Family fun in Dubai

Cool summer nights, Toy Story 3, indoor skydiving and more

Thursday 24

Cool summer nights at Aquaventure
Join in the evening carnival fun at the Atlantis waterpark, with stilt-walkers, street entertainers, stalls and delectable Latin street food, plus great rates on the dolphin show and ray-feeding sessions. Of course, kids can experience the usual thrills and spills of the waterpark’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 special treat during the heat of the summer.
(04 426 2200;

Toy Story 3
The toys are back in town! Returning for yet another harebrained adventure, the latest instalment of the popular Pixar franchise 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.
(At cinemas across Dubai)

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

Friday 25

FREE! Bucket Boys at Dubai Festival City
This hilarious duo from Chicago are expert percussionists, but they make all their noise using buckets, bin lids, pots, pans and street signs. Expect lots of laughs – just be prepared for the kids to copy their antics at home. The show takes place outside Ikea from 4pm onwards and continues until July 4.

FREE! World of Stories at Mercato
Take the little ’uns to Mercato’s World of Stories area, where they can hear children’s tales in both English and Arabic. Expert storytellers will dramatise the characters too. The pavilion is open until June 29.
(04 344 4161;

FREE! Dance shows at Al Ghurair City
Professional tap and hip hop dancers show off their skills on the mall’s central stage from 6.30pm onwards. Great inspiration for little groovers. Shows run until June 27.

Saturday 26

Lord of the Dance at Adnec Abu Dhabi
It’s your last chance to take a trip to the capital to catch this world-famous show, which combines Irish dance, toe-tapping rhythm, heart-pounding music and superb choreography. Lord of the Dance tells 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.

Sunday 27

Indoor beach soccer at Dubai Festival City
If you’re not sick to the back teeth of the World Cup, check out Festival City’s indoor beach soccer pitch, as well as all the other football-related shenanigans around the mall. Not only are there shopping promotions for mum, but little tykes can try their hands at all sorts of activities in a special soccer tent, while energy-filled older kids and parents can sign up for the beach soccer tournament. Games, arts, crafts and more are all being laid on for free, and are perfect for kids aged three and up. Games continue until July 11.
(800 33232;,

Monday 28

FREE! Pinocchio puppet show at Al Ghurair City
Don’t miss a date with this well-known loveable character, who is desperate to be ‘a real boy’. The shows will take place on the mall’s central stage from 6.30pm until 9.30pm and run until June 30.
(04 205 5309;

ANZA Playgroup
This friendly Australian and New Zealand community playgroup is open to mums (and dads) of all nationalities. Summer sessions run from 10am until noon every Monday 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 29

Modhesh World at the Airport Expo
The biggest indoor play area in Dubai, Modhesh World is quite simply stupendous. Not only can your little monkeys let off steam in the huge jungle gym and soft play area, but they can also burn rubber on the scooter racetrack, watch a movie at the 4D cinema, take part in all sorts of arts and crafts activities, and even ride a pony or a camel and pet furry little critters at the indoor zoo. It’s worth making a day of it – there’s a sanity-saving coffee shop on site for mum and dad too. The venue is open from 10am until 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 10am to midnight on Thursdays, and from 3pm to midnight on Fridays. Entry is a bargainous Dhs10 for adults and Dhs15 for kids.

Wednesday 30

FREE! Sweet Discoveries at Mercato
Baby bakers can roll, bake and ice their own cinnamon buns at the Cinnabon baking event, running every evening at Mercato mall from 5pm until 9pm until July 7. If you’re lucky, they may even let you taste their creations.
(04 344 4161;

Manda’s Magic Summer Party
Pull the rabbit out of the hat and head along to Ductac today at 3.15pm and 4.30pm for an amazing magic performance. Great for little ones aged three and above, tickets cost Dhs65 and include a kids’ goodie bag. Advance booking essential.
(050 456 0413;

Thursday 1

FREE! Circus workshops at Mercato
Kids can learn to juggle, perform some clown antics, perfect their magic tricks and amaze their school friends. Mercato is running circus workshops throughout July at its Porto Vecchio Village – ideal for keeping little ones entertained over the summer. And if that doesn’t appeal, why not let them get creative at the interactive workshops? Kids can create their own T-shirt: paints, brushes and the white, cotton shirt costs just Dhs15 per child.
(04 344 4161;

Aquaplay at Mirdif City Centre
Open from 10am until 11pm daily, Aquaplay provides lots of fun water rides, including bumper boats (instead of cars), a mini log flume and a stand-and-play area wet area called Murial’s Aquatraptions for little ones who love the wet stuff. For a more exuberant session, you can book them into the fishing village-themed jungle gym, or they can try their hands at the various arcade-style water games and rides. With activities starting at Dhs5, it won’t break the bank either.

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