Have a mum-and-daughter day out
Why not pamper your princess at the Tickles and Giggles spa and salon at JBR? Choose from a mani-pedi, a facial or a chic new hair-do. The spa also offers special activities including baby yoga and etiquette classes. Prices vary according to treatment. Open daily 10am-9pm. Ongoing. Sadaf 1, The Walk at JBR, www.ticklesandgiggles.com (800 82634).
Go bargain book shopping
Get the kids to collect up their old books, then take them to one of Dubai’s second-hand bookshops. Book World in Satwa, House of Prose on the Beach Road and Book ’N’ Bean at ACE Hardware will all pay cash for your old books; once you’ve read your latest purchases, you can take them back and exchange them for more cash.
Opening times vary. Ongoing. Book World, Plant Street, Satwa (04 349 1914); Book ’N’ Bean, ACE Hardware, Dubai Festival City (04 232 6992); House of Prose, Jumeirah Plaza, Beach Road (04 344 9021).
Read all about it at Dubai’s litfest
Have you got your tickets yet for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on March 6-10? Tickets are on sale now and there’s a fantastic line-up this year, including kids’ author Jacqueline Wilson, food guru Annabel Karmel and local young author Dubai Abulhoul, who’s launching her debut novel, Galagolia: The Hidden Divination. As usual, there’ll also be the Time Out Kids zone for the little ones.
Ticket prices vary. Tickets on sale from today; festival takes place March 6-10. Al Mamzar & InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, www.eaifl.com (04 353 4002).
Take a day trip to Al Ain
Buy a bargain combo ticket for Al Ain Zoo and Hili Fun City and enjoy a day out of Dubai with the whole family. This fantastic deal gets you into Al Ain Zoo so the little ones can spend all morning ogling the monkeys and feeding leaves to the giraffes. After a picnic lunch, head across town to Hili Fun City and take a few turns on the stomach-churning rides: teenagers can try the Thunderbolt, while the teacups and train rides are perfect for mums and little ones. The combo ticket can be purchased from both the Al Ain Zoo kiosk and at Hili Fun City ticket office.
Dhs70 (adults) Dhs40 (kids). Valid until March 31. Al Ain Zoo open daily 9am-8pm daily. www.awpr.ae (03 782 8188). Hili Fun City open Sun-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-10pm. www.hilifuncity.ae (03 784 5542).
Kids eat for free at Mango Tree Bistro
We love the fact that this family-oriented restaurant serves all manner of Asian cuisine – and that kids under 12 eat for free. The weekend meal deal includes balloon bending, face painting and even a free family portrait of your dining experience.
Prices vary. Thu-Sat noon-midnight. Ongoing. Mango Tree Bistro, Mirdif City Centre (04 284 3635).
Nurture their inner film buff
If your nippers are movie mad, the Magic Lantern film club meets monthly at Mall of the Emirates, showing special screenings of films chosen especially for children. Before each screening there’s a drama session explaining the meaning of the film, and things to look out for that the director has included.
Dhs150 (first child membership), Dhs120 (additional children). 4pm (next meeting March 3). Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, www.magiclantern.ae (no number).
Enjoy a stable tour at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
Stable tours are the perfect start to a Dubai weekend: the tour guides will show you the facilities behind the scenes, and you can watch the horses train while learning about their diet and lifestyle. Finish the morning with a relaxing breakfast in Epona Lounge overlooking the riding arena.
Dhs195 (adults), Dhs100 (children) for a two-hour tour. Sat-Thu from 8am. Ongoing. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, www.poloclubdubai.com (04 361 8111).
Get stuck into Funday at Ping Pong
Chomp your gnashers round some dim sum while the kids entertain themselves with a range of fun activities. Ping Pong at Dubai Mall has teamed up with toy store Hamleys to provide a weekly evening of fun-filled board games for diners. The games include classics such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble, as well as the more modern Pictureka. Mum and dad can get to grips with a game of chess and dominoes while enjoying Ping Pong’s salads, snacks, desserts and a choice of mocktails and teas.
Prices vary. Sun 6pm-midnight. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (800 7464 1664).
Buy your tickets to have tea with a tiger
Tickets are now on sale for the charming stage adaptation of The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Judith Kerr’s classic tale about a large, furry visitor at teatime, which comes to the First Group Theatre for a three-day run from February 23. Little ones will love the bizarre storyline that tells of a little girl’s encounter with a giant (and very hungry) tiger. Far from Sophie being afraid of the beast who turns up at her door just before dinner, she is the personification of politeness and invites him in. But the tiger has such a huge appetite that he eats Sophie and her mum out of house and home.
Dhs130 (stalls), Dhs100 (circle). February 23-25. First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinattheatre.com (04 366 6546).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Celebrate with some tasty treats for your loved ones from Forty Carrots at Bloomingdale’s in The Dubai Mall. We particularly like the heart-shaped sugar cookies – definitely the way to our heart. Yum. Sugar cookies Dhs10 each. Available until February 29. Forty Carrots, Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.facebook.com/bloomingdalesdubai (04 350 5333).