Family fun in Dubai
Horse riding, bowling, penguins and more stuff for kids to do
Enjoy a workshop or two at Little Explorers
Take the little tykes to Little Explorers at any time of the day and book them in for an educational and fun workshop run by experts. The 90-minute sessions include some educational or crafty classroom time, plus a tour of the centre by Little Explorer’s helpers, who are all either trained teachers or are fully qualified to work with children. The workshops, which run all day, are organised for children aged four to seven, and include themes such as ‘body and senses’, ‘animals’ and ‘science and discoveries’.
Dhs90 per child per workshop. Sun-Thu 10am-10pm , Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. Mirdif City Centre, www.theplaymania.com (800 386).
Meet the horses at Al Tamimi Stables
Families can enjoy a great day out at this vast farm and stables. It’s home to more than 500 animals, including plenty of horses: little ones can acclimatise themselves with these large creatures in serene surroundings. Kids can enjoy a pony ride for Dhs20, which consists of four rounds of the paddock. The ponies are so gentle that mum and dad can lead if they like.
Dhs35 (adults); Dhs25 (kids aged six to 12); free for kids under five. Open Sat-Thu 9am-6pm. Al Tamimi Stables, on the E311 road just past Sharjah Airport, www.tamimistables.com (06 743 1122).
Book a beach chalet at Al Mamzar Park
The air-conditioned facilities have their own shower rooms, space to prepare food and a furnished lounge area, making them perfect for families with small children who need a nap and shade at noon. Plan your schedule, hitting the beach in the morning, having a cool picnic lunch and a shower in the chalet, followed by a chilled-out afternoon in the playpark, or even having a splash in the municipality swimming pool. Each chalet has its own barbecue area, so you can grill your own food for dinner. Advance booking recommended.
Dhs140-240 for a single or double chalet. Open daily 9am-10pm. Nr Sharjah (04 296 6201).
Head to Bowling City at Dubai Festival City
Featuring 12 lanes, kids as young as four are welcome to play – practice lanes with buffers are available to help them boost their confidence and skill.
Thu-Sat Dhs20 per person per game. Sun-Wed 10am-4pm Dhs10 per person per game; 4pm-midnight Dhs15 per person per game. Open Sat-Thu 10am-midnight, Fri 10am-1am. Dubai Festival City Mall, www.dubaifestivalcity.com (04 232 8600).
Pony up to the polo club for a guided tour
Horsey families can spendthe morning taking a two-hour guided tour of the stables at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. The tour gives kids the chance to meet plenty of equine friends, as well as exploring their home and learning how they’re looked after. Afterwards, head to Epona Café for a slap-up breakfast.
Dhs195 (adults), Dhs100 (kids aged four to 12). Sat-Thu 8am-10am. Ongoing. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, www.dubaipoloclub.com (04 361 8111).
Pre-school storytime at the Old Library
If your tots love a good story, book them into one of the free Sunday storytelling sessions at the Old Library at Ductac. The sessions run from 10am to 11.15am and are geared specifically towards pre-schoolers. Book ahead – spaces are limited.
Free. Sun 10.30am-11.15am. Ongoing. The Old Library, Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, www.theoldlibrary.ae (04 341 4777 ext 207).
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).
Toddlers on ice
Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall is offering a special session for tots under 100cm tall, which includes ice time, skate hire and the purchase of the all-important crash helmet for Dhs55. That means your little munchkins will get two hours of ice time (enough to wear them out) and they’ll be able to keep the helmet for their next trip to the rink. Helmets cost Dhs40 when purchased separately.
Dhs55 per child (includes skate hire and helmet). Open daily 10am-10pm. Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111)
Time Out Dubai,