Don’t miss the fabulous Reaching U Family Fun Day at Jumeirah Beach Park on March 3. This activity-packed extravaganza with all manner of free activities laid on for the kids has only one agenda – to get special needs children mixing with mainstream children, to show that fun and friends come from all walks of life and all sorts of different situations. The initiative, was set up five years ago by the parents of a little boy with special needs, who wanted to improve the acceptance of special needs children within the community. A brilliant cause, and it’s all free! What’s not to like? Be there or be no fun at all!
2-6pm, Jumeirah Beach Park, www.uconcept6.com.
Art for Al Noor
The children of the Al Noor Centre for Special Needs have joined forces with internationally renowned artist Sacha Jafri, to produce a unique installation that will raise cash and awareness for the centre, which not only operates as a school, but also runs programmes to help introduce young adults with special needs into the work place. The initiative, called ‘Project Vision’, will see the art piece go up for private auction. But you can visit the exhibit for yourselves at the Gate Village, between March 20 and 24.
Visit www.difc.ae/art-nights-gate-village for more information.
New kiddie classes at Kidville
Kidville have introduced three new active classes for energetic tots this semester. Rockin Railroad explores the motives behind music and dance, with a different instrument and musical genre each week and meets special puppet friends along the way. Great for nippers who love a bit of song and dance. The second class, called Totally Tap, is for tots who love rhythm – and introduces basic dance steps, exercise techniques and cumulative choreography. Finally, Play Ball concentrates on getting active little’uns to learn the basics of America’s favourite ball game – base ball, with lots of throwing, catching drills, skills and more.
Class prices vary. Locations at JBR, Motor City, Uptown Mirdif, www.kidville.com (04 440 1220).
Pop along to Peter Pan
Take a journey to the magical Neverland with a stunning performance of Peter Pan told through ballet and contemporary dance by the students of the Turning Pointe dance school. More than 100 students have been working behind the scenes for months, preparing costumes, building and creating steps, and learning all the choreography for their annual show. Students aged seven to 16 make up the extensive cast, telling the tale of the swashbuckling story of a dastardly pirate (Captain Hook) and a boy who doesn’t want to grow up.
Dhs85, March 9-10, 3pm and 6pm performances, Centrepoint Theatre, Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. www.turningpoint.ae (800 225538).
Mums in mind
It’s Mothering Sunday on March 18 – and we are determined those little blighters will remember it! In fact, to make it easier for them to treat the old girl, why not book her a pampering package as a special treat? Vanilla’s three-treatment programme that includes a mini-facial, an express mani and pedi, and relaxing wash and blow dry to finish off with, so that she leaves the salon feeling fab. The deal costs Dhs385 for the whole of March – and she gets to take some choccy treats away with her too. Vanilla, Park Place, SZR (04 329 7008). Other locations, Al Das, Shoreline Building 10, Palm Jumeirah.
Or, check out the Yummy Mummy package at Tips & Toes, which will leave mum’s hands and feet looking pristine, but will also enable her to have a wonderful, relaxing neck and shoulders massage and an eyebrow thread session too. And all for a bargainous Dhs270! Go on! You know she’s worth it!
There are 13 branches across Dubai to choose from, www.tipsntoeshaven.com (04 399 0550).
What’s up pussycats?
If you’re a fan of the blockbuster Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and your youngsters can belt out the tunes – then why not take them along to the auditions for the West End production of Cats, which will be performed publically at the Centrepoint Theatre from June 10-14. The auditions are taking place on March 16 and 17 at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. They are free, and open to anyone aged 11 and above.
www.ductac.org (04 341 4777).
Art For All is bringing Shakespeare’s Globe and the Globe Education’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the emirate. This mystical tale of star-crossed lovers, wood nymphs and a bloke who gets turned into a donkey, is one of the Bard’s most famous comedic plays. The full-scale production is brought to the UAE by the same creative team behind the 2011 production of Macbeth and will feature a cast of 11 actors and four musicians. The production will last approximately one-and-a-half hours (without an interval) is suitable for students from Key Stage Three upwards. So, strictly for bigger kids only.
Dhs105-130, Madinat Theatre, March 25, 9am, 12.30pm and March 26, 8.45am, 12.15pm. www.madinattheatre.com (04 366 6546).
From the fascinating Pharaohs to the power of the pyramids, join the Horrible Histories team on a sixty minute adventure in awful Egypt! Discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in town – find out why they made their mummies and how they did it! Learn how you enter through the gates of the after-life and what you need to avoid being eaten by Apophis! With songs and participation, there’s no better way to learn about Egypt – after all, mummy knows best! Guaranteed to appeal to their love of gross stuff and gore. Not to be missed.
Dhs75, performances at 4pm and 6pm. March 8-12 at the First Group Theatre at the Madinat. www.madinattheatre.com.
All the fun of the fair!
Don’t miss the sixth annual JESS Arabian Ranches Annual Spring Fair on Friday March 16! From 3.30pm-7.30pm, the school will be open to members of the public, who can browse stalls from over 100 local crafters who will be selling their wares. Those looking for a bargain can expect to fine jewellery and clothing, household accessories, artwork and crafts and everything in between. There will also be live music performances, gymnastic displays, and many other forms of entertainment and goodies to indulge in. Last year’s fair attracted over 3,000 visitors, so don’t expect it to be a quiet affair either. Activities for the younger children include a large games arcade area plus carousel and mini train rides whilst teenagers can participate in the soapy football slide, splat the teacher and bucking bronco!
Free! Jess, Arabian Ranches, off Emirates Road. Email email@example.com for more info.
Are you a family of foodie fanatics? If so, you’re in for a treat this month with Taste of Dubai. The festival, from March 15-17, is now in its fifth year, and sees top chefs from the best restaurants in the city converge on Media City and cook up a storm for the festive feeders. Big kitchen names such as Gary Rhodes, Aldo Zilli and Wai Hung Ho will be holding an array of masterclasses and demonstrations that budding chefs should not miss out on. Not only that, but there are plenty of tasty activities for the nippers to get involved with too.
Tickets start from just Dhs60 (adults) and kids under 12 get in FREE! For more information visit www.tasteofdubaifestival.com.
Get your little fashionistas decked out in the latest designs from Pinco Pallino – the gorgeous Italian children’s label by Stephano Cavalleri. The new store, which has just opened its doors in Dubai Mall, is the first boutique for the label to open in the region. Fresh summer colours, classically stylish cuts and some gorgeous dresses and jackets for little ladies, will certainly help them stand out from the crowd.
Pinco Pallino, Dubai Mall (04 447 4716).
Best dressed baby
If you’re looking for great value and style, then go no further than Babyshop for their Spring/Summer collections, which are guaranteed to result in some seriously trendy tots, tweens and teens. The new collections, created by Lee Cooper, Fisher Price and a colourful array of well-known characters (think Barbie and friends) as well as the Babyshop’s own brand collection from Juniors, are cool enough to appeal to even the most discerning young followers of fashion.
The Dubai Mall (04 339 8878).
Mother’s Day is coming up, so treat mum to a nurturing, 50-minute aromatherapy massage at The Address, Dubai Marina. A delicious combination of three essential oils to nurture the skin is applied to the body, paying particular attention to tight shoulders and tired, heavy legs. It’s all followed up with a glorious facial and full scalp massage. A top to toe treat she’s bound to love – and it’s safe for mums-to-be too!
Dhs380 until March 31 (normal price Dhs480). The Spa, The Address, Dubai Marina (04 436 8888).
Mind the GAP
We’re huge fans of the latest designer collaboration at high street favourite, Gap Kids. Designed by the queen of classic cuts, Diane von Furstenburg, her girls’ range is available instore from March 15. Sweet and stylish, without too many frills or fuss, she’s put her signature stamp on typical Gap styling, which means the clothes are practical, hardwearing and comfy, too. The range includes cute dresses, easy t-shirts, tanks and shorts, capris, leggings and swimwear. There’s also plenty of accessories to have fun with, so little girls can experiment with their growing sense of style. Snap these up fast,
we predict a sell out!
Gap Kids, Dubai Mall (04 339 8784).
Vintage baby a-go-go
Whether you’re looking to set up from scratch or just an upgrade, the Fifty collection by luxe kiddy design specialists Theophile & Patachou is intended to keep in mind both space and design. Featuring practical prams, cute miniature furniture, gorgeous accessories and even extendable beds that your child can grow into, complete with a matching closet, dresser and bedside table – the range is understated and elegant.
Available in colours ranging from pure white to warm honey, Theophile & Patachou, The Dubai Mall, www.theophile-patachou.com (04 339 8870).
In the swim
Tots as young as six months old can now start having swimming lessons at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The classes, which are for children and babies, have been brought to Dubai Creek in association with Kati’s Aquatots, who bring with them a wealth of experience and a passionate team of AusSwim trained coaching staff. So, your little flounders will be swimming like fish before you know it!
From Dhs660 (for a six-week course), Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, www.dubaigolf.com (050 654 6965).
Soccer for girls
Are your daughters more inclined towards rough and tumble than princess-y preening? If so, how about enrolling them in a course of football for girls, currently being run at Safa Park by Soccer Kids? The 10-week terms will teach them all they need to know about dribbling, striking, bending and scoring!
www.soccerkidsdubai.com (055 589 1354).
Walk for charity
Join a whole host of charitably-minded people for the Walk for Autism next month in Zabeel Park. The event, which takes place from 5pm-9pm, is geared towards families having fun, as well as offering their support to people with the condition. Take part in the walk, and then join the fun: the shenanigans involve bouncy castles, organised games, drumming, music and arts and crafts bazaar.
April 21, 5pm. Gate three, Zabeel Park. Register your place at www.childeimc.com (04 423 3667).
Plies and pirouettes
Get your little dancers learning the purist techniques of French classical ballet from the internationally renowned prima ballerina, Reiko M-Chong. The director of the Dubai Dance Academy who danced for the Opera National de Paris Ballet, she’s teaching children (five and ups) the strict discipline of this world-renowned ballet style.
For more information, visit www.dubaidanceacademy.com (055 880 3529).