Dubai has been on our list of places to visit for years, and I am excited we finally worked it into our travel plans. We are visiting Dubai with a toddler, but I feel like the kid.
There is so much to do in Dubai with kids. We didn’t know where to start. My wife put together a fun itinerary, and I can’t wait. Since this is my birthday trip, I didn’t do any planning.
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To make things easier on myself, I decided to write our itineraries and guides as we do things. I am more accountable this way because there are years of content I haven’t gotten around to writing, and this is the best solution.
With this new way of doing things, the articles are published within a day or two of us leaving a destination, so the information is current. I will then check our guides every few months to update pertinent information.
The Best Time to Visit Dubai with a Toddler
The best time to visit Dubai with a toddler is during the winter months, from November to March. Dubai is a desert climate with brutally hot summers.
We planned to visit Dubai in early April, but my work schedule didn’t allow me to take time off, so we decided to visit Rio de Janeiro, then head to Dubai at the end of May.
During winter, temperatures are more moderate and comfortable, making it ideal for outdoor activities with your little one. You can take your toddler to parks, waterparks, and outdoor play areas without worrying about excessive heat exposure.
Although winter is the best time to visit Dubai with a toddler, if you plan on going in the summer, like us, you want to prioritize indoor activities.
Dubai boasts numerous indoor theme parks, museums, and interactive exhibits that provide entertainment and educational experiences for toddlers.
Whether you visit in the summer or during the winter, your family will love your time in Dubai.
Fun Things to Do in Dubai with Toddlers – Quick Guide
As a parent, I know how busy you are. Although I hope you read about our experience in Dubai, I included this guide to quickly see all the fun things to do in Dubai with a toddler.
Unfortunately, we only had a week, we couldn’t do everything, but we had the most of our time in Dubai.
I am excited to return and expand this post sometime next year, not in the summer. I’ve learned my lesson.
Cultural Things To Do in Dubai
There is so much to do in Dubai with kids, but we kept our list to the most toddler-friendly activities.
A Magical Week in Dubai with Toddlers
With an array of family-friendly attractions, such as theme parks, water parks, wildlife encounters, and interactive museums, exploring Dubai with a toddler promises an adventure filled with wonder, excitement, and cherished moments that will create lasting memories for the entire family.
It was hard to narrow down our itinerary when we decided to go to Dubai with our toddler.
There were some touristy things, but we always do toddler-friendly activities for our four-year-old.
We are all on vacation, so it’s only fair to include activities everyone will enjoy.
Without further ado, here are the best things to do in Dubai with a toddler in a week.
Day 1: Miracle Garden, Buttery Garden, & Garden Glow
We arrived in Dubai late, so we went to bed as soon as we got to our hotel. This worked out in our favor because we didn’t have too much jet lag.
Our first official day started with breakfast at the hotel, then using the Careem app to get to our destinations for the day.
Miracle Garden with a Toddler
We went to the Miracle Garden on our first day in Dubai. We got lucky. They extended the dates by a week, so we saw this amazing place.
I didn’t realize how massive this place is. You can easily spend 2-3 hours exploring the garden.
Unfortunately, it was extremely hot when we arrived, so we only stayed an hour and a half, with lots of breaks in the shade.
I will reiterate; you do not want to visit Dubai in the summer; it is brutally hot. The temperature easily tops 100 degrees by mid-afternoon.
Although we are having a great time, do not come in the summer, unless you like melting.
If you are traveling to Dubai with an impatient toddler, here are the best parts of the garden.
- Emirates Airplane
- Smurf Village
- Teddy Bear
- The Peacocks
There’s plenty of shade if you or your toddler needs a break. You can get some cold drinks, relax, and take your time exploring the garden; it’s massive.
We purchased our tickets in advance, so we walked straight to the front of the line to get our tickets scanned.
It’s easier if you buy your Miracle Garden tickets in advance. There is always a line because it’s a popular attraction for locals and tourists.
It made sense since the garden is only a 5-minute walk from the Miracle Gardens, so it’s the perfect place to get some air conditioning after being in the sun.
The Butterfly Garden is a must-see when visiting Dubai with a toddler. Our son has been learning about metamorphosis, so he was excited to see cocoons and butterflies.
It’s one of the ways we encourage learning while traveling with a toddler. Seeing the butterflies in different stages of metamorphosis helped reinforce the learning concepts in his books.
Seeing him be excited about learning in real life makes us so happy. There is something in his eyes that lights up, which makes traveling with young children even more fun.
I will warn you, the Butterfly Garden is small. You can get through the three rooms in an hour or less.
We recommend taking your time and relaxing in the air conditioning to cool down from the Dubai heat.
Garden Glow with Toddlers
The Garden Glow is a fun toddler-friendly activity for families with kids of all ages.
The website was a little confusing, so we purchased the base-level tickets and decided to figure it out when we arrived.
The lady at the ticket counter tried to convince us to upgrade our tickets, but she wasn’t clear about what the upgrade included, so we opted to stay with our original tickets.
We arrived before sunset, the perfect time to see the dinosaur park. Although that dinosaur area isn’t large, it’s a nice path that leads to the glow park.
There are vendors everywhere if you want to have a snack or need something to drink.
They weren’t aggressive, but we had to keep saying no thank you throughout the evening.
Our son walked through the dino park quickly, so we had to wait a few minutes for the sunset to see the lights, but it was worth it.
We had fun seeing the displays and walking through the light tunnel.
You could easily spend three hours exploring the entire park, but our little guy was getting tired, so we didn’t stay as long as we anticipated.
We left after two hours because our four-year-old said he was tired. Although we would have liked to stay longer, we saw 85% of the light display, so we were okay with leaving.
Day 2: Ski Dubai, Magic Planet (Mall of Emirates)
Ski Dubai (Mall of Emirates)
Our son has been asking about learning how to snowboard, so we were excited to go to Ski Dubai.
Unfortunately, it was different than anticipated, but we still had fun.
Our first surprise was that you cannot ski or snowboard on the slope without taking three or four lessons first.
It was a bummer because our son has been asking to learn how to ski for months, so when we tried to schedule a private lesson, there wasn’t anything available on our planned day.
Instead, we headed to the snow park and had a blast.
Everything we needed (clothing and gloves) is in the ticket price, so we didn’t have to buy anything extra.
There are slides, bobsleds, a climbing wall, a small playground, the sky lift, a Zorb ball, and more.
For families wanting a unique experience, there is a penguin encounter available where your little one can feed penguins.
There is also a snow cinema where you can snuggle under a blanket and watch a movie with popcorn and hot chocolate.
If you aren’t used to the cold (like us), two or three hours is enough time to do everything in the snow park.
There is a small area to get hot chocolate and warm up if your little ones want to stay longer, but there is more than enough time to enjoy Ski Dubai and then go to Magic Planet.
Day 3: LEGOLAND Dubai
When our son was two years old, we decided to visit every Legoland.
We plan to go to the other LEGOLAND’s within the next 2-3 years before our son’s interest changes.
LEGOLAND Dubai was a blast although it was over 100 degrees today, which was brutal for our four-year-old.
We considered changing our plans, but we purchased our tickets in advance, so we powered through it.
Although it was brutally hot, the park was nearly empty. We walked onto every ride and kept riding several times.
Our son wanted to stay on the “blaster” ride, and we kept going around nearly ten times.
He was having so much fun we just kept going. I tried to beat my high score but couldn’t crack 20,000.
The point values are low, so I feel pretty good about myself.
There are plenty of air-conditioned buildings and shaded play areas, so it wasn’t too bad.
We didn’t keep our toddler outside longer than 40 minutes at a time, but we also drank plenty of water.
We purchased the souvenir cup and refilled it with water over 15 times throughout the day.
Day 4: Dubai Frame, Desert Safari & Dig it
Since this was a trip for my birthday, we had a babysitter for our little guy so we could have some kid-free fun.
We gave our son a choice if he wanted to go on the tour, and he said no (as we would expect), so he had fun with our nanny while we went on the tour.
The driver arrived at the hotel around 3 pm to take us on the desert safari. Our first stop was the ATV riding area.
I am sure our son would have enjoyed riding the quads.
They have smaller ones for kids, so if your little one is at least four years old, they can ride an ATV in the kid area.
We spent 30 minutes riding around the desert before heading to our next stop for photos.
My wife didn’t tell me we’d be gliding on the sand. The desert safari is a lot of fun, but make sure everyone is buckled in their seats because it will be a bumpy ride.
After 10-15 minutes, we arrived at the destination to take photos. It was unbelievably beautiful.
There are other groups, but it was easy to get great pictures. We took some time to take in the picturesque views.
After pictures, we headed to base camp for the desert BBQ. It was a buffet dinner with entertainment, which we enjoyed.
The night ended by 930, then we headed back to the hotel.
We enjoyed the Desert Safari but opted not to participate in camel riding or take a photo with the hawk.
Day 5: Abu Dhabi Tour, Oli Oli
Day 6: Burj Khalifa, The Green Planet, KidZania & The Fountain Show
You can’t go to Dubai without seeing the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
I was excited to take our little guy to see this architectural marvel and to go down the slide, but he didn’t want to go.
We don’t usually force him to go if he’s adamant that he doesn’t want to do it because no one enjoys themselves.
Instead, while I visited the Burj Khalifa, my wife, and son went to The Green Planet.
The sheer size of the building is astonishing. I am amazed something this massive exists.
There wasn’t a line when I arrived, so I scanned my ticket and headed toward the elevators to the 124th floor.
I cannot believe how fast the elevators are. We went from the ground level to the 124th floor in less than a minute.
My phone said it took around 45 seconds, which is astonishing, and a little unbelievable.
When you depart the elevator, you head to the observation deck and get a bird’s eye view of the city.
Many people like the view at night, but I prefer the day to get a clear picture of the city.
After taking in the view, you can take the stairs to the 125th floor for photos from different angles, experience VR, explore the gift shop, and step on the cracking floor.
Note: Be sure to arrive 10 minutes early. If you arrive after your ticketed time, you must buy a new ticket. There are no exceptions.
The Green Planet
The Green Planet is the perfect place for a curious toddler in Dubai. It is an indoor rainforest with over 3,000 plants and animals.
Our son loves learning. He was excited to see different plants.
Since visiting the botanical garden in Rio de Janeiro, he’s been obsessed with carnivorous plants, which are pretty cool when you think about it.
A plant that eats bugs is awesome to a four-year-old boy.
Many animals are cage-less, meaning they are free to hand out in the trees or fly around the building as they please.
You can get up close, without touching them, and learn about their habitats and how we can help in the conservation efforts to protect these animals.
There was a bird that followed our son everywhere. He tried to run away, but the bird continued following him throughout the exhibit.
The Green Planet is expanding to include a tree house trail with a botanical garden, bug encounters, and a play area.
We’re excited to return when the new outdoor area is complete.
It will be the perfect place to spend the day learning, and your little one can release energy before naptime.
KidZania (Dubai Mall)
The Dubai Mall has everything you need for your little one to have fun in Dubai. Our favorite place to visit with our toddler is KidZania.
We first learned about this fun kid-friendly place while in Sintra, Portugal.
KidZania is one of the places we always include when we travel to a city with a location because each country is different.
So far, Dubai has been our favorite, but we are excited to see what Japan has to offer.
If you don’t know what KidZania is, it’s a world made for kids.
They can learn how to open a bank account, earn money, spend money, do activities, get a license, and more.
I wish I had access to something like this growing up. It’s an entire world just for kids.
The best part is parents aren’t involved. You can watch your kids complete the activities (est. 20 minutes) with the moderators.
Doing activities without parents gives your kids a sense of independence. Plus, it gives you time to catch up on the book you’ve been trying to read forever.
The Dubai Fountain Show
We almost missed our chance to see The Dubai Fountain Show.
Since our hotel was 20 – 30 minutes away, we didn’t go to this area of Dubai too often. To see the show, we spent most of the day at KidZania.
The time flew by because our little guy was having so much fun. We watched him play, read a book, and talked about our upcoming time in Phnom Penh.
Although it was a long day, we enjoyed the water fountain show with the Burj Khalifa in the background.
It reminded me of the water show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa makes it a little better.
People start lining up early, so have one person save a place for you while your little ones play or have a snack.
Tips for Visiting Dubai with a Toddler
1. Plan your itinerary wisely
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to do everything in Dubai with a toddler. There is so much to do for both kids and adults.
As a digital nomad with a toddler, I’ve learned that you can’t do everything. I’ve stressed myself out trying to do everything on the 50 best things to do list, and it just isn’t possible.
Vacations should be fun. It’s great to explore but don’t put too much on yourself. If you are going to Dubai with a toddler, plan a few things per day, especially with the time difference.
Remember, it’s a vacation. You can take some time to do nothing.
2. Stay hydrated/Pack for the sun
Sunscreen, light clothes, and lots of shade are crucial. You don’t want your vacation ruined by heat exhaustion or sunburn.
The hottest times of the day are between noon and 4 pm. Spend as much time indoors during that time as possible.
If you go to LEGOLAND Dubai, you can get some relief at the waterpark during that time. Although we did visit LEGOLAND Dubai and it was a VIP experience.
3. Use the Careem App (Hala Taxi)
There are always debates on family travel groups if parents should bring their car seats when traveling.
It’s a concern when traveling from the US to Europe due to the different car seat requirements.
You can rest easy knowing you can travel to Dubai with your toddler without bringing your own car seat.
Using the Careen App (similar to Uber), you can request a car or taxi with a car seat.
The rides are a little more expensive ($3-$4), but it’s worth every penny to ensure your little one’s safety.
I recommend requesting a ride well in advance if you need a car seat, as they are limited, so you may need to wait a little longer for a driver to accept.
Although all taxis are required to make a car seat available for passengers, it’s a difficult law to enforce.
I recommend using Careem to ensure a car seat is readily available for your baby or toddler.
4. Bring a Stroller or Toddler Carrier
Whether you go to LEGOLAND Dubai, Miracle Garden, KidZania, Abu Dhabi Tour, or shopping at one of the many malls, your little one will spend a lot of time walking.
We took our GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, and it made carrying shopping bags easier.
When our little guy wants to walk, we threw the bags in the stroller when we got tired of holding them.
It was also a lifesaver when we were in a hurry. We had to dash to the LEGO movie theater before the doors closed, so we put our little guy in the stroller and run for it.
5. Take breaks
One of the ways to make traveling with toddlers more enjoyable is to take breaks before they need them.
An overtired little one can become cranky, and we all know what happens with toddlers get unhappy.
We like to implement breaks into our itineraries when we travel. It’s the best way to keep everyone from getting frustrated.
The key is to take a break before your little one needs it to give them a chance to cool off, hang out, or take a nap.
Unfortunately, our four-year-old no longer takes naps, but if yours does, having a hotel in a central area will make your life easier.