Family fun in Dubai

Free food for kids, floating movies, charity cake sales and more

Thursday 8

FREE! Kids’ food at Toscana Madinat Jumeirah
Take the family for an Italian treat at Toscana. This easy-going restaurant with an outdoor terrace is perfect for dining with the nippers – and cheap too, considering they eat for free.
(04 366 6730)

Cine Splash at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club
Movie buffs should get their rears over to Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club for tonight’s movie in the pool, which is the seriously catchy and watchable Happy Feet. Edible treats on offer include pasta dishes, pizza and loads of popcorn. The movie starts at 7pm, and entry is Dhs30 per person.
(04 361 8111)

Friday 9

Giant charity cake sale at Mercato
Throw the diet sheet out of the window and indulge your sweet tooth for a good cause. Check out the giant charity cake sale (we believe it’s the sale that’s giant, not the cake) at Mercato Mall and treat yourself, safe in the knowledge that all proceeds go to the Dubai Autism Centre. And if you feel really guilty, just work off all those calories with an energetic jog around the mall.

FREE! Circus workshops at Mercato
Kids can learn to juggle, pick up some clown antics, perform magic tricks and amaze their school friends: Mercato is running circus workshops throughout July at its Porto Vecchio Village. And if that doesn’t appeal, why not let kids get creative at the interactive workshops and create their own T-shirt? Paints, brushes and the white cotton shirt cost just Dhs15 per child.
(04 344 4161;

Saturday 10

Siblings class at Infinity Clinic
Prepare your brood for a new arrival with this siblings class, run by midwife Anne Marpole. The hour-long class kicks off at 10am and costs Dhs200 per attending child.
(04 394 8994)

Water Magic Show at Dubai Dolphinarium
A show with a difference, this one will be fun for mum and dad too. Described as a breathtaking performance where dolphins and seals show off their acrobatic and comedic skills, it features professional acrobats performing a variety of tricks both in and out of the water, pyrotechnics and lots of laughs and wow-moments. The 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 9774;

Sunday 11

Indoor beach soccer at Dubai Festival City
It’s the last day of the World Cup, so don’t miss your chance to visit the indoor beach soccer pitch at Festival City. There are also plenty of other football-related shenanigans around the mall. Not only are there shopping promotions for mum, but the little tykes can try their hands at all sorts of activities in a special soccer tent. Games, arts, crafts and more are all being laid on for free, and are perfect for kids aged three and above.

Monday 12

Skateboarding lessons at Rage Skate Bowl
Book a lesson with an instructor who can put junior through his paces at the air-conditioned Rage Skate Bowl in The Dubai Mall for just Dhs50 per hour.
(04 336 9007;

Soccer Circus at Mirdif City Centre
Got World Cup withdrawal symptoms already? Soccer Circus is perfect for footie-mad kids aged seven and up. Using state-of-the-art technology to improve your ball skills, practise dribbling over the lights (more difficult than it sounds) or try to kick down the cardboard players (great for letting out your frustration).
(800 534 7873,

Tuesday 13

FREE! Kids’ food at Spur Dubai Festival City
Tuck into some seriously hearty grub at this South African family restaurant at Festival City, which serves burgers to die for and has its own kids’ area. Balloons, colouring sheets and crayons are doled out too, so mum and dad can enjoy their meal in peace.
(04 232 8866)

Hairspray opens at Ductac
Go back in time and join Tracy Turnblad (played by Olivier Award-winning actress Leanne Jones) live on stage in the ever-popular stage version of Hairspray. We’re already digging out our bobby socks, backcombing our beehive and practising the shoop shoop so we can shimmy our way down to Ductac at Mall of the Emirates, where opening night’s curtain-up is at 7.30pm. Tickets start at Dhs150, rising to Dhs1,000 for a family box, and the show runs until July 17.

Wednesday 14

Movies and munchies at Desert Palm
Lounge in the pool while you check out this week’s movie, emerging only to stuff yourself with burgers from the barbecue or munch your way through a bucket of popcorn. This week’s pick at the outdoor cinema is Avatar, the CGI blockbuster featuring hundreds of blue aliens. The movie starts at 7pm and entry is Dhs30 per person.
(03 323 8888)

FREE! Star Tots playgroup
Held in the Foundation Atrium of Star International School in Mirdif from 3pm, kids will enjoy half an hour of free play, followed by an hour of structured activity including arts, crafts, storytelling and singing, then more free play. With coffee and biscuits for mums and a healthy snack for kids, it’s a fun, value afternoon out at just Dhs20.
(050 397 1026)

Introducing solids class at Infinity Clinic
Learn the basics of weaning and getting your little munchers chewing on all sorts of tasty grub in the safest possible way. The 90-minute class kicks off at 7pm, is run by midwife Anne Marpole and costs Dhs400.
(04 394 8994)

Thursday 15

Fame at the Madinat Theatre
Dust off your legwarmers – Fame is rocking the aisles at the Madinat Theatre. Featuring professional West End performers alongside the cream of Dubai’s amateur talent, this musical extravaganza is based on the 1980 movie; the stage adaptation has been running in London’s West End since 1995. Note to mums and dads: please don’t try to relive your youth in public. It’s not cool and it will seriously damage your kids’ street cred. The show kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets cost Dhs130 each. Performances run until July 17.

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