Top 12 Things To Do In Mexico City At Christmas
Travel on the Turibus Festive Route at Night
Turibus offers tours all year long that show off some of the best sights of Mexico City, however during Christmas, they offer up a very festive route. For anyone wanting to experience a unique way to see Mexico City, the Turibus Night Route is the way to go. Travel through the city on an open top, big, red bus to see the twinkling lights and experience the energetic nightlife of Mexico City from a different perspective. Taking part in some of the Christmas themed events and lights tours is a great way to experience Mexico City at Christmas.
Lights in the Zocalo
When the sun goes down the Zocalo (the main square in the center of Mexico City, built on the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan) is an amazing place to visit. For over six decades the Zocalo has been the location of a spectacular Christmas lights setup, with over 35,000 lights displayed. During December, all of the buildings and areas of the Zocalo are filled with colorful patterns, Christmas trees, and decorations for everyone to enjoy.
Between the majestic buildings and the city’s most prominent light displays, the Zocalo is a fantastic experience at Christmas. The centerpiece of the light show is the almost 138-foot Christmas tree that is filled with lights that change color.
Ice Skating in the Zócalo
Take in the breathtaking Christmas light display in the Zócalo while ice skating in the middle of the square. Every year, the Zócalo gets transformed into an ice skating rink for 1,500 skaters at a time to enjoy.
The ice skating rink is a huge open-air space and helps add to the magical and festive atmosphere of Christmas in the Zócalo. This year you will be skating on energy efficient acrylic “ice.”
Try Some of the Best Food in Mexico City on a Food Tour
Whether you are visiting Mexico City or have lived there for years, taking a food tour is a great idea all year long. Food tours allow you to experience some of Mexico City’s most exquisite and most well-loved cuisine, all while on a guided tour.
During the festive season, a food tour is a great way to get out and experience the festive atmosphere, while trying a variety of different foods, soaking in the local sights, some culture and making new friends along the way.
Purchase Flores de Nochebuenas in Xochimilco
Xochimilco is a very historic neighborhood (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) most famous for its method of transportation, which is the trajinera. These are colorful, hand-decorated boats that glide through the canals and floating gardens of Xochimilco. People flock here on weekends to ride on one of the vast number of trajineras, while eating, drinking and listening to the festive mariachis. Its a Mexican fiesta on the water!
Xochimilco is also known as a floral region and one of the best places for finding the symbolic flower of Christmas, the poinsettia. During the time leading up to Christmas, traveling to the Xochimilco area to purchase a flor de nochebuena is a favorite tradition for many.
Attend the Ballet Folklórico de Mexico
For people of all ages looking to celebrate Christmas in a traditional Mexican way, attending the Ballet Folklórico de Mexico is a spectacular idea. Each year during during the Christmas season this large and legendary dance troupe puts on a special version of the show which last year was hosted at the Chapultepec Castle (Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100 Mexico City, CDMX).
This dance troupe is well versed in all Mexican folk dances, dress, and music, and they host performances at their main venue, Palacio de Bella Artes throughout December as well.
Attend the Nutcracker
For those who love performances, travel to the Auditorio National for Tchaikovsky’s classic, The Nutcracker, which is available for a few weeks each holiday season. The National Dance Company of Mexico City is particularly good at performing the classic ballet about Clara and her nutcracker. If you want to experience this version of the Nutcracker, it is essential to get your tickets a few months early because it sells out very quickly.
Find a Christmas tree in Ajusco
Christmas tree shopping in Ajusco National Park is a tradition upheld by many people in Mexico City. The National Park has an area that is solely focused on cultivating Christmas trees, and during the festive season, people can pick their own tree.
Many environmentally conscious people support finding a tree in Ajusco because they see it as rejecting the commercialized and environmentally damaging practice of importing Christmas trees. Instead, by buying a tree in Ajusco, people are giving back to the community and supporting clean air initiatives.
Tortas de Bacalao
The La Rambla sandwich shop located in downtown Mexico City is famous for serving one of Mexico’s favorite Christmas dishes, bacalao (salted and dried cod). While balalao is typically served all year long at La Rambla, many people prefer to visit during the Christmas season to enjoy the traditional Christmas dish. For people who don’t care for bacalao, La Rambla also serves turkey sandwiches, tortas de pavo.
Visit Antara Fashion Mall
The Antara Fashion Mall is an excellent place for holiday shopping, especially for people with refined taste. During the Christmas season it transforms into a Winter Wonderland, complete with nightly snow storms and visits from Santa and the Three Wise Men.
Whether you want to get some shopping done at your favorite stores or just want to take in the snow and holiday magic, this is a fun place to check out.
Visit the Basilíca de Guadalupe
The celebration of Christmas really kicks off on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Pilgrims from all over the world travel to the Basílica to pray for blessings in the new year and to get a glimpse of her image. The people gather and sing a Mexican birthday song for the Virgin at midnight, as well there are festivities in the plaza out front of the church all day long. (Basílica de Guadalupe, Plaza de las Americas 1, Villa de Guadalupe, Villa Gustave A. Madero, 07050 Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico)
Shop at a Tianguis (Street Market)
There are many street markets all over Mexico City, but one of the most fabulous tianguis for Christmas decorations is outside of the Jamaica Market. Here you will find so many different items including nativity scenes, Christmas trees, and massive piñatas for your holiday party (posada). (Jamaica Market, Guillermo Prieto 45, Magdalena Mixhuca, Jamaica, 15800 Venustiano Carranza, Mexico City, Mexico)