It can be mind-numbing generating new family vacation ideas when you oftentimes feel like you’ve been there, done that, and are trying to appease multiple personalities. The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and KIDZ BOP are making things big-time easier with the introduction of the KIDZ POP Experience to the hotel’s lineup of already-fantastic activities and amenities. Read on to hear how kids ages 6-12 will get their chance to make their pop star dreams a reality, while you all enjoy sun, surf and a never-ending supply of food by the pool.

What is KIDZ BOP?

It’s been around for a long while, 2001 to be exact, but perhaps you’ve never heard of KIDZ BOP. KIDZ BOP features kids singing Billboard Hot 100 songs or those songs that receive heavy airplay on the radio, often with lyrics deemed too explicit made kid-appropriate. The group of kids is also involved in world tours that are heavily attended in major markets.

photo: Maria Chambers


KIDZ BOP-Themed Activites

Situated next to the kid’s spray-ground, you’ll find the brightly colored Pop Star Lounge enticing kids to take a break from water play to tap into their creative side.

Inside the Pop Star Lounge, they’ll find several stations that help them transform into the pop stars they always envisioned. They’ll find show-stopping duds in the KIDZ BOP closet to put together red carpet-worthy looks, establish a custom band name with Instaband, be a student of new dance moves with Step it Up, pen their own soulful lyrics with Hit Maker, and stylize their first album cover at the Creation Station.

Once they have their identity set as a future hitmaking artist, they can star in their favorite KIDZ BOP music videos and exercise those lungs belting out chart-topping favorites with KIDZ BOP Karaoke in front of their adoring fans. . . aka, you.

It’s not called “party like a rock star” for no reason. Hard Rock Hotel knows that every rock star likes to party, so they are also incorporating KIDZ BOP-themed ice cream socials, epic pool parties and exciting pop-up activities into their weekly programming.

Other Rock Star Amenities

Maybe not everyone in the family has rock-star aspirations, that’s cool. There’s not a chance they’ll get bored waiting for their sibling’s star to rise with a zero-depth kid’s pool, family pool, private beach access and the Rockaway Bay Water Park, all included in your stay. Rockaway Bay has 8 tot-sized slides for the smaller kids, 9 for bigger kids and 6 high-speed slides for teens and adults, and a pool-side snack bar.

photo: Maria Chambers

Hard Rock Hotel’s private beach access is convenient for families with young kids, as there are breakers that keep the water calm and the swim area contained, and relatively shallow. There are several entry points, which gives a fun opportunity to explore a different area over a few days. The kids will love the fact that the fish of various sizes are plentiful and often times swim circles around beachgoers.

photo: Maria Chambers

Kids that enjoy a bit of physical challenge and exercise will dig the obstacle course hidden in the trees, that provide a bit of nice shade. You’ll find monkey bars, rope climbing, tree stumps to navigate, logs to climb upon, and more, while taking a nice walk to burn off some energy. Be on the lookout for monkeys that have made a home all over the resort, also. Your best chance of spotting them seems to be in the early evening by the parking lot and horse stables near the adults-only section of the hotel.

Where to Dine

It’s like a child’s dream, a constant supply of nachos, hot dogs, french fries and onion rings are available poolside, along with pop-up food experiences, and room service is on-call 24/7. For a fun evening out, we’d recommend Zen for teppanyaki dining. The kids will get a kick out of watching their food be prepared right in front of them in an almost theatrical performance. Caffetto will be your go-to coffee spot, but will also be a good spot to hit for an after-dinner ice cream crave.

photo: Tulum via Maria Chambers

Off-Property Exploration

Make the pages of your kid’s textbook come alive with a trip to Tulum for a peek at ruins from Mexico’s mysterious Mayan civilization. Tulum is extremely well-preserved and is the only ruins with a gorgeous ocean view, so bring along a swimsuit to take a quick plunge into the sea. If you decide to rent a car to make the drive to Tulum, consider a stopover for shopping and lunching in the uber-cool town of Tulum.

Airport Information

Book your flights into Cancun International Airport, which is about a 60-minute drive from the hotel. If you’re not renting a car, it’s easiest to book transportation to the hotel by emailing at least 48 hours in advance.

Hard Rock Riviera Maya
Km 72, Carretera Cancun-Chetumal
Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

— Maria Chambers

Photos provided by Hard Rock Riviera Maya, unless otherwise noted.

This trip was paid for by Hard Rock Riviera Maya and all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.