Family fun in Dubai
Picnic at the polo, Dino Live, karting and more stuff for kids
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 three. Daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Dubai Festival City, www.dino-live.com (055 949 5787).
Head to the cinema to see Jack the Giant Slayer
One for slightly older kids (particularly boys), starring Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and Bill Nighy, and is based on the popular kids’ fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack, a young farm hand, accidentally opens a gateway to the world of the giants, restarting an ancient war. Unleashed on the earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing Jack into a battle to stop them.
In cinemas from today.
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day early
Take the kids for a bounce on the bouncy castles during a traditional afternoon of fun at The Irish Village in honour of St Patrick’s Day, which falls on Sunday 17. The grassy area beside the lake is the perfect pace to relax as you eat lunch, watch the kids bounce themselves silly and enjoy the festivities, which include live music, Irish dancing displays and a party atmosphere.
Free. Noon onwards. The Irish Village, Garhoud, www.irishvillage.ae (04 282 4750).
Picnic at the polo
Head to Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club every Friday for fresh air and polo action: the whole family can enjoy a picnic on the grass, and you can park your car next to the pitch for just Dhs100. It’s an inexpensive way to enjoy the cool weather and get them running about outside.
Dhs100 per car. Fri 3.30pm until sunset. Ongoing. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, www.poloclubdubai.com (04 361 8111).
Discover some local fauna at the Arabian Wildlife Centre
Situated just off Al Dhaid Road, the Arabian Wildlife Centre is an indoor facility surrounded by animal enclosures. The big cats, oryx, gazelles, ostriches and more live behind observation windows, enabling you to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. The petting zoo next door also houses camels, ponies, cows, sheep and donkeys.
Dhs15 per person; free for kids under 12. Open Sun-Thu 9am-5.30pm (closed Tue), Fri 2pm-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5.30pm. Ongoing. Al Dhaid Road, www.breedingcentresharjah.com/WildlifeCentre (06 531 1999).
Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Championship
Mini speed demons should head to the Autodrome this weekend, where some of Dubai’s best karters will be taking to the track for a 12-hour endurance kart race. With pros, semi-pros and corporate teams taking part, the drivers are adult only, but it’s free for spectators to watch the action.
Free for spectators. Race finishes 2.15pm. Kartdrome, Dubai Autodrome, MotorCity, www.dubaiautodrome.com (04 367 8700).
Pick up a penguin at Ski Dubai’s Snow Park
Ski Dubai is home to a merry band of king and gentoo penguins, enabling visitors to meet these happy little creatures and learn more about the species. All the penguins were bred in captivity, so are more than happy to be hugged by eager kids.
Dhs175 per person for penguin experience; plus snow park entry of Dhs120 (adults), Dhs110 (kids). Open daily Sun-Thu 1pm-9pm, Fri-Sat noon-9pm. Ongoing. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, www.skidxb.com (800 534 7873).
Ceramic fun at Super Dooper
If you fancy being entertained while your child plays, head over to Super Dooper. Toddlers will be whisked away into the playroom for an hour, while parents can get creative with a ceramic painting session and a cup of coffee. Dhs79 for ceramic painting, a coffee and an hour’s childcare.
Mon and Wed 10am-1pm. Super Dooper, Dubai Marina, www.superdooper.ae (04 454 8391).
Teach the kids to ice-skate
Help them find their legs as soon as possible and they’ll be whizzing around the rink in no time at all. Dubai Ice Rink offers special sessions for tots under 100cm tall that includes ice time, skate hire and a protective crash helmet for Dhs55. That means your little munchkins will get two hours on the ice (enough to wear them out) and they’ll be able to keep the helmet, which is available in three colours, for their next trip to the rink. The helmets cost Dhs40 when purchased separately from the Skate Shop.
Dhs55 per child, including skate hire and helmet. Open daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111).
Time Out Dubai,