Even being in an exotic location like Cancun might not be enough to keep the kids happy.

While you may enjoy the natural beauty and archaeological wonders of this stunning Mexican city, the kids are guaranteed to want to do something more exciting than clamber over crumbling Mayan ruins.

But don’t worry, because Cancun has it all under control.

There are some amazing ways in Cancun where you can combine vacation time with learning without the kids even noticing.

You’ll be able to immerse them, literally, in aspects of the ancient Mayan civilization and some of the fantastic wonders of the natural world.

And they’ll have tons of fun while they’re doing it.

Here are top 13 things to do in Cancun with your kids:

1. Xel-Ha Park

Named after a pre-Columbian Mayan archaeological site, Xel-Ha Park is a place where the kids can be as wild as they like.

They can run or cycle along forest trails revealing their inner explorer then zipline through the jungle canopies before making a big splash in one of the natural pools.

At Xel-Ha Park they’ll have a great adventure as they discover firsthand the amazing Mexican flora, swim with colorful tropical fish, and explore underground caverns.

It’s not a question if they’ll love it, but rather if you’ll manage to keep up with them!

Xel-Ha Park was the first tourist park to ever receive an Earth Check Gold certification.

They train their staff on the importance of environmental care and preservation, habitat conservation, and helped with reforestation efforts.

Highlights for Kids

  • The kids will feel like true explorers as they discover Xel-Ha’s magical Mayan cave. The natural beauty will leave them stunned, the experience forever engraved in their memories.
  • Their competitive spirits will shine as they go through the Trepachanga course. Their balance, skills, and courage will all be tested, and you can bet that they’ll be trying to see who can complete the course faster.
  • The little ones can spend all that extra energy in the Children’s World section, where there are plenty of waterslides, rope climbs, hanging games, and much more to keep them entertained.

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2. Ventura Park Adventure

Let’s be honest.

While grownups might enjoy spending warm days bathing in the sun and soaking in all that Vitamin D, there’s nothing kids hate more than staying still for hours.

So why not head to Ventura Park Adventure?

This is a family amusement park that everyone – adults, teenagers, kids, and even the little ones – can enjoy.

With six different zones, Ventura Park Adventure offers zip lines, go-karts, kid-friendly attractions, water slides, bungee-swing, arcades, and more!

Arrive early and leave at closing, and you’re sure to feel that blissful tiredness that comes after a day full of fun.

Highlights for Kids

  • The kids will love spending those warm Mexican days on the wave pool, the lazy river, or going down waterslides and inner tube floats. Is there any better way to enjoy the sun?
  • If your kids love adventure and love testing their courage, then they’ll love the bungee-swings, the zip lines, and the high-hanging aerial bridges. It will certainly be the highlight of the little adrenaline junkies’ trip.
  • They’ll love experiencing attractions like the laser labyrinth or the laser tanks. You’ll hear them going on about it for months to come.
  • Bonding time will come with some high speeds when you compete against them in the go-kart track. If you really want to get them motivated, then work in a little family bet. Maybe the winner can choose where you’ll go out to eat later that night?

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3. Xcaret Park

If you want to take the kids somewhere really unforgettable then look no further than Xcaret Eco-Archaeological Park.

This is a way for the kids to learn about the environment and connect with nature all while having a blast!

Owned by the same group that operates the Xel-Ha Park, Xcaret Park is also named after a Mayan archaeological site.

Some of its attractions include snorkeling, butterfly pavilion, bird aviary, replicates of Mayan villages, and even performances! 

Highlights for Kids

  • They’ll be enchanted by Mexico’s natural fauna and flora as their raft sails down the river.
  • Children from 12 and under will love the playground area of the Children’s World. The mix of natural environment with fun attractions will have them entertained for hours.
  • Your kids will love getting to see all the wild life in person. It will certainly beat any Youtube videos they might have come across in the past.
  • Their jaws will drop as they watch the UNESCO Cultural Heritage ceremony performed by the Voladores de Papantla. 

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4. Tulum Snorkeling Tour

On the Tulum Snorkeling Tour, you will sail across the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea in a motorboat.

The warm sun, the beautiful ocean, and the coastal breeze sweeping through your hair would make this an amazing experience by itself, but this is only the beginning.

Once anchored, you’ll snorkel over the submerged coral reefs which are home to many Mexican maritime treasures.

You’ll see turtles, rays, and plenty of school fish.

This is a fantastic way to show the kids a real underwater world outside of an aquarium while also enjoying some great family time.

Highlights for Kids

  • They’ll be awed once they see all the sea creatures and coral reefs up close and personal.
  • Swimming in a pool won’t compare to swimming in the Caribbean Sea, with the salty waters and the waves. They’ll feel like they are the star of a Disney movie.
  • They’ll love sitting in a motorboat, seeing the whole ocean stretched before them. Anticipation will build, and you can bet that the excitement won’t have died on the car ride back to the hotel.

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5. Cancun Parasailing Adventure

They’ve already seen it from the ground, so why not give the young ones a bird’s eye view of Cancun?

Soar above the waves while safely strapped under the canopy of a parachute on the Cancun Parasailing Adventure.

Get that much-needed adrenaline fix as you’re towed over the Caribbean Sea by a motorboat with this super thrill!

Fly tandem so both you and your kids can share this amazing experience together.

Highlights for Kids

  • They’ll feel like they are flying as they are taken high up in the sky, with nothing between their feet and the sea far below them.
  • The breath-catching view of the ocean and the beach will leave them stunned speechless.

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6. Jolly Roger Pirate Show

Ship ahoy and shiver me timbers!

Are you ready to get geared up for a day of nautical action aboard the Jolly Roger?

The galleon itself is an exact replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria.

This is the kind of show that is both entertaining and educational.

See how easy it is to slip in a history lesson while the kids are climbing the rigging.

The Jolly Roger Pirate Show provides for a great night out for the kids.

Adults, you better behave, or the young ones will have you walking the plank!

Highlights for Kids

  • The kids will have a blast going aboard the pirate ship and sailing through the sea for a most unique dining experience.
  • They’ll love the delicious food served aboard this replica of the Santa Maria.
  • They’ll be dazzled by the costumes, the elaborate sword fights, and the jaw dropping acrobatics.
  • The warm up games, the comedy show, and the dancing will get them to burn all that extra energy that they couldn’t get rid of during the day time.

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7. Captain Hook Dinner Cruise

We can never get enough of pirates, can we?

Well, this time you can participate in a real-life pirate attack at the Captain Hook Dinner Cruise!

Watch as enemy boats aim to take possession of this authentic Spanish Galleon replica.

Be thrilled as the pirates enter into a swashbuckling battle to save their ship.

Enjoy the twist in the fairy tale as Captain Hook clashes swords with Captain Sparrow!

All while you indulge in the on-board dinner of New York steak or a juicy Cancun lobster.

Vegetarian options are also available.

What could be more fun this?

Highlights for Kids

  • There are few things more exciting than watching a sword fight firsthand. They won’t be able to look away as the blades clash in elaborate choreographic performances.
  • The atmosphere of the ship is filled with enthusiasm. The excitement shared by all the audience members is so contagious that you’ll struggle to find a livelier environment.
  • Captain Hook Dinner Cruise serves amazing delicious food that you and the kids are sure to love.

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8. Cirque du Soleil

If pirate performances are not really for you, but you still want to take your kids to an exciting dinner and show, then fear not!

At the Cirque du Soleil – JOYÀ, you and your family can watch artists perform a lavish extravaganza while eating elegant dishes.

A resident show in Mexico, JOYÀ’s acts are based on the story of an alchemist and his young granddaughter working together to find the meaning of life.

This beautiful and enchanting story enacted with stunning acrobatics will captivate both you and the kids.

Highlights for Kids

  • They’ll find it hard to catch their breaths as they watch the trapeze artists jump in the air with inhumane grace and precision.
  • They won’t be able to look away as one of their artists shows off their amazing contortionist skills.
  • The precision and accuracy of the artists’ team work will leave them speechless.
  • The whimsically crafted costumes will awe and amaze them.

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9. Rio Secreto Underground River Tour

If you want to give your kids a truly magical experience, then look no further than the Rio Secreto Underground River Tour with the Crystal Caves.

Introduce them to the wonders of a subterranean world.

You’ll venture into a place where water flows below ground through cathedral-sized caves decked with glittering stalagmites.

Led by a qualified guide, you’ll have a chance to swim in the pools and listen to the echo of your voice as it reverberates off the walls.

There are very few things in this world that compare to the beauty of nature.

And the Rio Secreto Underground River tour will remind you that our world is indeed magical.

Highlights for Kids

  • They’ll marvel at the natural beauty of Mexico as they are faced with caves that look as if they belong to fairy tales.
  • They’ll love bonding as a family as you swim together through the caves.
  • As they follow the guide they’ll be inspired to learn more about the environment and all its different secrets. This is a great way to teach and inspire some environmental responsibility in them.

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10. Chichen Itza by Night

We know visiting ruins might not be the most exciting thing for a kid.

But you can’t go to Cancun and not visit the world-famous Chichen Itza, can you?

Seeing such a majestic archaeological site is the perfect way to give the children some insight into the history of one of the world’s most fascinating ancient civilizations.

While they may like the macabre wall of skulls and the towering statues of the Temple of Warriors during a daytime visit, they’ll love the entire experience even more by night.

This is when the Kukulcan pyramid comes to life, recreating Mayan mythology with illuminations in a dazzling show of light and sound.

A spectacular display that combines history and wonder, this visit might just be what inspires your kid to become a real-life Indiana Jones.

Highlights for Kids

  • Their minds will be blown once they see with their own eyes what the ancient Mayans were capable of creating.
  • They’ll be impressed by all the work put into studying and preserving these great ruins. It will give them new respect towards history and archaeologists.
  • Visiting the site at night will fill them with excitement, and the light show will dazzle them for sure.

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11. Interactive Aquarium Cancun

After spending so much time at the beach, why not introduce the kids to the animals who call the ocean their home?

Dedicated to teaching their visitors the importance of marine conservation, the Interactive Aquarium Cancun gives your children a chance to do more than just watch beautiful sea creatures.

From fishes to sea mammals, reptiles and rays, there will be tons for your kids to do and see!

They’ll be able to touch starfish in the Touch Tanks, swim with the fish at the Aquarium Trek, and see all types of fauna while learning what they can do to keep these amazing animals around for a long, long time.

Highlights for Kids

  • The kids will love seeing all the different types of fish. From angel fish to blowfish, they’ll be exposed to numerous different species as they explore the Interactive Aquarium in Cancun.
  • The only thing better than an aquarium is an interactive aquarium. The kids will love being able to touch the star fish at the Touch Tanks, or even walk among the fish during the amazing Aquarium Trek.
  • They’ll feel a satisfying sense of empowerment and responsibility as they learn about ways in which they can help researchers do more to save all the different animals they meet.

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If you want to give your kids a vacation that they’ll brag about and remember fondly for years to come, then there are few places better to go than Cancun.

Known worldwide for its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and its proximity to famous Mayan ruins, this Mexican city attracts countless visitors every year.

This is no surprise, as Cancun is one of those places that has something to offer for everyone.

From the spectacular shows to the wonderful beaches, amazing ecological parks, natural adventures, and much more!

So what are you waiting for?

There’s no reason why you and your kids shouldn’t enjoy an exotic holiday while getting to know the marvels of Mexico.

Also read:

Find More Tours in Cancun for Kids

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!