Oaxaca region.

Tulum Ruins (Mayan Ruins of Tulum) Located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen

The Ruins of Tulum are a great way to spend an afternoon exploring and learning some history. Once you get through admissions, you are free to walk around, check out the ruins and if you look closely you may find large iguanas hiding in the rocks. There is an isolated beach at the bottom of the large wooden stairs, and the large rock wall looking out to the ocean is perfect for taking photos. When you arrive, the walk to the admissions office is about 10-15 minutes from the parking lot, but for about $20 pesos, you can hop on the small tram that will take you there. Admission is $65pesos and I recommend bringing lots of water, comfortable shoes and your bathing suit.

Mayan Ruins of Tulum
Stairs leading to the beach at the Tulum ruins

Parque la Cieba Entrance Located on Calle 1

This a public park is kind of a hidden gem in the city and is eco-conscious, with lessons and tips on ways to protect our environment from the friendly staff. In the Park, there is a playground for the kids, a cafe restaurant, on-site washrooms, yoga and lots of benches to sit and read the books displayed near the cafe. Be sure to check out the bulletin when you first walk in, as they do post weekly events happening in the park.

Plazas (Shopping malls) Located in the central area (Central Maya) and Av. Chemuyil (Plaza las Americas)

There are 2 main shopping plazas in Playa del Carmen. In the central area there is the Central Maya and about 10 minute drive from downtown is the Plaza Las americas. The Plaza las Americas is the largest of the two, but both are just one level.
Going to the plaza is great if you are looking for entertainment or shopping, away from the more tourist populated streets or on a rainy day.
Both plazas have large theatres Cinemex in the central Maya and Cinepolis in the Plaza las Americas. They are both air conditioned, well maintained and offer movies in English (with Spanish subtitles). They have a games area as well as small coin operated rides for the little ones, and a large concession area. A trip to the movies is fairly inexpensive and they also have half priced admission on special days. Both plazas they have a large grocery store as well as stores to buy clothing, shoes, home items, electronics and athletic wear.

Public Market Playa del Carmen Located about a 10 minute drive from the central area on Av. Ctml in the real Ibiza neighbourhood

This outdoor market is brand new to the area and is not quite full yet, but it has a variety of food vendors, a coffee shop, ice cream, and a small outdoor water park area for the kids. The grounds are very nice and well kept with very friendly people working in in the shops. It is nice to come in the afternoons to walk around, and in the evenings they have all the palm trees wrapped in strings of white lights, making it a nice place to enjoy a great addition to Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen sign at the Public Market
Playa del Carmen sign at the Public Market