It’s always fun to check out a new venue, and the Funky Monkeys play centre in the Safestway complex on Sheikh Zayed Road (www.funkymonkeysuae.com, 04 388 4114) is no exception. This brand spanking new facility, which only opened in November 2012, has a huge, jungle-themed softplay gym (of course) that is well supervised by qualified staff. Open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and until 10pm on weekends, nippers can literally run wild up the tubes and down the slides – or go batty in the ball pools. The soft play area is also suitable for smaller toddlers, too. An hour for two little monkeys will set you back Dhs50 (Dhs25 per sprog). Meanwhile, parents can sit back and enjoy a hot drink in the play centre’s café, which boasts a range of tasty kids snacks as well as good quality coffee (Dhs10), while thirsty or hungry little monsters can enjoy a serving of French fries for Dhs10 or a small bottle of water for Dhs6.
The breakdown (two children and one adult)
Make the most of the cool weather and hit the beach at Al Mamzar Beach Park (04 296 6201). This well-run, clean and enormous beach park has a huge array for facilities for visitors to try. At Dhs5 per person to enter (or Dhs30 per car), it’s cheap to enter, and once you get inside, there are heaps of cool things to do – other than play on the beach of course. If you’re looking for decent sand and surf, we recommend heading to beach four. Here you’ll find a lagoon-style bay with lots of palm trees on the beach to provide shade and clean loo facilities and showers nearby. You can also hire an umbrella for Dhs10 for additional comfort. And don’t panic if you haven’t bought a picnic with you either. Just pop into the Malik Burger Café (04 296 6988) where kid’s meals (burger or nuggets, French Fries, a drink and a toy) will set you back an economical Dhs12 per nipper. A combo for grown-ups is Dhs15, while a tea costs Dhs2.
If you use your Emirates NBD Go4it Visa card, you can buy three movie tickets from Vox Cinemas (www.voxcinemas.com) for just Dhs75. This applies to any film – but we’re particularly interested in the family films this month, which include Monsters Inc in 3D, a re-release of the original blockbuster ahead of the Monsters University sequel hitting cinemas in June 2013. Tweens and up will also love the quirky tale, Life of Pi, which was adapted for screen from the award winning book. Older kids can take a friend to see the latest Middle Earth adventure, The Hobbit – it’s a bit too scary for younger ones, but will satisfy older kids’ appetites for adventure, heroics and bloodthirsty battles. You’ll find Vox at Dubai Marina Mall, Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre and Mall of the Emirates. Not only that, but a large popcorn (more than enough for two kids and mum to share) will set you back just Dhs15, while a small bottle of Arwa water costs Dhs5.