OVER THE PAST YEAR, I’ve spent five months with my kids in Mexico. This should be the first giveaway that you need to be wary: Mexico sucks you in. You keep coming back for longer and longer each time!
Why exactly? What is the onda down in Mexico, and why should you think twice before exposing your children to its alluring culture? Let’s see…

1. Vendors will treat your children as if they were the most special customers they’ve ever had. They’ll give them thousands of smiles, samples of fruit…they’ll even call them Reina and Precioso. It will spoil them to death.

Photo: Laura Bernhein

2. I warn you: Mexican children are the friendliest, most charming creatures in the whole wide world. Your kids will make so many friends they’ll want to come back to Mexico year after year…

My kids having lunch at the market in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Photo: Laura Bernhein

3. Or even worse: Your kids will start speaking fluent Spanish way before you do!

Photo: Laura Bernhein

4. You know little about Mexico’s iconic artist Frida Kahlo. What if your kids fall in love with her and you have to start studying her incredible life and art? Nah, you’re too old for that.

Museo Casa Azul’s guided nighttime tour. Photo: Laura Bernhein

5. They might even start drawing little Fridas everywhere!

Photo: Laura Bernhein

6. Or they might become interested in anthropology, which of course is just so boring.

Museo Nacional de Antropología. Photo: Laura Bernhein

7. Learning about archaeology onsite? Nah, you prefer for your kids to learn by watching TV; it’s a lot more fun.

8. Helping newborn turtles on their first journey to the ocean, and celebrating together once they finally make it to the water? Mmm…not inspirational enough.

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Photo: Laura Bernhein

9. You worry that after jumping into the fresh, cool water of the cenotes on a hot day, they’ll be so over the neighborhood pool back home…

10. Tons of festivities with people dancing in the streets day and night, wearing colorful handmade costumes and celebrating ancient traditions? No thanks, it’ll be too noisy for your kids.

Photo: bordenphoto

11. You’re afraid Mexico’s vibrant colors will hurt your children’s eyes. And what if they want to paint your house turquoise or hot pink when you get home?

Museo Nacional de las Culturas, Mexico City. Photo: Laura Bernhein

12. Snorkeling? Are the animals you encounter really alive? How scary!

Yucatan wildlife. Photo: nosha

13. Miles and miles of sandy beaches to explore and play on? That sounds like a bit too much freedom…

14. They might want to learn to surf, and there are just no good spots for that.

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Photo: Coco Nogales

15. And what about the skeletons and skulls you’ll see all around the country? Yes, you know they’re part of Día de Muertos, a rich cultural tradition…but your little angels will have nightmares for years!

16. And if the skeletons don’t do it, seeing these giant puppets — mojigangas — dancing in Oaxacan parades and inviting everyone to join the party will guarantee you a couple of hours of your kids screaming from fear…

Oaxaca Photo: 16:9clue

17. Did you know Mexican markets are full of candy, toys, and piñatas? Your kids will find the experience too fun and they won’t ever want to go back to the grocery store with you…

Coyoacan Market, Mexico City Photo: Laura Bernhein

18. Five men representing the four cardinal points and the connection between Earth and Sky, flying around a 90ft pole in a mystic ancient ceremony? Too profound for you, you’ll have to pass.

Voladores de Papantla, Cholula, Puebla. Photo: Larry1732

19. What if you’re simply walking around and encounter a sight like this? Everyone knows children have a hard time dealing with fairytale moments!

Photo: Marysol*

20. Overall, the streets of Mexican towns and cities are full of color, stimulation, and magical moments. If you don’t want your kids to grow up thinking the world is such a special, wonderful place…don’t ever go to Mexico!

Downtown Mexico City. Photo: Eneas

This post is proudly produced in partnership with our friends at Visit Mexico.