Abu Dhabi activities: 7 indoor family days out

Maintaining regular movement throughout the UAE’s summer months requires a certain amount of creativity. 

But thankfully, a number of exciting, unique and engaging indoor activities have opened in Abu Dhabi over the past few years to make it much easier. 

Providing enjoyable and easy ways for kids and adults to get their heart rates up and contribute to their step count, these gently active experiences are perfect for the whole family.

Spanning everything from rare sea life to enthralling escape rooms, magical snow games and competitive indoor sports, they’re bound to get you through to the cooler weather with ease.

Adrenark Adventure — Al Qana 

Adrenark Adventure, Al Qana
Adrenark Adventure, Al Qana/Image via Instagram

An enormous indoor theme park infused with a dash of adrenaline, Adrenark Adventure invites those of all ages to step out of their comfort zones and try over 20 heart-pumping activities such as wall climbing, rope courses, giant slides, bungee jumping and one of the first e-karting tracks in the region. With dedicated soft play areas and obstacles for toddlers aged two and up, and rides open to all young-at-heart adults under 60, there’s literally something for everyone.  During the cooler months, you can unwind from your adventures with a peaceful stroll along Al Qana’s pretty waterfront promenades.

Prison Island — Abu Dhabi Mall 

Prison Island Abu Dhabi
Image courtesy of Prison Island

Inspired by the TV show The Crystal Maze, Prison Island is a unique and imaginative escape room-like experience that you won’t forget in a hurry. Suitable for kids and adults aged eight and older, teams are tasked with completing 26 prison cells that all contain a different kind of puzzle or activity. Designed to get your grey matter working and test your agility and coordination, the mental and physical challenges are filled with clever twists, surprises and other worldly props and special effects. Open to teams of between two to six people, it can also be booked out for birthday parties, corporate team building groups or other events.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi — Yas Island 

Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue
Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue

Spanning an enormous 1,83,000sqm, few Abu Dhabi attractions have been more eagerly anticipated than SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. The only branch of the iconic sealife-inspired theme park outside the USA, you’re bound to achieve your daily step count as you explore the eight immersive realms that take you all the way from the Antarctic to the Arabian Gulf, the tropics and beyond. Home to 150 different types of animals, including dolphins, flamingos, sea otters, sharks, sea lions, walruses, dugongs and more rare and fascinating marine life, the main aquarium is one of the largest in the world. The excitement completed with state-of-the-art rides such as the exhilarating Manta Coaster, animal shows and roaming entertainment. 

Snow Abu Dhabi Al Reem Mall

Snow Abu Dhabi
Image via Instagram

Providing the extreme opposite to the desert heat, the recently opened Snow Abu Dhabi maintains a rather chilly average temperature of minus 2°C. Offering over 20 fun rides and attractions, all set within an enchanting winter wonderland landscape, it’s like a scene straight from a fairytale. A truly massive facility spanning almost 10,000sqm, you can warm up by careering down the sledging hill, climbing the lofty lookout towers, rolling down a snowy slope in a huge, padded inflatable ball and taking on many more icy and refreshing cool activities. The perfect way for kids and big kids to burn off some energy, the novelty of playing in thick, real snow in the UAE is a joy that never ever gets old. Gloves are provided with all tickets.

The National Aquarium — Al Qana 

The National Aquarium
Image courtesy The National Aquarium

Home to 46,000 creatures, all spread across 10 different interactive zones, The National Aquarium is a relaxing and interesting place to stretch your legs throughout the warmer season. Watching the thousands of fish, sharks and other fascinating species swimming serenely as you stroll around the vast halls is immensely calming, while visiting the enclosure of the ‘Super Snake’ — believed to be the longest reptile on display in the world — is a pulse-racing thrill like no other. Those feeling extra brave can burn off some energy by scuba diving with sharks, and other animal encounters are available for an extra cost. Home to its own rehabilitation facility, which ha saved and rehabilitated hundreds of turtles since its launch in 2021, aquarium visitors can also observe the injured turtles being cared for ahead of their release back into the Arabian Gulf.

The Smash Room — Al Rawdah 

Image courtesy of The Smash Room

While many turn to yoga and meditation for help with handling stress and frustration, The Smash Room offers a distinctly different way of releasing negative emotions. Launched in Dubai in 2018, this unique form of therapy has now expanded to the UAE capital, and it is quite literally spent on destruction. Offering a choice of ‘weapons’ such as crowbars, sledgehammers and baseball bats, participants are encouraged to unleash their pent-up anger on a room filled with old household objects and appliances. Sure to get your heart rate up, beating old TVs to a pulp and throwing plates against a concrete wall is surprisingly tiring, not to mention immensely refreshing and invigorating. All safety equipment is provided, and the special child-friendly rooms let kids join in safely, too.

TRAIN — The Galleria Al Maryah Island

summer Abu Dhabi

Far more than just another huge gym, TRAIN at The Galleria Al Maryah Island is a sport-lover’s paradise. Along with its massive gym floors, state-of-the-art equipment, expert personal training sessions and wide choice of group classes, it has its own state-of-the-art climbing wall, swish boxing ring and, perhaps most remarkably of all, a full-sized, indoor basket court. A fusion between a gym and a sports centre, the experience is completed with a cool coffee bar and lounge area, and luxury facilities such as saunas and steam rooms. Opened in November 2022, it’s a full day out in itself. Day passes and memberships are available.

Livehealthymag.com is for every body and mind in the UAE. This magazine is all about moderation, making small changes, little additions and the odd subtraction.



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