| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Family fun in Dubai

Baby ballet, charity picnics and chili crabs in Dubai

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Thursday 15

Baby Ballet at Core Dance Academy (04 362 6385; www.coredirection.com) If your little groovers are driving you bonkers with their living room routines and renditions, channel their energy by enrolling them in a dance class at the new Core Studio at The Waves Tower, Dubai Marina. Baby Ballet is especially for little ones aged three to four. Sessions start at 2.30pm.

Friday 16

Picnic and charity polo (04 436 8111; www.dubaipoloclub.com) Grab your picnic blankets and hampers and head down to the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club at Arabian Ranches on Friday April 16. The Dhaka Project Charity Polo Cup will not only be filling the pitch with the usual mallet-swinging players on ponies, but there’ll also be the more unusual spectacle of camel polo to watch too. It’s Dhs100 per car at the gate, then all you have to do is pick a strategic spot. All proceeds will help to provide food, shelter and education for the poorest slum dwellers in Bangladesh.

Car boot sale at Dubai Autodrome (wwwcarbootuae.com) Sort out your junk, sling it in the back of the car and motor on down to the Dubai Autodrome car boot sale. Entry for sellers costs Dhs150 per car, and you’re advised to get there early to secure your spot.

Saturday 17

FREE! Happy Family Workshop at Dubai Ladies Club (04 349 9922; www.dubailadiesclub.com) Don’t miss this Art Of Living seminar on the essentials of balancing motherhood. The seminar includes an introduction to gentle yoga to nourish your body, mind and spirit. The session, from 10am to 2pm, also covers relaxation techniques to calm the mind. The Children’s Garden pre-school will be providing expert Early Childhood educators and a variety of exciting activities to occupy the nippers, leaving mums free to concentrate on wellbeing. Bliss!

Chilli Crab Festival at Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6546) Indulge in the sights, sounds and senses of Singapore’s national dish – the chilli crab – at the Madinat from 2pm to midnight. The festival, which involves families getting together to indulge in the cuisine, also includes live entertainment, with dragon dancers, a kids’ entertainment area, face painters and a gaming zone for older children.

Sunday 18

Stargate (04 325 9988; www.stargatedubai.com; info@stargatedubai.com) Little darlings bouncing off the walls with energy? Get them down to the world’s biggest soft play area and let them off the leash. With air-powered ball shooters galore, loads of slides and everything covered in bouncy latex, they can go mad without risking bumps or bruises. Open from 10am to 10pm, a one-hour session costs Dhs25 per child.

Monday 19

Nanny training course at South Ridge, Al Manzil District, Old Town (050 745 8289) Andalene Salvesen is a professional parenting coach, mother of four and grandmother of six. Her nanny training course takes place over three evenings – April 19, 20 and 21 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm – and all three lessons should be attended. Places cost a bargainous Dhs250, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday 20

Bowling alley fun (City Bowling, 04 295 9139; Dubai Bowling Centre, 04 296 9222; Al Nasr Leisureland, 04 337 1234) Indulge in a bit of team-spirited after-school fun with a game of 10-pin bowling. It’s an inexpensive and cheerful way to wind down, and is perfect for those aged six and up. Games cost from Dhs10 to Dhs20 depending on your choice of venue.

Karate classes, Fun City, Lamcy Plaza (Magdi, 050 498 7696; 04 335 2700) Let your little Hong Kong Phooeys get their kicks and exercise at the karate classes at Fun City in Oud Metha. Great for helping enthusiastic kids to blow off steam, make new friends and improve their coordination and physical fitness, you can’t really go wrong. Sessions cost Dhs50 each, are suitable for tots aged three and up, and run from 5pm to 7pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Wednesday 21

Skate with Mummy at Dubai Mall Ice Rink (04 448 5111; www.dubaiicerink.com) Mums and tots under seven can enjoy the massive Dubai Mall ice rink together for the first skating session of the day (from 10am to noon daily) for just Dhs50. That includes skate hire for both of you, as well as an instructor on hand to provide a few skating tips and help you keep yourselves upright. Feeling a bit chilly? We suggest you go for a hot chocolate afterwards to warm up!

Thursday 22

KidZania at Dubai Mall (04 448 5222; www.kidzania.ae) Treat them to an end-of-the-week session inside Dubai’s latest edutainment centre. The extraordinary miniature town called KidZania provides tots to teens with the chance to try out more than 70 different careers – and get paid for them. Included in the line-up are positions in the fire brigade, the KZPD (KidZania Police Department), the barber’s shop and beauty salon, the theatre, the F1 track, the airline industry and the TV station, to name a few. We’re particularly fond of the emergency room, where kids get to be doctors, nurses and patients, and are educated in essentials such as safety, risk, rescue and first-aid techniques. Kids under four cost Dhs95, while four to teens get in for Dhs125.

By Karen Iley
Time Out Dubai,

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