Mexico City: A Long Weekend Itinerary for Visiting With Kids

This three-day itinerary will keep kids and adults entertained while helping your family see the best that Mexico City has to offer.

If you’re thinking of heading to Mexico City for a city break with your kids, try and follow this itinerary to make sure you have a fun-packed trip.

Where to Stay

Mexico City has no shortage of great neighbourhoods to stay in, but if you’re visiting with kids, Polanco is your best bet. It’s highly walkable, Chapultepec Park is nearby, it includes Parque Lincoln (one of the best playgrounds for kids in the city), it offers some of the best dining in Mexico, and (for the adults in the group) world-class shopping.

Getting Around

Mexico City has a large and very affordable metro system. Unlike many Latin American cities, it also has a thriving bus network. Uber operates in the city, and regular taxis are easily accessible. Make sure you also consider the tour buses; there are several hop-on/hop-off routes that visit most of the major attractions.

Day 1

Aim to arrive on Thursday afternoon/evening. Assuming you won’t depart until Monday afternoon, that gives you three full days in the city.

Breakfast: Maison Kayser

For breakfast on your first day, head to Maison Kayser in Polancito. It’s a European-style cafe that offers freshly-baked croissants, healthy fruit bowls, shakes, and some typical Mexican food.

Morning: Chapultepec Zoo

You’ll probably be tired after yesterday’s travel, so Day 1 is a good day to stay local. We always try and tire out the kids with a good morning romp, so we recommend starting in the nearby Parque Lincoln. It’s an incredible park and has apparatus available for kids of all ages.

After playing, take a short stroll down the famous Paseo de la Reforma to Chapultepec Park. It is the second-largest city park in Latin America and offers lots of attractions for kids, including a “House of Mirrors,” boating lakes, a mini train, a funfair, and several climbing frames.

The main attraction, however, is the zoo.

Lunch: Bistro Chapultepec at Lago Mayor

Chapultepec Park is split into multiple sections. There is the main area that houses most of the well-known attractions. However, across the (extremely busy) Autopista Urbana, you will find another large area, including the impressive Lago Mayor.

Nestled on the north end of the large lake is Bistro Chapultepec. Branded as a Europe-meets-Mexico bistro, it offers outdoor seating, stunning views across the water, and excellent food. For the adults, the steak is worth having, and the octopus starter is also highly recommended. Pizzas and other kid-friendly options are also available. It’s the best restaurant in the entirety of Chapultepec Park.

Afternoon: Los Pinos Presidential Estate

On the western side of Sector 1 is one of Mexico City’s must-see cultural venues—Los Pinos. The grand estate was the home of every Mexican president in history until the current incumbent, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, came to power in 2018 and turned it into a visitor attraction.

You can explore the main residence, several adjacent buildings, and wander around the immaculately-kept gardens. There’s plenty of information to educate you as you walk, and artwork for some of Mexico’s best creative minds adorns the walls.

If you’re feeling peckish at the end of the day, you can stop in the outdoor food court back in the main section of the park. Several stalls are on-site, each of which serves a different type of Mexican fast food. Directly behind the food area, you’ll also find a climbing frame.

Dinner: Butcher and Sons

Burgers are always a winner among children, so make sure you get a good meal after your day of fun by heading to Butcher and Sons in Polancito. They offer a gourmet selection of food as well as a selection of homemade sauces.

Day 2

If your second day falls on a Saturday, this is the best day to head to the centre.

Breakfast: Garabatos

One of the most popular spots in Polanco for a typical Mexican breakfast is Garabatos. Make sure you also try some of their fantastic bakery products.

Morning: Mexico City Cathedral

With 25 million residents, Mexico City is one of the large metropolises in the world. So, while individual neighbourhoods are walkable, lots of the attractions are spread many miles apart.

The best way to see it all is to buy a ticket for the hop-on/hop-off tour bus. The main hub is a short walk south of Polanco, at the Auditorio Nacional on Paseo de la Reforma. Jump on the main central route and ride up to the historic centre of the capital. Get off when you arrive at the Zocalo, the vast town square that sits in the centre of the district and is surrounded by many buildings of national importance.

You should have time to visit the cathedral before lunch. It is the largest cathedral in Latin America and dates from the 1500s.

Lunch: Street Food

This is a busy day, so rather than sitting down for an hour in a restaurant, you should consider grabbing some food from one of the many delicious street carts that you will find in and around the Zocalo. It’s exceptionally well-priced and will give you the real taste of the city.

Afternoon: Templo Mayor and Torre Latinoamericana

The cathedral was built on top of the most important temple in Tenochtitlan (the Aztec precursor to Mexico City). Although its existence had been known for a long time, excavation didn’t start in earnest until the late 1900s.

Today, it offers a museum and tours of the excavated areas.
Once you’ve finished, head down Avenida Fransico Madera (a popular shopping street on the west side of the zocalo) and grab a lift to the top of the Torre Latinoamericana skyscraper for stunning views across the city and surrounding region.

Dinner: Rocco and Simona

Rocco and Simona is a superb gourmet Italian restaurant in Polanco. Because it’s Italian, you can be sure the kids are going to find something on the menu that they’ll love (hint: pizza!). Adults can enjoy awesome risotto, gazpacho, and a vast selection of fine wines.

Day 3

The final day is a good chance to head to the south of the city.

Breakfast: Eat in Your Accommodation

Today is probably a good day to grab a bite in your Airbnb or hotel before you head out. It’s going to be a long day in the south of the city, so there is no need to drag yourself out of the door too early.

Morning: Papalote and/or Estadio Azteca

Depending on the age and interests of your kids, you have a couple of great options to fill the morning.

Either head to Papalote kids museum for a hands-on educational experience or take a trip to the internationally-renowned Azteca Stadium, home of Mexico’s national football team and the most popular side in the country, Club America.

Afternoon: Coyoacan

For a more relaxing afternoon, grab a taxi for the short ride to Coyoacan. The small town was used by Hernan Cortes as a base during his conquest of the Aztecs in the 1500s and was the first official capital of New Spain. Today, it is surrounded by urban sprawl, yet it retains its cobbled streets and bohemian vibe.

Make sure you head to the stunning Parish San Juan Bautista on the main square. It is one of the most beautiful churches in the city.

Dinner: Pujol

This is your last night in the city, so it’s time for a blowout. Why not head to the world-famous Pujol restaurant? It’s regularly ranked among the best eateries on the planet by various gourmet food publications. You’ll find it just off Polanco’s main shopping strip, Avenida Presidente Masaryk.

Some of the most popular dishes include the Swiss chard wrap and the mole madre. Beware, the prices aren’t cheap!

Your Mexico City Recommendations?

Do you agree with our Mexico City itinerary for a trip with kids? What did we miss? Make sure you let us know in the comments below.

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