Keep the kids entertained with these brilliant days out…

Whether it’s animal adventures, thrilling waterparks or bowling alleys, Dubai is brimming with top family-friendly things to do. So when you don’t want the kids to say the two dreaded words – “I’m bored” – use our ultimate guide to the best family-friendly places in Dubai.

Aquaventure Waterpark


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There are waterparks and there is Aquaventure Waterpark. The big daddy of waterparks is the world’s largest and it has rides to suit every fear level. Make a splash on the raging rapids or on one of the 105 record breaking slides. We dare you to ride the Leap of Faith, which has a 27 meters vertical drop in the dark through a tunnel submerged in a shark-infested lagoon.

Aquaventure Waterpark, Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, Dubai, daily 9.45am to 6pm, from Dhs245. Tel: (0)4 426 0000.



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Is your little one at least 1.05 meters tall? Well, they can step right up. Whether they’re more Tarzan than Jane, there are different activities to suit different levels and heights. Challenge yourself on the 166-meter zip line, 12-meter-high climbing wall or a nature trail. Lookout for the Aventura Life Skills Camp, which takes place during school breaks and is aimed at children aged between 5 and 16 years old. Buckle up, it’s time for Aventura.

Aventura, Mushrif Park, Mirdif, Dubai, daily 5pm to 12am, from Dhs95. Tel: (0)52 178 7616.

Cheeky Monkeys


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If your little ones are little monkeys, they’ll love to swing their way through this award-winning soft play centre. Spanning 3,000 square feet, there is plenty of room for them to jump around. Designed for kids who are eight months to eight years old, it promotes learning while having fun through classes that cover dance, karate, yoga and cooking. Lookout for special seasonal events throughout the year, such as spring and Ramadan camps.

Cheeky Monkeys, various locations across Dubai and UAE. Tel: (056) 505 7209 for prices,

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Go under the sea – well, almost – at one of the top family friendly places in Dubai. Marvel at more than 140 species of aquatic animals, which includes sharks, penguins and crocodiles. It’s hard not to be wowed – there is a 48-meter-long aquarium tunnel, glass bottom boat rides where you can admire the fish, and daily feedings of animals, which range from piranhas to rays. Not impressed? Then give your experience an upgrade and book cage snorkelling or a shark dive.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Mall, Mon to Thu, 10am to 10pm, Fri to Sun 10am to midnight, Dhs169. Tel: (800) 38224 6255.



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Perfect for the summer, Fabyland is an indoor entertainment venue for children. There are games galore, from arcade machines to redemption games. Many have prizes to be one – a plushy toy, anyone? The old-school rides include teacups, bumper cars and a carousel. Tiny ones will love the soft play areas with ball shooting, ball pools and football.

Fabyland, various locations including Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 390 9999.

Global Village

This oh-so kitsch Global Village is a great way for your young ones to travel the region without hopping onto a plane. The pavilions are dotted around the venue and themed around different countries including Saudi Arabia, Japan and Turkey. Eat, drink and shop inside the locally-inspired pavilions. Family friendly attractions at Global Village also include Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Peter Rabbit Adventure Zone and the Carnival zone, which has more than 170 rides. Make sure to visit Harbour Force, a show where you’ll be wowed by the stunts involving cars, motorcycle and jet skis.

Global Village, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road, Exit 37, E311, Dubai, daily 6pm to 2am, from Dhs15. Tel: (0)4 362 4114.



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The idea of going to work might sound like a nightmare to adults, but Kidzania dresses it up – literally – as kids will wear everything from hospital scrubs to a fireman’s outfit as they role play careers. The 7,000-metres-squared space is a replica of a real-life city. Children try their hand at different careers and are rewarded with money – Kidzo dosh, which they can spend inside. From the outside, it may look like a crash course in capitalism. From the inside, it’s a fun-filled space where kids are in charge for the day.

Kidzania Dubai Mall, 2nd floor, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Mon to Sun 10am to 10pm, Dhs195.

Trampo Extreme

Long jump, high jump, triple jump or just plain jump at this trampolining haven. Trampo Extreme – as the name suggests – is the one-stop for all things trampolining. With 16 different trampolining activities, even if the kids don’t reach the sky, they will have fun trying. The latest Palm Jumeirah venue includes the world’s largest indoor cave complete with secret chambers, slides and treasures.

Trampo Extreme, various locations including Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah Road, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 580 4411. From Dhs76.50.



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Welcome to the jungle – this sprawling 65,000 square foot indoor venue has 12-metre-high treetops. Munchkin Monster’s soft play area is for tiny tots; Skyfall’s trampoline park is for tweens, and laser tag is for teens. While the whole family can get stuck in with a round of mini golf, which is located in a glow-in-the-dark tropical rainforest, meaning you can rumble in the jungle.

Tr88house, No. EB1, Entrance 8, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, Mon to Thu midday-midnight, Fri midday to 12.30am, Sat 11am to 12.30am, Sun 11am to midnight. Tel: (0)4 355 8888.



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The big draw here is the surfing experience, as the little ones can ride an artificial wave – why not? – without setting foot into the ocean. On top of that, Wavehouse has definitely got game, 50 arcade ones to be precise – there are old-school games, which range from Pac Man to Space Invaders. Plus, the four-lane bowling alley, five levels of soft play and family-friendly restaurant means that you can switch things up as you keep the kids entertained.

Atlantis, The Palm, 12pm to 11pm daily. Tel: (0)4 426

Woo Hoo


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It’s all about learning while having fun at this family-friendly venue. Take your pick from 10 different rooms filled with 50 interactive exhibitions. Kids can brush up on their science, arts and math skills, which aim to get all the senses going. The best news: there are drop-off sessions in which children can be taken care of by educators.

1 6A Street, Al Quoz, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Mon to Fri midday-9pm, Sat to Sun 10am to 9pm. Tel: (800) 966 466.

XPark Jr


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If you want your kids to embrace their inner Bear Grylls, then get them to have an outdoor adventure at XPark Jr. While they won’t have to fend for themselves entirely, they will get to enjoy the great outdoors. Kids are encouraged to get dirty and hug some trees. Experiences include splashing in fountains, cooking in the mud kitchen, climbing wooden forts and meeting barn animals. It’s all about wholesome fun.

35A Mizmelah Street, next to XDubai Kite Beach, Skatepark, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, daily 8am-10am, 10.30am to 12.30pm, 1pm to 3pm, 3.30pm to 6pm, Dhs80. Tel: (0)54 582 5561.

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