Top 10 Dubai family activities

Meet some wild animals and learnt to ice skate


Dive in at Aquaventure
Cool off this week at one the world’s most impressive waterparks. With dozens of huge slides, wet play areas and splashy rides spread over 170,000 sq m, there’s no way the kids will get bored. And there are plenty of pools in which mum and dad can relax, so it’s a win-win situation for the whole family.
Dhs200 (adults), Dhs165 (children). Open daily 9.45am-6.30pm. Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 0000).

Skydive indoors at iFly
Great for little high-flyers and thrill-seekers, this skydiving simulator is a must-try. There’s a pre-flight training session to make sure you know what you’re doing, as well as instructors on hand to keep you happily in the air, while commemorative photos and a DVD also mark the occasion. Off-peak (Sun 10am-Thu 3pm): Dhs165 for adults, Dhs125 for kids. Peak (Thu 3pm-Sat 11pm): Dhs195/Dhs145. Open daily 10am-11pm. PlayNation, Mirdif City Centre, (800 534 7873).

Sail in a glass-bottomed boat
Dubai Aquarium at The Dubai Mall is running trips in its glass-bottomed boat so you can get even closer to the many exciting creatures that live in the world’s largest aquarium. The 15-minute tours run every half an hour, and seats on the boat can be booked at the main desk. Perfect for budding marine biologists, but sticking your hands over the sides isn’t advised…
Dhs25 per person, plus an optional Dhs5 for a pack of fish food. Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Dubai Aquarium, The Dubai Mall, (04 232 8866).

Eat free kids’ food at Spur
Tuck into some seriously hearty grub at this South African family restaurant in Dubai Festival City, which serves burgers to die for and has its own kids’ entertainment area. Every Tuesday, kids eat for free,
and the venue offers plenty of balloons, colouring sheets and crayons so mum and dad can enjoy their meals in peace.
Prices vary. Open daily 5pm-midnight. Dubai Festival City (04 232 8866).

Watch a movie from the pool
What better way to start the weekend than with a communal family movie at Desert Palm on Wednesday October 5? The first movie of the evening, kicking off at 7pm, is Alice in Wonderland, while the second film is more for grown-ups: this week’s movie is Tron: Legacy.
Dhs30 (adults); Dhs20 (kids aged four to 12). From 7pm. Desert Palm Resort & Spa, Al Awir Road, (04 323 8888).

Meet some wild animals
Situated just off Al Dhaid Road, the Arabian Wildlife Centre is a fantastic indoor facility located in the middle of the animal enclosures. Observation windows enable guests to watch the big cats, oryx, gazelles, ostriches and more as they roam inches from the windows.
Dhs15 per person; free for kids under 12. Open Sun-Thu 9am-5.30pm (closed Tue), Fri 2pm-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5.30pm. Arabian Wildlife Centre, Al Dhaid Road, (06 531 1999).

Paint pictures at thejamjar
Unleash your kids’ creativity with a painting session in a proper art studio. Kids can produce their very own masterpieces to take home thanks to the ‘Little Jammers’ deal, which means kids get a special rate
on their canvases and can indulge in a two-hour session for Dhs95.
From Dhs95,. Open Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 2pm-8pm. thejamjar, Al Quoz, (04 341 7303).

Relax at the beach
It may not come cheap, but for a seriously relaxing afternoon you can’t beat the Madinat Jumeirah’s new Quay Health Club membership package. Dhs65,000 gets you an annual family membership, with full access to the private beach, Madinat swimming pools, Wild Wadi, Sinbad’s kids’ club and, of course, the health club, plus all manner of discounts across dining, watersports, spa treatments and hotel stays.
From Dhs65,000 for annual family membership. Ongoing. Quay Health Club, Madinat Jumeirah, (04 366 6821).

Learn to ice skate
Share the thrill of the ice with your little one at Dubai Ice Rink’s mums-and-tots skating sessions. Get there for the first session of the day and the pair of you will pay just Dhs50, including skate hire. If you want to hone your skills, an instructor is on hand to help you both through the wobbly stages – perfect for tots aged two to seven.
Dhs50 for mum and tot. Daily 10am-noon. The Dubai Mall, (04 448 5111).

Be a grown-up at KidZania
Teach your brood about all kinds of career options at this indoor town for children. Once you’ve entered the town through the mini airport entrance, kids can try their hand at firefighting, performing on the stage, being an airline pilot, a policeman, a rally driver, a hairdresser, a fireman and all sorts of other cool grown-up jobs.
Dhs130 (kids aged four to 16); Dhs95 (kids aged two to three); Dhs90 (adults); free for kids under two. Open daily 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall, (04 448 5222).

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