| Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Spring is in the air

With good weather comes great family outings. We uncover a selection of top spring experiences to enjoy, across the UAE

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It’s time to step outside, for spring has sprung! And there’s so much to do in the great outdoors. March brings spring break, from Sunday March 25 to Saturday April 8 and Easter falls on Sunday April 1. With that comes family brunches galore. We don’t have enough pages to bring you all the fun activities to be enjoyed, so here’s our pick of those you really shouldn’t miss. Stop and smell the flowers? More like jump up and down with the kids, because this season is going to be spectacular.

Arriba, Arriba to Vida Downtown’s Picnic Brunch at 3in1

Mix Latino vibes and one of Dubai’s most popular brunches and what do you get? A fusion of vibrant flavours that you can enjoy al fresco. The hotel’s legendary Urban Picnic takes a new twist this spring with the largest salad station in town offering more than 40 ingredients and flavours from over six countries, a glorious station where pizza is named after famous Latin Americans (you’ve got to try the Fidel Castro), a live barbecue station by the pool and more. Grab your “passport” and visit the nacho station, then stop by the churros for some new flavour combinations. Pull on a sombrero and enjoy.
Dhs310 per person (soft beverages), Dhs360 per person (house beverages). Fri 1pm-5pm. Vida Downtown (04 888 3444).

Check out the Bubbalicious brunch at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi

This Dubai institution of a brunch offers a great way to spend a spring Friday. With live cooking stations, mixology counters, a live band, kids’ entertainment and more, there’s so much to do at Bubbalicious, you’ll need a few Fridays to get through it.
Dhs480 per person (soft beverages), Dhs580 per person (sparkling grape), Dhs680 per person (bubbly), free (kids under 12). Fri 1pm-4pm. King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7139).

Enjoy the Egg-streme Easter Brunch at Fairmont The Palm

Easter may be a long way from now, but you know what they say – don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Get an early start on your Easter celebrations with a one-off “Egg-streme” brunch on Friday March 30. You’ll get to enjoy food and drinks from the hotel’s top restaurants all in one day (including from Flow Kitchen, the newly launched Little Miss India and stations from Frevo and Seagrill). In addition to some musical entertainment for adults, kids will get to experience a live petting zoo complete with bunnies, baby goats, parrots and more. There’s also face-painting for the little ones, a magician performing tricks and an Easter egg hunt with lots of prizes. Children aged 18 months to 16 years will also get free access to Fairmont Falcons Kids’ Club during the brunch, keeping them entertained with plenty of indoor activities.
Dhs295 (soft beverages), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly), Dhs180 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3388).

Get flying at Dubai’s International Kite Festival

Want to see the skies over Jumeirah filled with colours and strangely shaped figures? Dubai’s fourth International Kite Fest should do the trick, as enthusiasts from around the world gather to fly their colourful creations. Plus, while you’re there, you can tuck into dishes from popular local restaurants and food trucks.
Free. Fri Mar 9 to Sat 10, 11am-9pm. Sunset Beach, Umm Suqeim.

Hop down to Easter celebrations at Atlantis The Palm

There are lots of ways to celebrate Easter weekend at Atlantis The Palm. Bread Street Kitchen & Bar will be hosting families and friends who hop along to its Easter Brunch on Friday March 30. The spread will feature a themed ice cream counter, a kids’ masterclass where little ones can decorate cookies and an Easter egg hunt. Meanwhile little pizza chefs’ favourite Ronda Locatelli will be celebrating in true traditional Italian style with lots of “egg-cellent” activities. Kids under the age of 11 dine for free and get to paint chocolate eggs, too. There’s also The Big Bunny Bash, where kids aged three to 12 can join the Atlantis Kids Club Party and enjoy an array of exciting activities. From egg scavenger hunts, Easter bunny circuit games, face-painting and crafts to a spectacular piñata party and egg cookie decorating, your little ones will have a blast.
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar: Dhs240 (soft beverages), Dhs355 (selected house beverages), Dhs105 (kids aged four to 11). Fri Mar 30, 12.30pm-4pm; Ronda Locatelli: Dhs205 (soft beverages), Dhs310 (selected house beverages), free (kids aged 11 and under). Sat Mar 31, 12.30pm-4pm; The Big Bunny Bash: Dhs250 per child. Thu Mar 29 5.30pm-8.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

Let them loose for Flip Camp at Flip Out Dubai

Kids aged five and above can now jump and flip to their heart’s content at Flip Out Dubai’s spring camp. Children will get to practise the acrobatic art of trampolining, parkour and 3D wall running, in addition to a range of popular games including Bubble Soccer, Archery Tag, dodgeball, volleyball, football and basketball, all within the region’s largest trampoline universe.
Dhs350 (three sessions), Dhs529 (five sessions), Dhs140 (drop-in on four-hour session). Sun-Thu 10am-2pm. Sun Mar 25 to Thu Apr 5. Al Quoz 3 (600 567 568).

Rave with the family at Party Monsters at The Backyard
Gather your tots for a party like no other. Dubai’s famous family-friendly rave, Party Monsters, takes place every second Saturday at Steigenberger Hotel’s The Backyard until Saturday April 14, and it will delight ravers of all ages. A fun afternoon for the whole family, the party’s theme this time around is pirates, so kids and their parents are invited to get involved with fancy dress and bring their A-game on the dance floor to win some awesome prizes. Worried about the kids’ hearing? Fear not, because the decibels are maintained at a lower level to ensure it’s 100 percent safe for even the littlest ears. There will also be a kids’ zone by Splash ’n’ Bounce, with a soft play chill-out area, ball pool, slides and bouncy castle, as well as The BEEhive’s Arts and Crafts area. The Toy Store’s face-painters will transform kiddie faces, while photographers capture all the fun. Kids can also look forward to a dance-off competition with toys to be won.
Dhs70 (adults), Dhs35 (kids), free (kids under two). Sat Mar 10 and Sat Apr 14, noon-5pm. Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay (04 369 0000).

Send your kids to theatre spring camp at The Courtyard Playhouse

Your child’s magical spring journey awaits at the performing arts training centre’s Roald Dahl spring camp. Creatively exploring five books by the children’s author including The Enormous Crocodile, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the camp at The Courtyard Playhouse will feed their passion for storytelling, develop their literacy skills and build confidence through the exploration of drama games, movement games and crafts. Kids aged four to seven and eight to 11 will be taught and cared for by qualified teachers in the cosy, purpose-built theatre. It all takes place indoors, but it’s a solid, character-building spring activity that should not be missed.
Dhs1,155. Mar 25-29 and Apr 1-5, Mon-Thu 10am-1pm. The Courtyard Building, 4b Street, Al Quoz (050 781 2269).

Step out for Churrasco Night at Cabana

The Brazilian churrasco grill is always a fun outdoor experience. Add to that Burj Khalifa views and you’re all set for a great family evening under the stars. The Address Dubai Mall’s Cabana is serving up the best of grilled Brazilian delicacies, along with live music and samba performances for the ultimate spring night.
Dhs270 (food only), Dhs300 (soft beverages), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs135 (kids). Thu 7pm-11pm. Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 438 8888).

Try the new breakfast at Mighty Quinn’s

A new breakfast menu is always exciting news. What can be better than getting all the energy you need and then continuing to eat just because, you know, it’s still early in the morning? The all-new breakfast menu at the city’s latest barbecue hotspot, Mighty Quinn’s, includes such staples as omelette topped with slow-cooked brisket, a bacon and avocado Benedict, a wholesome smoked halloumi omelette, and more. There are pancakes in flavours including Hershey’s, blueberry and banana, and traditional, too, with a selection of syrups. Sit outside and enjoy it all in the glorious sunshing. Don’t worry about parking either, as it’s free.
Prices vary. Open daily 9am-midnight. The Walk, JBR (04 380 1888).

Tuck into an Easter family lunch at Day and Night
Looking to celebrate Easter Sunday with a quick lunch? Mercure Dubai Barsha Heights is the largest Mercure property in the world, so you can have pretty high expectations when it comes to dining at its Day and Night Restaurant. It serves international cuisine and its Easter lunch will feature an unlimited buffet that includes dishes such as roast lamb with crispy, herb-roasted potatoes and beef stroganoff, in addition to Russian salads and soups. There will also be a live cooking station and a kids’ corner with face-painting, Easter egg hunts, colouring and a dedicated kids’ food buffet for hungry little bunnies.
Dhs59 per person, half price (kids aged six to 11). Sun Apr 1, noon-3.30pm. Mercure Dubai Barsha Heights, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai (04 381 88 88).

Abu Dhabi
Breakfast with birds at Emirates Park Zoo & Resort

Make some feathered friends over a feed at Emirates Park Zoo & Resort. The popular attraction has launched a one-of-a-kind “Breakfast with the Birds” event, where you can enjoy a hearty morning meal while interacting with an array of feathered friends. Bilingual zoo educators will fill you in with ornithological facts; be there for the meet and greets with the colourful cast of birds. The family-friendly two-hour attraction will also include an opportunity to take pictures with the avians, go on an environmental tour and even feed some ducks. As part of the package, you’ll get complimentary all-day access to the zoo, too. A maximum of six people can take part in the event and kids must be accompanied by an adult.
Dhs160 (adults), Dhs80 (kids aged four-12), free (kids under four). Sat-Thu 9am-11am. 12th Street, Al Bahia (02 501 0000).

Go to the extreme at Xtreme Zone

There’s a new outdoor play area at Deerfields Mall, and we can’t wait to try it. From a large trampoline park and zip-line to three-storey adventure ropes and ninja courses, kids can decide on the level of thrill they want to seek from the range of activities on offer. Based within the mall, the zone is perfect to test and improve focus, balance and strength, while breathing in some fresh air.
From Dhs15-70 per play, depending on rides. Garden Area, Deerfields Mall, Al Bahia (02 666 9772).

Have a marvellous Easter at Emirates Palace
Check out the Easter Eggs-travaganza Friday Brunch, which features a special kids’ corner with a dedicated buffet and all sorts of activities from face-painting and balloon bending to a visit from the Easter Bunny. Or you could head to the Easter Picnic for chargrilled meats, plus waffles and crêpes from the dessert hut. An ice-cream wagon will visit picnickers to keep them cool and smiling, too. And of course, there’s an Easter egg hunt and lots of entertainment for kids, while you lounge on the lush green lawns.
Easter Eggs-travaganza Friday Brunch: Dhs370 (soft drinks), Dhs465 (hops and grape), Dhs680 (bubbly), Dhs780 (French bubbly), Dhs180 (kids aged ten to 12), free (kids under ten). Fri Mar 30, 12.30pm-4pm; Easter Picnic: Dhs465 (adults), Dhs230 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Sat Mar 31, 2pm-5pm. West Corniche Road (02 690 9000).

Let’s Promenade at City of Lights
Everything is so much better along a promenade, isn’t it? We have a two-day event that will prove it, too. Expect a line-up of activities at Let’s Promenade, including everything from performing arts, cultural workshops and watersports to shopping, lots of culinary delights and kids’ entertainment and activations. There will be fitness classes for both kids and adults, Latin dance classes, free Mother’s Day activities, and cultural workshops. And don’t forget the food trucks!
Free. Mar 15-16, 4pm-10pm. The Promenade, City of Lights, Reem Island (800 360).

See the flying colours at Anantara Kite Fest on Sir Bani Yas Island
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts is bringing you its annual kite festival once more on Friday March 2, promising a day filled with adventure and fun. The event starts at 11am with families making their own kites and flying them from the beach. You get free kite kits, barbecue, music and kids’ entertainment such as beach games, kayaking, pony rides and archery – so you can attend even if you’re not into kites.

But if you are, prizes will be up for grabs for the “Most Creative Kite”, “Largest Kite”, and “Best Animal-Shaped Kite”. If you wish to explore further, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts also offers a two-day camping package in the heart of the wildlife park. Kids can also accompany parents on a desert walk, go dune bashing if they’re six years old and above, try archery if they’re eight and older and visit the camel farm, stables and animal park farm.
Anantara Kite Fest: Free (resort guests), Dhs150 (adults), Dhs100 (kids). Prices include boat transfer and transportation on the island. Fri Mar 2, 11am-5pm; camping: Dhs580 (adults), Dhs290 (kids). Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts (02 801 5400).

Sign them up for Kids’ Camp at Emirates Palace

School may be out, but that doesn’t mean more TV and iPad time. Get the kids outside and on the water with this spring camp where they can mingle and make new friends while enjoying the white sandy beach, water slides, and lazy river. From wakeboarding, cooking classes and kite-making to different sporting events and even Zumba, you can choose the week or days that suit your children’s interests and schedules best.
Dhs190 (half-day, excluding lunch), Dhs275 (daily, including lunch), Dhs1,255 (weekly, including lunch), 20 percent off for each sibling. Sun Mar 25 to Thu Apr 5. West Corniche Road (02 690 9000).

Step into Wonderland at The Walk, Al Seef

Alice had so much fun and families now get their own Wonderland. We can’t promise you’ll experience exactly what Alice did, but we can guarantee a day full of fun activities. The Family Wonderland will feature some of the city’s hottest food trucks and stalls, strolling entertainers, a petting zoo, sports tournaments and cooking classes. Kids can paint the day away at the arts and crafts station, attend educational workshops and play carnival-themed games. Parents will get to meet top Abu Dhabi nurseries, too, and shop at the market bazaar. That’s a lot of spring fun over two days.
Free. Mar 2-3, 2pm-9pm. Behind Al Seef Village Mall (02 307 6207).

Tuck into The Village Kitchen Brunch at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi

Here we go again! We’re falling in love with more brunches all over the UAE, and this new one is no exception. Perfect for spring, the outdoor brunch’s concept dictates that there should be no limitations, which basically means a lot of food from The Village’s restaurants at the same time. Try Italian, Greek, English and other international cuisine. Mix, match and enjoy as much as you want, while friendly staff pass the dishes around the designated “Village Kitchen” area at the evergreen garden. Live barbecue stations, great party music and a kids’ play area shape this new foodie haven up.
Dhs139 (soft beverages), Dhs229 (selected house beverages), half price (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Fri 1pm-4pm. Tourist Club Area (02 644 6666).

Time Out Dubai,

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