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Visitors will find a number of kid-friendly activities in Dubai, once they’ve applied sunscreen to fend off the unrelenting rays, that is. These are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best things to do with kids in the city:
1. Ski Dubai. While the novelty of indoor skiing at Ski Dubai is one option, a new program at this famous Mall of the Emirates attraction lets visitors interact with and even hug live penguins that trainers introduce to kids. There’s also a kid-friendly tobaggan run here.
2. Wild Wadi Dubai. This is one of two big waterparks that are always a big hit with kids. You could easily spend an entire day splashing down the numerous slides at Wild Wadi Dubai; we love that every attraction here has the option of riding down either by yourself or side-by-side, perfect for parents with younger kids.
3. Aquaventure Dubai. Located at kid-friendly resort Atlantis, The Palm, Aquaventure is the other major waterpark in Dubai. It includes a private beach, water playgrounds for younger children, two river rides and a number of water slides. Don’t forget, too, that Dubai’s beaches are also ideal for families, though they do get sweltering during the summer months.
4. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Here’s a little Guinness World Record trivia for you to use at your next cocktail party: This fantastic aquarium, located at the Dubai Mall, is home to the world’s largest acrylic panel. There are plenty more reasons to spend a day with the kids here, including glass-bottom boat rides, a 157-foot-long aquarium tunnel and, for kids 10 years old and up, the chance to dive with sharks.
5. Mall Arcades. If a few hours of mindless, air-conditioned diversion are in order, many of Dubai’s massive malls have elaborate arcades with rides and over-the-top games. All of them are at least a couple steps above the dated arcades you’re used to back home.