Build with Bob
Little ones love interactive environments that bring fantasy to life. And that’s exactly what Mattel Play! Town does through a journey where young guests get to immerse themselves in worlds built by favourites such as Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and Fireman Sam. Characters burst into life, each with its own home and experiences.
You can join the kiddies as they play dress-up with Angellina, or accompany Bob as he shows young guests how to solve problems through teamwork thanks to an interactive corner of cranes, bricks and kinetic sand. You can also sing and dance with Barney, that loveable purple dinosaur. And, of course, there’s also Fireman Sam with his fire and safety training and pretend emergencies. It’s a lot to see in one day.
Dhs99 (per child), Dhs55 (per adult). Open daily, Sat-Wed, 9am-8pm, Thu 9am-10pm, Fri 10am-10pm. City Walk, Al Wasl (04 317 3999).
Boogie through the morning
Your dancing skills may be a bit, ahem, too much for the club, so we suggest joining the kids for a boogie session at Boogie Babies. Classes at this venue incorporate educational kinesiology, which teaches specific movements that have been shown to improve mind function. There are two sets of playdates for different age groups, including babies and new walkers, plus toddlers and confident walkers. You’ll get to bond with your little ones while helping them grow and improve their motor skills.
From Dhs780 (per term). Timings vary. Various locations across Dubai, including Kids Zone, The Market Mall, Green Community, boogiebabies.ae (050 884 1966).
Book a mani and pedi
Pampering sessions are much more fun if little divas can get their nails done too – and why can’t they? Chloe’s is Dubai’s only salon with a section dedicated to little girls, complete with pink-coloured chairs and all. There are hair, nails and beauty services including kids’ tattoos and even a foot massage. You know, that nursery stress can get a bit too much.
Prices vary. Jumeirah Beach Road, chloesuae.com (04 388 4884).
Do some yoga
Namaste kids, no more running around. It’s time to relax and channel your inner Winnie-the-Pooh. Yoga for little ones can help them focus and centre themselves with a variety of breathing, meditation and yogic practices. They learn how to deal with the emotions they’re feeling, and become fitter, stronger and more confident. A new Dubai yoga studio is offering a four-week, eight-day package for kids which includes different classes such as swing and ashtanga yoga, hula hoop and more that mum can join, in addition to mum-and-me classes.
Dhs399 (eight classes), Dhs89 (single class). Kintsugi Yoga Studio, Aspect Tower, Business Bay, kintsugidubai.com (058 911 0002).
Have a ballet tea party
Kidville’s Ballet Tea Party classes are like mini celebrations out of Alice in Wonderland for two-year-olds. Kiddies get to wear their tutus and tiaras to learn the basics of ballet while accompanied by mum using music, games, creative imagery and stories. Classes culminate in a massive tea party and dance session that they get to share with their biggest fans – family, of course. Kidville’s classes for all tiny tots require a parent to attend, so get checking on those classes mum.
From Dhs1,895 (per term). Timings vary. Al Safa, Jumeirah, kidville.ae (04 394 6066).
Jump into the future
Imagine your child’s fascination when they see their artwork come to life. This process of collaborative play is a truly magical experience and, at OliOli’s Future Park, they can create a 3D model of their art pieces as well as music with a Light Ball Orchestra. Kids can play on a table where little people live at this technology, art and creativity gallery designed to kindle and nurture the incredible ingenuity of little ones. Within this immersive environment, they play with technology in a responsible manner, explore habitats and urban systems, use their imaginations to create their masterpieces and work with their hands to enhance spatial skills – all while learning about the importance of teamwork.
Mums are welcome, and expected to play too. Just make sure you climb onto Toshi’s Net right after, it’s a parent favourite at OliOli and a great spot for mum-and-me time.
From Dhs120 per child, Dhs40 per adult. Open Sat-Wed 9am-7pm; Thu-Fri 9am-9pm. 4th Street, Al Quoz (behind Oasis Center), Dubai, www.olioli.ae (04 702 7300).
Kitesurf your way into the summer
Kitesurfing is, quite possibly, one of the trendiest sports now and we’re lucky we have Kite Beach where we can totally channel our inner surfer dudes and dudettes. At Kite Club Dubai, you can try out private lessons with your tween aged 11 and above, where you’ll learn how to ride the water – whether you’re a beginner or have tried the sport out before. There’s also the full beginners’ course which will take you step by step through techniques until you’re both confident to ride on your own. Surf’s up.
From Dhs320 (one session), Dhs2,700 (four-session course). Kite Club Dubai, Kite Beach (055 129 0869).
Live the adventure at motiongate Dubai
DreamWorks Zone is one of five zones in motiongate Dubai, and it brings to life four blockbuster animation hits: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar in a completely immersive, all-indoor environment. Re-creating each film in their own uniquely themed ‘lands’, you’ll can walk through Shrek’s Swamp, enter the Valley of Peace from Kung Fu Panda, live like a Viking in the Village of Berk, and join the big top circus in Madagascar.
Dhs165 (1-day pass). Open daily, 11am-9pm. Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, Opposite Palm Jabel Ali, Dubai (800 262 9464).
Learn a new language
If your Arabic vocabulary is limited to just “yalla”, you can learn much more than that at Baby Arabia’s classes. Sign up for the Parent & Toddler programme, where kids as young as one year old can join mum and learn the basics of a new language, or even their mother tongue if they need some practicing growing up in Dubai through the use of music, interactive games, stories and games. French and Spanish sessions are available.
Dhs110 (per session), from Dhs850 (per term). Timings vary. Various locations across Dubai, including Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road. For more information, babyarabia.com (050 624 7263).
Make some hit songs
Becoming a rock star may be tricky, as a guitar has so many chords (yes, that’s the only reason we can think of). The ukulele, however, has only four strings and is a lot of fun to learn to play. Sing up for one-on-one ukulele classes, where professional instructors will help you learn the essentials including finger-picking, posture and hand position. If your child is five years old and above, join in on the melody-making and – who knows – you might become a mum-child team talent show sensation. The golden buzzer from Simon Cowell? We’ll be cheering with the audience.
From Dhs325 (three sessions). Rising Star Performing Arts, Oasis Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, risingstardubai.com (04 380 8282).
Meet a friendly sloth
Get up close and personal to meet some of nature’s marvels with The Green Planet’s sloth and sugar glider encounters. These interactive sessions introduce the wonders of the natural world to young audiences, and take place within the four-storeyed origami-shaped glass building that brings the world’s rainforests to breath-taking life while hosting some 3,000 plants and animals.
The sloth is one of The Green Planet’s more iconic members. You’ll get to spend half an hour with the world’s slowest-moving animal and learn how these sleepy creatures help hold the rainforest together. It’s a good way to teach kids to love Mother Nature in the company of Mum.
Dhs99 (entry ticket), Dhs74 (kids aged three to 12). Dhs199 (sloth experience). Sun-Wed, 10am-7pm, Thu-Sat, 10am-8pm. City Walk, Al Wasl (04 317 3999).
Play all day long
Le Petit Palais is a mini haven where kids can have all the fun they want, and mum doesn’t have to clean up any mess afterwards. On Mummy Mondays, mama also gets a coffee and breakfast while little ones go for some structured or free play. It’s a palace with its very own bustling town for kiddies, and mothers will love being there too.
From Dhs70 (per person). Galeries Lafayette,The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, lepetitpalaisdubai.com (04 382 7333).
Splash about in the pool
We won’t tell you to join any swimming classes, but how does aqua aerobics and chilling by the pool sound? The kids can join you, or go learn some front crawls of their own at Swim America Academy Dubai’s Ladies Aqua Days at Next Generation School Al Barsha. The school also teaches synchronised swimming and water polo.
Free entry, from Dhs350 (four classes). Sports Life UAE, Al Etihad Building, Deira, sportslife-uae.com (050 701 7016).
Work out and get “mamalicious”
You can get a great workout, designed especially for mums, at Mamalicious by Sally classes. Mums can bring little bubs aged zero to four and get a great, low-impact session in, with lots of Pilates to get those muscles loosened up and relax. Since classes take place at Cheeky Monkeys, kiddies can also head to the play area if they’re not in the mood for watching mama get moving, or joining in.
From Dhs85. Timings vary. Cheeky Monkeys, various locations across Dubai including Arabian Ranches 2, Dubailand, cheekymonkeys.com (04 422 1553).