Arabian Wildlife Centre
Situated just off Al Dhaid Road, the Arabian Wildlife Centre is a fab indoor (and air-conditioned) facility bang in the middle of the animal enclosures. Observation windows mean the big cats, oryx, gazelle, ostrich and more can literally be just inches away from you, seemingly oblivious to your presence. It costs Dhs15 per person, and kids under 12 get in free. Open Sun-Thu 9am-5.30pm (closed Tue), Fri 2pm-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5.30pm. Ramadan hours: Sat-Thu 9.30am-12.30pm (closed Tue and Fri).
(06 531 1999; www.breedingcentresharjah.com)
Playnation at Mirdif City Centre
In the spirit of the season, Cité des Enfants, Soccer Circus and Yalla! Bowling are doing ‘buy one, get one free’ deals on entry tickets throughout Ramadan, while Magic Planet and Aqua Play are giving away Dhs50 in credits if you buy Dhs50 credits. Older kids might even prefer a go at iFly –currently offering an extra flight inside the wind tunnel – and a free commemorative DVD of the whole debacle. Brilliant if you have a whole brood to entertain with a wide age spectrum. All the Playnation facilities are open from 2pm to 11pm throughout Ramadan.
(800 534 7873; www.playnationme.com)
Swim with the dolphins, Dubai Dolphinarium
For an unforgettable family experience, why not book a session at the habitat pool, where groups of up to six people can enjoy a 20-minute session of swimming with the dolphins? The four bottle-nosed dolphins, all of who are well used to their interactive sessions, will happily swim with families, be stroked, and are even up for a gentle pull-along ride around the pool. A one-off treat and not for kids under the age of five, the mixed sessions cost Dhs400 per person, while a private session of no more than three people can be booked for Dhs1,600.
(04 336 9773; www.dubaidolphinarium.com)
FREE! Storytelling sessions at The Old Library
Enjoy a lively tale or two in these popular story-telling sessions suitable for tots to five and six-year-olds. Kicking off at 11am, they’ll keep the kids enthralled for almost an hour – then you can browse and choose a few books to take home. Pre-registration is essential, so call beforehand.
(04 341 4777 ext 207; www.theoldlibrary.ae)
Doing anything ice-related at the height of Dubai’s heatwave is quite an experience. So, pretend you’re in the chilly depths of winter and take a spin at the Hyatt Galleria (04 209 6000), where weekday public sessions cost Dhs30, enjoy a 45-minute frolic on Stargate’s (800 9977) kidney-shaped rink for Dhs25, or skeet about in a two-hour session at The Dubai Mall’s (04 437 3111) Olympic-sized rink for Dhs50. All prices include skate hire.
Chill out at Ski Dubai
What’s not to love about the world’s biggest indoor ski slope in the middle of a Dubai summer? Kids as young as three can sign up to ski lessons or even a week-long ski camp – great for some advance practice if you’re thinking of a ski holiday this winter. If that sounds like too much hard work, then don your snow suit and go for a roll around in the white stuff at the Ski Dubai Snow Park. Cool heaven! During Ramadan, the Snow Park is open from 2pm-midnight, and the slopes are open from 10am-midnight.
(04 409 4000; www.skidxb.com)
Lunch at Planet Hollywood
If you fancy a bite to eat, pop down to this great movie memorabilia restaurant and tuck into some seriously hearty nosh. Planet Hollywood is open from noon-midnight throughout Ramadan, and offers a vast range of fast, filling and great value-for-money dishes for just Dhs60 per person. The meal deal includes a main course with salad, a dessert plus soft drinks, teas and coffees. There is also a separate kids’ menu with lots of yummy mini dishes on offer. The themed restaurant is perfectly geared up for kids, who can check out all the cool gear on display and watch films too while mum and dad tuck into Planet Hollywood’s legendary potato skins.
(04 324-4777; www.wafi.com)
Café Céramique iftar
Enjoy a creative and delicious iftar at any branch for the bargainous price of Dhs45 per person, which includes a three-course meal (think soup, grilled meats, fish, burgers and a pasta selection, as well as ice cream, or the very seasonal sticky date pudding – yum!). After your nosh, get stuck into some painting, with a 30 per cent discount on all ceramics. Top fun for big ones and little ones.
(04 344 7331)
Early Years class at Infinity Clinic
Perfect for new parents negotiating their way through those tricky early months of infancy. The class runs from 7pm-9.30pm and costs Dhs400 per person.
(04 394 8994)
Workshops at Fun City
Book the little monsters into these Fun and Learn workshops at branches of Fun City (not including Lamcy Plaza or Oasis Centre). The daily itinerary includes cooking classes, science experiments, kidobics, singalong sessions, organised games and a children’s theatre. Running from 11am-3pm, you can either book by the day for Dhs70 per child, or by the week (Sun-Thu) for Dhs300. Other Fun City locations include Ibn Battuta
Mall, Arabian Centre, Al Reef Mall and Burjuman.
(04 349 9976)