Mention Abu Dhabi, and people instantly think of glitzy skyscrapers, high-end dining, rolling dunes and sandy beaches. Many people discount Abu Dhabi as a family destination because of its high-end reputation when it is arguably one of the most family-friendly cities in the world.
Not only does Abu Dhabi boast a range of exciting theme parks, but it is jam-packed with beautiful parks and green spaces, playgrounds, play centres and other children’s entertainment venues, as well as lots of opportunities for splash time fun and playing in the sand.
Many attractions in Abu Dhabi are free for under 3’s or even under 5’s; others are specifically aimed at younger children. In this family guide to Abu Dhabi, we will run through some of the best things to do with toddlers in Abu Dhabi. Our very own tots have all grown up in the city of Abu Dhabi, so rest assured, everything on this list has been tried and tested!
- 11 Best Things to Do with Toddlers in Abu Dhabi
- What NOT to include on your Abu Dhabi Toddler List
- Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi with Toddlers
- Final Tips For Taking Toddlers To Abu Dhabi
- More Resources to Plan Your Abu Dhabi Family Holiday
11 Best Things to Do with Toddlers in Abu Dhabi
Umm Al Emarat Park
Found in the centre of Abu Dubai Island, Umm al Emarat (formerly Mushrif Park) has long been a family favourite venue in Abu Dhabi for all ages. Younger ones will especially like the splash park, playing in the wadi and the little train that circumvents the park.
There’s a petting zoo, play areas with swings, climbing frames, outdoor musical instruments, and botanical gardens. During the cooler months, there are family movie nights and other family-friendly activities.
You will also find great toilets, changing facilities and showers in the park.
Whilst the park frowns upon taking in full picnics, snacks are allowed, and there are plenty of places to buy food within the park. You can literally find everything from a simple ice cream to gourmet burgers and multi-course a la carte meals.
Cost: free for under 3, kids over three and adults 10 AED. The train costs an additional 10 AED.
Emirates Park Zoo
Located outside of the city in Shahama, Emirates Park Zoo makes for an excellent half-day trip for younger children. The zoo is not huge, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
As well as the chance to see their favourite animals, children can enjoy animal feeding experiences, magic and music shows, and ride on a camel or a pony. There is also a zip line and climbing experience for older children.
Cost: Children can enter for free up until their 3rd birthday. Everyone else pays 50 AED. You can pay extra for experiences like ‘Breakfast with the Giraffes, ‘ details of which can be found on the zoo’s website.
Thought water parks were just for older kids? Yas Waterworld will have you thinking again with its extensive attractions that suit younger kids. It’s the best water park in the UAE for toddlers with its special designated baby and toddler areas. Toddlers are also allowed in the wave pool and on the lazy river if they wear a life vest and are appropriately supervised by an adult.
Cost: Children aged three and under enter for free. Children under 1.1m tall can purchase a junior day pass priced at 225 AED, whilst anyone over 1.1m must pay 275 AED for a day pass. Special offers are available, including multi-park passes, which give you access to other Yas Island theme parks as well as Yas Waterworld.
SeaWorld Yas Island
The newly opened SeaWorld Yas Island joined the theme park lineup in 2023 and is packed full of toddler-friendly delights. Micro Ocean is specifically aimed at the younger ones with its playground and rides and fun educational experiments and activities.
Cost: Children aged 3 years and under enter for free; adult tickets cost 375 AED, junior tickets (for people under 1.1m tall) are 290 AED.
Of all the indoor entertainment centres in Abu Dhabi (there are quite a few!), this is one of our favourites for toddlers. There are now three branches, all offering activities for toddlers. Located in Al Wahda Malla, Al Raha Mall and the new Reem Mall, each contains role-play towns with toddler-sized shops, hairdresser, cafes and more.
Orange Wheels makes the perfect place for your toddler to immerse themselves in imaginative play. There is also an aspect of soft play at each branch, with Al Wahda Mall’s branch having a huge climbing wall and soft play area suitable for older children and a smaller version for toddlers.
The Al Raha Mall branch is smaller and, in our opinion, perfectly suited to babies, toddlers, and children aged up to 7 years old. It’s more intimate setting is ideal for toddler play dates.
All Orange Wheels branches contain a cafe serving drinks and a range of snacks.
Cost: 65 AED for the first hour AED 40 for every hour thereafter, or AED 200 for a day pass.
Droplets at Caboodle
Caboodle is another great place for toddlers in Abu Dhabi on a hot or rainy day. While the Caboodle Centre is designed for 3 to 10-year-olds, Droplets is specifically for little ones under the age of 3. The centre includes a soft play area, a mini role-play village, a craft area and Lego zone, as well as a cafe, party space and toilets and changing facilities.
Note that a parent or caregiver must supervise children. Babysitting services are available but must be pre-booked for children aged 3 and over.
Cost: Children must pay 59 AED for the first hour, 35 AED for each additional hour. One adult enters for free; each additional adult must pay 20AED.
Note: Caboodle is currently operating from a temporary play area whilst the main play area is being upgraded.
A Beach Club Day
When it’s time for beach weather, nothing can beat cooling down at one of Abu Dhabi’s acclaimed beach clubs. You’ll find toddlers get free entry with a paying adult at most venues.
Some kid-friendly favourites include Saadiyat Beach Club with its kids’ club, the Nation Riviera Beach Club, and Yas Beach Club.
Cost: Varies by venue but starting at 60 AED per adult per day.
A Day at the Beach
If you’d prefer jumping waves to sitting poolside, Abu Dhabi is surrounded by beaches, some man-made, some are the real deal, facing onto the Persian Gulf.
Our favourite is Saadiyat Beach with its great waves, though note it can be choppier in the afternoon. It is best for toddlers to visit early in the day and then pop out of the midday sun. We recommend that you try the Soul Beach section of Saadiyat, just by the Mamsha development. Here, you will find toilet and changing facilities as well as a range of shops and restaurants.
Hudayriyat Island, which has change room facilities and restaurants close to the water, is another great toddler option. The best thing about Hudayriat is that it is free for all of the family to enter and use the deck chairs.
There is a paid facility that older tots may enjoy too, the Circuit X Splash Park. Open to kids aged 1+, under 3’s must be in swim diapers and your over 4’s can be left in supervision to climb and explore this fabulous splash play area, its the perfect way to wear them out before grabbing dinner by the beach.
Cost: Varies, some beaches are free, others have a small municipality entry fee.
The National Aquarium
Tell us a little kid who doesn’t love visiting the aquarium! The Abu Dhabi National Aquarium in Al Qana is a great spot for families with young children. Little ones will be mesmerised by the longest underwater tunnel in the region as well as the wide range of interactive activities and displays.
We highly recommend the ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour and fish-feeding experience even for the tiniest of visitors!
There is a cafe selling light refreshments as well as toilets and baby changing facilities.
Cost: Tickets start at AED 110 for general access. Children under 3 enter for free.
Although not strictly for toddlers, your kids 4+ will get the most out of KidZania’s immersive mini-world experience. This is a great choice if you have older kids and toddlers to cater for as the littler ones can still join in and help their siblings.
Kids need to partake in different ‘jobs’ to earn KidZoos to spend on fun activities. A wonderful Edutainment choice in Yas Mall, your little ones can experience a range of jobs. From flying an aeroplane to cleaning windows, your child can take on a whole range of real-life roles.
It’s easy to spend all day in Kidzania. There’s lots to do and plenty of places to eat.
Cost: Children under 2 cannot participate in Kidzania activities but do enter for free; children aged 2 and 3 years old pay 105 AED. Tickets for children aged 4 to 16 start at 185 AED. Adults pay 75 AED. All adults must be accompanied by a child.
Jubail Mangrove Park
A great little outing that toddlers will love is the Jubail Mangrove Park on Jubail Island. Whether you visit at high tide or low tide, you’re in for a treat as the boardwalk meanders you through the mangrove forest; there are plenty of interactive stopping points for toddlers, including rope trampolines and towers to climb.
There is a decent cafe, toilets and baby changing facilities next to the car park.
Cost: General entry costs 5 AED for children and 15 AED for adults. Guided tours are also available for 50 AED for adults and 40 AED for children.
What NOT to include on your Abu Dhabi Toddler List
There are no ‘bad’ places to take toddlers in Abu Dhabi; it’s an exceptionally welcoming city to families, and you can take your kids almost everywhere, but some places just don’t suit your under-4 crowd so well.
Warner Bros World and Ferrari World
If you are visiting with siblings, then we certainly wouldn’t leave your little ones home. However, there simply aren’t as many things for the younger one to do in these two theme parks as other attractions on our list. On the plus side, if your tot is under 3, they do enter for free.
Ideally, you want your kids to be over 110cm to get the most out of these theme parks. At Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi, younger children can enjoy the character interactions, and there are a few rides, like the carousel, that they can access.
There are bright lights and lots of things to look at, so they will receive a load of sensory stimulation. Both theme parks have baby-changing facilities as well as nursing rooms.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque & Louvre Abu Dhabi
OK, if this is your once-in-a-lifetime- trip to the Middle East, you’re not going to want to miss these landmark attractions off your bucket list. However, having taken dozens of visitors to the Grand Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi ourselves with toddlers in tow, we can tell you, it’s not easy!
The Louvre has a Kids Museum, but it’s suitable for about 4 years plus. The need to stay very quiet in the main museum can be torturous for some small tots.
The Mosque is undoubtedly as grand as the name suggests, and entry and cultural tours are free making it a great place to visit on a budget and learn more about the city. But it can be difficult to keep your toddlers occupied for the 45-minute tour and follow all of the rules (as well as do your best to keep your head covered and remain respectable!)
You could inquire with your hotel whether a baby sitting service is available if you’d like a kid-free morning for exploring. Alternatively, if you are travelling with another adult, consider taking shifts minding the kids so you can still each get to enjoy these stellar attractions.
Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi with Toddlers
There are so many great options when it comes to fun family hotels and resorts in Abu Dhabi, perfect for families with young children.
Some that toddlers will really like with little extras like splash pads and slides include:
- Rixos Premium Saadiyat Resort – A great hotel to visit with young children situated on the beautiful Saadiyat Beach. The best thing about it is that it’s all-inclusive!
- Hilton Yas Island – This hotel has a fantastic little kids’ pool, playground and splash area. You are on the doorstep of Yas Bay Waterfront with several dining choices.
- Emirates Palace – Mandarin Oriental – A stunning hotel with a beautiful family-friendly pool that includes slides and a lazy river. There’s also a separate shaded toddler pool and a playground; if the budget can stretch, this is a spoil-yourself must!
- The WB, Yas Island – The only hotel where you can watch cartoons from the pool! Located next to the Yas Island theme parks, this hotel has something for all ages.
- Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort – A beautiful hotel with a separate kids’ pool with gentle water features, located on the pristine Saadiyat Beach.
- Al Raha Beach Hotel – A quiet hotel in the residential Al Raha Beach area, the pool area offers a good-sized toddler pool with a splash play area.
- The St. Regis Abu Dhabi – On the Corniche is a stunning luxury but family-friendly hotel with a lovely beach club, Nation Riviera, which includes a separate children’s pool, little slides, and a kids’ club.
Note that most large resort hotels in Abu Dhabi offer kids’ clubs, but to leave them supervised they usually need to be aged over 4. Some will allow parents to accompany children under 4 to participate in specific activities, otherwise an additional babysitting fee is charged for 1-1 care.
Final Tips For Taking Toddlers To Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is an incredibly safe and family-friendly city to visit, but here are a few final pointers to bear in mind when planning your trip to Abu Dhabi with a toddler.
- Make no mistake, summers in Abu Dhabi are HOT. Always wear hats and sunscreen when heading outdoors and keep well hydrated,
- Car seat laws in the UAE require children to be restrained up to a minimum of 4 years. Sadly, so many still flout this rule, but it won’t take you long in the traffic to see why this rule exists. BYO car seat if you are planning on catching taxis to get around. You can rent a car seat along with your car rental if you’ll be driving in Abu Dhabi, or try booking with rideshare services like Careem Kids, which can supply the car seat.
- Should the worst happen and you need a hospital in an emergency, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City has a paediatrics specialist A&E, as does Danat Al Emarat Hospital Women & Children Hospital in Khalifa City if you’re staying out in the Yas Island direction.
Heading to Dubai? You may also want to check out our complete guide to Dubai toddler activities on our partner site Family Travel in the Middle East.
More Resources to Plan Your Abu Dhabi Family Holiday
Our team have all raised their kids in Abu Dhabi from toddlers through to teens, so we know the city very well! You may also like to read about:
- The Best Things to do in Abu Dhabi With Teens
- Planning an Abu Dhabi Theme Park Holiday on Yas Island
- Ultimate Kids Guide Things to Do in Abu Dhabi
- Arrange A Day Trip From Abu Dhabi to Dubai
- The Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner