Gulf Bike Festival at Dubai Festival City (04 271 9670; wwwboxofficeme.com) If your kids are little speed demons, make sure you take them to the Bike Festival, which runs from midday to midnight until February 6. The event, which is perfect for families, includes a whole range of activities, from live rock music by Status Quo and Nickelback to the Suzuki quad zone for mini petrolheads. There will even be a stunt display team showing off their tricks – don’t expect it to be a restful afternoon.
The Little Big Club Show at Airport Expo (04 332 1000; www.dubaiairportexpo.com) Little ones will love this all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza at Dubai Airport Expo. Part of the Dubai Shopping Festival, your tots will never forgive you if you miss the opportunity to catch children’s favourites Bob the Builder, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, Postman Pat and Fireman Sam all under one roof. Performances are twice daily until February 12, at 4pm and 8pm. Call for ticket details.
Safa Flea Market (www.dubai-fleamarket.com) Polish up their entrepreneurial skills and encourage them to clean out their rooms by booking a seller’s stall at the Safa Park flea market. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning, browsing the stalls, enjoying the atmosphere and making the most of this great park. Open from 8am until 3pm, it’s a fantastic family day out.
FREE! Children’s Hope Foundation Fair (04 439 3464) Help raise money for a good cause and enjoy yourself to boot at this fun-filled event. There will be organised games, art activities and a whole range of craft items for sale. Gates open at 3pm at the Ajmal Residence in Jumeirah, near Safa Park. Call ahead for details.
FREE! DSF at the malls (www.mydsf.ae) With a team of 150 acrobats and performers whizzing around the city in celebration of the 15th Dubai Shopping Festival, don’t short-change yourselves by giving the malls a miss. The performers, which are part of the DSF Carnival, include dancers, singers, musicians, acrobats, unicyclists and a whole load more. Running throughout the month, you don’t have to shop, just pop down to any participating mall to enjoy the treats on offer.
Monster Truck Show Dubai Festival City (04 217 9670) An experience that will wow thrill-seekers large and small, the Monster Truck Show is a must-see this month. The 60-minute shows, starting at 4pm and 7pm, promise an hour of adrenalin-packed mayhem, including daring stunts using motocross bikes, quads and, of course, those massive trucks. Start revving those engines!
Playball at Dubai Ladies’ Club (04 349 9922; www.dubailadiesclub.com) A great way to get kids interested in different types of sports, Playball is a specially developed programme that works on improving hand-to-eye coordination, left and right brain communication and, of course, overall fitness. Suitable for tearaways aged two to nine, an hour of this will burn up pesky energy and provide lots of fun. Call for class details.
FREE! Heritage Village (04 393 7151) Dubai Heritage Village is not only an ideal spot from which to view the fabulous Dubai Shopping Festival fireworks (which kick off at 8.30pm every evening), it’s also the perfect place to explore the history of the Gulf. Traditional handicrafts, restored houses, Bedouin snacks, falconry displays, camel rides, horse-riding demonstrations, cultural dances and a generally festive atmosphere make it one of the most enjoyable venues Dubai has to offer of an evening. You can also stroll along the creekside promenade and settle down for supper under the stars at one of the many restaurants, where you can watch the boats go by. Open from 8am to 10pm Saturday to Thursday, and 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm on Fridays.
Global Village (04 362 4115; www.globalvillage.ae) With more than 6,000 performances taking place at the 30-plus pavilions, as well as all the fun of the fair, it’s time to get your walking shoes on and explore Global Village. A venue that comes alive during the Shopping Festival, there are loads of fun activities to look forward to. Check out the Chinese Flying Poles show (the mind boggles…) and Bounce, an intriguing and ‘never-before-seen-here’ stunt show. There are loads of different snack stalls and treats to test too, so make sure you go with empty stomachs.