Emirates Dubai Football Sevens (www.dubaifootball7s.com) The first event of its kind in the emirate, the Dubai Football Sevens (on March 11-13) is the soccer version of the very popular Rugby Sevens. The tournament, held at the Sevens stadium, will see more than 3,000 players, both professional and amateur, battle it out on the pitch. There are teams for under nines and under 12s, as well as a host of international football stars and veterans. A fun event for all the family, with bouncy castles, refreshments and lots of on-pitch action, tickets cost Dhs125-Dhs300, and under 12s go free. Buy online at www.timeouttickets.com.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (www.emirateslitfest.com) Make a big space in the diary for Dubai’s litfest, which sees top kids’ authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Tony Ross, Roger McGough and Harry and the Dinosaurs creator Ian Whybrow holding talks and workshops. Packed with fun, free things to do on the side, head down to the Time Out Kids zone, where you can meet Winnie the Witch, shake paws with Elliott the Bear and get stuck into storytelling and art-and-craft workshops. Kids’ activities run on Friday and Saturday at the InterContinental in Dubai Festival City. Check the website and the March issue of Time Out Kids for timings.
Jebel Ali School Spring Fayre (04 884 6485; www.jebelalischool.org) Howdy partners! Don your Stetsons and pull on your cowboy boots for the school’s annual fayre. With a Wild West theme, the competitions, bouncy castles, ‘grit and vittles’ refreshment stalls, craft market and games are sure to get your wee cowboys and cowgirls lassoing lots of fun. Dubai Drums will also be there, and the fun runs from 10am to 2pm.
Chinese Circus (04 336 9773; www.dubaidolphinarium.ae; email@example.com) Make a point of booking the family in for this 90-minute action-packed show. Highlights include the spectacular high-speed acrobatics of the hoop divers, traditional plate spinning, the ancient art of Chinese jar juggling (where artists do amazing things with heavy earthenware pots) and jaw-dropping hand-balancing. The amazing Lion Dance and the famous Shaolin Warriors are also part of the line-up. Doors open Mondays to Thursdays at 6pm, Fridays at 3pm and 6pm, and Saturday at 6pm. Tickets cost Dhs50-150 at www.timeouttickets.com.
Triple P (04 348 5437; firstname.lastname@example.org) Grumpy teenager in your midst? Are you being driven round the bend by strops and sulks? Check out the positive parenting programme by Triple P. This eight-week programme for parents of teens covers parenting strategies such as how to encourage desirable behaviour and cope with behavioural problems. The course costs Dhs1,900 per couple and is suitable for parents of kids aged 12 to 16.
Mother’s Day at Vista Rooftop and Restaurant Bar (04 427 5500) Okay, it’s the UK Mother’s Day today and the UAE Mother’s Day on March 21, which is why mums are eating for free on both days at this family-friendly restaurant at Media City’s Holiday Inn. A special lunch or an early supper would both go down a treat with mum – and, let’s face it, the kids will love it too because dad’s not cooking.
Dance class at Fun City (04 335 2700) Boogie on down to Fun City in Lamcy Plaza and sign yourself up for a dance class. In fact, while you’re there, check out all the other classes for nippers that run throughout the week. Be it karate chops, gymnastics, ballet pirouettes or how to cook, there’s loads going on for kids.
Sharjah Aquarium (06 528 5288; www.sharjahmuseums.ae) Submerge yourselves in a colourful underseas world that’s home to more than 250 species. Like its big brother at The Dubai Mall, the Sharjah Aquarium also has an impressive walk-through tunnel so visitors can get really close to the deep-sea action. Discover everything from larger ocean creatures to the smaller marine life for just Dhs20 per adult or Dhs50 for families, while under fives get in free.
Taste of Dubai opens at Dubai Media City (www.tasteofdubaifestival.com) Running from March 17-20, wee gastronauts (and peckish mums and dads) will love this four-day food bonanza. The festival is a great chance to indulge in the very best dishes prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, and with mini-chef cooking classes for kids, music and entertainment, plus an energetic play area for the little monsters to burn off those calories and work up an appetite all over again, it’s a must for Dubai’s foodie families. Dhs80 for adults and Dhs40 for kids.
KidZania at The Dubai Mall (04 448 5222; www.kidzania.ae) Treat them to an end-of-the-week session inside Dubai’s latest edutainment centre. The extraordinary miniature town provides tots to teens with the chance to try out more than 70 different careers – and get paid for them. Included in the line-up are positions in the fire brigade, the KZPD (KidZania Police Department), the barber’s shop and beauty salon, the theatre, the F1 track, the airline industry and the TV station. Kids under four cost Dhs95, while those aged four and up are Dhs125.