Water Parks, Gardens, & VR Adventures

So you’ve decided to take a family holiday to Dubai, one of the most luxurious cities in the world, and what a great choice you’ve made! With radiant weather, countless water parks and attractions, and of course beautifully curated architecture, Dubai also has a huge array of child-friendly attractions. Here’s a list of 21 top-rated things to do in Dubai with Kids.

1. Desert Safari

Let’s kick things off with a cultural activity that’ll teach you and your family about the real Dubai, and some of its beautiful traditions.

With the Desert Safari you’ll experience a half-day packed with exhilarating activities in the stunning Dubai desert. You’ll get a tour of the desert by your professional guide and driver, who will take you on a thrilling (and bumpy!) ride across the dunes.

Following this, you’ll have the option to tackle the dunes yourself. Zoom through the sand on a quad bike or bolt to the bottom of a dune on a sand board. Just don’t forget to have your picture taken at the top of one of the highest dunes! After all the excitement and exhilaration, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the beauty of the desert and its glowing sky.

At sun-down you’ll sit down for a complete barbecue. Here you’ll be told all about the traditions of Dubai, and really get to see this beautiful city in a different light. This evening safari will provide you and your family with a sense of adventure and a fascinating insight into life in the desert.

Good to know: Hotel pick-up can be arranged for guests staying within the Dubai city limits, so you and your family just need to enjoy the ride.

2. DubaiDino

This completely legitimate dinosaur skeleton is on display within The Dubai Mall. You’ll have to hurry to see it though, as it’s currently up for auction, so make sure you pay it a visit so your dino enthusiasts don’t miss out.

3. Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

If you’d prefer to visit creatures of the more “alive” variety, head to the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo!

Here you’ll be able to see 140 species of fish, including 300 sharks. This aquarium and underwater zoo comprises 10 million liters of water for the nautical residents to enjoy. It even has a submarine simulator and glass-bottom boats!

Good to know: If you’d like to visit the Dubai Underwater Zoo and Aquarium, you can get a combo ticket allowing you to visit the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk.

Dubai Gulf by day
Photo by Fadi Al Shami on Unsplash

4. VR Park

Maybe your family is looking to try out exploring a different world entirely. This is something the Dubai mall can provide you with, as they’re also host to the awesome VR Park.

This virtual reality park caters to people of all ages, but older children will love it too.

5. Dubai Ice Rink

The weather in Dubai can get incredibly hot, so why not cool down in the Dubai Ice Rink? Yes, you read that right – there is a large ice rink in the Dubai Mall as well. It’s not just one of the coolest things to do in Dubai with kids (literally), here you can even get classes to help teach your children how to skate, so you know the entire family can have a great time exploring this Olympic-size rink.

Kids are in control at KidZania
Kids are in control at KidZania

6. KidZania

If you’ve got some younger children in your family, take a visit to KidZania. Kidzania offers children a four-hour experience, where they can try their hand at a vast amount of different professions, in a city made by kids and run by kids. From trying out being a police officer for a day, to giving building a go, this experience is sure to make your children leave feeling inspired.

7. Hysteria

Does your family have a penchant for horror and a bit of a jump scare? Then go and give Hysteria a visit!

This haunted mansion is filled with riddles and clues, and you need to solve the mystery that haunts it with ghosts. This attraction is a hair-raiser packed with fun activities, but it’s probably more suited towards older children or younger teenagers.

8. Green Planet

Take a trip to Dubai’s Green Planet, home to the seven-story biodome, and don’t miss the Creatures of the Night exhibition, where you’ll be able to meet the Slow Loris family: Lonely, Hope and their baby.

The Creatures of the Night exhibition is one of the most educational things to do in Dubai with kids, and it’s a great way to experience how tropical creatures go about their 24-hour activities.

The walk takes you underneath the biodome, where the Green Planet operators have full control of day and night cycles – how cool is that?
If you and your family prefer a bit more adrenaline, Green Planet even provides the opportunity to snorkel with Piranhas in the tropic biodome! Swim with thousands of red-bellied Piranhas as they embark on their lunchtime feeding frenzy.

Green Planet Dubai, one of the most educational things to do with kids in Dubai
All action at Green Planet in Dubai

This experience is available to people aged 6 and up, and you don’t need any diving experience, as you will only be snorkeling on the surface, looking at the amazing view underneath. Good to note though, is that you must be able to swim.

If you’d prefer to experience a not-so-natural phenomenon, the Green Planet even has a Tropical Thunderstorm experience. This is a full sensory experience, including the sound of thunder, flashes of lighting, and the gusts of wind and rain – all inside an incredible building. Don’t worry though, there are places to shelter if you’d prefer to spectate.

9. Wild Wadi

Of course, you’re going to find water parks in one of the hottest cities in the world. And with Dubai being one of the most opulent of those, there’s a bountiful water park selection, starting with Wild Wadi. Whilst the children are having a go on the huge variety of water slides available, you can spend your day relaxing on the lazy river, browsing the shops, or treating yourself to a cold smoothie to help beat the heat.

Screaming good fun at Wild Wadi
Screaming good fun at Wild Wadi

10. The Atlantis Adventure Waterpark

Located within the larger-than-life Atlantis Palma Hotel, there are 30 different waterslides to experience and a beach walk that hosts copious food stalls, the variety in the Atlantis Adventure Waterpark means that everyone will find something to keep them happy.

11. Aqua Fun Dubai

This stand-alone water park is going to be a huge hit with the kids, as it’s the world’s largest floating inflatable water park!

Here your children can bounce their day away, running through obstacle courses and playing in the water. Aqua Fun Dubai is sure to tucker any child out, which will leave more time for you to relax in the evening.

12. Glow Garden

If you’re looking for evening activities for children in Dubai, why not have a wander around Dubai’s very own Glow Garden? Here you can walk into a magical land, and children and adults alike can let their imagination run free.

Glow Garden is a venue that you can definitely come back to visit more than once, as their exhibitions have a variation of four different themes. These include the Dino Park, the Ice Park, the Magic Park and the Art Park. The whole family will leave this magical evening a glowing review.

Good to know: Glow Garden changes its themes according to the season, so this can be a place to visit all year around.

13. Dubai Miracle Garden

On the subject of gardens, Dubai’s attractions can bring you from night to day. The Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world and makes for one of the most relaxing things to do in Dubai with kids.

With over 72,000 square meters of land and upwards of 50 million flowers, you’re sure to get lost in this floral fantasy. There are even some exhibitions specifically tailored to children.

Explore the giant Mickey Mouse section, or take a stroll down Disney Avenue. Your kids will leave the Miracle Garden with stars in their eyes, and you will too!

Good to know: If you’re unsure of where to start in this behemoth of a park, you can book a guide to give you a tour of all of the flora and fauna you can admire.

14. IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure is Dubai’s largest indoor theme park, so you’ll find plenty of activities for children and enough to entertain the whole family for the entire day. Race about in a variety of adventure zones, with themes such as Marvel, Cartoon Network, The Haunted Hotel and IMG Kids Zone.

With rides, games, cafes and some awesome stores (including The Amazing World of Gumball Store!) IMG World of Adventure is one of the best things to do in Dubai with kids who love cartoons, short of sticking them in front of the iPad!

Good to know: The IMG World of Adventure caters to people of all ages, though the Cartoon Network is the best option for children aged 5 and under!

Family fun at LEGOLAND Dubai
Family fun at LEGOLAND Dubai

15. Legoland Amusement and Water Park

Dubai’s Legoland Amusement and Water Park Resort is sure to make the whole family happy. Dubai Legoland has six themed lands, including Factory Land, Imagination Land, Adventure Land, Kingdoms Land, a Lego city, and even a Miniland. Attractions can be found in each of these lands, including karting and children’s roller coasters. There is even a Lego building academy to unleash your creativity.

Good to know: Legoland Amusement Park and Water Park is aimed for children between the ages of 2 and 12, so if you’re bringing older children it could be worth taking this into consideration.

16. Museum of Illusions

Looking for unusual things to do in Dubai with kids? At the Dubai Museum of Illusions, you can experience 60 visual and educational exhibits, featuring holograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms, designed to toy with your senses and trick your mind.

Test your sense of balance by venturing through the Vortex Tunnel, or play with the laws of gravity and size perception through the interactive Ames and Tilted rooms. Photography is encouraged in these exhibitions, so you know you’ll make lifetime memories to look back and laugh at.

17. Aventura Park Dubai

What’s great about Aventura Parks is the range of difficulties that the park provides. There are six different levels of difficulty, ranging from green (the Rangers), to red (the Thrillers). In the Rangers courses, expect low obstacles with easy challenges that let parents watch their children from the sidelines.

Hanging out at Aventura Parks Dubai, fun for all the family
Hanging out at Aventura Parks Dubai

If you’d prefer to get involved with the adventure, you can opt for the Explorador levels, where adults can join their children in the climbing obstacle course. This is a low to medium difficulty course, with a higher infrastructure and enough room for the whole family to enjoy.

Aventura Parks also caters to younger children, with a Discovery area that is packed with fun activities for toddlers and kids up to the age of seven. Expect to see a mini rock climbing wall, a short zipline circuit, and a popular fountain area for your children to play in and cool down. This is a great way to introduce your young children to their sense of adventure.

18. Mattel Play! Town

Packed with activities for children between the ages of two and 10, little ones can explore five different themed zones. Each of these is based on well-loved television characters, and every zone teaches kids about a specific social skill or activity.

Enjoy making music and dancing with Barney and his friends in his backyard. Watch Thomas come to life in a fully immersive 4D cinema experience. Learn about teamwork whilst helping Bob the Builder build a new city. Dress for action and join fireman Sam in saving the day whilst learning all about fire safety.

Express yourself and build your confidence through dressing up, dancing, and performing on stage with Angelina Ballerina at her interactive dance studio. Mattel Play! Town has plenty of options to make sure your children have a magical day.

Good to know: A wholesome and healthy food buffet is also available, so you don’t need to worry about having any hungry tummies here!

19. Children’s City Dubai

For inquisitive and curious young minds, Children’s City Dubai is host to different themed galleries and programs. Kids can pick and choose what topic they would like to explore. Don’t miss the planetarium and its shows on a range of topics that explore the night skies, stars, and galaxies.

Perhaps your child is more interested in learning about international culture? In this case, there’s a wonderful exhibition designed to introduce your child to different experiences and lifestyles around the world.

If you have a future biologist on your hands, then check out the Human Body exhibition. Here your child will be able to learn about how humans are built by building their own skeletons. They can even learn about dental hygiene by walking into a giant mouth!

Good to know: Children’s City Dubai is located in Dubai’s Creek Park, which has plenty of attractions for you and the family to take part in after your visit. Don’t forget to check out an exotic bird show!

Icy fun for all ages at Ski Dubai, one of the coolest things to with children in Dubai
Icy fun for all ages at Ski Dubai

20. Ski Dubai

Hit the slopes and have breakfast with penguins in Dubai! Yes – you read that right. You can go skiing and meet penguins in the Middle East thanks to Dubai’s 22,500-square-meter indoor ski resort.

The Slope Park has an incredible 85-meter mountain, and five different slopes of 400m, varying in difficulty. If you and your family are new to skiing, that shouldn’t deter you from trying out this amazing experience, as ski lessons are available to people of all ages. It’s even possible to rent your equipment for the day.

Ski Dubai also offers day packages, which include access to bobsledding, snow bumper karting, climbing, a snow playground, and even visiting an ice cave. On top of this, Ski Dubai is also home to 33 penguins. You can meet the colony in person, and even go on a walk with them if you purchase the “Penguin Encounter” experience in advance.

A day out at Ski Dubai is bound to be one of the most surreal experiences for your family, and playing in the snow in one of the hottest cities in the world is an experience the whole family will remember!

21. Beach, beach, beach!

How could we forget one of the sandiest things to do in Dubai with kids? There’s nothing like a trip to one of the Emirate’s best beaches to add some sunshine to your family day out. There are loads to choose from. 4×4 Beach is great if you have a car – just drive through the car park right up to the beach and set up a picnic, any time from sunrise to sunset.

For something with restaurant and bathroom facilities, JBR beach is a huge stretch of beach that’s always busy, but always has something going on for jet skiers, ice-cream fans, volleyball players and kids can head on into the inflatable Aqua Park. Sunset Beach also has a children’s play area, where they can let off steam as you bake in the sun.

Hopefully, you now have some more insight into things to do in Dubai with kids. If you’re looking for a short getaway solo or with a friend or partner, check out our 48 hours in Dubai blog!

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