San Miguel de Allende with Kids ~ A Different Kind of Mexican Vacation

When you think of a Mexican vacation, you probably envision sandy beaches, turquoise blue ocean waves, and all-inclusive resorts. San Miguel de Allende has none of these things. It’s not a major city full of museums and attractions like Mexico City, either. So, why visit San Miguel de Allende with kids? A vacation here is about feeling, seeing, tasting, and experiencing. My family visited for a week and loved it so much, we returned for a full month in this beautiful Mexican city. In fact, we hope to move here someday. Take a look at my recommendations for things to do in San Miguel de Allende with kids.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The central square, or Jardín, in San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

With its cobblestone streets, sunset-colored haciendas, and beautiful central square, San Miguel de Allende feels like a little slice of Europe in the heart of Mexico. But it’s a very Mexican town, too, offering traditional cuisine, a penchant for celebrations and festivals, and the patience and welcoming spirit of Latin America.

San Miguel de Allende's colorful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets
San Miguel de Allende’s colorful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Located in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende offers the best blend of its colonial Spanish roots and the culture of Mexico’s native peoples. About 140,000 people live in SMDA, with approximately half living in the city and the other half making their homes in surrounding rural communities. It’s widely regarded as one of the safest areas in all of Mexico, too.

Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel
Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

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1. Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel

The pink sandstone Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel stands in the center of the city. Its neo-Gothic towers and facade were built in 1880. The original church dates back to the 1600s, though.

The fairytale architecture of this parish church is so pretty and it’s my favorite color, too! Along the coast, you may wish for ocean views. But in San Miguel, it’s all about views of the Parroquia.

San Miguel de Allende's Jardín
San Miguel de Allende’s Jardín (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. El Jardín

The Jardín is San Miguel’s central square, situated directly in front of the Parroquia. Most Mexican cities’ primary plazas are called zócalos and are located in front of the primary cathedral. Since the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel is a parish church, the square is referred to as a Jardín (garden) instead.

San Miguel de Allende dolls
Local artisan selling handmade dolls (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Indeed there is a garden in the Jardín, a beautiful one filled with boxwood shrubs, fountains, and a bandstand. Benches in and around the garden are plentiful, and are often filled with locals and visitors chatting and taking in the scene. Come on a Saturday night to listen to mariachi bands competing for attention and tips.

Cool off with a paleta, or popsicle, in the Jardin in San Miguel de Allende with kids
My daughter cooling off with a paleta, or popsicle, in the Jardín (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Vendors wander through the plaza peddling hats, candies, baskets of handmade dolls, and other handicrafts. Restaurants surround the Jardín and, despite the primo location, offer good food at affordable prices.

A hat vendor in San Miguel de Allende's central square
A hat vendor in San Miguel de Allende’s central square (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Parque Benito Juarez

A visit to Parque Benito Juarez is a must during any visit to San Miguel de Allende with children. It’s like a miniature version of New York City’s Central Park.

Parque Juarez features a playground, walking/jogging trails, basketball courts (sometimes used for soccer matches), fountains, and permanent exercise equipment. Midweek we found the park to be a mellow place to wander or read. On Sundays, this green space often bustles with people and offers art for sale by local artists.

My kids loved the climbing structure in the playground at Parque Benito Juarez
Climbing structure in the playground at Parque Benito Juarez (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Tianguis de Los Martes

Tianguis de Los Martes is an open-air flea market that takes place every Tuesday just outside San Miguel de Allende’s city center. It’s an easy cab ride away and worth the journey.

Pet birds for sale at Tianguis de Los Martes in San Miguel de Allende with kids
Pet birds for sale at Tianguis de Los Martes (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Find everything from clothing, furniture, and toys to freshly cooked hot meals, leather goods, and pet birds for sale at Tianguis de Los Martes.

When buying produce, stick to fruits that can be peeled or buy iodine to wash your bounty for safe eating. (This is easily found near the produce at the city’s largest supermarket, La Comer.)

Although you should not haggle with clerks in stores in the city, feel free to bargain with sellers here for the best price. I’m not much of a haggler and wanted to support the local sellers so I just paid the offered prices.

A vendor selling fresh fruits at Tuesday Market in San Miguel de Allende with kids
A vendor selling fresh fruits and juices at the Tuesday Market (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. La Esquina Mexican Toy Museum

La Esquina Mexican Toy Museum shows off the artistry and history of traditional Mexican toys. The museum is made up of five rooms, which contain toys from various regions of the country. You can read the signs in English or Spanish to learn about the toys.

Children, however, are more interested in playing with toys than reading about them. Therefore, the most memorable part of your visit will probably be to the small experience room where kids can get their hands on some of the darling playthings.

San Miguel de Allende's Toy Museum
San Miguel de Allende’s Toy Museum (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Be sure to go up to the roof for incredible views of the city and to pose in the playful character cut-out. Check out the on-site store on the first level, too, to purchase a toy to take home.

If you don’t have time to make it to the museum during your visit, then pop into Esquina’s additional toy store right next to the Parroquia in the Jardín.

The play room at La Esquina Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano was my kids' favorite part!
The play room at La Esquina Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. El Charco del Ingenio Botanic Garden

Escape the city for a bit with a visit to El Charco del Ingenio. This unusual botanic garden features walking paths amongst wildflowers, cactus, succulents, and other greenery. It’s located within an ecological preserve and provides a view of a lake called Presa de las Colonias.

A greenhouse at El Charco del Ingenio
A greenhouse at El Charco del Ingenio (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

The views and walking paths are lovely, but kids will be most interested in a play area that includes a net climbing structure plus a cement slide adorned with two snake heads! (See video below.)

YouTube video

Grab one of the many affordable green and white taxis to take you about 15 minutes out of city center to Charco del Ingenio. If you don’t mind a long, uphill hike, you could walk to the gardens instead. Take a look at directions from the Charco del Ingenio website.

Cactus and other plants at Charco del Ingenio
Cactus and other plants at Charco del Ingenio (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Local Events

Monthly calendars of events are posted at the corners of the Jardín. Find these for a listing of San Miguel’s plethora of local happenings including festivals, gallery shows, concerts, and more.

You may also want to purchase a copy of Atención, the local Spanish/English newspaper. It details local happenings and classes.

Dia de los Locos Parade in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Dia de los Locos Parade in San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

8. Dia de Los Locos

The craziest festival of the year in San Miguel de Allende is surely Dia de Los Locos (Day of the Crazies). My family was lucky enough to experience this playful day and its parade during our month-long visit in June.

A Dia de Los Locas parade winds its way through the city. Expect simple floats, marching bands, and plenty of dancing, dressed-up characters. This holiday celebrates Saint Antonio, for which one of the colonias (neighborhoods) is named in San Miguel.

Stake out your spot in the Jardín in advance and bring along an umbrella, or buy one from the many wandering vendors. Not only can you use the umbrella as shade from the sun or protection from rain, but also parade watchers turn the umbrellas upside down to catch candies flung into the crowds by parade participants.

A "float" in the Dia de los Locos parade
A “float” in the Dia de los Locos parade (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Instituto Allende

San Miguel is home to Mexico’s oldest art school, Instituto Allende. This has led to the city becoming a mecca for artists from all over the world.

Art classes are offered here in both English and Spanish. Sign up for workshops on ceramics, jewelry making, painting, sculpture, basket weaving, and more. Some are as short as one week long. There’s even a summer art program for children!

If you don’t have time for a class, then you can still stop by and wander through the galleries here.

Instituto Allende helped establish San Miguel de Allende as an artistic city
Instituto Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

There are also two places to eat at Instituto Allende. One is a little coffee shop good for a light breakfast, lunch, or snack. The other is a restaurant, Bistro Mi Casa, which is open for dinner and boasts surprisingly good views of the Parroquia.

The live music (on Wednesdays and Thursdays during our stay) was incredible. Beware, however, that there is a cover charge and the audience was a subdued older crowd of expats who did not appreciate any whispering during the performance.

A tile mural on display at Fabrica la Aurora
A tile mural on display at Fabrica la Aurora (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Fabrica la Aurora

Once a textile mill, Fabrica la Aurora now houses dozens of art galleries featuring the works of local and expat artists. Some of the factory machines are still on display.

View all sorts of art here, from hand-woven placemats and adorable bird feeders to impressive wall-sized paintings and modern sculptures. Be sure to keep a close eye on your children at all times here, lest they accidentally “buy” some priceless artwork.

Fabrica la Aurora is located just outside of city center and is easily and affordably reached by taxi. There are two decent restaurants on site, as well as a courtyard coffee shop.

Fabrica la Aurora is a beautiful place to wander in San Miguel de Allende with kids
Fabrica la Aurora is a beautiful place to wander (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

11. Shopping

Wander in any direction to find an array of boutiques selling Mexican handicrafts and art galleries of all kinds in San Miguel de Allende’s downtown. I recommend stopping into Ono off the main plaza for its amazing selection of handmade goods including leather purses hand-painted by local artists.

Although not typically fans of shopping, my kids enjoyed wandering in and out of the many stores in San Miguel de Allende. My 10-year-old son was on a constant search for painted ceramic animals (animalitos) to add to his collection. Meanwhile, my 13-year-old daughter found plenty of silver jewelry and cute fashions. If your kids tire of walking, distract them with an inexpensive toy purchased from one of the wandering vendors in any of the city’s squares.

Be on the lookout for handicraft markets during your stay in San Miguel de Allende with kids, too. You can find these listed in the Atención newspaper, or you just may stumble upon one as you explore the city.

Toys for sale at Plaza de la Soledad in San Miguel de Allende with kids
Toys for sale at Plaza de la Soledad in San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

12. Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende

Here’s your chance to put that high school Spanish language to good use by asking a local, “Dondé está la biblioteca?” The Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende is a library, of course. It offers up books in both Spanish and English, for kids and adults alike.

But it’s much more than that. There’s a cute onsite cafe, plus many expats and locals come here to hang out in the darling outdoor courtyard.

Courtyard at Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende
Courtyard at Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Head to the Biblioteca’s gift shop to sign up for a guided tour of the city or nearby destinations, like Dolores Hidalgo or Guanajuato City. Even if you don’t want to purchase a tour, pop in to get a look at the impressive mural painted across the shop’s ceiling.

Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende gift shop with its impressive mural
Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende gift shop with its impressive mural (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

13. Museo de San Miguel de Allende

Museo de San Miguel de Allende is located very near the Parroquia within the former house of one of the leaders of Mexico’s revolution from Spanish rule, Ignacio Allende. At this museum, learn about the city’s history and its important role in the country’s revolution. Video displays are in Spanish but most of the signage is available in English.

Kids will likely find a visit here less than thrilling. They might dig the displays that show how Allende and his family lived in this massive hacienda back in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

A courtyard at Museo de San Miguel de Allende, former residence of one of the city's namesakes, Ignacio Allende
A courtyard at Museo de San Miguel de Allende, former residence of one of the city’s namesakes, Ignacio Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

14. Spanish Language Schools for Families

Turn your family vacation in San Miguel de Allende into a learning experience by enrolling in Spanish language lessons. My kids adored their summer camp experience at Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura (also known as Josephina School). That’s saying a lot, since they beg NOT to go to summer camp back home.

When I lamented the high cost of attendance, both kids exclaimed, “That’s because it’s fun and we actually learn something!” (Cost was $250 USD per kid per week, 9 am – 1 pm, Monday – Friday in summer 2018.)

My kids with their beloved instructor, Monica Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura in San Miguel de Allende
My kids with their beloved instructor, Monica, at Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

After two hours of Spanish lessons, the kids work on craft projects like making pineapple-shaped piñatas, painting animalitos, or making decorative throw pillows. Seriously, the crafts they made here were way more impressive than anything my kids have ever brought home from camp in the U.S.

One day per week, students embark on a field trip. Sample activities include making pizzas at Mama Mia Restaurant downtown or shopping the Tianguis Market.

Sister school Centro Bilingue de San Miguel follows a similar format and many of the teachers work at both locations. Individual and group adult Spanish lessons are available at both schools. I highly recommend my helpful and patient instructor, Sara!

The beautiful flowers my kids made at Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The beautiful flowers my kids made at Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende with Kids

Rosewood Hotel San Miguel de Allende

For a grand stay in San Miguel de Allende with kids, you can’t go wrong with the elegant Rosewood Hotel San Miguel de Allende. The location near Parque Juarez is ideal and the grounds are stunning. In comparing prices to other Rosewood locations, you get a lot of luxe for your pesos in San Miguel.

View of San Miguel de Allende from Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel
View of San Miguel de Allende from Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Although we never stayed the night here, we spent a lot of time taking in the amazing view from their rooftop tapas bar, Luna. Day and month passes for the pool and fitness center are available for non-guests.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood Hotel pool (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Vacation Home Rentals in San Miguel de Allende

Both times our family visited San Miguel de Allende, we booked a vacation rental home. We loved having the extra space to spread out, relax, and sleep well. Plus, a kitchen makes snacks and meals easier and more affordable. A rental makes a stay in San Miguel de Allende with kids feel more authentic, too.

My kids doing a happy dance outside our San Miguel de Allende vacation rental
My kids doing a happy dance outside our San Miguel de Allende VRBO vacation rental (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

From crazy inexpensive to downright palatial, you can find all sorts of San Miguel de Allende home rentals via VRBO. Safe and centrally located neighborhoods include Centro, Guadiana, and much of San Antonio. Take a look at San Miguel de Allende accommodation options via TripAdvisor now.

I was in love with the backyard at our San Miguel de Allende rental home
The backyard at our San Miguel de Allende rental home (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

How to Get to San Miguel de Allende

Located in the center of the country, San Miguel de Allende isn’t the easiest destination to reach. It’s about a 4-hour drive from Mexico City. Bus service is available from the country’s capital, and supposedly the buses in Mexico are quite upscale.

It’s much easier, however, to fly into either León (airport code BJX) or Querétaro (airport code QRO). Although Querétaro’s airport is technically a little closer to SMDA, either destination will take about an hour and a half to reach. Plus, I’ve found more flights available flying into Léon.

For safety’s sake, I recommend arriving before dark. The sun sets around 6 pm in winter and around 8 pm in summer. The drive to San Miguel de Allende is mostly without any street lights, through minimally populated farmland and tiny towns on a two-lane highway.

If you have a late arrival or early morning departure, hotels near the Léon airport are extremely affordable and many offer free airport shuttles.

Mojigangas, celebratory life-sized puppets, in San Miguel de Allende
Mojigangas, celebratory life-sized puppets, in San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Why We Want to Move to San Miguel de Allende

Our desire to move to San Miguel de Allende started before we ever visited this wonderful Mexican city. The cost of living in the U.S. keeps increasing — healthcare, housing, groceries, entertainment — everything. Based on the proximity to the U.S., our family’s fondness of Mexican cuisine, the welcoming Mexican culture, and the ease and usefulness of Spanish as a second language, we began considering a move to Mexico last year.

When I studied abroad in France, I found it much easier to befriend other expats from around the world (who were also eager to make new friends) than to get close with locals. Therefore, I like that San Miguel de Allende has a high percentage of expats. In fact, foreigners make up about 10 to 15 percent of the population.

Additionally, San Miguel is located in the desert highlands, with near ideal temperatures year-round. Plus, I love small, walkable cities. For me, huge cities are overwhelming and the suburbs are boring. San Miguel de Allende’s size seems just right for my family.

I miss the sense of calm and peace this city and its residents exude. I am ready to embrace a slower pace of life, where cars bumble over cobblestone streets and patiently stop for pedestrians.

Although I love my country, I want my kids to know a life outside of the United States. I want them to focus more on experiences and less on things. I want more connection and adventure. Most of all, I hope our dream to live in San Miguel de Allende comes true someday!

A colorful mural at Parque Juarez embodies the spirit of San Miguel de Allende with kids
A colorful mural at Parque Juarez embodies the spirit of San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

More About San Miguel de Allende and Expat Life

Want to learn more about visiting San Miguel de Allende with kids? Check out my picks for the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende.

If you want to learn or brush up on some Spanish before your visit, check out why I recommend Rosetta Stone for families!

Read our tips for expats, too.

Moon San Miguel de Allende

I found Moon San Miguel de Allende to be a wonderful resource, both for planning our trip and for writing this story.

A Better Life at Half the Price

If you’re considering becoming an expat, too, I highly recommend A Better Life at Half the Price. Written by my friend and fellow travel writer, Tim Leffel, the book discusses the benefits and pitfalls of living abroad in detail.

I especially appreciated the chapters on numerous developing nations. These are based on his personal experience and interviews with other expats. His book was instrumental in narrowing down our search for a new home to Mexico.

Becoming an Expat Mexico

For those of you considering a move to Mexico, I suggest reading Becoming an Expat Mexico. This guide will help you get a sense of different regions, cities, and pueblas so that you can find the right place for you. It also provides practical tips for moving to this country.

On Mexican Time

To get more of a sense of what it’s like to live as an expat in San Miguel de Allende, you will enjoy On Mexican Time. Although this memoir is based on the author’s experience of moving to Mexico from Los Angeles in the 1980s, you still get a sense of the allure (and drawbacks) of life in San Miguel.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with Kids

Save these Tips for Visiting San Miguel de Allende

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Do you have any questions about things to do in San Miguel de Allende with kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I paid full price for everything mentioned in this article. I will always let you know if I receive a media rate or comp. All opinions are mine, as always.

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  1. Thanks for your article! This is extremely helpful! I am going to SMA with my husband and kids in August. I’d like to put them in one of the camps you suggested. Curious to know how you convinced your kids to attend the camp.

    1. Hi Tania – I’m so excited for you and your upcoming SMDA visit! Since I am a working mom, my kids have been attending summer day camps since they were around age 3, so they were used to attending camp. I did not present it as an option. I just said, “We’re going to Mexico for a month and you both will attend a fun day camp while we’re there.” It helps that they both adored their teacher and enjoyed the camp so much!

  2. Thank you for this. Planning a getaway in Feb for my wife and the kids (both under 4). Really appreciate the insights.

  3. Thanks for the review of beautiful San Miguel de Allende, city in my beautiful state of Guanajuato.
    One note do, if you want your kids to have the experience of living outside America, you need to take them to Europe or Asia or any other place.
    America is the continent. Mexico is America!!
    Thanks again for the article!

    1. Hi Maria – Thank you for the comment. I have changed that sentence to read, “life outside the United States.” I understand that Mexico is part of the Americas, but you are Mexican and we are Americans. We do not call ourselves United Statesians. My kids have visited Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. We just really, really, really love Mexico — and San Miguel de Allende in particular.

  4. What a beautiful, colourful city! I knew nothing about San Miguel de Allende before and now I understand why you love it so much – what a charming city. We haven’t spent much time in Mexico because I’m not crazy about parking myself at a beach resort but this looks like a destination that I would enjoy!

    1. Lisa – I’m not a huge Mexico beach vacation fan either — the resort towns are so incredibly touristy. I bet you’d love SMDA. I hope you can visit someday when it’s safe to travel again!

  5. Great article and you totally sold SMDA for me! I’ll be taking my 3 year old and have personally traveled a ton so not too worried about getting around but seriously worried about my kid drinking the water (like during bath or random kid weirdness). I get sick EVERY time I go to Mexico and I’m a grown woman with years of living in China. Just worried about dehydration (I know there’s a hospital there) but wondering if you’ve gotten sick or heard stories in this region. Stomach bug and car seat my biggest concerns:) Thx!!! Did you move yet? Did you ever swim or find a jacuzzi? Curious….Thanks for your work!

    1. Hi Stacey –

      We are still in Arizona and have not made the move to SMDA, although we still do talk about it from time to time. It just might be where we retire someday.

      I did get a bit sick to my stomach for a day or two after eating shrimp with a really rich cream sauce at a restaurant once in SMDA, but nothing terrible. And my friend who stayed with us for a week forgot to wash her raspberries with iodine and got pretty sick for a few days. You can find rental homes and hotels with filtered water in the taps, but most places just have bottled water delivered weekly. Pretty much every restaurant in town only serves filtered water and we drank that with no problems at all. As far as your son drinking the bath water, I think if you warn him before you go and every time he bathes, you should be fine. Stock up on plenty of bottled waters, Gatorades and coconut waters if you’re worried about dehydration.

      As for car seats, I’d bring one for the ride from the airport to your accommodations in SMDA. After that, though, it’s probably not necessary. I’ve never seen a local even wear a seatbelt when driving/riding through town because everyone drives really, really slow due to the cobblestone streets. Of course, it’s better safe than sorry and you should do what you think is best. You probably don’t need a rental car unless you plan to drive to nearby towns since taxis are plentiful and cheap, and it’s easy to walk to most places in the city.

      Although we did not stay at the Rosewood Hotel, we did buy pool passes one day and enjoyed their pool and hot tub. Here’s a list of places where you can swim in San Miguel:

      Hope that helps! Have a wonderful time in beautiful San Miguel de Allende!

  6. Hi! Great article! I have a one year old and we are traveling with another couple and their baby. We were considering renting a car. We are arriving in Leon around 6:30 am. We’re mainly concerned with ease of transport of two car seats. Any thoughts? TIA!

    1. There really is no reason to have a car when you are in San Miguel, unless you plan to do a lot of day trips to surrounding areas like Queretaro and Guanajuato. Even if you do want to travel around the area, you can hire a guide at an affordable rate. Once you’re within the city, almost all of the streets are cobblestone. This means that everyone drives incredibly slow. Pretty much no one wears a seatbelt within the city (not that I’d recommend that). Parking is often difficult within the city as well since there aren’t really parking lots anywhere. But, if you will feel more comfortable with a rental car, why not?! Additionally, here are some transportation companies that service San Miguel de Allende that may be able to provide advise about traveling with two car seats: Have a wonderful time in beautiful San Miguel de Allende!

  7. Great information! We are looking at a trip to San Miguel next month to visit in laws who live there and absolutely love it. I hope that you make your dream come true, to move there. If it is that wonderful maybe we’ll have to look at a longer visit this summer too.

    1. Liana – I hope you love San Miguel de Allende as much as we do! We are thinking of heading somewhere else this summer for a month but I can’t pull the trigger because I love San Miguel so much and think I want to head back!

  8. Great article! I love the pictures of the rental house. May I ask which one it is (do you remember the name / location of it?

    1. Hi Mercedes – On our first trip, we rented through HomeAway, but I honestly would not recommend the place where we stayed. It had a funny smell and the expat American owners were a little…umm…creepy. For our second month-long trip, we rented through a local San Miguel de Allende real estate company. I am not sharing the information about that home because we are planning to rent there again next summer and maybe even longer and do not want to have to compete to make the booking. Sorry! Take a look at HomeAway, AirBnB and TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals – there are lots of great options! I would stick to Centro, Guadiana and maybe San Antonio colonias (neighborhoods). Good luck!

  9. Hi Colleen,
    My family and I visiting SMA very soon and my spouse is a little nervous. It looks so wonderful but has concerns about safety. Any advice to settle the nerves…besides a margarita?

    1. Hi Ri Ri – I can totally understand your husband’s concern about safety in Mexico. Having said that, San Miguel de Allende is truly one of the safest cities in all of Mexico. This article by Lonely Planet names SMDA one of the safest places in the country: Of course, I would not go walking around by myself drunk after dark in San Miguel for safety reasons, but I wouldn’t do that in any city! I felt extremely safe while there, three weeks of which I was there with my kids alone (without my husband). If you stick to exploring Centro, Guadiana and maybe San Antonio colonias, you should be just fine. Take normal safety precautions as you would in any city and have a wonderful time!

  10. When my husband and I visited Colleen and our grandkids in San Miguel for a week in June we were impressed by the ease of getting around. There is so much to see and do I would love to visit again.

  11. Dear Colleen,

    I am planning to take our three kids in December. I am having a hard time deciding which airport to chose and what’s the best way to get there from Mexico City. Can you please provide some insight?

    1. You have a few options. You could fly into Mexico City and take a very nice bus into San Miguel – but the ride is about 3.5 hours. The other option is to fly into Leon (airport code BJX) or Queretaro. Leon is about an hour and 10 minutes by cab from SMA, whereas Queretaro is only about 45 minutes from SMA. There aren’t many international flights into Queretaro, though. I don’t know where you’re flying from, but it is much cheaper to fly within Mexico than to fly from the U.S. Therefore, one option would be to fly to San Diego, CA and then take a cab or Uber to the border, walk over the pedestrian bridge and fly direct to Leon or Queretaro from Tijuana. We flew into Leon on our first visit from LAX and this time we will fly to Leon again from Phoenix (with a stop in Dallas).

  12. Once you’re a mother, you always have to prioritize your kids’ fun and entertainment above your own. Well, it takes away from mine but to see those smiling faces and twinkling eyes warms my heart. This article has helped me to imagine how happy my kids would be to go to this place. I cannot wait to plan this trip with my kids to San Miguel. Thank you for elaborately telling it all about where to go and what to eat. Good work!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Isabella. I hope you can bring your kids to San Miguel de Allende someday soon. I bet the whole family loves it!

  13. Thank you for sharing your experience! My family is heading to San Miguel is April. We have lots of family there, but this will be our first time with kids. We have a 6 and 3 year old. Even though I am already very excited to share this special place with my boys your story brought on even more excitement.