| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Family fun in Dubai

Chinese circus, African drumming, intergalactic fun and more child's play in Dubai this week

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Thursday 4

Baby and Toddler Splash Dubai Ladies Club (04 349 9922; www.dubailadiesclub.com) Get your wee water babies floating about confidently at these hour-long sessions with swimming instructors at Dubai Ladies Club. Lessons take place in a shaded pool that is kept heated to the perfect temperature. Classes run on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am and cost Dhs440 for an eight-week course.

Friday 5

Chinese Circus (04 336 97734; www.dubaidolphinarium.ae; info@dubaidolphinarium.ae) Make a point of booking the family in for this 90-minute action-packed show. Highlights include the spectacular high-speed acrobatics of the hoop divers, traditional plate spinning, the ancient art of Chinese jar juggling (where artists do amazing things with heavy earthenware pots) and jaw-dropping hand-balancing. The amazing Lion Dance and the famous Shaolin Warriors are also part of the line-up. Doors open Mondays to Thursdays at 6pm, Fridays at 3pm and 6pm, and Saturdays at 6pm. Tickets cost Dhs50-150 – see www.timeouttickets.com.

Saturday 6

Safa Park Flea Market (www.dubai-fleamarket.com) Clear out your cupboards and book a table (for Dhs220) for the monthly Safa Park Flea Market. Open 10am to 3pm, it includes loads of stalls to browse, refreshments, and heaps of stuff for the little ones to try – think massive bouncy castles, giant trampolines, four-wheeled bicycles, a baby paddle-boat lake and lots more. Definitely enough to keep the kids amused while mum and dad practise their entrepreneurial skills and pick up a few bargains.

Sunday 7

Dubai Museum (04 353 1862; www.dubaitourism.ae) Open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, this family-friendly and well-run museum covers almost all aspects of life in the Gulf, from ancient times to modern-day Dubai. The lifelike historical sets tell the stories of the pearl divers, the spice and gold souks and the daily lives of the Bedouin people. Perfect for little culture vultures, and great value to boot – adults cost Dhs3 and kids are just Dhs1.

Monday 8

African drumming Ductac, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4777; www.dubaidrums.com) De-stress, improve your coordination and hone your sense of rhythm with Dubai Drums, which is running classes from 7.30-8.30pm on Mondays for kids who want to learn the African Djembe. Dhs50 per person.

Skate with Mummy The Dubai Mall Ice Rink (04 448 5111; www.dubaiicerink.com) Mums and tots under seven can enjoy the huge Dubai Mall ice rink together for the first skating session of the day (from 10am to noon daily) for just Dhs50. The bargainous price includes skate hire for both of you – and an instructor on hand to help you stay upright. We suggest you go for a hot chocolate afterwards to warm up!

Tuesday 9

Playball Dubai Ladies Club (04 349 9922; www.dubailadiesclub.com) A class that channels their energy while improving coordination, improving left and right brain communication and overall fitness. Classes are suitable for tots aged two to nine and run from 3pm to 5.15pm.

Mums on the Go (050 685 9157) A lively arty and crafty group for kids of all ages that meets at 10am on Tuesday mornings at Lamcy Plaza’s edutainment zone, Lou Lou Al Dugongs. Activities include organised cooking sessions, crafts and sporty games. Dhs25 per child.

Wednesday 10

Stargate (04 325 9988; www.stargatedubai.ae) A state-of-the-art family entertainment centre at Zabeel Park gate four, Stargate offers something for everyone. It’s home to the world’s largest soft play area, a 3D cinema showing short educational films, a rollercoaster and racing car track (one for tots and one for older kids), plus a small ice rink that’s perfect for first-time skaters. There’s also plenty more to discover throughout the centre. Initial entrance fee is Dhs5, and activities cost a maximum of Dhs30 per child. Open from 10am to 10pm, it’s great for after-school high spirits.

Thursday 11

Emirates Dubai Football Sevens begins (www.dubaifootball7s.com) The first event of its kind in the emirate, the Dubai Football Sevens (from March 11-13) is the soccer version of the very popular Dubai Rugby Sevens. The tournament, which is being held at the Sevens stadium, will see more than 3,000 players, both professional and amateur, battle it out on the pitch. There are tournaments for under nines and under 12s, as well as a host of international football stars attending and playing at the event. There will also be bouncy castles, refreshments and lots of football to watch. Tickets start at Dhs125 – for more info,
see www.timeouttickets.com.

By Karen Iley
Time Out Dubai,

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