3 Things to Do With Kids on a Rainy Day in Cancun

Cancun has lots of activities to keep kids entertained during downpours. We headed to La Isla mall to discover three educational experiences.

Cancun is a tropical paradise, but that doesn’t mean it gets wall-to-wall sunshine every day.

Located on the edge of a vast rainforest that covers most of the Yucatan peninsular, the Riviera Maya sees its fair share of storms as well as glorious sun. This weekend was one such instance, so we headed to Cancun to discover three fun indoor activities for Harriet and Luca.

All three activities on this list can be found at La Isla shopping mall. That means that once you’ve parked, you’re set for the day. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes around where you can re-energize.

1. Mirror Maze

Mirror mazes are always good fun for kids, but the offering in Cancun is particularly well done. The maze itself is vast—we were lost inside for a good 30 minutes. There is music and lights to add to the experience, and there are a near-endless number of dead ends and loops to keep you guessing at every turn. Getting through the entire route is very much a case of good luck over wise judgment.

Harriet was a little unsure at first. It was the first time she’d been in a mirror maze, and as much as she loves posing in front of the mirror at home, she was a little unsettled about seeing 10 different versions of herself simultaneously. Frankly, it also gave us nightmares. We love Harriet to bits, but we’re not sure we’d want 10 of her!

Once Harriet overcame her initial fear, she and Luca charged off into the maze. It wasn’t long before they crashed into a mirror at full speed – cue tears. But after those were wiped away, the fun could finally begin. A few minutes later, they were giggling in delight at their reflections.

2. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Ripley’s is a well-known museum, with branches in lots of tourist hotspots around the world. It offers an educational and interactive experience for kids, with games and hands-on activities that teach them about light refraction, static electricity, shadows, the human body, “funny mirrors,” optical illusions, and so on.

We especially liked the museum from a Down syndrome perspective. It offered Harriet myriad sensory experiences, all of which are essential for making sure children with the condition are able to develop physically in their early years. We’ll go into this aspect of Ripley’s in more detail in another post.

3. Chocolate Factory

Our final stop was at the Chocolate Factory. It’s a guided tour through several rooms that detail the history of chocolate. It ends with everyone being able to make their own small piece of chocolate in the factory.

This was our least favourite of the three activities we did. If you have children of Harriet and Luca’s age (two and four), it’s probably not worth your time. They were too young to digest the information that the tour guide was offering and were instead much more interested in playing with the various props, much to the disdain of the guide. It was also the shortest of the three, with the entire loop only taking about 15 minutes.

If you have older kids, however, this is definitely worth a stop.

How Much Do the Activities Cost?

A single ticket will get you into all three activities (along with four others we didn’t have time for). A ticket costs $17.50 USD or $350 MXN. Locals get a 10 percent discount. You can get a weekly pass for $35.

You can buy your tickets in the main mall opposite Starbucks.


Where to Eat at La Isla

We stopped in Burger Corner to eat. Despite the name, it offers both a wide range of burgers as well as a full Italian menu. The food, was excellent—especially the chocolate brownie dessert.

If you’re too tired to keep dealing with the little ones, you might want to head to Sonora Grill instead. It’s a Mexican chain of high-end steak restaurants, but the branch in La Isla also includes a kids’ play area and a nanny service.

What Else Can You Do in the Rain in Cancun?

This list is far from exhaustive. There are dozens of great things to keep your children entertained during a shower, including a giant London Eye-esque ferris wheel, an interactive aquarium, a wax museum, and indoor playparks. But the three activities we listed above took a good three hours to see in full, so we couldn’t face any more fun in a single day. They’ll have to wait for the next adventure.

(Note that although La Isla offers a permanent funfair installation on the roof, it is not open in the rain. Sadly, we didn’t know this and had planned to take a few rides, but you live and learn.)