While your kids truly are welcome in the vast majority of Mérida’s restaurants, there’s no denying that sometimes it’s nice to just go somewhere where the kids can run off and play while you relax.
Given that Mérida is hot pretty much all year round, this can make outdoor playgrounds difficult to manage, and as a result, many restaurants have realized they can entice families in with decent spaces and activities for kids. So, while you sit and relax, the kids can burn off their excess energy with no danger of getting heat-stroke! It’s a win-win, really.
At times you’ll need to pay to enter Cool de Sac but the money is always then taken off your food bill. While the kids dress up, climb (there’s an indoor climbing wall), throw themselves around the soft play, build Lego, or even play computer games, you can sit and relax knowing the staff will keep an eye on them for you. Food is a mix of modern Mexican and European. If you go at typical Mexican eating times it will be busy, otherwise you’re likely to have the place to yourselves. Just know the kids will keep asking to go back!
Plaza Mangus, Avenida Andrés García Lavín by Periférico
12 pm – 9 pm daily
Tel. (999) 406 8012
Facebook: Cool de Sac Mérida
Peter Piper Pizza
Perfect for kids (and adults) who love two things: pizza and arcades! Set your kids up with a digital card with game credit and then settle back to enjoy your pizza while they have the time of their lives running from arcade game to arcade game trying to amass points to win prizes. There’s also a soft-play to ensure the little ones aren’t too left out although this restaurant is probably best suited to the slightly bigger kids. Staff are helpful but I recommend checking in on the kids every now and again to ensure emotions aren’t running too high!
City Center, Avenida Andrés García Lavín close to Periférico.
11 am – 11 pm daily
Tel. (999) 913 8528
La Parrilla is my kids’ favorite. They adore the play-space here and seem to really enjoy the $59 peso kids’ menu. Parrilla means ‘grill’ in Spanish, which should give you some idea of what to expect on the menu. The fajitas are tasty and their fresh made guacamole is good too. The play-area has a member of staff on duty who will both interact with the kids and stop them from killing each other with over-enthusiastic play.
Prolongación Paseo de Montejo # 87 x Calle 17, Col. México
1 pm – 2 am daily
Tel. (999) 948 0148
This international chain restaurant has been in Mérida for a long time, and continues to be a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The kids’ menu is good value and my kids love the play space here because it’s slightly different from most others found in Mérida: instead of soft play, TGI provides a room full of toys for everyone to play with. There is a movie room and tablets are offered under supervision too. Staff are always on hand to keep an eye on the kids while you enjoy your meal.
Prolongación Paseo de Montejo # 469 x Calle 39, Col. Gonzalo Guerrero
12 pm – 12 am daily
Tel. (999) 944 8828
If you’re after yummy tacos AND a kids’ play area, then Los Trompos is your perfect solution. The kids’ meals are just the right size, and many drinks are refillable. You can turn your kids loose in the play area and know they’re safe. There’s always a member of staff on hand to paint faces, make balloon animals (for a small tip) and generally maintain the peace. Do be aware that there is a TV in the play area: we often find our kids sitting and watching movies in Spanish.
Calle 60 #517-C x 65 y 67, Centro: 12 pm – 10.30 pm daily
Circuito Colonias #133, Col. Buenavista: 12 pm – 1 am daily
Tel. (999) 988 4444
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Photography by Cassie Pearse for use in Yucatán Today