Think Dubai is not the right place to take your little ones? Think again. The emirate has a number of indoor and outdoor activities to keep toddlers entertained. Here are our picks of the best things to do with toddlers in Dubai.
Teach Them How To Live In A Grown-Up World In Kidzania Dubai
Designed to look like a city, KidZania Dubai is a good idea to take your toddler to for a number of reasons. First, it teaches them how to interact in the real world; second, it is thoroughly entertaining; third, it is a break from Dubai’s crippling heat; and fourth, it is located inside Dubai Mall, so you can get some shopping done as well.
The ‘city’ is where kids learn to adult, i.e. earn their own money by choosing their careers and spend it on any of the fun activities available. So, your toddler can be a fireman, a policeman, a businessman, or anything else he desires, and work to earn his own cash (known as kidzos). Of course, you’ll have to accompany him as he’s too little to be left on his own, but he’ll have a fun time along with the other kids around, nevertheless.
How to go about doing the activity: Book passes on the official KidZania website. It is located on level 2 of Dubai Mall.
Timings: 10AM to 11PM
Cost: AED 105 for toddlers and AED 75 for adults
Watch Flamingos At The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
A marshy wetland close to Dubai’s glitzy skyscrapers, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary houses hundreds of flamingos as well as other birds. The sight of these soft pink birds feeding and chattering is bound to entrance your toddler. The sanctuary has three viewing platforms – Flamingo, Mangrove and Lagoon Hides. We recommend Flamingo Hide as it is an airconditioned platform that might be more comfortable for kids not used to Dubai’s heat. You can also view some of the other 170 bird species in the sanctuary.
How to get there: Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the junction of the E44 (Al Khail Road/Ras Al Khor Road) and the E66 (Dubai – Al Ain Road). Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 6AM to 6pm (April to September) and 7.30AM to 5.30PM (October to March)
Frolic Around In The Dubai Miracle Garden
There’s rarely a toddler who can resist a chance to run around in a beautiful garden – and the Dubai Miracle Garden is the best out there. Your kids will gape in wonder at the giant flower installations of Mickey Mouse, Giant Teddy Bear, Floral Castle, and more, and enjoy wandering around the expansive space. The Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest natural flower garden in the world and the natural scents of the blooms will leave you spellbound.
How to get there: The garden is a bit outside the city, so you may need a car or cab to get there. Or, if you’re adventurous enough, you can take the Dubai Metro and stop at the Mall of the Emirates metro station on the red line. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 9AM to 9PM on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday); 9AM to 11PM on Fridays; 9AM to 10PM on Saturdays.
Cost: AED 40 for kids between 3 and 12; AED 55 for adults; free for kids below 3 years of age.
Check Out The Amazing Marine Life At Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Home to 140 species of sea life, including stingrays, sharks, penguins, crocodiles, and a wide variety of fish, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is bound to leave your toddler mesmerised. There’s also a 48-metre walk-through tunnel known as the Dubai Aquarium Tunnel, where you can see the aquatic animals swimming around you. The 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium tank is located on the ground floor of The Dubai Mall and is the largest suspended aquarium in the world.
How to go about doing the activity: Book tickets on the official website.
Timings: 10AM to midnight
Cost: AED 400 from the ages of 3 onwards; free for kids up to the age of 3
Get A Dose Of Culture At Global Village
Part theme park, part market, Global Village has something for everyone. The market has stalls from different parts of the world where they sell local handicrafts, products and snacks. The stalls themselves are designed in the form of the city or country they represent – so there’s a Big Ben for London, Leaning Tower of Pisa for Italy, Taj Mahal, for India, and so on. But apart from the usual food, shopping and entertainment, this cultural extravaganza also has a giant wheel, a vintage carousel, a dancing fountain display, a stunt show with monster cars, a fun fair, and a floating market to keep the kids occupied.
How to get there: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 4PM to midnight (Saturday to Wednesday) and 4PM to 1AM (Thursday and Friday). The village is open from 29 October 2019 to 4 April, 2020 only.
Cost: AED 15 for adults and free for kids under the age of 3
Indulge Your Love For LEGO® At LEGOLAND® Dubai
Enjoy LEGO®-themed adventures, with more than 40 interactive rides, water slides, shows, and LEGO® building experiences in this theme park which comprises of both LEGOLAND® Dubai and LEGOLAND® Water Park. The park is open for children as young as two, and your toddler will have oodles of fun prancing around it.
How to get there: Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 10AM to 8PM
Cost: AED 275 for adults and free for kids under the age of 3
Get Some Fun Food At Rainforest Cafe
This is one place that even the most fussy of toddlers will enjoy eating at. Recreating a tropical rainforest, with waterfalls and vegetation, the cafe has a special kids’ menu, where you can choose from pizzas, hot dogs, sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken, and more.
Where: Dubai Mall. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 10AM to midnight
Jump On Trampolines At Bounce Dubai
This freestyle playground is where you can leave your toddler in peace without any fear of him getting hurt. He’s guaranteed to have a fun time and use up his pent-up energy bouncing around on the wall-to-wall trampolines. The park also has a Mini BOUNCE programme, specifically for kids between 3 and 5 years of age, where they learn to build stability, agility, and balance.
How to get there: Building #32, 4B Street, Al Quoz 1. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 10AM to 10PM (Sundays to Wednesdays); 10AM to midnight on Thursdays; 9AM to midnight on Fridays; 9AM to 9PM on Saturdays.
Cost: AED 85 for people over 110cm and AED 75 for those under 110cm
Entertain The Kids (And Yourself) At Air Maniax
There are many theme parks across Dubai, but the reason Air Maniax makes the cut is the fact that it has a dedicated area for small kids known as the Mini Warrior Assault course. At this indoor inflatable park, kids under the age of 4 are provided with interactive physical activities to keep them entertained for hours.
How to go about doing the activity: Book passes on the official Air Maniax website. It is located at 16/Street 1, Al Quoz Ind. Area 1.
Timings: 9AM to 9PM (Saturdays to Tuesdays); 9AM to 7PM on Wednesdays; 10AM to 10PM on Thursdays; and 9AM to 10PM on Fridays.
Cost: From AED 50 for toddlers and AED 80 for adults
Meet Your Favourite Characters At Mattel Play! Town
If your toddler is a fan of Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Barney, or Thomas & Friends, he’ll love visiting this park. Mattel Play! Town has 5 different socio-educational play zones where kids can enjoy live shows, puppet shows, and interactive activities. For example, in Barney’s yard, kids can make music on the piano, see fishes in the koi pond, and jump around the themed playground. If this isn’t fun for a toddler, then what is?
How to go about doing the activity: Book passes on the official Mattel Play! Town website. It is located in CITY WALK mall on Al Safa Street.
Timings: 10AM to 7PM (Saturdays to Wednesdays); 10AM to 8PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
Cost: From AED 110
Take A Pony Ride At Desert Palm Riding School
If all this indoor activity is making you feel cooped up, go into the outdoors by taking your toddler horse-riding at the Desert Palm Riding School. Your kids will be in safe hands as experienced professionals guide them on pony rides, and they also have open-air stables for the toddlers to interact with horses.
How to go about doing the activity: Visit the website for information.
Timings: 7.30AM to 7.30PM
Cost: From AED 20 for a pony ride
Get Your Hands Dirty At Café Céramique
Indulge your child’s creativity by taking him to this cafe-cum-artists’ studio, where he can learn painting, pottery, art and more. The Kids 4 Art Club encourages kids to use stamps, brushes, paints and other art supplies to create artwork and ceramic keepsakes with their hand or foot imprint. Besides, the cafe serves delicious European food with a separate kids’ menu.
How to get there: Town Centre Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road. Visit the website for more details.
Timings: 9AM to midnight
Indulge In Hands-On Activities At Olioli Children’s Museum
Kids are free to wander, wonder and discover at this children’s museum, which was specially created for families to come together. Let your toddler indulge in hands-on activities such as making giant bubbles, paintball, treasure hunt, science demos and explosion shows. The museum has 8 galleries and more than 40 interactive exhibits.
How to go about doing the activity: Book passes on the official OliOli Children’s Museum website. It is located on 62 4 A Street, near Oasis Mall.
Timings: 9AM to 7PM (Saturdays to Wednesdays); 9AM to 9PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
Cost: AED 42 for adults; AED 126 for kids over 23 months; AED 63 for kids between 12 and 23 months; free for kids under 11 months
Interact With Dolphins At The Dubai Dolphinarium
Take your toddler to watch dolphins perform synchronised dances and fun splashes at this park. There are also dolphin, seal, and bird shows on offer, where the animals and birds perform funny skits.
How to go about doing the activity: Book passes on the official Dubai Dolphinarium website. It is located on 62 4 A Street, near Oasis Mall.
Show timings: 11AM, 2PM, 4PM and 6PM
Cost: From AED 30