Family fun in Dubai

Food festival, Shakespeare for kids, a car boot sale and more Dubai fun

Thursday 18

Taste of Dubai at Dubai Media City ( Running until March 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 there’s also a feast of entertainment. There are mini chef cooking classes for kids, as well as an energetic play area for the little monsters to burn off those calories and work up an appetite all over again. A must for foodie families. Tickets are Dhs80 for adults and Dhs40 for kids.

Friday 19

Shakespeare 4 Kids: Macbeth at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates (; Shakespeare 4 Kidz brings Macbeth to the Ductac stage. Complete with a sword fights aplenty, a bit of bloody murder and some dreadful knock-knock jokes, we guarantee the bard will no longer be boring. Tickets cost Dhs120 for kids, Dhs150 for adults and the public shows start at 2pm and 5pm.

Mothers’ Day card workshop at Gap Kids (04 432 0745) Enjoy some peace and quiet – and take time for a mooch around the store – by booking the kids into the Mother’s Day card workshop in Gap Kids stores in Mercato Mall (10am-4pm), Deira City Centre (3pm-9pm) and Mirdif City Centre (3pm-9pm). The children can have some arty, crafty fun and make you a personalised card while you shop in peace.

Car boot sale at Dubai Autodrome ( Book your spot for Dhs150 and rock up early (from 8am) to get a good position at Dubai’s very popular regular car boot sale. Entrance is free for all buyers and you’re welcome to watch the racing action from either the market or the Autodrome Grandstand – today is National Race Day (series six), so there’s sure to be plenty going on.

Saturday 20

FREE! Reaching U Family Fun Day at Jumeirah Beach Park ( Don’t miss out on this spectacular spring fête, featuring bouncy castles, food stalls and plenty of prizes to be won. Organised by Reaching U, which runs volunteer activities to help special needs children, this annual event is sure to be lots of fun. Gates open at 2pm.

Wall Drawing workshop at Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah (; Let them get all that wall scrawling out of their systems with this hour-long workshop from 1.30pm-2.30pm, designed to explore the delights and creativity behind large-scale drawing and graffiti. Part of the Art Dubai festival (March 17-20), this event is free for kids under 12 (with their Art Dubai passes) and Dhs50 for everyone else.

Sunday 21

Mother’s Day at Vista Rooftop Bar and Restaurant (04 427 5500) It’s UAE Mother’s Day today, meaning mums can eat for free at this family-friendly restaurant at Media City’s Holiday Inn. A special lunch or an early supper would go down a treat with mum – and, let’s face it, the kids will love it too because dad’s not cooking.

Karate classes at Fun City, Lamcy Plaza (call Magdi on 050 498 7696; or 04 335 2700) Let your little Hong Kong Phooeys get their kicks – and loads of exercise – at the karate classes at Fun City. Great for blowing off steam, making new friends and improving coordination and physical fitness, you can’t really go wrong. Sessions cost Dhs50 each, are suitable for tots aged three and above, and run from 5pm-7pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Monday 22

Hip-Hop Kids at Dubai Ladies Club (04 349 9922; Calling all little groovers: this new hip-hop class for kids focuses on choreography, floor work and dance moves such as basic break, pop and lock and freestyle (ask your kids, they’ll know). It’s all set to music from hot artists including Lil Wayne and Kanye West.

Tuesday 23

Chinese Circus at Dubai Dolphinarium (04 336 9773;; 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 show-stopping line-up. Doors open Mondays to Thursdays at 6pm; Fridays at 3pm and 6pm; and Saturday at 6pm. Tickets are Dhs50-150 from

Wednesday 24

Baby and Toddler Splash at Dubai Ladies Club (04 349 9922; Get your wee water babies and toddlers splashing about confidently with these hour-long sessions with swimming instructors at Dubai Ladies Club. Lessons take place in a shaded pool that is kept heated to the perfect temperature. Classes run on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11.30am and cost Dhs440 for an eight-week course.

Thursday 25

FREE! Dubai Car Art Festival at Dubai Festival City (04 425 4936; Watch an art exhibition with a difference take shape as the second Dubai Car Art Festival challenges teams to create moving works of art from cars. Watch the teams of ‘cartists’ at work as they complete a total of 10 mobile masterpieces over a week-long period. The teams, who must be sponsored to take part, are raising money for the Dubai Autism Centre, with a final Car Art Parade and judging taking place on April 2. Guaranteed to amuse spectators both large and small.

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