Kids' activities in Dubai
Kids can be grown-ups for the day at KidZania
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).
Delve into Dubai’s history
Dubai Museum is a fascinating insight into Dubai’s heritage, from the origins of the spice souks to the lives of the pearl divers. It’s located in Al Fahidi Fort in the historical Bastakiya district in Bur Dubai, and is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the city. It’s also open on bank holidays.
Dhs3 (adults), Dhs1 (children), free for children under six. Ramadan timings Sat-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 2pm-5pm. Ongoing. Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, www.dubaitourism.ae (04 353 1862).
Fun and games at Sega Republic
The Dubai Mall’s indoor theme park is the perfect spot for kids to burn off all that excess energy. With rides and games to tempt all ages, from tots to thrill-seeking grown-ups, you can buy a pay-as-you-go ‘Pay and Play’ pass, or a Power Pass, which is valid on all attractions throughout the day.
Dhs150 (Power Pass), pay-and-play rides priced individually. Open Fri-Sat 10am-1am, Sun-Thu 10am-11pm Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.segarepublic.com (04 448 8484).
Get crafty at Mini Monsters
Creative kids can find an outlet for their artistic abilities by joining up for cooking classes, arts and crafts and move-and-groove sessions at Mini Monsters. The classes, which continue throughout Ramadan, are for those aged three and above. Kids can let off steam afterwards in the extensive soft play area, and there’s an on-site café so parents can have a breather.
Dhs60-65 per child. Open Wed-Thu 10am onwards during Ramadan. Mini Monsters, Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai Garden Centre, www.minimonsters.ae (04 341 4459).
Stake out some dinosaurs at Dino Live
Little paleontologists will love this animatronic exhibition of lifelike dinosaurs: Hear the T-Rex roar and watch out for the swishing tail of the Diplodocus. There’s even a dinosaur ride to try.
Dhs50 per person; free for kids under two. Open daily 10am-midnight throughout Ramadan. Ongoing. Dubai Festival City, www.dino-live.com (055 949 5787).
Henna art at Hamleys
The toy store’s branches at Mirdif City Centre and The Dubai Mall have been holding free arts and crafts and henna art sessions for kids throughout Ramadan, and tonight is your last chance to join in. Children of all ages are welcome.
Free. 7pm-11pm. Until August 18. Hamleys, The Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre (04 339 8889).
Discover the Amazon jungle at Little Explorers
This summer, Little Explorers has teamed up with National Geographic Kids for a new Amazon jungle exhibit. The activity centre is hosting all manner of interactive activities until the end of August, not to mention the usual educational fun and games in the rest of the play centre.
Dhs130 per day per child; Dhs100 drop and shop. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Until August 31. Mirdif City Centre, www.theplaymania.com (800 386).
Go ice skating at Arabian Centre
Take to the ice at Arabian Centre’s ‘iceless’ rink: it features synthetic ice that is apparently 10 percent less slippery than real ice, so is perfect for beginners. It’s also not as cold as the real thing (perfect if you’re likely to spend a lot of time sitting on it).
Dhs25 per person per hour, including skate hire. Open daily 10am-1am. Arabian Centre, Mirdif, www.arabiancenter.ae (04 284 5555).
Live like a grown-up at KidZania
If your kids haven’t visited already, they’ll love KidZania: an entire city dedicated to children, from toddlers to teens. Here, they can be a grown-up for the day, trying out all manner of careers: catching a flight, taking driving lessons, shopping at the supermarket and even making pizza. Kids taller than 120cm are allowed to explore without mum and dad, while staff keep track of them using high-tech security ID bracelets.
Dhs140 (kids aged four to 16), Dhs95 (kids aged two to three), free for kids under two, Dhs90 for adults (must be accompanied by a child). Open Sun-Wed 9am-10pm, Thu 9am-midnight, Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall, www.kidzania.ae (04 448 5222).
Time Out Dubai,