Some family trips are more work than play, but a stay at Club Med in Cancun promises parents the opportunity to unleash their alter egos: Vacation Mom and Dad. Much like superheros, vacation mom and dad rarely lose their patients and remain unfazed by their kids’ accidents, messes and fits. Get ready to shed your serious side and spend your days off enjoying sun, white sand and a Mayan adventure with your favorite little travelers. Read on to find out about where to eat, stay and play on your next trip to Cancun.

photo: Club Med

STAY

Club Med Cancun Yucatan is located at the tip of the iconic Riviera Maya and has three sand beaches and the world’s largest coral reef just waiting to be explored by visitors. The first resort to come to Cancun, Club Med pioneered the Cancun experience for families. Its campus has everything your crew has dreamed of experiencing in Mexico and more. Helicopter parents and tiger moms will find letting down and letting go easy knowing there’s plenty of safe and fun options for kids of all ages that…wait for it…don’t require their parent’s eyes on them at all times. With Kids Clubs that care for children ages 24-months to 17-years and recreation areas scattered throughout the grounds, there’s something for every kind of family.

As if all of the above weren’t enough, Club Med’s brand new Aguamarina Family area, gives traveling families the perfect place to set up base camp for the duration of their vacation. It features its own beachfront area and oceanfront Superior and Deluxe family rooms that are vibrant, spacious and beautifully appointed for a luxurious but laid back experience. There is even a family oasis pool where kids can splash, swim and play while parents kick back and sip on a cool drink in a shaded lounge chair.

photo: Club Med

PLAY

From the active to the relaxing, there is so much for every member of the family to do in Cancun. Club med has an array of water sports and activities that visitors can enjoy at no extra cost. Wake boards, snorkeling gear, windsurfing boards, SUP boards, and kayaks are all available for use throughout the day. If you wan’t to learn a new water sport, you can sign up for windsurfing, scuba diving and sailing classes.

When you are ready to dry off, the whole family can learn to fly on the trapeze, take tennis lessons or head to archery school. There are even fitness and yoga classes available for mom and dad. And of course there’s a fitness room available if you feel the need to pump some iron.

photo: by Annette Benedetti

Excursions
There’s so much to see in and near Cancun, and excursions are available to add adventure to your trip. You don’t have to look for an outside company to book your outing. Club Med runs a variety of trips for their clients. You can swim with the dolphins, sail the lagoon of Cancun, and snorkel with sea turtles. Most outings last a half of a day, giving you time to come back and enjoy the resort at your leisure. Make sure to check for age specifications. They vary by excursion.

If you want to take in a bit of history and culture, we suggest you explore the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. The club provides a guide who will teach you everything you want to know about the history of the area and who the Mayans were and how they lived. Other areas you can explore include Chichen Itza, and the Ancient Kingdom of Ek’Balam.

Entertainment
Every night your family can enjoy a special show put on by the staff and local performers in the center of the Club Med Village. Take in local dancers, actors and singers. Shows include acrobatics, synchronized swimming, bands and more. Kids love joining in the fun on stage on some nights. There’s even an after-party now again. Get ready to lose those strict bedtimes. Everyone stays up late in Cancun!

Spa
You’ll want to take a break from your action-packed vacation to experience Club Med Spa by L’Occitane’s services. This recently completely renovated spa offers a variety of packages, but we suggest you try their signature massage. The talented staff combines both deep tissue and relaxing techniques that will leave you feeling like a brand new parent. And when you are done, you can relax and sip some tea in their beautiful outdoor relaxation room.

photo: Club Med

Kids Club

Parents can get time on their own free from guilt. The Kids Club at Club Med is nothing like summer camps at home. Your babes will cry when you come to pick them up at the end of the day. Clubs are broken down by age group. There’s the Petite Club Med for babies 24- months to 3 years. The Mini Club Med is for kids 4-10 years of age. And The Club Med Passworld offers a cool experience for kids ages 11-17 years old. Each age group has highly customized activities so children are experiencing it with their peers and can enjoy their vacation just as much as their parents.

Club Med’s Kids club, will keep your kids busy doing all of the same stuff you are doing, under the close supervision of safe, but super fun staff members. Kids enjoy activities like treasure hunts, splashing in the pool, archery, tennis and plenty of art offerings. Activities vary by age group and ability and your kids are guaranteed to return home with a bunch of pen pals to keep in touch with from across the world.

photo: Annette Benedetti

EAT

Club Med Cancun Yucatan restaurants have a bit of something for everyone. The Hacienda is located in the center of the resort and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering buffet-style meals. It features 5 themed dining rooms that overlook the beautiful lagoon. Here you can fill up on both international and local Mexican cuisine.

Taco Arte, Beach Lounge offers all-day Mexican dining that runs from breakfast to dinner. With indoor/outdoor seating that allows you a beachfront view, we suggest one of their ceviche dishes or the lobster! Tables must be booked at reception.

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The Estancia is a specialty Argentinian restaurant that features late breakfast, late lunch and “à la carte” evening meals, and snack. You can dine on the oceanfront terrace or indoors. The menu has an array of roast and char-grilled meats that can be paired with fine wines.

Additionally Soluna and Las Velas are vibrant bars that mom and dad can enjoy during their time alone.

Family vacations don’t have to be a whole lot of work. When your trip to Cancun includes a stay at Club Med Cancun Yucatan, your kiddos will get a chance to meet a new ( and possibly their favorite) version of their parents. Let vacation mom and dad out of the closet and take time to indulge in a dream Caribbean experience. You might even find, it’s a bit easier to find your fun side when you get home.

— Annette Benedetti

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Special thanks to Club Med Cancun Yucatan for assistance with accommodations and entertainment. All opinions here expressed are the writer’s own.