Even in normal times, some days feel good and other days just don’t. Some moments are perfect for taking the kids out for a little adventure, while others are much more about staying low key and taking our social responsibilities as seriously as ever with a mix of home and close-to-home based activities.
If you’re feeling good about getting the kids out of the house and finding somewhere to run wild, climb, and explore, even now, there are options available where you can keep your distance without compromising on the crazy amounts of fun we all crave.
Run Baby, Run…Let Them Go Free
While the malls are starting to look busy again as people venture out of their homes, the bigger parks on the edges of Mérida remain somewhat quiet. Grab your facemasks and water bottles and head out on your urban adventure.
Parque Arqueoecológico de Xoclán
I am pretty sure it is impossible for even the most iPad-obsessed kid to get bored here. While it’s of course a shame that the amazing rocky section of this park remains underwater following the huge storms of 2020, we can’t deny how beautiful the park looks with its new lake.
This is one of our favorite parks in the city. You get to feel like Indiana Jones without even leaving the city. Hey, there’s an idea, if your kids are big enough, let them watch Indiana Jones before heading out for your adventure and see if they can find the pyramid. It’s unrestored and is great fun to climb. Then let them lead you through the forest until they’re tired, it isn’t big enough you’ll ever really get lost (Google Maps is your friend if you do) but it’s big enough that the kids will need to pay attention to get the family back to the starting point.
On the other side of the city is another park with Maya pyramids. I know! It’s amazing, right? How is it possible that Mérida just keeps on getting cooler and cooler?
Parque Arqueológico Oriente
This park is a bit more “park-y,” it’s all grass and space to run, but it also has a couple of small pyramids, plenty of trees to climb (yes, for me), and a playground that’ll be fun once it is re-opened. My kids and their friends also love the skate ramp here and use it for running and jumping for hours on end.
If the parks aren’t enough of an outing for you, how about visiting the archaeological sites of X’Cambó or Mayapán? They’re both within easy reach of Mérida and can be paired with other activities for a full day o’fun.
This small Maya site is found between Telchac Puerto and Progreso just over the Laguna Rosada (which is a fabulous spot for kayaking, mangrove exploring, and nature watching, by the way). X’Cambó is flanked by jungle and I love to just sit while my kids run and climb, partly because I’m lazy and partly because there’s so much to take in: the sounds of the jungle, the smell, and the sense of history all around you.
About a 40-minute drive from Mérida is Mayapán, the final capital of Maya civilization, once home to around 12,000 inhabitants. Today, it’s a strikingly beautiful location that is well worth your time and attention. Despite its proximity to Mérida, this site is never busy and you’ll have no problem maintaining your distance from others without compromising on the fun.
Feel like hitting up the beach?
The easy-to-reach beaches are busy. Of course, they are. Everyone is fed up with staying home and many are trying to find their relief in the ocean. I don’t blame them, but it doesn’t mean we should join them. If you do want to head to the beach, what about Chuburná Puerto?
I won’t pretend there’s no one there because it can still get pretty busy on weekends, but it’s a huge stretch of beach where it’s perfectly easy to stay away from others. Because Chuburná Puerto isn’t a residential area, you’re not putting any local residents at risk by being there.
If you’re not quite ready to go out and explore with the kids yet, that’s fine too. If there’s one thing we’ve learned recently it’s that we all have to find our own level of comfort.
Chill Baby, Chill… Let’s Stay In
Staying in can be about lazing around in pajamas and watching TV, but it can also be fun to get the kids’ creative juices flowing.
Your kids like pizza I’m guessing? Well, how about picking up some pizza bases from Monique’s Bakery and letting the kids make lunch? You don’t even need to tell the children that the bases are sourdough, just sit there and look smug as they eat their healthy pizza. Hah!
I put out bowls of ingredients and let my kids loose while I create my own perfect pizza (why, it’s caramelized onion and goat cheese, thanks for asking).
I’ve never met a child who didn’t love to decorate a cookie, so how about picking up a decoration pack from SusiQ Respostería and letting them go wild with the icing and sprinkles? It’ll entertain them for a while, and you can totally tell yourself it’s an art class should you need to feel better about pumping them full of sugar. I jest. Actually, Susi is very good about allergies, so if you have special requirements you should just ask how she can help.
My friend, Martha, says “Susi’s cookie kits have been a bright spot for my kids and I couldn’t buy all the ingredients for what she sells them for. She deserves all the praise.”
If you prefer non-edible art classes (is anything not edible to children? Asking for me), Fantasías Miguel not only sells an incredible array of art supplies, but it also has display tables that will both fill you with inspiration and despair that you’ll never live up to their incredible standards.
Parque Arqueoecológico de Xoclán
Calle 130 x 71-B, Fracc. Bosques del Poniente, Mérida
Parque Arqueológico Oriente
Calle 40 x 27 y 21, Salvador Alvarado Oriente, Mérida
Open daily: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Carretera Mérida – Chetumal, Telchaquillo
Open daily: 8 am – 5 pm
Calle 79 #191-A x 36 y 38, Montes de Amé, Mérida
Whatsapp: 9999 70 03 94
FB: Monique’s Bakery y Cafetería de Alta Nutrición
Whatsapp: 9992 71 56 38
FB: SusiQ Reposteria
On Prolongación Montejo: Calle 1 #254, Campestre, Mérida
Tel: (999) 948 9810
Open daily 10 am – 7:45 pm
In Centro Histórico: Calle 58 #488 x 59 y 61, Centro, Mérida
Tel: (999) 924 0684
Open daily 11 am – 7:45 pm
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger
Adventure lover who never lost her sense of fun or wonder
Photography by Cassie Pearse and Yucatán Today for use in Yucatán Today.
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