Bosque de Chapultepec
The park is bounded by Avenida Paseo de Reforma and Avenida Constituyentes
Main entrances are across from metro stops Chapultepec and Auditorio.
Tuesday-Sunday 5 am-5 pm.
Chapultepec Park is a huge expanse of wooded areas, lakes with paddleboats, hiking trails, playgrounds, botanical gardens, amusement parks, a zoo and excellent museums. There are often toy-and-balloon vendors, dancers in ancient costumes and voladores (men "flying" in circles on ropes attached to the top of a tall pole). The park is divided into three sections. The first covers ground from the eastern edge of the park to Boulevard Mateos, the second extends west from there and the third comprises the westernmost section.
Desierto de los Leones
A small national park in the forested hills about 12 miles southwest of Mexico City
Take a city bus from Tacybaya station or a coach from the Observatorio bus station.
Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm.
The main attraction is a nicely restored 17th-century Carmelite monastery, which now houses a museum. Inside there's also an elegant cafe. There are several walking trails through the park, and you can rent horses, too.
Papalote Museo del Nino
Constituyentes 268, in the second section of Chapultapec Park (Constituyentes metro station), Mexico City.
Monday-Friday 9 am-1 pm and
2-6 pm, with evening hours Thursday 7-11 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 am-2 pm and
3-7 pm. IMAX and Domo Digital showings run regularly when the museum is open.
IMAX shows. On weekends, buy tickets early to avoid waiting in line.
Technology meets education in this futuristic park for children and their parents. There's an interactive science museum where children can play with and touch exhibits; an IMAX theater with a giant screen showing special documentaries; the Domo Digital, which takes visitors on a guided tour of the stars and planets; and the Autobus Fantastico, which takes children on a virtual trip through wildlife habitats around the world.
Zoologico de Chapultepec
In Chapultepec Park, Mexico City
Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-4:30 pm. It's crowded on weekends. Free.
The Chapultepec Zoo has clean, attractive enclosures that reflect the natural habitats of the animals on display. The primate section is particularly impressive, and the well-designed layout makes for a pleasant afternoon walk. The zoo boasts the world's first panda born in captivity.