Kids' activities in Dubai
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Get sporty at Dubai Sports World
There’s just over a week to go before Dubai Sports World closes, so don’t miss the chance to check out this vast indoor sports arena at Dubai World Trade Centre. It features everything from indoor football and cricket pitches and a real sand volleyball court to a skate park, gym, running track and more. Free entry; individual coaching sessions priced separately.
Open daily 8am-2am. Until August 31. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.dubaisportsworld.ae (04 306 4000).
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).
Dine out with the family, Italian-style
With its tasty Italian fare and informal atmosphere, Carluccio’s is one of our favourite family-friendly restaurants. With outlets in The Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Centre and Marina Mall, you can use the voucher from the current issue of Time Out Kids to get two kids’ meals for the price of one.
Dhs32 per set kids’ meal (including pizza or pasta, ice cream and soft drink). Open daily 9am-11pm. Time Out Kids voucher valid until September 31 (conditions apply). Various locations including The Dubai Mall, www.carluccios.com (04 434 1320).
Discover the Lost Chambers
With 20 different exhibits and more than 65,000 aquatic creatures to ogle, Atlantis’s Lost Chambers are a fascinating way to learn about marine life. And even if you don’t pay to go inside, you can check out the aquarium’s residents through the public viewing tanks in the hotel’s Avenues.
Non-residents Dhs100 (adults), Dhs70 (kids); UAE residents Dhs75 (adults), Dhs50 (kids). Open daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Atlantis the Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 0000).
Get hands on at Sharjah Science Museum
If the kids’ brains have seized up over summer, whisk them along to the Sharjah Science Museum. The hands-on activities make learning fun: you can expect magic shows, experiments with static electricity, the chance to explore the solar system and so much more.
Dhs10 (adults), Dhs5 (kids). Open Sun-Thu 8am-2pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-8pm. Ongoing. Sharjah, www.sharjahmuseums.ae (06 551 4777).
Make a splash at Hatta Fort Hotel
What better way to cool the kids down than at the tranquil Hatta Fort Hotel? The hotel is offering a special deal for weekend pool access: it boasts two sizeable swimming pools surrounded by lush gardens and overlooked by the majestic Hajar mountains. On Fridays and public holidays, there’s an extra gate fee of Dhs50 for adults, Dhs30 for kids under 12, but this is redeemable against food and drinks.
Dhs50 (adults), Dhs30 (kids under 12). Open daily 8am-7pm. Ongoing. Hatta, www.hattaforthotel.com (04 809 9333).
Enjoy an after-dark funfair
Hili Fun City in Al Ain is open later in the day throughout summer to help guests avoid the punishing sun. Expect all the usual thrills and spills, with rides for all ages, and even an Olympic-sized ice rink for some much-needed relief from the heat.
Dhs40 (general admission), free for kids under 89cm tall. Rides priced individually. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm. Ongoing. Al Ain, www.hilifuncity.ae (03 784 5542).
Fun and games at Peekaboo!
As well as being a fun soft play area, Peekaboo! has an extensive timetable of fun activities for children up to the age of seven, from yoga and movies to origami and puzzle time. What’s more, all the activities are included in the entry fee.
Dhs50 (kids aged one to seven), Dhs30 (six months to 11 months), free for kids under six months. Kids under three and a half be accompanied by an adult. Open daily 9am-8pm. Ongoing. The Village Mall, Jumeirah, www.peekaboo.ae (04 344 7122).
Brave a shark safari
Think you’re brave enough to handle one of Aquaventure’s shark safaris? This 20-minute sub-aqua expedition is suitable for anyone over the age of eight,and gives you the chance to get up close to the aquarium’s exotic residents, including black tip reef sharks and marble rays. You don’t have to be a trained diver: just don one of the special ‘Sea Trek’ underwater helmets.
Dhs275 per person. Daily 8am-5pm. Ongoing. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 0000).
Cool your boots at Dubai Ice Rink
Dubai Mall’s ice rink offers plenty of kid-friendly sessions, including discounts for mums and tots for the first session of each day, toddler packages that include helmets, funky discos for tweens and teens, and even ‘Snow Babies’ classes for younger children to gain confidence on the slippery surface.
Public sessions Dhs55 (adults), Dhs25 (kids under 1m tall). Snow Babies classes Dhs80 per child per session. Open Sun-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Sat 11am-1am. The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111).
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