Fun Kids Activities That You’ll Love Joining In With
With Valentine’s Day on the cards this week, we’ve put together 14 of the loveliest and most fun ways to spend time with the kids in Dubai. From painting to picnicking, picking your own veg to breakfasting with some of their fave TV characters and loads more – it’s time to reconnect with your little people and have some fun!
We’re all for spaces which encourage creativity and freedom – particularly when we can get involved with the kids. The newly opened Medaf Studio has the best solution to painting on walls without getting in trouble in an expression room which will allow you and the fam to paint/draw/scribble on everything from the walls to the floor. Yup, here’s a place for getting messy and having fun too (plus keeping the mess OUT of the house!). And if you want to take your artwork away with you, each of you get a canvas too so that you can adorn the walls of your own home (without drawing on them!). There are qualified artists and art assistants on hand to help out, a café on site for that much-needed latte and loads more (check out their birthday party packages and school holiday camps too – hooray!). Time to paint the town (wall) red!
Get a 10% discount on a session in the Expression Room. Simply tag @medafstudio on Instagram and use the hashtag #sassyreaderslovemedafstudio – valid until Saturday, 30 June, 2018.
Hands down one of our most favourite family excursions, Dubai Creek and ‘old’ Dubai has so much to offer in the way of fun and adventure (without breaking the bank!). Jump on a traditional Abra and cross the water from before jumping off and grabbing a delicious coffee and real Italian gelato at a waterfront café, wandering into the souks and exploring the magical winding alleyways of the Al Fahidi Cultural District where there are courtyard cafes, art galleries and surprise street art pieces to discover. Guaranteed fun for everyone.
Here’s one for all the competitive mamas and dads out there! You know how much we’ve raved about new indoor play space OliOli , particularly because this is somewhere to engage with the kids rather than just drop-off or watch from the sides. And it’s the ‘Cars & Ramps’ zone which really gets us and the kids working together as a team, to build cars out of Lego and then launch them down ramps to see if their design will withstand the speed. Divide the fam into teams and see whose car will win (and expect lots of shouting and cheering along the way…).
Brekkie out with the littles can take on a whole new level of fun (plus eliminate the stress that comes with trying to keep them entertained and happy at the table) at Mattel Play! Town with some of their fave kiddie characters. From Barney to Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam to Pingu plus Mike the Knight and Angelina Ballerina, there’ll be photo opps galore and magical moments with the character of the day. And as for the food – you can expect everything from fresh fruit to homemade bread and pastries, muesli, yoghurts, scrambled eggs a live pancake station and even a cheeseboard plus juice for the little ones and coffee for mama. Perfect. And once you’ve refueled, the kids can have a play in Mattel! Play Town too – hooray!
Who can build the biggest, best LEGO® raft? You and your fam can! At Legoland Waterpark you can imagine, design and build your very own vessel from large soft LEGO bricks before floating around the lazy (or rather not-so-lazy) river. The kids will love getting stuck into a project as a family team – and then seeing whose raft will get down river the fastest!
While the weather is cool enough there’s nothing like setting up camp and sleeping under canvas with your little gang. If you’ve never been before or you like your little luxuries (and want someone else to take care of the tent etc and guarantee you a comfy night’s sleep) then book a trip with the Arabian Glamping team who have the most gorgeous tents and who’ll sort everything from the location to the food and even pretty fairy lights to complete the magical experience! Arabian Adventures also offer an overnight experience in the pristine Dubai Conservation Reserve complete with pick up/drop off, camel rides, bbq dinner and permanent tents with double beds.
The very brilliant Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project has an turtle rehabilitation enclosure located at the gorgeous Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel. This enclosure is open to the public every day of the week so you can go and look at these magical creatures (while having a treat from Black Tap or the Flamingo Rooms By Tashas) but on Wednesdays at 11am you can get a little more up close and personal via scheduled feedings that anyone is welcome to join (there’s no need to book, simply turn up – priority is given to little kids of course!). Feeding takes about 20 minutes and access to the turtle lagoon is through the lobby of the hotel. We love.
We love Dubai Garden Centre and all the simple pleasures it brings. Whether you’re after a seriously good cup of coffee while the little ones sip on a babyccino (the Roseleaf Café is one of our absolute favourite spots in Dubai – the homemade cakes are to-die-for), you’re going to feed the fish or wander through all the greenery, this little haven is just so good for the soul. And each weekend a lovely outdoor market buzzes with vendors, artisan goods, handicrafts and food stalls plus cute activities for you and the kids to get stuck into. From making necklaces to sensory play, a free splash pad and bouncy castle too – this is a really lovely place to spend time as a family. Buy up some plants and get the kids involved in their own little piece of garden or just a pot or window box too!
A cross between walking into a fairytale and an Alice in Wonderland style adventure, Dubai Miracle Garden is an outdoor space made up of crazy floral creations. With billions of flowers and colours planted into all sorts of shapes and creations, this is a fab place for a run around and for snapping some really cute photos of you all amongst the blooms (that heart archway is an instagram mamas dream!). And don’t miss the Emirates Airbus A380 created entirely of flowers – amazing! The Butterfly Park is right next door too if you want to combine the two.
All a-board! Whether you’re a novice or you’re pretty nifty on a paddle board, taking the kids out with you is SO much fun (plus pretty good exercise too…). Boards are available to hire at loads of locations from the palm jumeirah to Sunset Beach but it’s Kite Beach that we love most, particularly as the mornings almost always guarantee beautiful flat waters that are perfect for honing your technique and developing confidence (or just staying on the board!). Simply rock up (you’ll see the board rental set-up just on the water’s edge), get lifejackets on and off you go! The kids can sit on the front of your board as you take them on an ocean adventure along the coast.
Fancy picking your own, mamas? Al Rahba Organic Farm No. 182 is actually in Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai but is so worth the hour long drive on a Saturday when they open up their fields and green houses to families looking to have a go at harvesting their own fruit and veg. From kale to pumpkin, aubergine to celery, potatoes, beetroots, figs, lemons, salad leaves and loads more – all you have to do is take a bag (no plastic, please!) and wander around choosing whatever you love to eat (we’re hoping this is a good way to get the little ones to eat their greens!). Open from 9 am to 6pm each Saturday, entry is free and you’ll be charged for the produce you choose once it’s weighed. Oh and there’s a section of already picked veggies too if you feel like boosting your crop.
GPS coordinates: 24.611083,54.695732
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Despite being a desert city, Dubai’s full of amazing parks for you and the fam to explore, picnic and play in. Safa 2 Park near the Al Manara Road is the perfect place for little tots – with 3 shaded playgrounds and oodles of secure space, it’s just the right size for a good run-around without the fear of getting lost while Al Khazzan Park just opposite City Walk not only has plenty of lawn for laying out a blanket and great views of the Burj Khalifa but also the cutest little café, Inn The Park, where you can sit and sip a coffee under the shade of a huge old ghaff tree. And of course Ripe Market at Zabeel Park is perfect for weekend fun with the promise of plenty of delicious treats for nibbling on too.
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Whether the kids are begging for a four-legged friend or you’ve already got one at home and would just like to help another who isn’t so lucky – book in for the K9 Friends dog walking programme and treat one of their gorgeous rescues to a much-loved wander away from their kennel. Not only is this good exercise but also really great for the soul and a lovely way to teach the kids about doing good in the world. Warning though…you might end up falling in love with one of these wonderful woofs and end up with one (or two) new family members.
If you need some family fun at the weekends then look no further than Dubai Creek Harbour where – for the next 3 months, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between noon and midnight – you can eat, be entertained, play and chill outdoors while soaking up the most insane view of the Dubai skyline.
Featuring everything from live performances to unique foodie concepts, workshops and kids activities (including screenings of some of our fave family movies, interactive mad science sessions and a fabulous playground) there’s absolutely loads to get stuck into. But it’s the views here that steal the show – sit and enjoy the sun setting behind the Burj Khalifa – completely magical.