Antigua, Guatemala is a great stop for your next family vacation. It is a charming city with picturesque cobblestone streets, incredible Guatemalan cuisine and is rich in both history and culture.
Not only will you have the best tacos of your life there, but you will find yourself enjoying your day just as much as your kids are! We are going to highlight the best family-friendly activities to do in Antigua and how to make your next family vacation one to remember.
Below we will provide you with everything you need to know about Antigua including family friendly tours, fun classes to take with your kids & even some ideas for what to do if you find yourself in the city on a rainy day.
Did you ever imagine yourself roasting marshmallows on a volcano WITH your kids? Well buckle up friends, we are going to help you plan some core memories together.
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Cooking Class at La Tortilla Cooking School
One of the best things to do in Antigua, Guatemala with kids is signing up for a cooking class as a family! You will learn all about local Guatemalan ingredients and cuisine and your kids will have a blast assisting in making your next meal.
We prepared Pepian which is Guatemala’s national dish along with fried plantains for dessert. After your meal is prepared, you will sit down alongside your hosts and enjoy the meal you made together.
This is a great opportunity for your kids to taste some new foods while also learning about the history behind the dishes.
We booked a tour directly through La Tortilla Cooking School’s website and they were so patient with our kids, we highly recommend them!
Go on a (Self Guided) Walking Tour
A fun way to explore Antigua with kids and see some of the significant architecture like the Santa Catalina Arch and the Iglesia de la Merced is to spend an afternoon walking the city together.
Whether you decide to book a great walking tour, like this one, or spend the afternoon exploring on your own, make sure to check out our Self Guided Walking Tour of Antigua, to make sure you don’t miss any of our favorite spots!
Roast Marshmallows on a Volcano
If your kids are old enough, hiking Pacaya is such a fun family experience to do together. Pacaya is just over 30 miles (50 km) from Antigua and on average, is a moderately strenuous 2 hour climb.
You can book a guide and hike to the top where you will be able to rest while roasting marshmallows (most guides bring supplies, make sure to ask).
For more details on whether or not this trail is a good one for your kids, I’d recommend reading about the distance and difficulty level here.
If your kids are still little like ours, you can also opt for a more luxury experience and ride to the top of the volcano on horseback. You do not need any previous experience as a guide will be present on the entire trail leading each horse up to the top of the volcano.
Watching the terrain and weather change as you get closer to the top is incredible. You will literally be in the clouds!
We booked directly with Guatemalan Horse Tours and had a great experience. For reference, our kids were 4 and 6 at the time. You can also opt for a guided hike that will pick you up from your accommodations in Antigua!
Shop at the Artisan Markets
Spend an afternoon exploring Mercado de Artesanías and give your kids a budget of Quetzals that they can use to buy something on their own. There are bracelets, textiles of all kinds, wooden masks, bags and even some small handmade toys. They are sure to find something they love and will make a fun memory while shopping for souvenirs.
A quick note: Markets here are a little more chaotic than you may be use to. They can be crowded, loud and you likely will have multiple shop owners trying to get your attention and purchase from them.
So if you, or your kiddo, often feel overstimulated from environments like this I’d recommend visiting a souvenir shop in the city of Antigua instead like Nim Po’t, located right by the famous arch!
Chocolate Class at the ChocoMuseo
This is a great thing to do if you find yourself in Antigua on a rainy day like we did. Book a chocolate making class at the ChocoMuseo for you and your kids. While looking the part in a chef’s apron, enjoy learning all there is to know about the history of chocolate, the process of making it and the significance of chocolate making in Guatemala!
Each participant will get the chance to make their own chocolate bar complete with toppings (our girls loved adding marshmallows and sprinkles). A perk is that your chocolate bar is now a souvenir you get to take home once the class is finished!
*Note, we opted for a shorter class and negotiated a better price in person too. They have classes multiple times a day and are very flexible with bookings.
Ice Cream at Central Park
Make sure to spend time in Central Park, or referred to locally as, “Parque Central.” This square is in the center of town and usually full of shop owners selling various souvenirs and ice cream. Find a seat by the fountains & grab an ice cream for your kids as you take a quick break from exploring.
Brunch at a Rooftop Cafe
On a clear morning, head to Patio de la Primera for brunch and ask for their rooftop seating. Why you ask? Because what is better than having a show for your kids while you eat!
You will be able to see all 3 volcanos in the distance and if you are lucky, you may be able to see one smoking or erupting while you eat! When we visited in fall of 2022, Volcano Fuego released black smoke about every 10 minutes which kept our kids entertained and provided a fun science lesson too.
Hike up to Cerro de la Cruz
If you need a break from the bustling streets of Antigua head to Cerro de la Cruz, or “Hill of the Cross”, where you will be able to do a kid-friendly 10-15 minute hike to the top of the hill and be rewarded with a beautiful view of the city with the volcanos towering in the distance. Hailing down a Tuk Tuk is another great fun option too!
This path is on pavement and does include some stairs, but is not challenging at all. This is also a great stop to let your kids get some energy out away from the busy streets of Antigua.
Bonus: Day Trip to Lake Atitlan
If you find yourself in Antigua for a week or more, look into spending a few days in Lake Atitlan. The lake is the deepest lake in Central America and surrounded by 3 dormant volcanos which provide the most incredible backdrop to an already stunning location. If you’re pressed for time, this day trip will be your best bet for a private day trip to Lake Atitlan from Antigua.
There are many small towns and villages to stay around the lake and unique things to do as well like kayaking across the lake at sunrise or learning about textiles like we did! You can watch our experience where we stayed on the lake overlooking three volcanoes!
I am sure you will love exploring Antigua with your kids and hopefully this guide will help you to make some incredible memories.
If you have any questions about things to do in Antigua, drop a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you!