Kids’ parties are a serious business in this wonderful city of ours – from gold plated favours to requests for re-uniting the Spice Girls, Dubai’s party planners have seen it all. But fear not mamas, there are plenty of ways to make sure your little people and their friends have a fabulous time without having to raid a bank. We’ve done a little research and put together our favourite birthday party ideas – from the most unique venues to blow their birthday candles out in, to entertainers and all the stuff in between. It’s their party and they can cry if they want to – but we really wouldn’t want that – so let’s give the little ones something to smile about, put our party hats on and celebrate mamas!
First thing’s first, it ain’t a party with no guests – so set a date and get those invites out pronto!
Ok so we don’t have a door to door postal system in Dubai – but who needs a postman anyways when you’ve got paperless post – the best (and most eco-friendly) way to send your invites?! Create an account, pick your design, input your email addresses and hit send! Too easy! Recipients will get a emailed version of an envelope to ‘open’ and RSVP to – plus you can track which haven’t been seen yet. The hard part is choosing which design to go for – they are all totally gorgeous (an excuse for more parties maybe mamas?!)
We’re not short of party venues in Dubai, all of the soft play areas have party packages (check out our list for the best ones here) as do beauty salons, hotel kids’ clubs and restaurants – the options are endless. Here are our suggestions for something a little different.
Al Manara Fire Station
If it’s a quirky party idea that you’re after – you can be sure that this one is at the top of the list. Head to the fire station and your birthday girl or boy plus all party guests will get to meet the firemen, explore the station, have party food among the fire trucks and even go for a ride complete with blue lights and sirens (as long as there aren’t any fires to put out). Visit the station in advance to book a date – there’s no charge for venue hire but they do ask that your theme/décor is fire-station related so as to highlight the great job these guys are doing.
Treat your mini artists and their guests to a paint your own party at Café Ceramique and let them get messy on someone else’s watch! Get them busy making their own party bag mementos from moneyboxes to plates, bowls and a range of other ceramics to decorate, so they can unleash their inner artists to create something beautiful and practical. Party packages also include options for in house catering depending on budget.
Tower Centre Mall, Jumeirah
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 3447331
Inject a little creativity into a birthday with a party at Paperlane – from scrapbooking to card making, these guys do it all while making the little people feel as special as possible in a 2 hour slot. Party goers are taken to Café Ceramique for birthday snacks and cupcake treats from Sweet Lane are also provided. This is one for the girls as there’s lots of glitter, flowers and pretty artsy stuff involved!
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 344 3633
Posh Paws Petting Farm
Got a little animal lover on your hands? Posh Paws Petting Farm offers the chance to get up close and personal with a whole heap of creatures (including ponies, goats, rabbits, ferrets, baboons and porcupines). The kids can feed, pet and even ride (ponies only of course) the animals while learning fun facts about each one. Mamas and papas can relax in a party tent while the Posh Paws team keep the kids entertained. If you’d rather that the animals (or a selection of them anyways!) came to you, that’s also possible – and there’s always the option of adopting if you get really attached to any of them!
During the hotter months, a party on the slopes is the coolest thing (literally). Ski Dubai offers various packages for parties between 10-25 people – from entry to the snow park to hanging out with penguins plus food from the St. Moritz café – they can also take care of invitations and decorations . Note the age minimum is 3 years old.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 409 4000
The Great Outdoors
With cooler weather on the horizon, Dubai’s beaches are an ideal option for a birthday party al fresco. You can buy a pop up gazebo for not very much at all at the hypermarkets and outdoor adventure stores, accessorise with bunting, balloons and a couple of rugs for sitting on et voila – your very own party venue on the sand. Pack up a cool box with drinks and snacks, play games and let the little ones run riot – we love this option. Not a fan of all that sand in your sandwiches? Reserve a spot in one of Dubai’s parks for outdoor celebrations (we particularly love Safa 2 park just off Al Manara but there are so many fab options). Just chat to the people at the gates in advance to firm up your date and then bring in your own food, tables, party games etc.
A birthday party wouldn’t be complete without a cake – if you fancy a go at making your own then check out this ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE – super easy and completely delicious – or hit up one of these recommended bakeries and order in.
What Bella doesn’t know about cakes isn’t worth knowing. A trained architect, her creations are artistic masterpieces with each custom made cake striving to make your munchkins dream a reality cake. She also does, cupcakes and cookies that look too beautiful to eat (but eat you will once you get a taste mamas!)
Cakes ‘n’ Bakes
Looking for a cake with a personal touch? Then look no further than this family run two person business. They aim to create ‘wow’ out-of-the-ordinary, custom made cakes and your little one can request anything from a Barbie to Superman – we particularly love their fairytale castles and pirate cakes (check out their website for inspiration mamas!). They also do cake pops, cookies and other baked treats.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 454 2287
House of Cakes
Super fab, fun and inspiring – custom made to exactly what your little one is hoping for and more. These cakes might be too pretty to cut, but hey… also too delicious to hold back! These guys do Frozen really well if you have a wannabe Anna birthday girl at home!
China Cluster, Bldg D-04, Shop 1
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 4206973
Cakes, cakes and more cakes – the Hummingbird Bakery is all about authentic American baking using the very best ingredients. From cupcakes to whoopie pies (buttercream sandwiched between the Hummingbird sponge – utterly delicious), every item is baked fresh that day by a team of resident expert bakers and cake decorators. Choose from a huge range of flavours including the ever popular Red Velvet and our personal favourite the Chocolate Malt (malty, chocolately, gooey – get the picture?!) The littles will love the beautiful rainbow cake for their birthday treat.
City Walk Dubai
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 385 4506
Mall Of The Emirates
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 399 0352
Telephone: (+971) (0) 800-HBIRD
Sukar House Of Desserts
Snickers cheesecake, oreo cupcakes, cakes shaped into any character your birthday girl or boy desires – need we say more? This charming little store does cakes super well – pop into their JLT outlet for a taste!
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 454 7805
If you’re partying at home or your venue allows an outside caterer, these guys will make sure that mama can stay out of the kitchen and at the heart of the party action.
Dish Catering and Events
As one of Dubai’s most reputable boutique catering & event management companies, Dish also have a menu just for kids, including all of the classic faves and more! Did someone say popcorn chicken, mini cheeseburgers and pizza squares?! The selection of dishes they have is just perfect for the minis. It ain’t cheap, but if it’s quality you’re after then you won’t be disappointed.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 422 1613
One of the leading catering companies in Dubai with oodles of experience in knowing just what their guests – whatever the age – enjoy munching on. Check out their menu for a little taste of what’s on offer.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 3473808
A cute family run business that will ensure your standards are surpassed and little tummies are full. With a very special kids’ menu, Marta offers treats that are certainly fun but also healthy.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 5 037 98082
The Lime Tree Cafe
A mama favourite, Lime Tree offer delicious but healthy food that’s kid-tested and mum-approved… what more can we ask for?! The flexible menu allows you to create the perfect combo for your party – they also offer foodie goody bags, if that’s what you’re after!
Jumeirah 1, Beach road
We love all the old fashioned games – from musical chairs to pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel and sleeping lions, you can’t beat them – but if you’re looking for a few extras then rely on the experts to help create a little magic.
Azur Spa On Wheels
One for the petite princesses for whom lounging in bathrobes with their girlie friends while enjoying mini mani-pedis, hairdos, airbrush tattoos and makeup is the ultimate birthday treat. Azur Spa’s ‘sparty package’ comes to you at home or at a party venue – this is a party activity that mamas will want in on!
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 447 5284
Bouncy Castles (and more)
We are all about supporting the mamapreneurs out there, so here’s a big cheer to these two mamas who offer bouncy castle and party furniture hire from their homes in Emirates Hills. They’re priced much lower than the usual companies with some of the proceeds going to charity. In their own words, ‘We are just two mums who thought it would be nice to share the bouncy love’.
Forget the jelly, it’s all about the ice cream! Kids and sweet stuff go hand in hand so what better way to celebrate than with a visit from the ice cream man on their birthday?! The kids get to rush out and meet the van as it drives up to your venue or home, while the chimes play “happy birthday!” to add that extra special touch. For party bookings, there is a minimum spend (easily reached with a group of kids!)
Tired of the usual entertainment? If your little guests just love to get loud, then an African drumming session makes for an exciting musical party activity. Watch the kids turn into a tribe, drumming and having fun with rhythmical party games, African dancing and plenty of singing. A big hit with all ages, all drums and percussion instruments provided – great indoors or out.
Telephone: (+971) (0)4 347 4790
If creating bubbling potions, getting slimed, making putty, creating bouncy balls and building periscopes sounds like your kiddo’s idea of fun, then get a certified Mad Scientist to bring interactive experiments to the party. Choose from a laboratory full of interactive demonstrations and activities perfect for children aged 5 to 12 years old (they also have options for 3- 5 year olds, just call and ask).
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 337 7403
Me & Riley
Magic shows, puppet shows, story telling, face painting, dress ups, pizza making, …and that’s just for starters mamas – this company does it all and in a really tasteful way. Pulling together the best of the best, your kids are guaranteed the party of the year when these guys are involved.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 50 2867896
Splash N Bounce
If you’re having a pool party or a garden gathering, these guys offer a wide range of inflatables and entertainment, including face painting, balloon modelling and arts & crafts (plus a party planning service if you feel like you need a little help). Catering to all age groups from toddler to teens, the dragon obstacle course is a best seller for fun on hard ground, grass or water!
Telephone: (+971) (0) 48135785
The Big Moo
If you’re looking to inject a little energy into the mix, go for soapy soccer, zorbing or even an inflatable racetrack for mini quad bikes from The Big Moo – after all that action, your kids are guaranteed a good night’s sleep (the best gift for mamas!). They also offer a whole lot more, from magicians to face painters, dancers to DJs – this is a one stop party shop.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 341 9935
For the slightly older crowd, we recommend calling on Danielle at Transformers to add that ‘wow’ factor and a heap of sparkle to your party, be it through extraordinarily costumed characters (we’re talking abstract not Disney), unique table centerpieces, interactive fotopods or digital graffiti walls. Guaranteed to help create a party to remember.
Telephone: (+971) (0) 4 455 8640
So there you go mamas, we’ve made party planning for tots to teens a piece of cake. Here’s wishing them a very Happy Birthday!
Top image sourced via Pinterest