Check out the Build-A-Bear store at The Dubai Mall
If your kids are addicted to all things furry, take them for a retail treat at the new Build-A-Bear Workshop. Children can choose, stuff and dress a bear, then pick a special noise box to go inside. The latest plush designs include a Smurf collection and more bunnies, teddies and fluffy animals than even you could imagine.
Open daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, www.buildabear.ae (800 23277).
Madagascar 3 lands in cinemas
Stock up with popcorn, M&Ms and nachos for the latest animated adventure with the animals of Madagascar. The awesome foursome are back with lots of new gags and giggles: fed up with the wild, they want to head home to New York, but somehow, they end up in Europe and have to join a travelling circus.
At cinemas across Dubai.
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark at the Madinat
Don’t miss this stage production, adapted from the award-winning children’s book by Jill Thompson. It tells the tale of Plop, the baby barn owl who big round eyes and ‘knackety knees’, and is terrified of the dark. With live music and puppetry, this is a reassuring production for kids aged three and above who won’t let you turn out the lights.
Dhs135. Daily 2pm and 4.30pm, until June 16. First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinattheatre.com (04 366 6546).
Spice Island family brunch
Treat the family to a wide selection of food and kids’ entertainment every Friday. There’s a supervised play area where children can let off steam and enjoy their own buffet, along with an army of entertainers to supervise them.
Dhs149-269 (adults), Dhs69 (kids aged six to 11), free for kids under six. Noon-4pm. Ongoing. Renaissance Hotel, Deira (04 262 5555).
Al Ain Zoo night safari
It’s too hot to visit the zoo at midday during summer, so take advantage of the late opening hours and do a night safari at the zoo instead. You’ll get to see more animals and can observe their twilight behaviour – they’re usually a lot more active once it gets dark.
Dhs15 (adults), Dhs5 (kids), free for kids under three. Sat-Thu 4pm-10pm; Fri 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Al Ain, www.awpr.ae (03 782 8188).
Buy an organic veggie box at RIPE
The farmers’ market at Dubai Garden Centre is possibly one of the busiest places to be on a Saturday morning. Check out the fresh produce and fill your box, then home for an afternoon of cooking. A perfect opportunity to prepare a week’s worth of lunchboxes in advance.
Prices vary. Sat 9am-1pm. Ongoing. Dubai Garden Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 340 0006).
Spend Father’s Day at Super Dooper
Head to Super Dooper in Dubai Marina for a morning of quality time with the kids. Dads can indulge in the pit-stop challenge with their sons (aka a large Scalextric set), or they can learn a few dance steps and try them out on the Super Dooper stage with their proud daughters.
Dhs100 per child. 10am-1pm. Damac Waves building, Dubai Marina, www.superdooper.ae (04 454 8391).
Pop out for Snog frozen yoghurt
What better way to cool down than with frozen yogurt? Made with prebiotics, organic milk and natural sweeteners, Snog yoghurt is served with all manner of healthy fresh berries. If your kids aren’t into fruit, they can always get a chocolate brownie topping instead.
From Dhs16. Open daily 10am-midnight. Mirdif City Centre, www.ifancyasnog.com (no number).
Take a turn on the ‘iceless’ ice rink
The Arabian Center near Mirdif boasts a cool experience for novice (and professional) skaters. The difference is that this ice rink is made from a substance called ‘synthetic ice’, which isn’t cold to the touch, and is 10 percent less slippery than regular ice (meaning less tumbles for the tots). The facility is also perfect for our desert climes because the rink doesn’t require huge refrigeration units to maintain it. Dhs25 for a two hour session plus skate hire.
Open daily 10am-10pm. Arabian Center, Mirdif, www.arabiancenter.ae (04 284 5555).
Table manners workshop
Are your kids driving you dippy at dinner? If your family meals have become a battleground, perhaps it’s time you sought help. This week’s workshop at KidsFIRST Medical Centre, is called Managing Mealtimes, and is run by former teacher and parent educator Therese Sequeira. Parents only.
Dhs180 per person. 8.30am. KidsFIRST Medical Centre, Al Wasl Road, www.parentingdubai.com (04 394 2464).
Kids eat for free at Spur
Save your dirhams, forgo the washing up and enjoy a family meal. This family-friendly restaurant serves a range of steaks and burgers, and also has a small kids’ play area with balloons, crayons and colouring pads. Best of all, kids eat for free on Tuesdays.
Prices vary. Tues 6pm-10pm. Ongoing. Dubai Festival City, www.spur.ae (04 232 8866).