A fellow mama told me that there was a fab – relatively new- play area in JLT so off I went, kids revved up and ready for fun in the back of the car in search of this amazing sounding place. A couple of missed turns, 2 trips on the same bit of the SZR and several loops of JLT later, we finally arrived at what we assumed (from a quick google search) was the place only to leave again 10 minutes later after mama had a huge strop at paying a significant amount of money only for kids to be plonked in front of a tv in a small room – we can do that at home for free thank you very much. I vowed never to return but was curious as to how my source – a trustworthy and totally cool mama – would think this place so fantastic so did some research (properly this time, not a 2 second google) only to find that I had visited the wrong place. Tail between my legs, off we drove to JLT again – the kids less keen this time and asking ‘are you going to shout at the lady with the tv again mummy’ every 5 minutes. Ooops.
Round 2 and we were in luck. Kiddies Café (google this name mamas if you’re planning to play in JLT) really is worth the trip to JLT – a cute little play area that has only been open for a short while so it still has a lovely clean and bright feel – the space is divided into different zones to keep the littles busy and interested.
To reach the play area you have to walk through the café part of Kiddies Café – a gorgeous modern space with wooden floors, stylish furniture and – the best part of all – a glass partition wall that allows you to sit with a coffee or catch up with some work (there’s free WiFi) and keep an eye on the little ones on the other side. There are plenty of lovely Kiddies Café staff on hand to help too.
My 3 made a beeline for the beautiful wooden 2 storey house complete with lovely little touches (window boxes, white picket fence – all very cute!). Without any prompting, the boys started tinkering away in the ‘garage’, ‘fixing up’ toy cars and being all manly with a toolkit while my daughter headed straight to the ‘kitchen’ and started mopping the floor – what’s with that mamas?! The mini house is opposite a scaled down supermarket complete with produce, cash register and little trolleys where the boys had a blast playing at being grown-ups before joining their sister for a bit of ‘cooking’ and then taking up residence on the upper floor, clearly very pleased with their new home.
Just next to the kiddie village is a small but well-designed soft play area where children can scale steps, crawl through tunnels and whizz down slides while mamas watch from the sidelines – every now and then waving to a face that pops up inside the Perspex domes.
An adjacent room is set up for arts and crafts plus there’s a tv for movie screenings but there’s so much other stuff going on that the kids will be drawing and gluing rather than glued to the screen. The littles grabbed some play dough and got creative, spending the last part of their hour’s play squishing, moulding and sculpting before it was time to tackle leaving and mama performed her usual pleading/chasing/bribing routine.
Kiddies Café is a super fun little play area with a divine café and a clean bright vibe – the kids loved it – definitely worth braving JLT for (and not to be confused with the other play area whose name we shall not mention!).
pssst….parking is easy to find – as soon as you drive into Cluster Y park in the far right corner – and it’s free too mamas!
Kiddies Café JLT
Cluster Y, Lake Shore Tower, Dubai, (+971)(0)43608571, www.kiddiescafe.com