- Outdoor family activities in Dubai
- Indoor things to do in Dubai with family
- Visit museums and historical sites
Are you looking for activities that the whole family can enjoy in Dubai? Well, you are in luck! There are tons of things to do for kids to do in Dubai. And fortunately for parents, most of the emirate’s kid-friendly attractions can be just as enjoyable for grown-ups. From outdoor desert adventures to water parks, amusement parks and historical sites, here is our complete guide to family activities in Dubai.
OUTDOOR FAMILY ACTIVITIES AND ADVENTURES IN DUBAI
Malls and indoor gaming zones aside, families in Dubai are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities. From desert safaris to camel rides and amusement parks, here are some outdoor family things to do in Dubai.
1 – Visit the Global Village
The Global Village in Dubai had officially reopened for the 2019-2020 season in November 2019 and will stay open till April 2020. And the time for families to visit it is now. With a slew of international dining as well as shopping options, not to mention the many kid-friendly attractions, the festive extravaganza tops our list of family-friendly activities in Dubai.
2 – Visit the tallest building in the world
The At the Top Burj Khalifa experience is pretty popular with tourists of all ages. Experience the view atop the tallest building in the world on designated observation decks. It’s a must-visit for every new family visiting the emirate for the first time and even long-time residents love revisiting the spot to see the changing landscape of the constantly evolving city.
3 – Have a kart race
Some healthy competition can be a great way for families to bond. The amazing karting places in Dubai are perfect places to get the competitive spirit on and indulge in a game with the whole family. Popular karting spots include the Dubai Autodrome which features both indoor and outdoor karting tracks with packages that are suitable for families. Another example is the newly opened EKart Zabeel at the Dubai Mall.
4 – Chill out at a waterpark
Summers in the UAE can get uncomfortable, and waterparks are where families usually head to beat the heat. Considering the plethora of exciting rides and water-based action offered, a visit to a Dubai waterpark is one of the best family activities in Dubai. Notable parks in the emirate include Wild Wadi Waterpark, Aquaventure Waterpark and Laguna in La Mer.
5 – Book a desert safari
A trip to Dubai with family wouldn’t be complete without a desert safari; where you can ride camels, dune buggies, enjoy belly dancing performances and drive over the dunes. All it takes is to book an experience with any of the many desert safari tour operators in Dubai for an entire day of adventures in the sand.
6 – Go on a hot-air balloon ride over the desert
Hop on a hot air balloon with your family for a scenic evening or early morning ride over the vast stretches of the Dubai desert. The activity is pretty popular with tourists, and easily available, courtesy of the many hot air balloon service providers in Dubai. Some services offer lower charges for kids under a certain age with perks like falconry, dune bashing, breakfast and pick and drop services and even commemorative flight certificates on their list of offers.
7 – Visit Kite Beach
Beaches are one of the top places to visit with families in Dubai. And for good reason. Most of them have changing rooms, lifeguards on duty, jogging tracks and enough eateries to satisfy visiting families. Some of the most famous beaches in Dubai include Kite Beach, JBR Beach and La Mer Beach.
8 – Take a trip to Dubai Parks and Resorts
Known as an ideal family leisure destination, Dubai Parks and Resorts visits are a perfect way to spend weekends. The area features four types of distinct parks —Motiongate, Legoland, Legoland Waterpark and Bollywood Park.
9 – Ride the Dubai Metro
The city’s metro system is a great way to get from one part of the emirate to the other. It’s a great way for the whole family to see the city in one go. And it’s fun for kids too. Elevators are available at every station and it is stroller-friendly as well.
10 – Visit the Dubai Miracle Garden
Those picture-perfect moments can be captured perfectly at the Dubai Miracle Garden. The largest flower garden in the world is currently in its eighth season and features around fifty million flowers. Check out our Dubai Miracle Garden guide for details on the ticket prices for kids and adults.
11 – Visit the many family-friendly parks
Looking for cheap places to visit in Dubai with family? Amusement and waterparks aside, Dubai is also home to some of the most beautiful parks on this side of the UAE. Examples of parks in Dubai include Al Mamzar Beach Park, Mushrif Park, Safa Park and more. Some offer free entry and those that do charge, keep the price nominal.
12 – Visit the Dubai spice and gold souks
The tastes, colours, sights, sounds and bustle of Dubai’s traditional market can be a magical experience for kids and parents alike. Visiting the city’s spice and gold souks is a great way for the whole family to take in the culture.
13 – Ride a camel
The simplest pleasures can have a great impact. And for family visitors to Dubai, a camel ride tops the list. A lot of desert safari tour operators in Dubai offer camel rides as part of their service packages. Some beaches like Marina Beach and JBR beach also offer the service.
14 – Watch the dancing fountain
The world’s largest musical fountains, The Dubai Fountain can shoot water as high as 50 metres. It’s a spectacular sight to see the stunning water displays and hear popular popular soundtracks in a unique way. Shows are free of cost and are visible from every point on the Burj Khalifa Lake in Downtown Dubai.
15 – Enjoy laser show at Dubai Festival City
One of the best attractions in Dubai Festival City Mall is the IMAGINE laser show. Held daily at hour-long intervals in the evenings, it’s a unique sensory experience which uses a combination of water, fire and laser displays for a show that your partner and the kids are sure to appreciate.
16 – Challenge each other to a paintball match
For an adventurous touch to your family’s day out, visit paintball places in Dubai. Safety is a priority here with combat gear provided to all participants. Parents can challenge their kids to a match for hours of action-packed fun.
17 – Swim with dolphins
Get the chance to swim with a friendly pod of dolphins at Dolphin Bay. Enjoyable for kids and parents alike, you can book any of the hotel’s bucket-list of activities which includes options for every age. Participants can experience a deep-water dolphin swim and even interact with them in shallow waters.
INDOOR THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI WITH FAMILY
If the great outdoors doesn’t appeal to you, there are several Dubai indoor attractions that are just as fun for families. Here some indoor activities families can indulge in:
18 – Visit City Walk
With areas like Hub Zero — a virtual gaming experience with zones for all ages — and The Green Planet, City Walk is one of our top attractions in Dubai for families. Other attractions in City Walk include a visit to the Mattel Play Town, which can be fun for toddlers.
19 – Go wild in the trampoline parks
From slam dunks to crazy stunts, trampoline parks in Dubai offer a slew of fun activities for the whole family. Among the more famous is BOUNCE Dubai indoor trampoline park is a major hit with parents and kids. Trained instructors are always on hand to ensure play remains safe and are always up to teach visitors some tricks, both young and old.
20 – Play laser tag
Looking for similar activities like paintball but without the mess? A game of laser tag is the way to go. Laserdrome Dubai and Hub Zero are two of the most popular places for a family-friendly activity in Dubai.
21 – Experience theme park thrills at IMG Worlds of Adventure
What kid doesn’t love a theme park? And a visit to Dubai’s theme parks is often on every family’s “kids activities in Dubai” bucket list. Consider IMG Worlds of Adventure. With over four themed zones and a 12-screen cinema, it’s one of the biggest amusement parks in the UAE. Rides here are suitable for both children and adults, so parents can join in the fun too.
22 – Visit the Dubai Butterfly Garden
Located next door to the Dubai Miracle Garden, the Dubai Butterfly Garden is another spot for a family day out in the city. Home to over 15,000 butterflies, the climate-controlled facility is open all year round with attractions like a koi pond and educational area for kids.
23 – Visit the Dubai Aquarium
A visit to the Dubai Aquarium is another great option for family activities in Dubai. Its home to over 140 aquatic species and is also the world’s largest indoor aquarium. Make it into a learning experience and get your kids to guess the names of each fish.
24 – Watch your kids enjoy real life simulations at KidZania
KidZania is an indoor edutainment zone that allows kids to live out their dreams. The 7,000 sq.m. space is designed to replicate a city with activities that simulate real-world responsibilities. Examples include an acting academy where participants can learn different puppeteering techniques and a flight simulator with kids as pilots or co-pilots. While this attraction is mainly suited to kids, adults can enjoy checking out the many shops and attractions in The Dubai Mall afterwards.
25 – Beat the heat at Ski Dubai
Situated at the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is a massive indoor ski-resort which is especially popular with families during summers. Have snowball fights, build a snowman and ski down the artificial slopes. Make sure that you get tickets for the Penguin Encounter, where you can take pictures with the flightless birds.
26 – Engage in VR Experiences
VR gaming has taken off, and families can make the most of them in the emirate, thanks to the many video gaming and VR centres in Dubai that offer the experience exclusively. VRPark Dubai and IFLY Dubai are just a few options for such family activities in Dubai.
27 – Engage in interactive exhibits at OliOli
Referred to in Hawaiian as a “museum of delights”, OliOli is a play centre designed by artists, child psychologists and educators. There’s a lot of activities for kids to tinker with like a water gallery with canons and even a sensory “rain” section for toddlers. Parents are encouraged to join in the fun too.
28 – Enjoy crafts at The Happy Studio
A place where kids — or those who are kids at heart — can let their imaginations run wild, The Happy Studio is essentially what everyone wants in a crafts room. Plus, the jolly staffers keep things fun for everyone. Adults are asked to take part in the fun too, which makes The Happy Studio one of the best indoor activities in Dubai for families.
29 – Complete challenges at Jumble
Offering over 200 challenges, which can involve anything from calling a fire station to meeting zombies, the Jumble is an ideal place for families to hang out. Anybody can solve the challenges and you play as long as you play for. The place also offers packages for birthday parties.
30 – Paint at thejamjar
One of Dubai’s most beloved institutions, thejamjar is a DIY painting studio, creatively combining a learning environment and community art space. The non-judgmental atmosphere of the studio is perfect to let you and your child’s inner artist run wild. All you need to do is turn up and they will provide you with brushes, paints, canvases and aprons.
Visit museums and historical sites
A visit to a historical site or museum is a great way for parents, especially expats, to introduce their kids to the history of the UAE. On that note, here is an overview of historical attractions in Dubai for families:
31 – Visit the many museums
There are around 11 museums in Dubai. They are open to all ages, with the most popular being Dubai Museum. Others include the Women’s Museum UAE, Saruq Al Hadid, Shindagha museums and even a Coins Museum. Most of them feature interactive elements like photos and videos that keep things interesting.
32 – Take the kids to the 3D Art Museum
This isn’t a museum in the historical sense, but the 3D World museum can be an interesting entry in your options for things to do in Dubai with family. An interactive facility, it’s the largest of its type in the world with over 185 pieces of artwork that showcase fantastical optical illusions.
33 – Visit the Al Fahidi Historical District
If you want the kids to know what life was like before the oil boom resulted in unprecedented wealth for the nation, take them to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. For the best experience, take an Abra along the Creek and do visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where visitors get the chance to feast on traditional food on Bedouin-style carpets.
That’s wraps up our picks for the best family activities in Dubai. While some activities for families in Dubai are charged, there are some that won’t cost you a single Dirham. Parents interested can take advantage of free things to do in Dubai. For the best experience, also check out our ultimate guide of things to do in Dubai.
For more updates on activities in the UAE, stay tuned to MyBayut.