A reader just wrote to me with the following questions: Is Oaxaca safe for families? and What do we do once we get there?
I think you will find Oaxaca a very welcoming place for families. A friend, her husband and two pre-teens lived in Oaxaca for a year “on sabbatical” to have a different cultural experience and learn the language. A colleague of mine at UNC Chapel Hill who is a cancer researcher returned from Oaxaca over the winter holidays where she went for two weeks with her husband and high school-aged daughter. Another reader just spent several weeks in Mexico with his family, starting in Mexico City, visiting Puebla and Oaxaca, and staying in Teotitlan del Valle. We see families in Oaxaca all the time. Of course, the caveat is that it is important to be mindful of your surroundings where ever one travels; the same precautions you take for Europe apply to Oaxaca.
Off the top of my head, there are many things for children to do and enjoy in Oaxaca:
- The Ethnobotanical Gardens
- The archeological sites of Monte Alban and Mitla — climbing the pyramids
- The Museo Textil de Oaxaca (the textile museum)
- A stay in the family-friendly village of Teotitlan del Valle to hike, learn about weaving and take a cooking class with Reyna Mendoza Ruiz
- The hubbub of market days; nothing beats popping a crispy chapuline in your mouth! Fried, spicy grasshoppers never tasted so good.
- Cooking classes for kids with Pilar Cabrera at Casa de los Sabores Cooking School and Bed & Breakfast
- Francisco Toledo kites at IAGO and a visit to the paper-making studio in San Augustin Etla
- The sights and sounds of street vendors and musicians
- A steaming, frothy cup of Oaxacan hot chocolate at a sidewalk cafe on the Zocalo
Plus lots more. A feature was written in the last year or two about the most family-friend places to visit and Oaxaca came to the top of the list. I don’t have the link but you could research that. I wrote about it on my website.
The textile museum offers regular workshops for children and for parents and children together. You could take a weaving workshop together in Teotitlan del Valle and learn about natural dyes. There is also an English speaking Spanish tutor in Teotitlan that I can refer you to, if you wanted to spent a few days out there at Las Granadas in the tranquility of the Oaxaca countryside. Las Granadas is a family owned and operated bed and breakfast, with two pre-teen boys!
All in all, I think you and your family would love it.
Readers: Do you have any other suggestions for family travel and fun in Oaxaca?