Angry Birds are taking over Dubai Festival City Mall this monthDarragh Murphy, 11 Jul 2019 09:38:34 +0400Are you and your little ones ready to rock this summer? The Angry Birds are, and their flying over to Dubai Festival City Mall this weekend for a big show.

The Kids Rock Festival is making way for flock leader Red, the energetic Chuck and Bomb, the coolest bird around in for list of fun-filled festivities and a huge performance just for kids, and it’s completely free to check out.

Taking place from Saturday July 13 to Wednesday July 24, all your favourite characters from the Angry Birds movie will take to the stage for a hilarious 20-minute show every day from 4pm until 9.20pm.

That’s not all, as the characters will also be doing meet and greets, workshops, book reading sessions by the Jashanmal bookstore and much more until Saturday August 3 from 4pm until 10pm.

Families can also expect a ball pit, sling shot game and a photo booth to capture the moment throughout the special summer festival.

As for other summer events kids will enjoy, if they’re looking to become a marine biologist by any chance, check out Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo’s special summer camp.

Don’t fret, the birds aren’t here to knock anything over…
Free. Sat Jul 13-Wed Jul 24 (show); Until Sat Aug 3 (workshops, meet and greet). Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City,

Learn to be a marine biologist at Dubai Aquarium & UnderwaterDarragh Murphy, 10 Jul 2019 13:24:08 +0400Have a kid that’s completely captivated by the mysteries of marine life and all things aquatic? You need to get them on this special camp.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has set up a hands-on summer camp for all budding marine biologists out there, designed for kids who have a passion for ocean conservation and marine animals (and all those fishies, of course).

Taking place every Sunday to Tuesday from 9am to 3pm, parents can drop their little ones off for a day of activities to get to know all about the aquariums wildlife. An essential part of becoming a marine biologist.

What else is essential learning? Feeding the residents of the aquarium, including saw fish, sharks, rays and sea jellies. Even better, kids can come face-to-face with the furriest critters of them all - the sea otters.

Animals won’t be the only ones that eat, as kids will also get a lunch at the Rainforest Café that’s all part of the package.

Little ones will also take part in arts and crafts, coral propagation activities, a scavenger hunt and plenty more.

The three-day summer camp lasts until Thursday August 29, and costs only Dhs600 for the whole package. The camp is available for kids aged seven to 12.

Looking for even more affordable prices? Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo also has a list of discounts for the marine camp, including a sibling discount of 10 percent for two and 15 percent off for three kids, along with a nifty 20 percent off if kids are enrolled before Saturday June 27.

For the very best summer deals going around right now, including beach clubs, sports and activities the whole family can enjoy, check out the 87 ways to save cash this season right here.
Dhs600 (kids aged seven-12). Until Thursday August 29. Every Sun-Tue, 9am-3pm (drop off from 8.30am). Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (056 177 8868).

Dig into a new breakfast-brunch for just Dhs55Darragh Murphy, 10 Jul 2019 12:10:25 +0400Who’s up for a healthy and hearty breakfast that isn’t too heavy on the wallet?

Park House has launched a special summer pop-up in Dubai Studio City for a special family-friendly breakfast brunch every Friday and Saturday, and it will only cost you Dhs55. Bargain.

Running from 9am until 5pm every weekend until the end of September, expect a selection of Park House-inspired breakfast dishes from smoked salmon and cream cheese to avocado toast.

If you fancy something Mexican to start off your day, Taqado Mexican Kitchen will also be serving up its signature breakfast items, along with a list of healthy bites from Nutri Bowl. There’s even a special menu just for the little ones.

Prices start from just Dhs55 for adults for three breakfast items and a drink, and Dhs25 for kids for one breakfast item, juice, and an ice-lolly. Hopefully the adults can also opt for an ice-lolly.

You can find the special summer pop-up in Building 2 of Studio City, right where Taqado Mexican Kitchen and Nutri Bowl are. No reservations are required here, so just turn up and get eating.

This definitely puts the breakfast back into brunch.
Dhs55 (adults), Dhs25 (kids menu). Fri-Sat, 9am-5pm. Building 2, Dubai Studio City. (04 876 7556).

The World’s Ultimate Strongman is coming back to the UAETim Skinner, 10 Jul 2019 10:41:57 +0400For the second successive year the World’s Ultimate Strongman competition is taking place in the UAE, in Dubai, and it’s going to be bringing, surprise, the world’s strongest men to the emirate.

Taking place on Friday October 25 at Meydan Racecourse in Nad Al Sheba, you can expect to see some absolute units battling it out to be crowned, surprise, the strongest man in the world. As expected, Thor Bjornsson, also known as The Mountain, also known as Ser Gregor from Game of Thrones is due to defend his crown after winning last year. We’re expecting to see challenges like the Atlas balls and presumably some sort of vehicle-tow.

But it’s not just about what’s happening in the competition because there’s going to be loads happening across the day, including a sports zone, petting zoo and face painting for the kids, as well as an inflatable obstacle course, and an intriguingly-named “adrenaline zone” – we can’t wait to find out what’s happening there. You can also learn mixed martial arts and head to the carnival games area to win prizes – or just kick back with a bit of grub from one of the many food trucks knocking about.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at Dhs195 for general admission, or Dhs145 if you can get in during the early bird. Kids under 12 get free entry, and tickets are available at
From Dhs145. Fri Oct 25. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba,

KidZania and Reel Cinemas kids double deal launchesTim Skinner, 10 Jul 2019 10:35:41 +0400If you’re yet to get the little ones out to see Toy Story 4 this summer, then worry not because a kid-friendly cinema deal has been launched by Reel Cinemas that’s going to save you money and guarantees a bit of extra play for the kids this summer.

At The Dubai Mall, KidZania and Reel Cinemas have teamed up meaning you can get a movie and a massive bit of play time for less over the next few hotter months.

Take the little ones to KidZania, followed by a movie at Reel Junior for Dhs139, instead of the Dhs230 if you paid for them both separately.

Kids movies in the cinema at the moment include Toy Story 4 (and the incredible Forky, who you’ll also find at DXB right now…), The Secret Life of Pets, Angry Birds 2 and The Queen’s Corgi.

Head to to book your tickets now. To find loads more summer offers, check out our dedicated channel rounding up the best deals in Dubai this season.
Dhs139. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai,

Keep fit with the kids in the UAE, 09 Jul 2019 06:55:00 +0400Yogabellas
Pre-, post-natal and fertility yoga classes, workshops and retreats in Dubai. Facilitates Mama-and-baby yoga play dates

Pre- and post-natal classes and ‘Active Mums’ training packages plus free babysitting and online support groups.

Urban Energy
Pre- and post-natal classes plus ‘Fit Mums’ training with a soft play area for kids, free babysitting and a cafe.
Kids HQ

Group training (Zumba, yoga, Pilates, cycling, bodypump) and classes for kids 3-14 years (karate, zumba, ballet, dance, kickboxing and gymnastics).

Ds2dio Studio
Ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, tango, zumba and salsa classes for adults and kids from 4 years.

Soul Space
Yoga, Reiki, life coaching classes and workshops across Dubai

Fitness First
A range of classes for adults and kids of all ages across the UAE in swimming, dance, cycling, martial arts, yoga and Xfit kids uae.

Tamryn Fitness
Sessions in yoga, Pilates, functional training, aqua aerobics and tennis plus mother-and-child or kids (under 16) classes in various sports.
Dubai, Sharjah Instagram @mytamryn

Brunch review: Hillhouse Brasserie, 09 Jul 2019 06:36:35 +0400In the Mood for a Yorkshire pudding the size of your head? You’ll want to book brunch at Hillhouse Brasserie, pronto.

This laid-back spot at Dubai Hills Golf Club has a new Friday brunch, that will feel like lazy family Sunday lunch round your grans (with the added bonus of unlimited mixed drinks and oysters, of course).

Set amid the lush greenery of the golf course, this is a restaurant that’s best visited during the day so you can take in the sights around you. There’s a terrace outside that is ideal for winter, but indoors in summer is just as pleasant, with a lively vibe and a bright, airy dining room.

Service is efficient and friendly, and there are loads of families and couples dining on our visit. It’s a fuss-free, anything goes kind of atmosphere, so while you can dress up, it’s not essential.

There are plenty of kids during our visit, as the laid-back, casual setting is ideal for a meal out with the whole family.

Starters kick off with a petite buffet of seafood, with a spread of oysters, octopus salad, tuna tartare and small bowls of retro prawn cocktail. Surprisingly, the latter is the highlight, with the robust mini prawns swimming in a tangy Marie Rose dressing.

More starters arrive to the table, including a tasty beetroot and goat’s cheese salad and a smoked duck salad, which stars delicious slices of pink duck plus chunks of sweet, almost Peking duck-style meat, which pairs well with the citrus fruit studded in there too.

Next up are sharing mains – the highlight of which is a smoked haddock fishcake. Buttery, flavoursome and rich, it’ll remind Brits of gastropub grub back home. It sits on a bed of creamy sauce and wilted greens and it’s a hit, with all ages loving the soft texture and delicate fish.

The fresh, creamy mushroom risotto topped with a Parmesan crisp is also gobbled up eagerly. Although there’s not a massive selection of food, what’s on offer is top quality, and the team will happily cater for smaller diners, too.

“But what about that Yorkshire pudding you lured us in with?” we hear you exclaim. Exactly. The roast dinner is what this brunch is all about. A carving station sits in the corner offering up beef and lamb, both of which are tender and tasty.

If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat red meat however, we’re surprised that there’s no veggie alternative to the main, so be prepared to load up on carbs.

The whole gang will be thrilled with the heaps of rich and creamy cauliflower cheese, crisp roasties, al dente carrots, rich, meaty gravy and of course that massive, utterly delicious Yorkie and get ready for a mid-afternoon snooze.

There’s also a dessert and cheese platter but you’ll probably be too stuffed to need either, so settle back with a drink and enjoy the live music, too.

With a warm, family-friendly vibe, a decent selection of drinks and hearty grub, this is a relaxed and fun way to spend a Friday with friends. For a down-to-earth, homely brunch that’s not going to break the bank, this is one to try at the weekend.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs495 (sparkling). Fri 1pm-4pm. Dubai Hills Golf Club, Al Khail Road, Dubai (800 666 353).

A family-friendly brunch at Dubai Hills Golf Club

The absolutely massive Yorkshire puds

Magnolia Bakery opens on Palm JumeirahAmy Mathieson, 09 Jul 2019 05:41:29 +0400Famed cake shop  Magnolia Bakery has arrived on Palm Jumeirah – and as fans of everything dessert, we’re excited.

Magnolia Bakery opened yesterday (Monday July 8) in Golden Mile Galleria, Building Three, on the Palm, which is sure to delight Palm residents with a sweet tooth.

The bakery opened in New York’s West Village in 1996, boasting vintage décor and best-selling cupcakes. The popular bakery burst into the global spotlight thanks to references in US TV series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, as the show visited the original Bleeker Street branch in New York. There are now three branches in Dubai – with the others being in Dubai Festival City and The Dubai Mall.

Not only is the chain super-popular for its cupcakes – it’s also well known for its gooey, moreish banana pudding.

Have a birthday coming up and can’t cook? You’re in luck as the bakery also produces made-to-order cakes at its Custom Cake Salon.

Fancy visiting this weekend? From Friday July 12 to Sunday July 14 the branch is giving guests the chance to win a year’s supply of the famed banana pudding – all you need to do is search for a golden ticket hidden within the restaurant.
Open daily 7am-11pm. Golden Mile Galleria, Building Three, Palm Jumeirah (04 564 3443).

Review: Stoke House, 08 Jul 2019 09:41:39 +0400Nestled in Damac Damac Hills at Trump International Golf Club, Stoke House is a decent newish addition to the gastropub scene in Dubai.

The venue itself is split into four distinct areas – indoor dining, outdoor dining/lounge, bar, bar terrace. If you’re heading to dine you’ll be well away from the bar area, and the airy, bright restaurant is ideal for families.

The large venue overlooks the greenery of the 500-acre golf course and the expansive terrace is a great spot to while away a lazy weekend afternoon in cooler weather.

Dishes include Scotch eggs, pizzas, nachos et al, and it’s all decent, hearty grub. You’re not going to be blown away, but for steady pub food, you’ll be happy.

There’s a special kids’ menu too, with dishes including fish fingers and chips, a turkey ham and cheese toastie, spaghetti bolognaise, pizza and mac and cheese. There’s also roasted salmon and veg as a healthy option. All dishes fall under Dhs45, too.

Kids will also love the dessert menu, which includes a banana spilt or Nutella pizza.

Portions are huge too, with a plate of the veggie risotto – a green feast studded with asparagus, broccoli and peas – being more than enough to fill you up. A seafood salad is also massive, with a mountain of well-dressed leaves, prawns, squid and smoked salmon.

If you’re after something more homely and traditional, opt for the pie and chips. It’s a proper pie (AKA covered in pastry all the way around, no flimsy lids here) and has rich, tasty meat inside (beef on our visit).

The vibe is friendly and there’s also a range of deals and events including a make your own pizza night on a Monday, a Tuesday barbecue night and a Sunday sharing-style meal for families including soft drinks for kids and a bottle of grape for the parents.

Stoke House is a decent new weekend spot if you live in the area, but you’d probably not rush there if you don’t.
Open daily 6.30am-11.45pm. Licensed. Trump International Golf Course, Damac Hills, Dubai (04 245 3939).

Chilled-out golf club restaurant

For views across the greens and the bright, airy restaurant

Eight indoor activities for kids in the UAE this summer, 08 Jul 2019 08:37:19 +0400Not every kid wants to play sports or be competitive. These arts, craft and cooking classes and camps for kids are sure to excite more creative little souls.

Art Explorers Summer Camps
Children and teenagers are invited to explore the Louvre Abu Dhabi and learn about world history and culture during their Art Explorers Summer Camps. Kicking off this month, Art Explorers for Children (ages six-11) and Teenagers (ages 12-16) will offer hands-on activities, workshops, film and interactive games, plus they can document adventures throughout Ancient Egypt, Africa and Europe in their own travel scrapbook.
Dhs280 for one day, Dhs1,000 for four days. Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (600 565 566).


All you need to do at an ArtistPals event is show up and take your seat – they’ll provide all the materials you need including a canvas, colours, brushes and an apron. Each event follows a painting theme and a trained artist will guide you and your child (from seven years) through each step while encouraging you to get creative in your own way. Parents are encouraged to attend art parties with their kids and after two hours, you’ll take home two painted canvases of your own creation. ArtistPals host events in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ruwais at weekends.
Dhs120 per ticket. For more information, visit

Café Ceramique
Part café, part art studio, Café Ceramique has been helping kids discover art and design through pottery painting for more than 15 years. Its locations across the UAE are open seven days a week, offering pottery and art classes and workshops for kids, groups and parties. Kids (from four years) can paint a white ceramic piece, an animal or a mug for example, and the item can be picked up after one week when it’s dry.
Dhs39-65. Various locations,

Ever made your own lollipop? Family classes at Candylicious (opposite the Aquarium, Dubai Mall) teach you and your kids to work together to design your very own lollipops. Led by a master candy maker, the two-hour workshop will start with an introduction to candy-making and the ingredients used, followed by a demonstration before you and your group are let loose to get your hands sticky in designing your own.
Prices vary. The Dubai Mall (04 330 8700)


Take your mini-me on a tour of Italy with a cooking class at Carluccio’s where a chef will teach them the basics of pasta and pizza making. Kids are introduced to the ingredients, cooking steps, hygiene and safety before getting to the juicy stage of making and then eating their own pasta. Classes are 90 minutes and each child will take home a chef’s hat, certificate and group photograph. Dhs49 per child (from three years) on Thursdays and Saturdays, phone your nearest Carluccio’s to book. They will host a class anytime for more than five to seven kids.
Various locations,

Dubai community arts space thejamjar is hosting a summer camp from 10.30am-12.30pm daily until July 11 and from August 18-29. Designed to give young art enthusiasts the chance to learn about different artists and art forms in a fun, interactive environment, with artistic projects, puzzles and games each day, the camp will be divided into two age groups, three to five years and six to 14 years.
Dhs180 per day, Dhs855 for one week, Dhs1,600 for two weeks. Al Quoz (04 341 7303)

If you dream of having a junior sushi chef at home, Asian restaurant Tanuki will make your dream a reality. Their one-hour sushi master class takes place every Saturday from 4pm-5pm for children from ten years where a chef will teach them how to make perfect sushi and nigiri rolls for Dhs49.
The Dubai Mall (04 580 8228)

The Chef’s Palette
Aspiring junior chefs aged from eight to 14 years have the opportunity to spend two hours of interactive fun with a Michelin trained chef at The Chef’s Palette. From September, Chef Romain Van Durmen will conduct a two-hour interactive class every week (Monday and Tuesday from 4pm-6pm) or enroll your child in a ten-week workshop for the ultimate culinary adventure.
Fairmont The Palm (04 457 3457).