Family fun in Dubai
World music, dance performance and the world's biggest soft play area in Dubai
Get into the groove and take yourselves down to Abu Dhabi for the opening of Womad 2010. The event, which runs until April 24, promises to be entertaining for the whole family, with drumming sessions, graffiti wall scribbling for mini street artists and lots of different world cuisines on offer. And, of course, there’ll be loads of music and dance too.
Womad festival, Abu Dhabi Corniche (www.womad.org).
More than 190 amateur and professional students from Sharmila’s Dance Academy will be showcasing their talents in this action-packed stage show. The Dance Extravaganza includes 24 acts choreographed by Sharmila Kamte and, if past shows are anything to go by, will provide fantastic entertainment, especially for fans of music and dance. The matinee show kicks off at 2.30pm, while the evening performance starts at 7.30pm. Adult tickets are Dhs100, while under 18s are Dhs85.
Sharmila’s Dance Extravaganza at Ductac (04 341 4777; www.sharmiladance.com).
Pick up bargains galore or book your own stall at the Baby and Kids’ market at Star International School in Mirdif. The event, which will feature all sorts of second-hand baby and child paraphernalia, is a chance for new parents to stock up on gear at bargain prices, while others can use the opportunity to have a good clearout and make some money into the bargain. You can also catch some of Dubai’s favourite baby boutiques, including BabySouk, Coochycoo and more. Doors open 8am to 1pm. Cost per stall for sellers is Dhs170 and includes a chair and space for two large items in the dedicated area.
Baby and Kids’ market (call Kim on 050 889 2781 or Charlotte on 050 955 7799).
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 any bumps or bruises. Open from 10am to 10pm. A one-hour session costs Dhs25 per child.
Stargate (04 325 9988; www.stargatedubai.com; email@example.com).
For an unforgettable family experience, why not book a session at the habitat pool? Here, groups of up to six people can enjoy a 20-minute session of swimming with the dolphins. The four bottle-nosed mammals, all of who are well used to the interactive sessions, will happily swim with families, be stroked and are even up for a gentle pull-along ride around the pool. Ideal for a special one-off treat (although kids must be over the age of five), the mixed sessions cost Dhs400 per person, while a private session of no more than three people can be booked for Dhs1,600.
Swim with the dolphins, Dubai Dolphinarium, Umm Hurair (04 336 9773; www.dubaidolphinarium.ae).
Traditional tales are told with a difference in these Story Drama sessions, where suspense and surprise (as well as a healthy dose of interaction) bring the 30 minutes of storytelling fun to life. Perfect for tots aged two to three, Story Drama is great for mums and kids who live in the Marina area. Blood donation drive at Al Twar School (050 151 2911) Roll up your sleeves and do something good for the community by taking part in the blood donation drive at Al Twar School in Al Ghusais. The school has joined forces with Al Wasl Children and Maternity Hospital to collect the valuable donations, which will be used to help people suffering from thalassemia and other blood-related conditions. Doors open at 11am.
Storytelling at Kadomz Studio, Marina Mall (04 341 4777, ext 234/5).
Treat the little munchkins to a slap-up tea at Carluccio’s. Part deli, part restaurant, this Italian stalwart was voted Best Family Restaurant in the recent Time Out Eating Out awards thanks to its combination of tasty Italian food, a healthy kids’ menu, cheery, patient staff and a prime kid-friendly spot on the waterfront at Dubai Mall. Our brood loves the lasagne, and the fact we get a prime view of the Dubai Fountain. For a change of scenery, you could try the newly-opened branch in Mirdif City Centre.
Dinner at Carluccio’s (04 434 1320).
With 25 acts, incorporating light shows, singing, spectacular costumes and traditional dancing, the Al Saheel horse show is better than ever. But it’s the four-legged fellas that steal the show, wowing the crows with Spanish dressage, stunt riding, and a thrilling ‘horses with fire’ act. There are even talking ponies and – wait for it – a horse that skips. Lasting 90 minutes, this locally-produced show takes place at the specially built HoofbeatZ™ Pavilion, located at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club at Arabian Ranches. Running every Thursday and Friday evening at 7.30pm until May, tickets cost Dhs225 for adults and Dhs100 for kids, or there’s a Dhs325 hospitality ticket that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the stables to meet the equine stars.
Al Saheel horse show (050 181 0401; www.alsaheel.com).
Time Out Dubai,