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Written by
Natalie Johnson

Published on: December 15th, 2023

Last modified: December 15th, 2023

Oman promises captivating adventures for families. You can swim in natural oases and snorkel with whale sharks; enjoy gentle hikes or thrilling mountain treks; see wild dolphins and baby turtles; learn about Omani cuisine and go treasure hunting in the enormous Mutrah Souk.

If you’re travelling with young children, teenagers or a multi-generation group of mixed ages, Oman is a fantastic choice for an unforgettable family trip. We can help you design the ideal itinerary according to the ages and interests of everyone. That means catering to smaller children’s needs, keeping teenagers entertained and ensuring the best accommodation throughout, whether that’s a bedouin style tented camp in the desert, a luxury beachfront resort or a mountain retreat.

Oman boasts an incredible variety of landscapes, from the dunes of Wahiba Sands and the mighty Hajar Mountains to the unspoiled Musandam Peninsula and the dynamic city of Muscat. There are ancient ruins to discover, amazing animals to see and endless coastline to explore – and those are just a few of the best things to do in Oman for families.

1. Go dune bashing in Wahiba Sands

Exploring the desert plains of Wahiba Sands is an essential part of any family trip to Oman. Hop on the back of a 4×4 vehicle to zoom across the undulating dunes for a natural thrill ride; the driver will adjust the speed and intensity to suit each passenger. Stay at Desert Nights Camp for starry skies and campfires (keep in mind that the best time to visit is from October to March).

2. Visit the Oman children’s museum in Muscat

This fascinating science museum is specially designed for kids, featuring dozens of exhibits and interactive experiences. It’s housed in a domed building in the coastal capital of Muscat, and is the country’s only dedicated science museum. Although it was created with children in mind, older family members can also enjoy the hands-on educational displays. 

Our top tip is to visit the museum during the hottest part of the day. This allows you to make the most of your time in Muscat, while enjoying some respite from the heat.

3. Swim in the turquoise waters of Wadi Bani Khalid

Most kids love a good water park – but what about a natural water park in the middle of nowhere? Wadi Bani Khalid is an idyllic oasis between Muscat and Sur, with various pristine pools where you can cool off and swim surrounded by nature. Younger children can splash around in the shallows while older kids jump into the deep end from low ledges and bridges.

4. Watch sea turtles hatch at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Baby sea turtles emerging from their shells and finding their way to the sea is a wondrous thing to witness, no matter how old you are. Kids will also love staying after dark at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve to watch the turtles nest – always from a respectful distance – and visiting the interactive museum to learn more about these animals and the reserve’s efforts to protect them.

5. Search for treasure in Mutrah Souq

Located in the most traditional quarter of Muscat, Mutrah Souq is the oldest market in Oman – and the perfect spot for an exciting treasure hunt. We’ll provide you with a map adapted to your kids’ ages and interests, which you can follow through the winding alleys and varied vendors to find a special surprise. Don’t forget to browse for authentic souvenirs along the way.

6. See dolphins on a family dhow cruise from Muscat

The azure waters of the Gulf of Oman are home to friendly dolphins that you can spot from the deck of a private dhow (traditional boat). Step aboard to enjoy an exclusive experience at sea, complete with a delicious lunch and the chance to snorkel for a glimpse of even more marine life. Kids and adults alike will love watching the dolphins jump and swim alongside the boat.

7. Enjoy an easy hike across Wadi Shab

Sometimes the best way to fully immerse yourself in nature is by navigating it on foot – and luckily this particular hike is suitable for children. You’ll walk through the natural oasis of Wadi Shab, crossing a small pond and then following the creek to reach several shimmering pools. The whole journey takes about an hour, so younger kids won’t have any problem keeping up.

8. Learn to cook traditional dishes in an Omani home

If you want an authentic taste of Oman’s culture, visit a local home to learn the secrets of its cuisine. Kids are welcome to join for a hands-on cooking class that will introduce you to classic dishes like majboos (rice with meat and vegetables) and halwa (a sugary sweet that little ones will love). Before digging in, you’ll learn how to make these specialties from a local chef.

9. Get Lost in Labyrinthine Ancient Forts

There’s no better way to bring history to life than by visiting an ancient Omani fort with your family. For kids, we especially love the fascinating cylindrical fort of Nizwa and the nearby Jabreen Castle with its elaborately painted ceilings. Join an expert guide to discover the stories behind the staircases, passageways and burial chambers of these historical fortifications.

10. Embark on a the daring via ferrata in the Hajar Mountains

The via ferrata at Alila Jabal Akhdar is a dream come true for thrill-seeking travellers (aged 14 and up). Set out on the climbing path to traverse the cliffs and ridges of the Hajar Mountains, then cross a suspended wire bridge for the ultimate adrenaline rush. You’ll also get to explore hidden caves and take in sky-high views from your perch among the peaks.

11. Dive into the underwater world of the Daymaniyat islands

The Daymaniyat Islands are a protected nature reserve off the coast of Muscat, boasting some of the country’s best snorkelling spots and brilliant coral reefs. You can glide through them on a luxurious private boat like Dhow Ibra, venturing out to swim, dive or go stand-up paddle boarding. It’s an outstanding option for families seeking both adventure and exceptional comfort.

Whatever you're looking for from your family adventure in Oman, our travel designers are ready to help.