| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Family fun in Dubai

Smurfs, ponies, Wiggles animals and more stuff for kids in Dubai

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Thursday 1

EDITOR’S PICK NEW Smurf fans this way!
The classic ’80s cartoon has been given a 3D Hollywood makeover, with a host of big names including Hank Azaria, Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. The Smurfs is a charming fish-out-of-water tale, which sees the tiny Smurfs transported from their quiet village in Belgium to the big, scary streets of New York City. But the evil wizard Gargamel has found his way there too, and he’s determined to capture them to make himself more powerful.
At cinemas across Dubai.

NEW Captain America flies into town
New superhero flick Captain America: The First Avenger is one for teens (the PG13 rating means it’s too scary for little ones). The latest flick from the Marvel Comics stable, it focuses on unlikely hero Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), who is transformed from geek to super soldier after joining an experimental programme with the military.
At cinemas across Dubai.

Friday 2

Have a Bubbalicious brunch at The Westin
Take the family for a blow-out brunch this weekend. Little ones will love The Westin’s hands-on petting zoo, the juggling act and, of course, the face-painting, PlayStations, balloon-bending and crafts on offer in the supervised kids’ area. There’s also an acrobatics show, and the food is pretty good too.
Dhs350-490 (adults); Dhs199 (kids aged six to 12); free for kids under six. Fri 1pm-4pm. Ongoing. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Spa (04 511 7136).

Get a Wiggle on
Fans of all-singing, all-dancing Antipodean entertainers The Wiggles can get their dose of ‘The Monkey Dance’ by visiting VOX Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates. While the wiggly crew aren’t actually here in person, you
can watch their circus-inspired show, called The Wiggles Greatest Hits, which includes their most famous songs and routines. The nippers are sure to love it.
Dhs30. Daily 9.30am, 11.30am and 1.30pm. Until September 30. Mall of the Emirates, www.voxcinemas.com (04 341 4222).

Saturday 3

EDITOR’S PICK Visit Arabian Wildlife Centre
Situated just off Al Dhaid Road, the Arabian Wildlife Centre is a fantastic indoor facility located in the middle of the animal enclosures. Observation windows mean you’ll get a close-up view of the big cats, oryx, gazelles, ostriches and more. Once you’ve looked at all the rare animals, why not pop along to the Petting Farm next door? With camels, ponies, cows, sheep and donkeys, it’s a fantastic family afternoon out.
Dhs15 per person; free for kids under 12. Open Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu 9am-5.30pm; Fri 2pm-5.30pm; Sat 11am-5.30pm (closed Tue). Ongoing. www.breedingcentresharjah.com (06 531 1999).

Pony up for breakfast
Horsey families can spend the morning taking a two-hour guided tour of the stables at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, learning how the staff look after our hoofy friends. Afterwards, head to Epona Café for a slap-up breakfast. We reckon it’s a great way for the pony-mad to spend their Saturday morning.
Dhs195 (adults); Dhs100 (kids aged four to 12). Sat-Thu 8am-10am. Ongoing. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, www.dubaipoloclub.com (04 361 7111).

Sunday 4

Hands-on play at Sharjah Discovery Centre
A great morning out for the whole family, Sharjah Discovery Centre has seven themed interactive play areas that include water, travel, building, a children’s supermarket and even becoming a star on TV. The indoor space at the centre is huge and well air-conditioned, so your brood can run about to their heart’s content and work off all that excess energy.
Dhs10 (adults); Dhs5 (kids). Sun-Thu 8am-2pm; Fri-Sat 4pm-8pm. Ongoing. Wasit suburb, Sharjah, www.sharjahmuseums.ae (06 558 6577)

Monday 5

FREE! Food for kids at The Westin
Kids eat for free at Blue Orange, Hunters, Spice Emporium, Waves and Barasti during the Mums’ Night Off promotion. Enjoy a huge array of cuisines that will no doubt satisfy the tastes of even the pickiest eaters. Best of all, it means no cooking – and no washing up.
Free. Mon 6pm-midnight. Until September 30. The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Spa (04 511 7136).

Tuesday 6

Ice-skating fun at The Dubai Mall
Share the thrill of the ice with your little one at Dubai Ice Rink’s mums-and-tots skating sessions. First-timers can hire a Penguin Pal – a child-sized plastic penguin on runners that nippers can hang on to as they make their way around the rink. Arrive for the first session of the day and the pair of you will pay just Dhs50. Instructors are also on hand to help you both through the wobbly stages – perfect for tots aged two to seven.
Dhs50, plus Dhs25 for Penguin Pal hire. Daily 10am-noon. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111).

Wednesday 7

EDITOR’S PICK Hang around on the Sky Trail
If you have a little monkey in your midst (or feel in need of an adrenaline boost yourself), try the Sky Trail at Playnation. Suspended about 15m above Magic Planet, daredevil visitors can clamber and swing their way around the obstacle course. To keep you safe, the Sky Trail staff will truss you up like a turkey in a secure harness before guiding you through a gate and across a zip line to start your scramble around the course. Dhs70. Daily 10am-midnight daily. Ongoing. Mirdif City Centre, www.playnationme.com (800 534 7873).

By Joanna England
Time Out Dubai,

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