Staying in Dubai this summer? Keep your kids entertained
Time Out Dubai staff
All round action camps
Active Sports Academy: Loads of sporty fun and games, including tennis, cricket, hockey, relay games, basketball, arts and crafts, handball and fitness. Active Sports also run a few more unusual activities, including a weekly excursion for ice skating, bowling, a visit to the Dolphinarium, and the Dubai Aquarium. There’s a 20 per cent discount for siblings and transportation too. Al Areesh Club, DFC, (Jul 3-Sep 8), Dubai English Speaking School (Jul 3-Sep 8) Regent International School (Jul 3-Sep 1) Dubai Ladies Club (Jul only). 8.30am-2pm, Dhs150/day , Dhs375/three days, Dhs550 (five days). Ages 4-14 (boys up to eight at Dubai Ladies Club). 055 546 3264; www.ActiveUAE.com.
Offering all manner of fun activities for kids aged 3-12, the Atlantis Kid’s Club summer camp focuses on adventure, fun and exploration through group play. Little ones can be pirates, animators or even mad scientists. Your brood will learn all about the marine life living at Atlantis, and can even try their hand at scuba diving, two climbing walls, movie sessions, loads of arts and crafts and of course, the chance to have fun in Aquaventure. Atlantis, The Palm, Jun 26-Aug25, 9am-5pm (late pick up at 6pm). Ages 3-12, Dhs2,500/week; 971 4 426 1000; atlantisthepalm.com.
Dubai Holiday Camps:
Offers two camps: One for little ‘uns aged 3-4 featuring arts and crafts, music and dancing, cooking, inflatable fun and playground games plus sporty ball games, gymnastics and swimming. Meanwhile, older kids can get stuck into all sorts of sports from football to swimming (with inflatable water slides) to tennis and rounders, with dance, drama and computer club thrown in for good measure. Deira International School (Jul 3-Aug 25), Dubai International School (Jul 3-Aug 25), Raffles International School (Jun 26-Aug 25). 8.15am-1.45pm, extended day option to 5.30pm at Raffles. Ages 3-14, Dhs495-Dhs850, depending on location and timings. 04 331 8704; wwwdubaiholidaycamps.com.
Dubai Mall: Stupendous summer camps, with oodles of fun stuff to do, nippers get to do four creative workshops at the hugely popular KidZania. Or, they can spend a cool week taking part in an intensive skate camp at the Dubai Ice Rink. Mini marine biologists can get behind the scenes experiences at the Aquarium, while another camp offers a fabulous trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa. If you can’t make up your mind, just book them into the biggie camp, which lets them do all of those activities in one packed programme. Dubai Mall, Jul 3-Sep 1, 9am-3pm. Ages 7+. Prices vary. 04 448 5200; firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Sports: Offering more sporty fun and games than you can fling a flip flop at, E-Sports is a great option – even for fussy fusspots – thanks to the sheer range of activities on offer. There’s football, basketball, gymnastics, water polo, tennis, rugby, dance, fitkids, netball, swimming, arts and crafts, squash, drama, dodgeball, table tennis, cricket, ICT, hockey and rounders… Phew! You can also add in transportation, early and late pick-ups and weekly field trips to the Dolphinarium, ice skaking and the Aquarium, as well as discounts for siblings. Wafi City (Jun 12-Sep 15), DAA (Jun 26-Jul 21), GEMS World Academy (Jun 26-Jul 21), Wellington International Academy (Jul 3-Sep 1), Royal Dubai School (Jul 3-Sep 1), JPS (Jul 3-Sep 1). 8.30am-2pm, 8.30am-5pm (extended day at WIS and Wafi), 2-6pm (afternoon camp at Wafi). Ages 4-14, Dhs650-950. Transport available. 050 361 1547; email@example.com.
Libra: Running a raft of sports specific camps, including swimming and football, as well as performing arts, the folks at Libra are well known for their experience and excellence when it comes to keeping the nippers well organised and entertained. Dubai British School, Al Mizhar, American Academy for Girls, Sharjah Football Club, Jebel Ali Primary School, Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, Raffles. Jul 3-Aug 25, 9am-2.30pm. Ages 4-14, Dhs800/week. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Playnation: Footie fans can spend days in Soccer Circus perfecting their dribbling, tots can get all constructive at the education-centric Little Explorers centre, while Magic Planet, the Sky Trail, Yalla! bowling and iFLY offer a raft of fun and physical activities. Mirdif City Centre. Soccer Circus, Jun 12-Aug 24, 9.30am-3pm. Ages 5-14, Dhs700 (five days) Dhs120/day. Magic Planet, Jun 5-Aug 25, 9.30am -1pm. Ages 9-13, Dhs120/day, Dhs700/week. Little Explorers, Jun 5-Aug 25 Ages2-7. Prices and timings vary. 0800-LEISURE/5347873, www.playnationme.com.
DUCTAC: Unleash the creativity in your little ones with a range of arty/crafty camps for kids. Choose from a general art summer camp that explores painting, drawing, ceramics and more, or budding artists aged 10 and over can try their hands at the oil painting, acrylic painting, making mosaics, cufflinks, pet name tags and taking part in yoga creativity workshops. Ductac, Jul 10-Aug 4, 10am-2pm. Ages 6-12, Dhs900/week, Dhs1,500/2 weeks. 04 341 4777; www.ductac.org.
Your mini Monets create their own canvas on miniature easels as they explore the interesting properties of water. Paint a killer whale on canvas, learn about futuristic underwater vehicles, paint with ice, experiment with saltwater painting, make sculpture and take it all home with you afterwards. Ductac, Favourite Things, Regent International School and Mirdif, Jul 3-28. Ages 4-5 (two hours daily) Dhs550/week. Ages 6-10 (three hours daily) Dhs800/week. 055 222 0129; email@example.com.
Dubai Drums: Get your tribe in touch with their primal side by letting them develop rhythm through drumming, singing, drama, art, storytelling, team games and puppet shows. Parents can even join in with the community drumming sessions from 12.30-1pm free of charge. Al Noor Centre, Jul 10-28, 9am-1pm. Ages 4-12, Dhs750/week. 056 744 2129; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dubaidrums.com.
Solid Rock: Little maestros can tune into their talents by enrolling on one of the many musical courses run at the Solid Rock music school this summer. Learn how to strum a guitar, bang a drum and tinkle the ivories – or even take a few lessons in jazz, salsa, hip hop or visual arts. Lots of fun and noise to be had. Barsha 1, Pinnacle Building, Jun 1-Aug 31, camp timings and prices vary, open weekends too. Ages 6+. 04 395 7808; www.solidrockdubai.com.
IFA (International Football Academy): Kids participate in a number of activities including, football (naturally), dodgeball, cricket, basketball, soft tennis and volleyball. Loads of competitions, at the end of the week medals and prizes will be presented. IFA also offers a fully flexible schedule, so you can opt to pay for half-days, full days, three days, or the full week. STAR International School, Umm Sheif, Jul 10-Sep 1, 9am-noon or 3pm, noon-3pm. Ages 5-14, Dhs75-Dhs650 www.ifasport.com.
My Gym provides a half day of fun and fitness through gymnastics and sports in the gym as well as music, arts and crafts that change according to weekly themes. Perfect for little ones – but they must be potty trained. My Gym, Jumeirah 3, Jul 3-Sep 11, 9am-12.30pm. Ages 3+, Dhs200/day Dhs850/week, member discount. 04 394 3962; www.mygymuae.com.
Get your kids sliding down the slaloms and perfecting the pistes, as well a getting to grips with the ski lifts. Ski Dubai is running five-day camps for beginners, intermediate and advanced snow bunnies. Children do 60-minute or 90-minute sessions, while the older dudes can try snowboarding too! Ski Dubai, Jun 19-Jul 28, mornings only. Ages 3-6, Dhs770 (ski school only), ages 7-13 Dhs900 (Ski and snowboarding). 800 534 7873.
Kids’ Theatre Works!:
Led by professional actresses and musical theatre specialists from the UK, this theatrical camp sees kids explore a different theme each week, culminating in a a fabulous show in the Kilachand Theatre, Ductac, on the last day. There’ll also be opportunity to work with Dean Elliot – a special guest instructor from the UK who played Buddy in the West End Musical. For younger kids, Kids Theatre Works! also runs a camp at DESS, where children can enjoy a week of drama and art, as well as a show they will perform at the end of the camp. Ductac, Jun 26-Aug 18, 9am-3pm. Ages 7-14, Dhs750. Dubai English Speaking School, Jul 3-7, 9am-2pm. Ages 4-10, Dhs750. 04 341 4777 ext 234/5, 050 158 5653; www.kidstheatreworks.com.
The Little Gym:
The Little Gym is a cool place to hang out this summer, with plenty of safe, skill-building fitness activities. Each week will be designed around a theme such as ‘Guppies to Puppies’, ‘Sports Spectacular’ and ‘Harry’s School of Magic’ and will include games, obstacle courses and crafts. The Little Gym, Ibn Battuta, Jul 2-Sep 1, 10am-1pm or 3pm-6pm. Ages 3-12, Dhs160-180 (member/non member day rate) to Dhs650-750 (member/non member’s weekly rate). 04 445 6850; email@example.com.
Best for Little ‘Uns
Building Blocks Nursery: Get your little ‘uns involved in a whole heap of organised activities with classes in coordination and flexibility, stamina and strength, rhythm and music, drama, creative encouragement, basketball, rounders, netball, volleyball and lots more. Building Blocks Nursery, Motor City, Jul 3-28, 8.30am-12.30pm. Ages 0-7, Dhs700/week, member discounts. 04 453 4360; firstname.lastname@example.org
British Orchard Nursery:
Themed weeks will help keep your little horrors entertained and full of the joys of learning at this well-established nursery. Arts, crafts, music and dance, cooking, investigative learning, outdoor play, story times, drama, free play and lots, lots more. Bur Dubai, Jul 3-Aug 25, 10am-2pm. Ages 2-6, Dhs150/day, Dhs600/week. 04 398 3536; www.britishorchardnursery.com.
Favourite Things: Nippers will find all manner of activities to keep boredom at bay. Arts and crafts, science lessons, cooking, face painting, Fit Kids, fun and games and free play will wear them out nicely. Favourite Things, Marina Mall, Jun 26-Sep 1, 9.30am-1pm. Ages 2-8, Dhs155/day Dhs620/week, member discount. 04 434 1984; www.favouritethings.com.
Fun City: Brilliant fun for little ones, Fun City summer camps offer and range of educational and physical activities to keep your brood amused all through the hot season. Arts, crafts, interactive cooking, yoga sessions, music and dance, gymnastics, martial arts and field trips, will help burn up all that excess energy. Arabian Centre, Ibn Battuta, Lamcy Plaza, Mercato, Oasis Centre, Al Reef Mall. Jun 19-Aug 24, Sun-Thu, 11am-3pm. Ages 3-8, Dhs200/day, Dhs500/week. www.funcity.ae.
Kidville: Energetic fun and games for kids aged up to six who are fed up with being cooped up. Book your little monkeys into a playspace session, an energetic class or the action-packed Camp Kidville. JBR, Uptown Mirdif, MotorCity. 04 440 1220; www.mykidville.ae.
Peekaboo: Running a huge range of activities including dance, dress-up, music sessions, cookery classes, arts and crafts and organised games, Peekaboo is perfect for little ones who like to be busy in the mornings while mums indulge in their love of shopping. The Village Mall, Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates, Jul 3-Sep 2, 10am-2pm. Ages 3-7, Dhs100/day, Dhs450/week. 050 459 6588; www.peekaboo.ae.
Little Chefs school: Foodie field trips, cultural culinary classes, plenty of tasting and good kitchen practice are all part of the Little Chefs summer programme. Run by foodie mum, Tina McFadzean, lunch and snacks are provided and little ones get to take home their delicious creations. Weekly campers also get an apron, cooking tools, a certificate and recipe book. Sheikh Zayed Road (behind Metropolitan Hotel) Jul 3-Sep 1, 9am-1pm. Ages 5+, Dhs150/day, Dhs700/week. 050 458 3015; email@example.com.
Imagine Education: Concentrating on a range of learning-though-fun activities, little learners can hone their Apple Mac IT skills, indulge in creative art, dance and drama, photography and movie making, team building and fun games, emotional intelligence and more. Coordinated and run by experienced teachers, these camps are designed to build confidence, help kids make friends, learn new skills and technology and above all else have fun! Repton, Kings’ Dubai, Regent Schools, Jul 3-Aug 25, 8.30am-1pm. Ages 4-14, Dhs150/day, Dhs700/week. 055 3695642; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little brainboxes can hone their investigative skills by taking part in one of three camps. ‘The Garden Camp’, ‘Moving Science’ and ‘Chemicals, Cells and Crimes’ cover a range of fascinating topics for little Einsteins. Locations to be announced, Jul 3-Sep 1, 9am-1pm and 9am-3pm. Ages 4-6 (Garden Camp only), otherwise, ages 7-12. Prices vary. 04 337 7403.