Kids' activities in Dubai
Cool off at the Dubai Ice Rink or visit the aquarium
Cool down at Dubai Ice Rink
Mums and tots can find their balance and keep their cool at Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall. There’s a special discounted price for the first public skating session of the day: Dhs55 for a mini-skater (under 100cm) and accompanying mum. There’s even a skating coach on hand to help perfect those toe loops, axels and triple salchows (or to stop you landing on your posterior).
Dhs55 per mum and child under 1m. Sun-Wed from 10am, Sat-Thu from 11.15am. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111).
Spring along to Modhesh World
If you’ve missed this vast indoor amusement park in previous years, there’s no excuse now it’s conveniently located in Dubai World Trade Centre. There are rides and attractions for kids of all sizes, plus a heritage zone to teach them more about Emirati culture.
Dhs10 per person, free for kids under two (individual rides priced separately). Open daily 8pm-2am during Ramadan. Until August 25. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.dubaicalendar.ae (600 54 5555).
Let off some steam at Planet Play
We’re big fans of the vast kids’ play space at Mirdif City Centre. The three-storey playground is big enough for tots to work off all that pent-up energy, but not so huge that you’re in danger of losing them in the maze of slides and tunnels. Plus, there’s ample seating for parents, and the venue is rarely crowded, especially in the mornings.
Dhs30 per child per hour. Open daily 10am-midnight. Ongoing. Mirdif City Centre, www.theplaymania.com (800 386).
Check out the sea life in Sharjah
Discover 250 species of local fish at Sharjah Aquarium, ranging from the weird and wonderful to the incredibly rare. The specially constructed habitat has plenty of tunnels and bridges from which to view the aquatic life within.
Dhs20 (adults), Dhs10 (children), free for children under three. Ramadan timings Mon-Sat 9am-2pm, 9pm-11pm, closed Sundays. Ongoing. Sharjah, www.sharjahaquarium.ae (06 528 5288).
Enjoy a family-friendly iftar
Get into the spirit of the Holy Month and head to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for a traditional Emirati iftar. The evening begins just before sunset, with a prayer to break the fast followed by dates and drinks. Then iftar starts in earnest, with plenty of local flavours – the evening is focused on explaining the principles behind Ramadan. You’ll need to book in advance.
Dhs135 (adults), free for kids under 12. Daily 6.30pm-10pm. Until the end of Ramadan. Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Bastakiya, www.cultures.ae (04 353 6666).
Bring out their culinary prowess
Foodie mum Tina McFadzean is running her popular Little Chefs cooking camp throughout August: expect budding foodies to learn practical skills, simple recipes and enjoy field trips around Dubai’s culinary haunts. With snacks, lunch and more included in the price, hopefully they’ll be able to rustle up something spectacular in the kitchen after a week under Tina’s watchful gaze.
Dhs800 per week. August 12-16, 19-23, 26-30. For timings and location, contact email@example.com (050 458 3015).
Discover the Lost Chambers at Atlantis
With 20 different exhibits and more than 65,000 aquatic animals to gawp at, the Lost Chambers are a fascinating diversion from the summer sunshine. Discounts for UAE residents are available at the gate; even better, the bumper summer issue of Time Out Kids that’s on shelves now has a fantastic voucher giving you a two-for-one deal for admission. What are you waiting for? Dhs100 adults (Dhs75 for UAE residents), Dhs70 children (Dhs50 for UAE residents). Open daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 0000).
Join a kids’ gym
Who says gyms are just for grown ups? Quay Skillz at the Madinat Jumeirah is a fun way for kids to stay healthy during the summer. It’s the first dedicated gym for kids aged seven and above, and memberships are flexible and can be temporarily frozen in case you’re leaving on vacation over the school holidays.
From Dhs75 (day pass), Dhs675 (basic membership). Open daily 8am-9pm. Ongoing. Madinat Jumeirah, www.skillz.ae (04 366 6169).
Time Out Dubai,