Looking to get out and about with the kids this weekend? Here are five places to try.
Visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory
Head to JBR and check out Dubai's first Willy Wonka-themed restaurant, https://www.timeoutdubai.com/kids/foods that fans of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will love. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, the menu features a selection of international cuisine, but with a Russian twist. Inspired by Willy Wonka's crazy, colourful chocolate factory and the little round, orange people who run it, Oompa Loompa Restaurant has a colourful play area and soft play zone that will keep the little ones happy for hours.
Best of all, you don't even need a golden ticket.
Daily from 8am-midnight. JBR, Dubai (04 578 6121).
Eat free food (if you’re under 12)
Wondering where to take the kids for dinner that won't dent the wallet too much? Mango Tree Thai Bistro and Hilton Dubai The Walk is offering free meals for little ones under 12. https://www.timeoutdubai.com/kids/bumps-babies
Kiddos can tuck into Thai favourites like green curry (maybe hold the spice for more sensitive little mouths), noodles and rice dishes without paying a single fils. Plus, with dishes starting at Dhs39 for sharing platters such as som tam corn salad, deep fried sea bass or signature seafood plate for adults too, it's a supper out with the family that won't break the bank. The laid-back venue is child-friendly and, there is even an option to dine al fresco on the terrace with views across JBR.
The bill won't make your eye water, even if the spicy Thai food does.
Until Fri Jan 31, 1pm-11pm. Hilton Dubai The Walk, JBR (04 374 7555).
Play and eat in Polynesia
OK, you’re not really jetting off on a plane, but you can say 'aloha' to the Daycation Luau. Let your little Disney fans channel their inner Moana – or Maui – at this Friday pool day and feasting frenzy in the tropical Ari Poolside Restaurant that is all about eating, relaxing and simply enjoying quality time together with your favourite people. Plus you get all-day pool access included and there’s loads of activities to keep little ones entertained.
To quote Maui, "you're welcome".
Dhs99 (per adult and two children under 17 which is redeemable on food and drinks in Ari), Dhs49 (per additional child between four and 17, which is redeemable on food and drinks in Ari). Fri from 10am (pool access), 1pm-6pm (brunch). Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 810 9421).
Set sail on a pirate ship
Climb aboard the Black Pearl and set sail along the Dubai Canal – and watch out for pirates and Davy Jones! Setting off from the Dubai Creek Harbour Residences, Captain Jack Sparrow's trusty ship will take mini Buccaneers along the treacherous waters to the Mangroves – shiver me timbers – before heading back to port. There's loads for little seadogs to see along the way including the ‘Swiss Cheese’ building and Burj Khalifa. So batten down the hatches and get ready to set sail.
Aye aye captain.
Free (kids under five), Dhs55 (children), Dhs65 (adults). Daily, 10am-10pm (various sailing times). www.tour-dubai.com (052 902 4506).
Watch a classic
Le Petite Prince – or The Little Prince for the non-linguists among us – is on at Dubai Opera this weekend. The childrens' book written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that was published in both English and French in 1940, has been adapted for the stage and promises a fun circus twist that the little ones will love. Expect contemporary dance and acrobatic movement as well as video mapping technology, audiovisual poetic immersion, stunning choreography, aerial straps, video projection and flying poles (phew).
A magical way to kick off a new decade.
From Dhs275. Thu Jan 23-Sat Jan 25 2020. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.