Travel Diaries

Family-Friendly Mexico City

by Amanda Blakley

In the wake of negative press and a recent natural disaster, Mexico City, or CDMX as locals call it, has emerged from the figurative ashes stronger than before. The national pride runs deep and creativity is thriving. I recently touched down for a whirlwind 48 hours with my two young boys. We always make a stop here on our way in and out of San Miguel de Allende, where my parents live, because we adore the city. Enjoy the city as a family and like a local with my personal picks.

Stay

Kids at Live Aqua Urban Resort Nobu

We checked into the Live Aqua Urban Resort, a stylish, modern hotel on the edge of town which offers the adventuring family a bit more space and respite from an otherwise heaving metropolis. We enjoyed the feeling of being slightly off the beaten path, yet less than a stone’s throw from Nobu’s CDMX location.

If you’re feeling fancy, opt for the Four Seasons which has recently undergone a multimillion dollar reno. The stunning enclosed courtyard offers guests an oasis from the city’s bustling streets, which is key in a city of 21 million people.

Mornings

We love to pop by Elena Reygadas Panadería for a pastry (niños) and cappuccino (adultos). This bustling bakery has a small bar to sit-in, or grab the treats to go and enjoy them in nearby Plaza Rio de Janeiro while your kids play on the adorable, worn-down turquoise playground. Afterwards, wander between the Condesa and Roma neighbourhoods. There are fun boutiques and cafés to explore between the two, or hit up some museums. Museo Jumex has free Fridays and the neighbouring Soumaya are both in Polanco. Try Museo Tamayo and the Museo de Arte Moderno both located in Chapultapec Park, which is another beautiful place to explore — our boys love watching the big kids at the skate park, or hitting the swings at the adjacent playground.

Afternoons

Fresh seafood lunch

One cannot come to Mexico City and skip Contramar — it is an institution and a must for a proper long, late Mexican lunch of fresh seafood. It is usually the first place we head to immediately after touching down in CDMX. Don’t miss the Mexican flag fish, which is grilled Snapper slathered in pepper sauces to match the red and green of the Mexican flag. The tuna tartar tostadas are also a sure bet. Another must for lunch is Mercado Roma, a former fruit and vegetable market that has been transformed into an architectural collection of micro-restaurants all run by some of Mexico’s top chefs.

Amanda and kids

The kids love the Papalote Museo del Niño and always beg for more time here. If you want to blow your kids minds, you might also consider a visit to Kidzania, a mini city catered to mini humans. They can act out their police, firefighter, chef, racecar driver or pilot fantasies in a Disney-like setting. There is a location in Santa Fe only a 15-minute drive from the Live Aqua Resort which is reason enough to check in for a night with your niños!

Snack Time

Do not miss Nómada Heladería in Condesa for inventive flavours of homemade ice cream paired with unexpected toppings specifically prepared to complement each one.

Kids enjoying a meal Waiter showcasing fish

Dinner with Kids

For something fun and casual, we love Lalo. The bright and colourful wall murals, fresh-out-of-the-oven pizzas, cold beer for the parents, people-watching from a happening part of Colonia Roma — what more could you ask for?

Dinner without Kids

Casa Virginia is one of our favourite date night destinations. Housed in an aging 1920s French Beaux Arts-style mansion, it has soaring ceilings and elegant windows that open wide onto the bustling street below. The food is divine and most of the produce is grown in their rooftop garden. On a spring evening when the warm breeze flows through the restaurant, the romance of it all can really take your breath away.