Modhesh World (Dubai Airport Expo; www.mydsf.com) Dubai Summer Surprises is drawing to a close, so if you haven’t already taken the kids to Modhesh World, hurry before the little yella fella disappears back into the closet for yet another year. Today, you can check out The Magic Puppet, Space Toon – Save This Earth and a plethora of other kid-oriented entertainment zones. If you’re based down the other end of town, meanwhile, JBR has an inflatable zone and games in their beach area.
Mall walkers (Mall of the Emirates; contact Deborah Dixon at Deborah@strideforlife.com) This is the last day that kids can get in on the mall-walking act. Meeting at 8.15am near the information kiosk on the ground floor near the East Food Court (the Carrefour end), families can march up a storm before the shops open their doors and bargain hunters start flooding in. It’s surprisingly tiring, and don’t forget to swap your sandals for trainers – we all know how slippery Dubai’s mall floors are.
Story telling (Magrudy’s Festival City and Ibn Battuta; 04 344 4009; www.magrudy.com) Head to either branch at 3pm and little ones will be read stories as well as getting to have a go at arts and crafts and painting contests. Alternatively, head to the Jumeirah branch at 11am tomorrow.
Runs weekly until end of August.
Summer in Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre; www.summerinabudhabi.com) The last day of this funfest is upon us. Head to the centre for a variety of themed ‘islands’ – sports island offers zorbowl, splat (in which little ones stick to the wall), wakeboarding, Euro bungee and archery; science and technology island offers a Magic: The Science of Illusion experience that apparently means visitors can see their head served on a platter, as well as the opportunity to build your own toy from scratch.
Boxfish workshop (Sharjah Aquarium; 06 528 5288) Another out-of-emirate trip worth making this week is the family workshop on, you guessed it, boxfish. Drop in any time between 3pm and 5pm and kids aged five to 12 years and their parents will be educated on the subject (available in Arabic and English). As well as this, the aquarium as a whole is wonderful – and air-conditioned. Good times.
Open Sat-Thu 9am-7.30pm, Fri 3pm-8pm, closed Tue. Adults Dhs20, children aged six-12 Dhs10. Call for details of other workshops
Fun City (Ibn Battuta 04 366 9819; Arabian Centre 04 284 5679; BurJuman 04 359 3336; Mercato 04 349 9976; Reef Mall 04 222 2405) The children’s entertainment centres are offering as much fun as kids can cram into an hour for just Dhs50 this summer. On Time Out Kids’ recent visit, we were impressed by the range of activities on offer for little ones: a Fun & Learn section with slides, climbing frames, balls, ride-on toys and a reading area; the Play Zone with scarier slides for over-fours; a river ride; art studio; and kids’ hairdresser all competed for our toddlers’ short attention spans.
Offer is valid until August 31; call for opening times
Arabian Wildlife Centre (Sharjah; 06 531 1999; www.sharjahmuseums.ae) This air-conditioned venue is well worth a visit. All sorts of local species can be found, and boys will love the reptile, fish and insect house, featuring venomous vipers, monitor lizards, chameleons and scorpions.
Dhs15 for adults and over-12s, free for 11-year-olds and under. Open Sat-Thu 0am-5.30pm, Fri 2pm-5.30pm, closed Tue
Café Ceramique (Jumeirah Beach Road 04 344 7331; Mall of the Emirates 04 341 0144) Head to either location with your brood and pick a piece of crockery each. Then the staff will get you set up and you can paint it however you want (or you can watch the kids do it while you down coffee).
For over-fives only. Adults from Dhs25, children from Dhs5, 50 per cent off if you go Sat-Thu 8am-noon. Open Sat-Thu 8am-midnight; Fri 10am-midnight
Ice Age 2 at Movies and Munchies (Desert Palm, 04 323 8888) Head down to the swimming pool-based ‘cinema’ tonight at 7pm and you can see Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, a great movie that will have kids in stitches. Sid the sloth, Manny the mammoth and Diego the sabre-toothed tiger are in trouble: the warming climate is threatening to destroy their world. What’s more, Manny is ready to start a family but he can’t stand Ellie, the only female mammoth he can find – oh, and she thinks she’s a possum.
Dhs30 per person. Cinema open til Sept 30, call for details
Big Momma’s House 2 at Cine Splash (Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, 04 361 8111) If the kids haven’t had their fill of being wet while watching films, jump in at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club for tonight’s movie, Big Momma’s House 2. Once again, Martin Lawrence dons a fat suit, wig and make-up in an undercover mission in which he transforms himself into a ‘big momma’. This time, he’s working as a nanny for a woman under investigation for murder. All manner of hilarity ensues.
Dhs35 per person, different movies showing every Thu and Fri through summer