The new kid’s entertainment venue at the Wafi Mall has certainly pulled out all the stops. Stroll, crawl, toddle, walk and ride at a park, which claims to brings the outside inside. There’s plenty of room for kids to run around, chill out on ‘grass’ (or that funny astro-turf at least), play on swings, slides, see-saws, springs, trampolines - no matter what the weather is doing outside. For the more adventurous nippers there’s a bouncy castle, traversing wall, climbing tower and softball court. This one-of-a kind play destination is conveniently located next to Cafe Court, so families planning a lunch or dinner out are covered. Parents of older children can even enjoy coffee while the kids tear it up inside. Dhs35 for two hours for children under three, and Dhs45 for two hours for those above. Cards to play the electronic games are extra but not necessary.
Call 04 327 9011 or visit www.wafi.com.
Although you don’t pay per hour, if you give the kids a budget of Dhs50 and tell them they have an hour or two so don’t spend it all at once, the outcome can be exactly the same. Attractions include a bumper boat pool, tug boat, swing ship, gemstone digging, treasure hunts, mad lab – a special demonstration of how many of the rides actually work - and a flum ride. It’s great for kids who love water and who knows, ask them to budget well and you could end up with little accountants on your hands!
All rides cost Dhs10 except mini flumes priced Dhs15. Height restrictions do apply so call ahead on 800 5347873. Open Sun – Sat 10am-12am.
This one is better than under Dh50, it’s free. The welcome return of Free Play is back at this Sheikh Zayed Road stalwart. Round up the troops and march on down every Sunday and Tuesday from 9am-2pm and don’t even reach for your purse or wallet. The bill is already taken care of. Even after that the cash-conscious folk only charge Dhs50 for all day play. Not bad for a play centre boasting the largest slide in the UAE. There’s themed climbing frames and a soft toddle zone for the really mini monsters.
Open daily from 9am-8pm. Call 04 341 4459, email email@example.com or visit www.minimonsters.ae
The 95 per cent subsidy from the Dubai Municipality makes this one fab value for your fils. Nestled among the BBQ stations and climbing frames of the Dubai Creek Park, Children’s City provides an educational, entertaining and interactive atmosphere for children. The themed galleries include multi-sensory exhibits and interactive games to keep the children and adults engrossed. They have a toddlers play area with sand and water games, Nature Center, Space Exploration, Planetarium and a Library with books, educational games as well as interactive audio and videocassettes. A word of warning – displays are sometimes closed due to maintenance so call ahead if you’re going for something specific.
Dubai Creek Park, Near Rashid Hospital, Dubai. 9am-8.30pm Sat-Thu and from 3-8.30pm on Friday. Entrance is Dhs10 per child, Dhs15 per adult or Dhs40 per family. Call 04 334 0808 or visit www.childrencity.ae
Fun Square, Times Square Mall
This indoor play area is a fun-learning experience for kids. Memberships are available but the attractive Dhs30 for two hours (1-3yrs) and Dhs40 for two hours (3+) is a great deal for parents looking to kill a few hours as opposed to their offspring.
First floor, Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Call 04 341 8020 for more.
LouLou Al Dugong’s
Lou Lou Al Dugongs has a vast play area, with many different rides, games and play areas for children. Head to Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha, for a price-busting Dhs40 for unlimited time per monster and try out (or get them to) the many games and rides at what the neighbours call LouLou’s.
Call 04 335 2700. Open from 10am-9.30pm daily.
Toby’s Jungle Adventure
Fun and adventure at affordable prices. Toby’s has a ball pool, slides, swing ropes and climbing areas, and soft play areas for little ones.
Dhs40 per hour. Level 3, Bur Juman center, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Call 04 355 2868.
Simply make the switch from Barsha Park to Barsha Mall as things heat up. Cheeky Monkey’s – not to be confused with the party planners of the same name – is a play centre with something for everyone. Crazy tunnels, ball pools and plenty of space to run, the giant play structure is a jungle for kids to explore. A soft play area for smaller tots and dancing sessions sits cleverly alongside the coffee shop for mums and a new child-size dolls house is a perfect haven for girls (or boys) who don’t fancy the rough and tumble. The menu offers a wide arrange of freshly squeezed juices, healthy snacks, gourmet pizza and fresh-baked items every day. Children can also become ‘little picasso’s’ [read: more messy than on arrival] and express themselves in the Art Garden.
Dhs45 for first hour. www.cheekymonkeys.ae. Call 04 385 0875.
There’s a large soft-play style area, ball pool, trampolines, slides galore and even a mini-laser tag zone. Healthy snacks are a favourite with mums and dads while the kids dart off to play dress-up or try their dirty little hands at the arts and crafts.
Dhs40 per hour. Open from 9am-8pm daily. www.zebra-crossing.com (050 559 4903).
Bridging the gap between play areas and community centres, Kidz Venture opened its doors in Ibn Battuta Mall and has remained a popular play spot ever since. Boasting a varied programme of fun activities to sign up for, from sports to arts and crafts, it’s a parent-friendly zone. One-on-one babysitting is available but it’s the Dhs30 for one-hour for a child under three from Sunday-Wednesday which impresses the most.
www.kidzventure.ae or call 04 361 9315. Older kids are still Dhs60 per hour.
Fun Corner Children’s Centers
Operating since 1997 in Dubai, these guys really know what they are doing when it comes to good value fun for kids. The busiest branches in Spinneys Centre on Al Wasl Road in Umm Seqeim and at Jumeira Plaza on Beach Road provide educational play and entertainment for children aged 0-12. Adventure play areas, soft play, bouncy castles, video game stations, art and crafts and much more keep even the fussiest of children busy, busy, busy.
Dhs40 per hour per child. For Spinneys Centre, Umm Suqeim call 04 394 0315 and for Jumeira Plaza branch call 04 349 9119.
Extreme Fun, Motor City
Extreme Fun is a happy and friendly playcentre for children and their parents, which caters for kids 0-12 years of age. It’s extreme fun and extremely good value at just Dhs40 per hour per child. The usual soft play as well as fun zones and craft areas feature along with a café for the adults which has free WiFi.
Open 9am-8pm daily. Call 04 452 5543 or visit www.extremefunuae.com.
Funky Monkeys Play-land, Sheikh Zayed Road
Does exactly what it says on the tin – a giant play-land for your little funky monkeys. One of the biggest soft play areas in Dubai, laser games, arts and crafts, pizza making, kids gym, culinary classes and much more, you’ll probably need longer than an hour here. Luckily the price is dirham-delicious at just Dhs40 per hour and Dhs60 for two.
Open from 9am-9pm Thursday-Saturday and from 9am-8pm on weekdays. Call 04 388 4114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Play A Round @ Some Place Nice
A family recreation centre with a neon mini-golf experience, soft play crèche and arts and craft area for those feeling creative. There’s a variety of exciting and educational classes to sign up for from face painting, t-shirt painting, beading, scratch art painting and sand art. Children from 3-10 will be most happy here and all activities are designed to promote intellectual and educational play. Working mums and dads can rest easy as the small café has free WiFi and gourmet coffee. Phew!
Jewels Tower, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Call 04 457 0455, email@example.com or visit www.playaround.ae.