Family things to do in Dubai abound, offering experience malls, theme parks, waterparks, quirky museums, and even indoor skiing in the middle of the desert. You can head for one of the world's largest malls which offers a full aquarium inside. You can experience hundreds of exhibits showcasing illusions of all types. Rocket down pulse-pounding waterslides or relax on lazy rivers. Hit up a local beach famed for its kitesurfing experiences, or visit a theme park dedicated to the phenomenon of Bollywood.

    There are great reasons why Dubai is sometimes thought of as the world's favourite playground. Check out some of the best family things to do in Dubai with your kids for a memorable holiday.


    Wild Wadi Waterpark

    Ride the slides or relax on the lazy river

    Wild Wadi Waterpark offers a wide range of activities to thrill kids and adults alike, from waterslides and water gun battles to lazy rivers and surfing experiences. This iconic waterpark offers complimentary access to some local hotel guests, retail shops for souvenirs, gifts, or a swimsuit and lots of dining options to get a casual family meal whether you're in for burgers and hot dogs or you just want a salad or fresh smoothie. The park even offers facilities for toddlers and babies to have a great time.

    The park is also fully accessible for people with disabilities, and those who have a disability card get 50% off tickets. It's 15 minutes south of the city centre.

    Location: Opp. Burj Al Arab - Jumeirah St - Umm Suqeim - Umm Suqeim 3 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Phone: +971 4 348 4444


    LEGOLAND Dubai

    Check out an iconic park dedicated to LEGO builders

    LEGOLAND Dubai is a premiere theme park offering rides, games, food, shopping and fun, all dedicated to the phenomenon of LEGO builders all over the world. This amusement park offers everything from thrill rides to waterslides spread among 6 themed lands. These include the Factory, Imagination, Kingdoms, Adventure, Miniland, and Lego City areas. Each one offers themed attractions and playgrounds, including such attractions as go-karts, roller coasters and even a LEGO building academy.

    What sets this one apart from other local theme parks is that it also has a full-featured waterpark where they can build a raft for the lazy river. It also offers shops and eateries for all-day fun. It's only 30 minutes south of the city centre.

    Location: Parks & Resorts - Sheikh Zayed Rd Dubai - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Phone: +971 4 820 3123


    photo by Martin Lewison (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Ski Dubai

    Go skiing in the middle of summer

    Ski Dubai is a full-featured theme park where you can go skiing in the middle of the desert any time of year–indoors, of course. At this indoor theme park, you can climb an 85-metre mountain featuring 5 slopes offering 400 metres of snowboarding, bobsledding and skiing. Even if your family has never tried one of these sports, the park can set you up with lesson packages that can even be filtered by age. Other activities include an ice cave, a snow playground, snow bumper cars, shops and onsite restaurants.

    You can even rent proper ski outfits and equipment while you're here, so there is no need to bring your gear. It's 12 minutes south of the city centre.

    Location: Sheikh Zayed Rd - Al Barsha - Al Barsha 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 10 am to 11 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 9 am to midnight

    Phone: +971 600 599905


    Motiongate Dubai

    Hit a Hollywood-themed amusement park

    Motiongate Dubai is a theme park that offers fun and excitement for kids of every age, even toddlers, with rides based on some of the most popular children's movies ever. Here you'll find themed rides based on properties like the Smurfs, Shrek, Madagascar, and others. You can even take in live performances that are sure to have the kids squealing with delight as they laugh, dance and sing along. While the park has no age restrictions, most attractions have a height requirement of 100 cm.

    It's not all for little ones. Adult-oriented rides can be found here, themed around such properties as The Hunger Games, John Wick, Now You See Me and others. It's 30 minutes from the city centre.

    Location: Park and Resorts - Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +971 4 820 0000


    photo by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Kite Beach

    Watch kitesurfers soar over the waters

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Kite Beach lets you kick back with endless stretches of white sand and clear turquoise waters while the kids splash, build sandcastles, and watch local watersports in action. This beach is among the most famed beaches in the region for kitesurfing, from which it gets its name. You can watch people soar over the waters with the wind. While you watch the spectacle, you'll also get a spectacular view of the unique architecture of the Burj Al Arab building in the background.

    Be aware that many of the beaches in Dubai, including this one, have strong currents, so take care when swimming. The beach is 15 minutes from the city centre.

    Location: Kite Beach - Umm Suqeim - Jumeirah 3 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Phone: +971 4 317 3999


    The Dubai Mall

    Head for a vast mall that's really an experience

    The Dubai Mall is among the largest shopping malls in the entire world and offers thousands of options for shopping, dining and services, including many live entertainment events. You can see elegant sculptures, including the famed Human Waterfall. Head for the included aquarium to see native and exotic sea life from all over the world. Naturally, you can grab a bite at any of the many eateries. See a full dinosaur skeleton at DubaiDino or head for VR Park for a virtual reality experience. You can even head for an indoor ice skating rink here.

    The mall offers plenty of shops but is so much more than shopping. It's right in the city centre, too.

    Location: Financial Center Street, Along Sheikh Zayed Road, Next to Burj Khalifa - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to midnight, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 1 am

    Phone: +971 800 382246255


    Bollywood Park

    Ride thrill rides and catch a live Bollywood show

    Bollywood Park offers a family-friendly experience in a full theme park dedicated to the Bollywood film industry with live shows, thrill rides, food and fun. You can take a 4D theatre ride through a Bollywood production, ride roller coasters and kid-friendly rides and even see a live Bollywood performance. The park is dedicated to honouring the vast influence Indian culture has had on the city of Dubai and exposing you to the deep culture of India while having a great time together.

    Every ride, eatery, shop and experience here offers a slice of India, and you're sure to take a little piece home with you. It's just 30 minutes drive south of the city centre.

    Location: Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from noon to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 10 pm

    Phone: +971 4 820 0000


    Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark

    Head for the lost city and take a beach walk

    Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark is a gigantic indoor waterpark located inside a hotel and resort offering waterslides, attractions, food stalls and beach walks, among other adventures. No matter what level of pulse-pounding excitement you want from a waterslide, you can find it here with over 30 waterslides available, offering all different kinds of experiences from racing to spinning around curves, from gentle to rocket speed. You can take a walk along a beautiful artificial beachfront or grab some takeaway food from one of the many vendor stalls.

    This one is just a lot of fun for the whole family, and it's combined with a full resort experience. It's also only 20 minutes from the Dubai city centre.

    Location: Atlantis The Palm - Crescent Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +971 4 426 0000


    IMG Worlds of Adventure

    Gear up with the Avengers or have a dinosaur adventure

    IMG Worlds of Adventure is a gigantic indoor theme and adventure park with worlds dedicated to Marvel Comics, the Cartoon Network and others. You can ride thrill rides here like coasters and spin rides, play games, enjoy classic amusement park eats, and even a playground area for the youngest kids under the age of 5. Some of the rides and experiences here include the Haunted Hotel, Spider-Man Doc Ock's Revenge, Avengers Battle of Ultron, the Thor Thunder Spin, several dinosaur adventure attractions and even a flight simulator where you control an Avengers Quinjet.

    There's truly something here for just about everyone from superheroes to dinos and cartoons. It's all just 25 minutes southeast of the city centre.

    Location: E311 Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd - City of Arabia - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from noon to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +971 600 500962


    photo by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Museum of Illusions

    Challenge your senses and perceptions

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    The Museum of Illusions lets you get away from the thrill rides and amusement park games to check out mind-blowing and sensory overload illusionary experiences. This museum lets you explore such rooms as an anti-gravity area, a vortex tunnel and a clone table. Kids will be amazed at the effects here, and adults will find themselves transported back to a sense of childhood wonder. How about sitting in a chair that makes you look tiny next to your family? Walk on the ceiling of a rotating room. Even traverse a tunnel that never ends.

    These tricks of sight, sound and sense will keep you wondering for years. It's 15 minutes north of the city centre.

    Location: Al Seef - Dubai Creek - Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +971 4 357 3999


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