Unleash your little drama kings and queens on the Libra Performing Arts Camp. It’s a great all rounder and includes choreography in hip-hop, tap dance, cheerleading and circus training as well as acrobatics. Musical theatre, prop and costume design are all part of the dramatic fun and games too. Students work towards a mini-performance on the final day.
Ages 4-14, Dhs550 (three-day programme). 9am-2.30pm with an early drop off at 8am for an extra Dhs100, April 5-12, Jebel Ali Primary School. 800 LIBRA (54272); email@example.com
Get stuck in to the Cooking Up Spring Camp, taught by foodie mum, Tina McFadzean who teaches food and kitchen safety, as well as basic techniques and recipes from around the world. Included in the camp are ‘foodie field trips’, an apron, recipe book, tools, certificate, daily lunch and healthy snacks are provided.
Ages 5+, Dhs700 (five days). 9am-1.30pm, April 8-12. 050 458 3015.
For pint-sized Picassos, it doesn’t get much better than DUCTAC’s Spring Art Camp. Get your little ones drawing, painting, decorating ceramics and other media, while learning about famous artists, art techniques and art history from all over the world. Students hone their technical skills, receive personal guidance from art instructors, share ideas with friends and get messy! All art materials and an Art Camp t-shirt are provided.
Ages 6-12, Dhs900 (five days). 10am-1.30pm, April 1-5 and 8-14. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 4777; www.ductac.org
Pick from a range of Mad Science programmes including the Garden Camp, where smaller kids can find out about creepy crawlies and plants that are found in their own back yard, to camps for slightly older brainboxes who want to discover more about crime scene chemistry.
Ages 4+. Prices and venues TBC. April 1-12. (04 337 7403) www.madscience.org.
Camp no more...
If you don’t fancy packing the kids off to camp then check out our alternative activities
1 Out and About
For bikes, bouncy castles and boating lakes, check out Safa Park or head to Mushrif Park for a proper cycling track, mini international village and petting zoo. Jumeirah Beach Park and Al Mamzar Park are ideal for beach bums and both have great picnic areas, playgrounds and snack bars. Creek Park is a brilliant all-rounder. Take a tour on the cable cars (Dhs25 for a 40 minute trip). Pack a couple of towels and head off with the kids to one of the free beaches at Umm Suqeim beach, Jumeirah open beach, JBR beach or get the kids fit and also soapy clean on slippery soccer beach at the bottom of Al Manara street which also has paddle boards for hire at Dhs25 per hour for bigger kids with balance.
2 Animal Madness
Head to Ski Dubai to meet the cute new inhabitants at their Penguin Encounter experience. Kids aged between 3 and 12 have to be accompanied by an adult and for Dhs175 per person including artic weather clothes and gloves, you get up close and personal with your very own flippery friend. Weekdays the penguins are working their stuff, posing for pictures from 1pm-9pm and from 12pm-9pm on the weekends. Just warn the kids they are not allowed to take one home. (800 534 7873). Motor down to Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (www.awpr.ae) for animals, superb picnic areas and a botanical garden and see if you can spot a white lion, Dhs15 for adults, Dhs5 for children. Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Petting Zoo (050 273 0973; www.poshpawsdubai.com) welcomes small visitors to their super sanctuary seven days a week. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.
3 Arty stuff
If they can be trusted around shelves piled high with precarious pottery (this one is best for five and ups) Café Ceramique (04 344 7331) is a great option for crafty types. Get them pot-painting from Dhs60 while you enjoy a coffee. If that whets their appetite, book them an arty session at Jam Jar (04 331 7303) a fully functioning studio with all the paint equipment they’ll need to create a masterpiece. Price depends on the canvas size with Dhs85 the minimum, up to Dhs250 for the biggest.
4 Get Physical
Check out the Hyatt Regency (04 209 1234) nine-hole mini golf course. Open from 8am-5pm. It costs Dhs45 per person. If you fancy a swim but don’t have access to a compound pool, try the municipality swimming pools at Al Mamzar and Mushrif park, Dhs10 for adults, Dhs5 for children. However, be aware of the different timings for men and women. Emirates Equestrian Centre (050 558 7656) near Bab Al Shams does Dhs20 for a pony ride, or if you’ve got enough kids to make up a couple of 5-a-side football teams, why not hire a pitch at the Ahdaaf astro turf pitch (04 347 7666) in Al Quoz, behind Times Square for Dhs450 per hour.