Family fun in Dubai

The return of Modhesh, free surfing and baby cookery classes

Thursday 17

Dubai Summer Surprises
The fun kicks off today! You’ve probably already spotted Modhesh loitering around town and, love him or hate him, the yellow fellow marks the start of six weeks of shopping-related fun. Apart from the usual fun and games in Modhesh World at Airport Expo, many malls will be packed full of the sort of stuff little people love: jugglers, musicians, stilt-walkers, acrobats, dancers, face-painting, arts, crafts and more. Keep an eye on the website for the latest goings-on.

Friday 18

FREE! Surf lessons at Jumeirah beach
Fancy learning how to surf? Grab your cozzie, slap on the sunscreen and head down to Jumeirah beach at 7.45am, where experts will be on hand to teach kids aged five to 10 how to ride those waves.

FREE! Indoor beach soccer
In the spirit of the season, Dubai Festival City is going football crazy with an indoor beach soccer pitch and loads of other footie shenanigans around the mall. Budding Beckhams can try their hands at all sorts of activities in a special soccer tent, with games, arts, crafts and more laid on for free and perfect for kids aged three and up. Older kids and parents can sign up for a game of beach soccer in the Dubai Festival Centre tournament, which runs until July 11.

Saturday 19

Make your own baby food class
Looking for tips on how to feed your baby healthy, nutritious, interesting meals? Check out foodie mum Tina McFadzean’s cookery class. Running from 10am until 1.30pm, Dhs300 buys you bucketloads of tot-friendly recipe ideas and includes lunch.
(050 458 3015;

Synergy paediatric first aid course
A first-aid course covering every possible mishap that the most accident-prone child could encounter, from choking to fractures and bleeding to CPR. The course runs from 9.30am-12.30pm and costs Dhs250.
(04 348 5452;

FREE! Nappy chat
Never happier than when discussing babies’ bottoms, mums interested in discovering more about washable nappies should trot along to the Organic Foods and Café at The Dubai Mall, where Sophia will let you loose with her samples including Cushi Tushies, Itti Bitti Bonnibuns and Peapods, as well as imparting her invaluable nappy advice.
(055 514 7182)

Sunday 20

Fathers’ Day brunch at Ping Pong
Don’t be dim son! Treat the old man to a slap-up dumpling brunch at Ping Pong at The Dubai Mall. For Dhs132 per adult (kids under 12 eat free), you can dig into more than 40 varieties of dim sum, soups and salads, while dad will also get his very own limited-edition Ping Pong T-shirt to take home. Can’t say fairer than that…
(04 339 9088;

Monday 21

ANZA Playgroup
This friendly Australian and New Zealand community playgroup is open to mums (and dads) of all nationalities. Summer sessions run 10am until noon and are held at either Peekaboo at Mall of the Emirates, or at Kids’ Planet at Mirdif City Centre.
(050 151 3649/050 140 5598/056 691 2671;

Tuesday 22

Water magic show at Dubai Dolphinarium
A new twist on an old favourite, the Water Magic Show is described as a breathtaking performance where dolphins and seals show off their acrobatic and comedic skills. The show includes professional acrobats who use a variety of amazing tricks both in and out of the water – and there are even some pyrotechnics. Shows run every day (except Sunday) at 3pm and 6pm. VIP tickets cost Dhs140 for adults and Dhs120 for kids, while regular tickets are Dhs100 for adults and Dhs70 for kids.
(04 336 9773;

Wednesday 23

Lord of the Dance in Abu Dhabi
Take a trip to the capital to catch this world-famous show combining Irish dance, toe-tapping rhythm, heart-pounding music and superb choreography to tell the classic folklore tale of good versus evil. And you thought it was just a bunch of Irish folk who refused to move their arms… Tickets start at Dhs295 and performances take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until June 26.

Introducing solids class
Held at Infinity Clinic in Umm Suqeim, this two-and-a-half-hour class will cover everything from when, what and how to introduce solids, recipes, storage and preparation, through to food allergies and hygiene advice. Kicking off at 7pm, the class costs Dhs400.
(050 458 2633;

Thursday 24

Cool summer nights at Aquaventure
A great way to keep cool this summer, pop down to Aquaventure for a real night carnival atmosphere. Stilt-walkers, street entertainers, stalls and delectable Latin street food are just some of the extras on offer at these special summer evenings, while great rates apply to the dolphin show and ray-feeding sessions. Of course, kids can experience the usual thrills and spills of the water park’s slides and attractions, all topped off with laser shows and fireworks. At Dhs200 for adults and Dhs165 for guests less than 1.2 metres tall, it doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a fab treat during the heat of the summer.
(04 426 2200,

Toy Story 3
The toys are back in town! Back for yet another harebrained adventure, the latest instalment sees Andy setting off for college and leaving his beloved stash of toys in – gasp – a daycare centre! With Mr Potato Head losing his face, Woody getting his string in a twist and Buzz Lightyear being as bombastic as ever, this is definitely a winner for the weekend.
(in cinemas across Dubai)

iFly bargain
This indoor skydiving venue is a must for little high-flyers. From now until the kids go back to school, you can fling yourself down an air tunnel three times for the price of two. There are trained instructors to keep you in the air, plus photos and a DVD to mark the occasion. From Sunday morning ’til 3pm on Thursdays, adults pay Dhs165, kids Dhs125; the price rises to Dhs195 and Dhs145 at other times.
(800 5347873;

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