When most parents consider a vacation destination that’ll suit the whole family, Dubai isn’t often the first destination that comes to mind. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that this bustling metropolis is filled with some of the best activities and attractions I’ve found for kids anywhere in the world. From interactive museums and exhibits to activities that let your little ones run around and burn off some energy, they’re guaranteed to have a blast – and you will, too.
Not sure which kid-friendly attractions you should add to your family’s itinerary? Here are some of the top spots to have fun with your kids in Dubai.
DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO
Even if you’ve spent some time exploring aquariums in the past, you won’t want to skip an opportunity to explore the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Located inside the Dubai Mall, you can see part of the museum – the massive main tank, which is home to well over 100 different species of fish and marine life, is viewable from three different levels within the mall. However, for a small fee, you can properly explore the aquarium’s attractions, which include:
- A glass-walled tunnel that leads you straight through the aquarium, offering a totally new perspective (and some great photos).
- An underwater zoo, which is home to everything from an impressively large king crocodile to bats, hedgehogs, and animals that don’t actually reside in the water.
- The opportunity to splurge even more on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like a shark encounter.
For a fun and enriching experience for your kids, check out OliOli, an interactive museum filled to the brim with over forty different exhibits designed to encourage your child to play, learn, and grow. You’ll find exhibits inspired by natural forces, like air and water, which allow your little one to play with the physics that influence their lives. Future drivers will appreciate the Cars and Ramps Gallery, where kiddos can build and race their own model cars, and everyone will have fun burning off some energy as they climb and play throughout Toshi’s Nets Gallery.
AQAUAVENTURE WATERPARK AT ATLANTIS THE PALM
There’s no denying that the weather in Dubai can be hot – and sometimes, downright oppressive. If you’re looking for a great way to cool off while still enjoying the sunshine, plan a day at Aquaventure Waterpark Dubai. Kick back and relax as you float along the lazy river, or queue up for one of the various water slides that call this park home. With slides that send you shooting down at nearly 60 kilometers per hour, believe me when I say you’ll find thrills for even the biggest adrenaline junkies here. And if your kiddos are too small to enjoy the bigger rides? They’ll still have a blast playing at Splashers Island, an area designated for little ones to safely play.
While your teens may roll their eyes at the kid-friendly attractions in LEGOLAND Dubai, this park (geared toward kids ages 2-12) is the perfect spot to let your little ones really have some fun. You’ll find rides inspired by your kid’s favorite LEGO toys, like the DUPLO Express train ride for toddlers and the Dragon roller coaster. Photo opportunities abound in this colorful, well-planned park.
Aside from the rides, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities to play with LEGO – if that’s your thing! Tour the LEGO Factory to see how LEGOS are made or check out MINILAND, an impressive indoor display that features Dubai’s skyline created entirely from LEGO.
Need a great way to let your kiddos burn off some energy and have a blast? Look no further than Bounce Dubai, the city’s largest trampoline park. You’ll find trampolines where kids can bounce, leap, and flip to their heart’s delight, as well as fun areas dedicated to games and activities like basketball, dodgeball, and conquering obstacle courses. Whether you decide to jump around with them or let them make a few new friends as you watch from the sidelines, you can rest assured they’ll have a ton of fun in here.
For a one-of-a-kind experience your family won’t find anywhere else, you’ll definitely want to spend some time at Ski Dubai. The first indoor skiing facility in the Middle East, the park is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, and it’s a great place to spend a few hours whether or not you actually know how to ski. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will have fun shredding down the slopes, and those who don’t have much – or any – experience on the snow can sign up for a day of lessons to get comfortable and learn a new skill.
There’s more to do here, of course, than simply ski and snowboard. In addition to the indoor snow slope, you’ll also find a snow park. There, you’ll have a blast snow tubing, sledding, rolling around in giant Zorb balls, and simply playing in the snow. You can even purchase tickets to meet some of Ski Dubai’s special residents – real penguins! For an experience you and your child won’t soon forget, splurge on a “peng-friend” encounter and meet two different species of penguins in person!
Dubai is situated on the water, so it’s no surprise to learn that the city is home to some truly stunning beaches. Spend a few hours on Kite Beach, one of the area’s finest, for a fun way to spend a few hours together. Swim in the water, sunbathe on the shore, join in on a friendly game of volleyball, or simply admire the skyline that features some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, like the Burj Al Arab. When you get hungry, you can take advantage of one of the many food trucks that frequent the area.
As you can see, Dubai is home to some great kid-friendly attractions, making it an easy place to visit and enjoy with the whole family. Add a few of these stops to your itinerary, and your little ones will be guaranteed to have a great time.