Situated in Dubai Miracle Gardens, this is the region’s largest butterfly garden, comprising a series of 10 indoor domes featuring an array of lovely plants and 15,000 butterflies of around 26 different kinds. Kids will lean how butterflies evolve through each life stage, while assistants are on hand to help you interact with and take photos with these beautiful, fluttering creatures.
Details: Dh55 for children and adults aged 2 years and upwards.
The Green Planet, tropical playground in Citywalk, is the Middle East’s first and largest indoor rainforest, where children can spot a sleepy sloth, marvel at vibrant parrots, hold slithery snakes, stroke furry spiders, and even watch a live feeding frenzy of over 1,000 piranha fish. An incredible vertical garden build around a single, giant tree in the centre, the area is dripping with lush vines, mosses and exotic flowers, while the air is abuzz with the sound of bird song, parrot shrieks, waterfalls splashing, and the odd monkey call.
Details: Dh89 per person (age three and upwards) bought online, or Dh99 on the door.
This attraction combines SEGA technology with footage from BBC Earth. From feeling the vibration of an elephant’s stamping feet, to meeting mountain gorillas, to feeling the wind in their hair as they cruise along a rocky coastline, Orbi Dubai is suitable for braver 3-year-olds and older (leave toddlers at home).
Price: Orbi Dubai, Magic Planet, Level 1, City Centre Mirdif, Dh65 for 3-10 year olds; Dh80 for 10 years and above (plus VAT). Supervised ‘Drop & Play’ service for two hours (Dh100, plus VAT).
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
While it’s possible to marvel at Dubai Aquarium's incredible creatures of the deep for free from a distance in the Dubai Mall, it’s more than worth it to purchase a ticket that enables you to see them from the other side of the glass. Walk through the clear tunnel and gawp as huge sharks with their magnificent teeth and eerie eyes float slowly overhead, admire elegant sting rays as they ripple past, and spot hundreds of beautiful tropical fish and sea creatures. Then continue upstairs to the underwater zoo, where you can get up close and personal with more aquatic specimens, kids can pet rays and starfish, and you can see the UAE Creatures of the Night exhibit, where bats, hedgehogs and other nocturnal animals are on display.
Details: From Dh90 for a UAE resident rate booked online in advance.