Family fun in Dubai

Dinosaurs, dolphins, afternoon tea, flea market and more

Wednesday 30

Stake out prehistoric beasts at Dino Live
Budding paleontologists will love this animatronic exhibition of lifelike dinosaurs at Festival City. Hear the T-Rex roar and watch out for the swishing tail of the diplodocus – if your kids are brave enough, there’s even a dinosaur ride to try.
Dhs50 per person; free for kids under three. Open daily 10am-10pm. Ongoing. Dubai Festival City, (055 949 5787).

Thursday 31

See the Dolphin and Seal show
Grab a seat in the audience to witness the graceful dolphins showing off their smart skills. Senya performs tail walking, Tetka and Jerry juggle with balls, Fekla dances the twist, and Ksyusha paints on her rostrum. It’s a fun end-of-week treat that the whole family will enjoy.
Dhs120-140 (adults), Dhs80-100 (kids). Mon-Sat 11am and 6pm, with an additional 3pm performance on Fridays and Saturdays. Ongoing. Dubai Dolphinarium, Creek Park, near Garhoud Bridge, (04 336 9773).

Friday 1

Swim round the Burj Al Arab
Head to the Burj Al Arab beach to register for the annual Wild Wadi annual swim around Dubai’s famed landmark. The 800m swim aims to raise money for Médicins Sans Frontières, with 25 per cent of the donations also going to the UAE Red Crescent Society. If you haven’t done enough training or arrive too late to register (the process kicks off at 6am), there is still plenty of opportunity to get involved in the party atmosphere of this family-oriented event, with a team and family swim taking place at 8.30am. More competitive swimmers will also no doubt appreciate some additional cheering.
Dhs275 per person (competitors), free for spectators. Registration opens 6am outside Wild Wadi. Burj Al Arab beach, Umm Suqeim, (052 911 0661).

Saturday 2

Check out the flea market at Safa Park
If you have a nose for a bargain, or you just want to sell your unwanted stuff, this is the place to be: you can really make a day of it. Let the little tykes loose on the play areas while you browse to your heart’s content.
Dhs3 per person (park entry), Dhs250 to book a stall. Safa Park, gate five, (055 452 6030)

Book a beach chalet at Al Mamzar Park
Spend a day at the beach in an air-conditioned chalet complete with outside barbecue facilities, shower room, seating area and a place where you can prepare your picnic. You can also make use of the park’s facilities, including oodles of play areas, a municipality swimming pool, and lots of beautiful beaches. Rock up early to collect your chalet keys at 9am, and party until 10pm with a family barbecue. It’s the perfect solution for families with little ones who can’t be out in the midday sun, and need a cool place to take a nap.
From Dhs160. Open daily 9am-10pm. Ongoing. Mamzar Park, Alexandria Street, Deira (04 296 6201).

Sunday 3

Pre-school story time at the Old Library
If your tots love a good story, book them into one of the free Sunday storytelling sessions at the Old Library at Ductac. The sessions run from 10am to 11.15am and are geared specifically towards pre-schoolers. Book ahead – spaces are limited.
Free. Sun 10.30am-11.15am. Ongoing. The Old Library. (03 341 4777 ext 207).

Kids’ afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
Treat the kids to a children’s afternoon tea at Lobby Lounge – and hopefully show them how one should behave on such an occasion too. Nippers can enjoy an array of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, skewers and other mouth-watering treats, served with hot chocolate.
Dhs60 per child. Daily 2pm-6pm. Ongoing. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, The Walk at JBR, (04 318 6150).

Monday 4

Discover some local fauna at the Arabian Wildlife Centre
Situated just off Al Dhaid Road, the Arabian Wildlife Centre is an indoor facility surrounded by animal enclosures. The big cats, oryx, gazelles, ostriches and more live behind observation windows, enabling you to
get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. The petting zoo next door also houses camels, ponies, cows, sheep and donkeys.
Dhs15 per person; free for kids under 12. Open Sun-Thu 9am-5.30pm (closed Tue), Fri 2pm-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5.30pm. Ongoing. Al Dhaid Road, Centre (06 531 1999).

Tuesday 5

Kids eat for free at Spur
Forgo the washing up and have supper at Spur with the kids. This family restaurant at Dubai Festival City serves traditional South African fare – think steaks, burgers and onion rings. Best of all, kids eat for free every Tuesday evening from 6pm.
Prices vary. Tue 6pm-10pm. Ongoing. Spur, Dubai Festival City, (04 232 8866).

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