Family fun in Dubai
Shark feeding, turtle adoptions and a tasty new brekkie to try
Splash out on a film extravaganza at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
Celebrate the end of another school week by treating the little tykes to a pool-based movie-fest at Cine-Splash. Fabulous fun for all the family, it’s also a great-value night out in the open (the Dhs15 kids’ entry fee gets them a swim, two films and free popcorn). Start with a swim and a splash between 6pm and 7pm, before settling down in the pool to watch two great animal-themed films. Racing Stripes at 7pm tells the tale of a zebra who thinks he’s a racehorse, while Free Willy 3 at 9pm follows two teens who save a whale and save the day. Parents can tuck into sandwiches and shawarmas at the live cooking station or just hang out by the bar.
Dhs30 for adults, Dhs15 for kids aged six to 12, under sixes go free. Doors open 6pm. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, near Arabian Ranches, www.poloclubdubai.com (04 361 8111).
Chill out at Iceland Water Park
Water babies rejoice! The eagerly awaited Iceland has finally opened its chilly doors. Just an hour from Dubai in Ras Al Khaimah, this unique polar-themed wintry water park is a very, very big and slightly bizarre icy playground (think plastic penguins, blue Astroturf, Swiss-inspired chalets and icy igloos) that has been cleverly tailored to provide tots, tweens and teens with plenty of wacky water activities. There’s the world’s largest man-made waterfall (120ft tall), the Coral Isle Pool, where you can swim and snorkel with real fish, and an incredible 37 slides. Older ones can brave the 100m fall from the top of Mount Attack, while little ones will love Kids’ Cove, a dedicated toddler area with mini slides, shallow water and a sandpit. Little lasses will enjoy a boogie in the rain dance pool – an outdoor disco at Penguin Bay that showers you with plenty of water. Little lads (and dads) can indulge in some aqua action on the squishy aquatic football field, while mum chills out with some me-time in the hydro-massage Tundra Baths. We’re sure you’ll find plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Dhs225 for adults, Dhs175 for kids less than 1.2m tall, free for kids less than 80cm tall. Open daily 10am-7pm. Ras Al Khaimah, near Mina Al Arab, www.icelandwaterpark.com (07 244 7547).
Tuck into the new tasty brekkie at Gourmet Station
Start your Saturday by indulging in Gourmet Station’s new healthy breakfast. Not only is it tasty and not too calorific – feast on eggs, sausages, bacon and toast, or choose the vegetarian option – but they start serving from 9am, which is great for early-rising mums and tots. And the best news? It’ll cost you just Dhs14. Bargain!
Breakfast served Fri-Sat 9am-11am; Sun-Wed 8.30-10.30am. Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 515 4000).
FREE Watch shark feeding time at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
A mesmerising experience for mini marine enthusiasts, join Dubai Aquarium’s 400 resident sharks for dinner at 4pm. Watch the divers shoot down into the huge tank and hand out fish to the world’s ultimate predator (the fish is frozen, so they don’t develop a liking for fresh fish and eat their friends).
Feeding daily from 4pm. Free. The Dubai Mall, www.thedubaiaquarium.com (04 428 5200).
Adopt a turtle with Emirates Wildlife Society
Encourage your child’s understanding of the world, and in particular of the UAE, by adopting an endangered marine turtle. The Marine Turtle Conservation Project, initiated by the Emirates Wildlife Society, aims to track more than 75 hawksbill turtles across the GCC, with 25 tagged turtles to date. You can do your bit by adopting one. Just buy an adoption pack, which includes a toy turtle, an adoption certificate, sticker, photo card with turtle facts and brochure all about the three-year strategy. Proceeds go towards the programme, which will create a sustainable protection plan for the region. Packs are available at The Shelter (Al Quoz and Sharjah) and Al Boom Dive Centres, or see www.gulfturtles.com for more info and an updated list of outlets.
Dhs200 per adoption pack. www.gulfturtles.com; www.ewswwf.ae.
Fashion your own furry friend at Build-A-Bear Workshop
Create a new teddy in preparation for Time Out Kids’ Teddy Bears Picnic in December. An interactive entertainment store, the Build-A-Bear Workshop lets little ones create their very own trendy ted (or dog, cat or bird) by visiting eight stuffed animal-making sections. Teddy-loving tots can choose their animal and give it a voice by recording a message that is placed inside. Then they stuff it, stitch it, fluff it, dress it and, finally, name it, taking away its very own birth certificate. Kids also receive an Animal ID and key code so they can play the Build-A-Bear online virtual game, at www.buildabearville.com, and create an online character to play with others worldwide.
Bears from Dhs60-110; accessories, outfits and sounds sold separately. Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Dubai Marina Mall and Dubai Festival City, www.buildabear.ae (800 23277).
Spoil the sprogs with supper from Al Samadi’s new menu
Diddy diners will be delighted by the new dishes on offer at Franco-Lebanese café Al Samadi. Think mini milkshakes and mixed juices, free colouring books and crayons, and even tasty hands-on activities to keep them distracted while dad digs into his burger. Little artists can keep their pint-sized paws busy by decorating their own kunafa or sweets with the café’s edible glitter, before gobbling it up. Mum will also be happy with the new menu, which offers healthy, home-made child-sized portions of the bistro’s signature beef kofta burger, as well as mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce and turkey ham and cheese saj pizza.
Open daily 7.30am-midnight. The Boulevard, Downtown Burj Khalifa, www.alsamadicafes.com (04 432 9520).
Get creative with your child at Ductac Bring out your kids’ best brush strokes at this mums-and-bubs artistic workshop, which lets little ’uns make a mess without mum having to worry about her walls or cleaning up the post-painting chaos. Using a variety of materials and textures, teenies get to paint, tear, scrunch, mix, model and squidge and are introduced to techniques such as mosaics, colour mixing, modelling and gluing. Not only is this hands-on session great for bonding and buddy-making, but it’s stacks of sticky fun and may even lead to a mini masterpiece. Suitable for tots aged one to three.
Dhs90 for the workshop, Dhs20 for materials. Wed 10am-11.30am. Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, www.ductac.org (04 341 4777).
Indulge in a social mum’s lunch at Caramel with Mamavents
A chance to whine and dine with other mums, indulge yourself with some ‘me-time’ at Female Fusion Social Lunch, which promises lots of laughs and some good grub. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends and relax in the company of other mums, says organiser Kellie Whitehead. Call to book.
Dhs100 per person. Caramel, DIFC, www.mamavents.com (050 545 8476).
Time Out Dubai,