Dubai With Kids - Kid-Friendly Activities in Dubai For A Memorable Family Vacation
Travelling with family can be a great way to enjoy a new country and create memories together, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep the children entertained. What if they don't enjoy museums? Or gardens? Or skyscrapers? What can a parent do? Thankfully, this isn't the case in Dubai. With plenty of options with kids in mind, it's a great city for every member to have a great time.
Read on to know more about the best way to spend a vacation in Dubai, with kids:
1. Ski Dubai
Did you know that the world's largest indoor snow park was located in Dubai? Spread over 22,500 square metres, this winter wonderland offers activities like bobsledding and skiing, even providing chairlifts to take you up to their highest peaks. It is a hit with children - after all, who wouldn't want to build a snowman? At Ski Dubai, children can enjoy the pleasure of winter away from Dubai's hot climate while parents can enjoy hot chocolates from the park cafes.
Timings: Open from 10 AM to 11 PM Entry Fee: Location: Mall of the Emirates
2. Dubai Miracle Garden
This garden is a beautiful location to take in the flora of the world in a single location. Dubai Miracle Garden has over 45 million flowers, making it one of the largest flower gardens in the world. Their colourful displays change each season and their butterfly garden is bound to enrapture even the most hyper child. They've got a children's area as well to frolic in the beautiful garden. Buses ply regularly from Mall of the Emirates.
Timings: Open from 9 AM to 9 PM, November to May Entry Fee: AED 30 for adults and AED 3 for children. Location: Dubailand district, Dubai
3. Old Dubai
Before Dubai became the symbol of progress in the UAE, it was once a sleepy trading town and there are still remnants of this history in Old Dubai. Separated from the commercial area by Dubai Creek, you can take a local water taxi called abra that plies between Deira and Bur Dubai. Children are bound to be fascinated by the 150 different boats that travel along the creek, leading you past the Old Spice Souk, Dubai's traditional houses, and even large ships travelling along the horizon.
Timings: Abras run from 6 AM to 12 PM Cost: AED 1 Location: Deira, Dubai
4. Adventure Zone
This indoor adventure park can be found in Jumeirah Galleria Mall. It is quite a sight with its high ropes courses, 12 themed climbing walls, zip-line course and even an adventure course. Children can spend hours here enjoying the many activities and parents are welcome to join the fun! Do keep in mind that there are height restrictions, so it might not be the best location for children below the age of 6.
Timings: Adventure Zone is open from 10 AM to 10 PM. Cost: AED 65 for 30 minutes, AED 100 for 60 minutes, AED 200 for an all-day pass Location: Galleria Mall Jumeirah, Dubai
5. Kayaking on Kite Beach
What could be more fun than spending a day at the beach? Kite Beach has plenty of stores that renting out kayaks, along with experienced instructors who provide briefing sessions and life jackets before setting you on your ocean adventure. Children will love the experience of navigating their kayak along the waves. There's even the potential to see dolphins and sea turtles! The best time to go kayaking is between 7 AM and 3 PM, after which the weather becomes uncomfortably hot. This is an activity best suited for children above the age of 10.
Timings: 7 AM to 3 PM Cost: AED 60 onwards Location: Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah Beach Road
6. Camel Racing
This is a popular activity in the Arabian Peninsula, most commonly Qatar and the UAE. Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack is a popular spot just outside of Dubai to catch camel races where these large animals run at almost 40 kilometres an hour along their tracks. These races are usually held on Fridays, although there's no fixed schedule. April marks the Al Marmoum Heritage Festival when thousands of camels can be seen at the races. These races tend to reduce in frequency in April, after which it is considered off-season till September. Watching these races is quite an exhilarating activity that will excite every member of the family.
Timings: 4 PM to 10 PM Cost: Based on individual betting amounts Location: Al Ain Road, Dubai
7. Dubai Fountains
This is a popular light show overlooking the Burj Khalifa. With over 6,000 lights and 25 coloured projectors, the fountains throw up water for almost 500 feet in the air accompanied by music. It os a fascinating display of light and sound across Dubai's night sky. For a fee of around AED 65, you can get a closer look at the show at the Dubai boardwalk.
Timings: This show takes place at 1 PM and 1:30 PM every day, and then at half-hour intervals from 6 PM to 10 PM on weekdays and 6 PM to 11 PM on weekends Cost: AED 65 Location: Dubai Mall, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
What could excite a child more than the prospect of Lego in real life? In Dubai's Legoland, you can step into a world made up of Legos like the Lego factory, Lego city and even an exciting underwater submarine. Open from 10 AM to 6 PM, Legoland's largest ride is their Dragon Coaster that thrusts you almost 16m in the air at a heart-dropping speed of 60 kilometres an hour! Legoland on Sheikh Zayed Road is a wonderful place for children above the age of 6 to spend the day.
Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM Cost: Spend the entire day for an entry fee of AED 95 Location: Sheikh Zayed Road
If you'd like your children to have fun while learning something new, Kidzania is the perfect location. At this pint-sized simulation of a city, children can take up careers like police officers, doctors, and even McDonald's employees as they make their own money. Kidzania at Dubai Mall is a hit with children and parents alike. You can drop off your children and enjoy some shopping while they learn how to make a living!
Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM Cost: Between AED 95 and AED 140 depending on the number of hours Location: Dubai Mall
10. Desert Palm Riding School
Many parents hesitate to let their children try their hand at horse riding, but Dubai's Desert Palm Riding School takes a personalized approach to ensure that everyone has a safe and great time. Their hand-led sessions between 10 to 20 minutes give children an introduction to this new activity. Located at Dubai Polo Club, this riding school has 91 horses for their group and semi-private sessions, with the option of one-on-one training for those kids eager to learn more. Best for children above the age of 5, the riding school gives your child a chance to ride horses safely while you can watch their faces beam with delight as they trot around.
Timings: 7 AM to 11 AM, 4 PM to 8 PM Cost: AED 125 onwards Location: Al Aweer Road
11. Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park
This converted camel track offers your child the fun opportunity to ride cycles across different tracks with a view of Dubai's lovely skyline. It has different courses for short, middle, and long distance riders with the added amenities of lockers, changing rooms and showers. There's even a night riding course to ramp up the difficulty. At this cycle park, your children's cycling proficiency is tested and it's a fun way for them to learn about road sense through the park's street signs, roundabouts, and speed bumps.
Timings: Open all day Cost: Free Location: Muscat Street
12. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
This is one of Dubai's best family-friendly waterparks. The main attraction here is the Leap of Faith, a tube ride that crosses a shark lagoon, making you see these majestic beasts from just a few feet away as you whizz by. Their other thrilling slides include Poseidon's Revenge, Aquaconda, and the Zoomerang. For the little ones who don't meet the height requirement, their splashing area and Lazy River are fun attractions. Aquaventure Waterpark is open from 10 AM to 6 PM with an entry fee of AED 275 for a day pass.
Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM Cost: For people above 1.2 m in height: AED 275 For people below 1.2 m in height: AED 225 Free entry for children below 2 years of age Location: Crescent Road
13. Bounce Trampoline Park
As the name suggests, Bounce is a huge indoor playground with trampolines from wall-to-wall. With added benefits of a dodgeball court, slam dunk hoops and inflatable airbags, a day at Bounce is bound to be fun for the whole family. Children will exhaust themselves bouncing around in glee in the hundred interconnected trampolines. There's even a Mini-Bounce program for children between 3-5 years old. Don't miss out on their obstacles course that includes a bouldering wall and zip-line to truly test your skills.
Timings: 12 PM to 12 AM Cost: Prices start from AED 75 Location: 4B Street, Al Quoz 1
14. Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo enjoyed its 50th anniversary in 2018. Spread across 990 acres, it is home to over 4,000 animals, including the rare white lion. It is a leading wildlife conservation sanctuary in the UAE and includes the option of camping out and staying overnight at their Wild Reserve Project. Children will particularly love the interactive activities like feeding giraffes and riding camels.
Timings: 9AM to 8PM Cost: AED 15 for adults and AED 5 for children under the age of 12 Location: Nahyan The First St
15. Dubai Ice Rink
What's a better way to beat the heat of Dubai than ice-skating? With an Olympic size rink at Dubai Mall, Dubai Ice Rink is a lovely place for the family to try their hand at a new sport. There are instructors available to impart lessons and even disco sessions to enjoy skating with lights and music. Smaller children can get little penguin supporters to aid in balance and avoid falls. During Ramadan, half the rink is closed to skaters for the Ramadan Lights Fest.
Timings: 10 AM to 11 PM Cost: AED 60 Location: The Dubai Mall
16. Dubai Dolphinarium
This dolphin sanctuary is home to bottlenose dolphins, seals, and exotic parrots. Spread across 54,000 square feet, it offers dolphin and seal shows, bird shows, and the opportunity to swim with dolphins. The entire family will love being in the water as these friendly water animals swim happily around them with the option of waist-deep and deep-water experiences. This is a popular activity that sells out often, so advanced bookings are recommended.
Timings: 11 AM to 8 PM Cost: AED 30 depending on shows Location: Riyadh Street, Umm Hurair 2
Dubai holds many opportunities for fun experiences that will excite the whole family. Whether your children are excited about nature and animals, adventure sports or even history, the city has something for everyone!