Things to do in Uzbekistan with Kids

Not typically known as a family travel destination, this Central Asian country is growing rapidly as a tourist hotspot. From camel rides in ancient forts to enchanting puppet shows and nights under the desert sky, it’s not difficult to see why more families are choosing to visit Uzbekistan.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with kids

Uzbekistan, with its stunning Islamic architecture and rich historical tapestry, has long been a favored destination for couples and groups of adults seeking cultural immersion.

However, it’s also an excellent choice for families with young children. Despite its reputation as a historical and cultural hub, Uzbekistan boasts modern infrastructure, including high-speed trains, air-conditioned hotels and restaurants, and child-friendly menus, making it an ideal destination for family travel.

From educational experiences to thrilling adventures, there are plenty of things to do in Uzbekistan with kids which are sure to entertain parents too!

Best Things to Do in Uzbekistan for Families

1. Ride a Camel in the Enchanting Itchan Kala Fortress

No Central Asia tour is complete without a trip to the ancient city of Khiva, home to the mesmerizing Itchan Kala fortress.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with kids

Enclosed by walls towering up to 10 meters high, this fortress served as a crucial stop for merchants journeying across the desert to Persia (modern-day Iran).

Within its confines, visitors can explore a plethora of stunning mosques and madrasas, all packed into a compact area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For younger travelers, a highlight is the opportunity to photograph and even ride a camel, adding a touch of magic to the experience.

2. Watch a Puppet Show

Puppetry has deep roots in Uzbekistan, with historical records dating back to 500 BC. Most cities boast their own puppet theaters, offering enchanting performances for all ages.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with Kids

In Tashkent, families can visit the State Puppet Theater or enjoy a show at the smaller theater within Eco Park. Similarly, Khiva and Bukhara offer their own unique puppetry experiences, including workshops and museums, providing insight into this ancient art form.

3. Stay in a Desert Yurt

For an authentic Silk Road experience, consider spending a night in a traditional yurt amidst the desert landscape.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with kids

While nomadic traditions are less prevalent in Uzbekistan compared to neighboring countries, families can still immerse themselves in the culture of the region. 

Aydarkul Lake, near the Kazakhstan border, offers a picturesque setting for yurt accommodations, where families can enjoy evenings by the campfire, stargazing under the vast desert sky.

4. Visit Tashkent’s Magic City

Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, may be renowned for its historical significance, but it also boasts modern attractions suitable for families.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with Kids

Magic City, Tashkent’s answer to Disneyland, features a compact amusement park complete with children’s rides, an aquarium, cinema, and daily fountain and laser shows.

With free admission and a range of activities, Magic City promises endless entertainment for the whole family. Head there in the early evening for the fountain shows, parades and best photo opportunities.

5. Explore Ancient Fortresses

Uzbekistan’s landscape is dotted with ancient archaeological sites, offering families the chance to delve into the region’s storied past. The country is so untapped that many of these sites have never been excavated and are likely hiding ancient artifacts underground.

Ayaz Kala and Toprak Kala, two popular sites situated in Karakalpakstan, are just a short trip from Khiva, providing captivating glimpses into ancient civilizations and their fortification techniques.

The sites are quite isolated and are open to visit by passersby. Children can climb the ruins and imagine life in bygone eras, making history come alive before their eyes.

6. Enjoy Urban Parks

Despite its arid climate, Uzbekistan boasts numerous green spaces throughout its cities. Tashkent alone features over a dozen parks, ranging from meticulously manicured gardens to natural expanses.

Families can feed the birds and admire the carp at Japanese Garden, ride boats at Alisher Navoi National Park, or experience thrills on the roller coasters at Anhor Lokomotiv. These parks offer a blend of relaxation and excitement, perfect for families seeking outdoor adventures.

Most of the parks have rides such as Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and bumper cars. The Samanids Recreation Park in Bukhara combines the old and new Uzbekistan with its Ferris wheel overlooking the 10th century Ismail Samani Mausoleum!

7. Learn to Ski in the Tian Shan Mountains

For families seeking adventure, the Tian Shan Mountains provide an ideal playground. At Amirsoy Resort, less than two hours from Tashkent, visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snow tubing amidst breathtaking natural scenery.

Things to do in Uzbekistan with kids

During warmer months, the resort offers activities such as rock climbing, quad riding, and swimming, ensuring year-round enjoyment for families of all ages.

And don’t worry – for parents in need of a rest there’s also a sauna and spa!

8. Discover Central Asian History

Uzbekistan’s historical sites offer exceptional opportunities for exploration with kids. From mosques and mausoleums to fortresses and palaces, each site is another jigsaw piece of the region’s complex past.

While many opt for educational family travel in Egypt or Turkey, Uzbekistan offers an equally inspiring experience, boasting hundreds of ancient and medieval sites woven into the tapestry of Silk Road heritage.

Older children can learn about the history of a totally new part of the world. Learn how Uzbekistan’s cities were ransacked by Genghis Khan, how Khiva used to have a dark past as a slave trading city, and how religions, traditions and innovation evolved over centuries along the Silk Road.

9. Chill Out at Tashkent’s Ice City

When the Uzbek sun beats down, families can seek respite at Tashkent’s Ice City, an indoor ice and snow-themed park.

With a variety of rides, including ice slides and a ski slope, as well as hot air balloon rides outside the park, Ice City offers cool entertainment for all ages, ensuring a memorable experience regardless of the weather outside.

Final Thoughts

Uzbekistan isn’t just for adults; it’s an adventure waiting to be explored and enjoyed by families too.

Experience camel rides in ancient forts, enchanting puppet shows in historical cities, and nights in traditional yurts under the desert sky. Modern attractions like Magic City in Tashkent offer endless fun, while ancient fortresses provide a glimpse into bygone eras.

Verdant parks and thrilling adventures await, from skiing in the Tian Shan Mountains to learning all about Silk Road history. Even the blazing sun is no match for Tashkent’s Ice City, where indoor ice slides and ski slopes offer cool respite.

Uzbekistan’s unique blend of history and culture, plus its rapidly developing infrastructure, ensures an unforgettable journey for adults and children, creating lasting memories for family travel.