One of the things I loved when living in Qatar was how family friendly it was and how much there is to do. But many people don’t think it is. Perhaps it’s because of the terribly hot weather that prevents outdoor activities in the summer that means many people have this misconception about Qatar. So to make sure all families have a great time in Qatar no matter what time of year they visit, here is the ultimate list of amazing things to do in Qatar with kids from the best beaches, best parks to much much more …
What to do with kids in Qatar during the winter
In my opinion, winter is the best time to visit qatar. The weather is perfect for those wishing to escape winter back home and you don’t have to worry about the kids so much in the heat. Most residents make use of the cooler months to spend as much time outside as possible. So here are the best things to do do in winter
The Best Parks in Doha for Kids
Mia park (or Museum of Islamic Arts Park)
This is one of the locals favourite parks because of its central location and unrivalled views of the West Bay skyline. The park contains a fab play area for children and plenty of grassy areas to play on. The park also has a fab cafe right on the seafront which is very popular.
There is also a Bazaar held on a Saturday throughout Winter which offers unique gift stalls.
One of the newer parks in Doha. Located on Education City, this park doesn’t get super busy. It has a quiet play area which has ornings that provide welcome shade from the Middle East sun. There is also a route to help the fitness conscious do their 10000 steps a day.
But my favourite features of the park is that it overlooks some great architecture such as the Qatar Islamic Studies Building.Being located on Education City, means there are plenty of facilities at the adjacent Student Center.
Sheraton hotel park
The Sheraton Park is a newbie on the park scene but its is a goodie. It has fantastic views over West Bay but perhaps the favourite feature for families has to be the fountains which children of any age will love running through, especially in the heat of the Summer!Photo credits: Diary of a PMP Mom
The Best Beaches in Qatar to Visit with Kids
Qatar has many beaches that are perfect for days out with kids. Unfortunately many people from out of town don’t get to see them because they require a car. The best in our opinion:
Fuwarit is one of the sandier beaches in Qatar and has a relatively calm sea which makes it the perfect place to take children. It is a fairly easy drive but please note there are no facilities at Fuwarit so it is definite picnic territory.
Top Tips for Visiting Fuwarit: Take provisions with you and try and get there early to avoid busy periods and noise.
Please respect that the Ministry of Environment closes the beach around April – July to help the turtles that come here to nest!
Zekreet and Film City
Zekreet is a drive away from Doha (around an hour) and near to Dukkan and the Cuban Hospital. This beach is definitely only accessible by four by fours but offers tranquility compared to other beaches. It also has other sites nearby to explore such as Doha Film City. I am always amazed at this place and there are many rumours about what it was made for but I don’t know the real reason.You can also view the imposing Richard Serra artwork East Meets West West Meet Easts in the desert. But my favourite thing is the wildlife you can see. I have heard of people seeing dolphins, oryx and even this at Zekreet!
Have a hotel beach dayIf you don’t want to drive out to one of the more remote beaches, then many of the hotels offer pool and beach day passes, or daycation packages as they are locally known. Some of our family favourites are at the Intercon and the Grand Hyatt. It is worth looking in the Qatar Entertainer app as there are often deals for buy one get one free.
Best Desert Experiences in Qatar with Kids
This is a favourite in our household. Reportedly named Purple Island for the small snails that when crushed release the purple colour of the Qatar flag. It’s not really a beach for but the desert mangrove combination make it perfect for crabbing and if you go on winter you are likely to see the flamingoes during their migration.
Another great thing to do at Purple island with older children is to go kayaking with local group Entalek and learn more about the unique environment.
You can read more about why purple island is great for kids here
Dune bashing at the Inland Sea
Dune bashing is a must do activity if you have older children or teenagers. You will go out to the dunes near the inland sea and be taken on the ride of your life! There are stops to take photos at the Inland sea and a visit to a traditional bedouin camp where you can have dinner or drinks at the end of the trip.
TOP TIP: Driving on the dunes is difficult, make sure you go with a reputable company.
Qatar has one UNESCO World Heritage site — Zubarah Fort. The Fort is in the north of Qatar meaning that you will need a car to get there. The site has a small museum but no other facilities around it so be sure to take a picnic.To make more of a day of it you can drive further up the coast and visit some of the less well preserved forts.
What else can you do with kids in Qatar during the Winter?
The Souq is a must visit at any time of year but if you want to visit with kids, this is definitely more of a wintertime activity. It is a great place for kids to learn about the local culture. Wonder around the alleyways, have food and haggle for bargains.
There is also a play ground for if the kids need to blow off steam.
Take a dhow trip
The beautiful weather in the Winter is the perfect time to hire a dhow. The dhows often leave from near the Museum of Islamic Arts and take you out to near an offshore island where you can jump into the salty waters of the Arabian gulf. For those who aren’t strong swimmers simply enjoy the views of West Bay and the corniche while enjoying a traditional Arabic BBQ.
What are your favourite things to do with kids during Winter in Qatar?