Fun spots to take the kiddos in this heat!
If there’s one thing we’re not short of in Dubai it’s indoor play options for the kids – an absolute must when the city gets hot, hotter, absolutely baking! From ball-pits to interactive play zones, spaces to whizz around on wheels to good old-fashioned climbing structures for plenty of monkeying around, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best indoor play spaces in Dubers. Don’t forget to check out our full roundup of soft plays in Dubai, ten ways for sporty kiddos to be active over summer in Dubai, and our top five family-friendly Privilee pools! Oh, and remember your socks mama, we ALWAYS forget!
Want your little munchkin to burn off some of that excess energy, while avoiding the sweltering Dubai heat? Well, look no further than Ibn Battuta Mall where the newly renovated CreaKids Play Zone complete with trampolines, a 3-story play structure, big slide, and multiple playhouses, plus daily themed crafts and activities will keep little ones aged 1 – 10 years occupied and very happy. Priding itself on an environment that’s creative, vibrant and stimulating – with a big focus on cleanliness, safety and security (tick, tick and tick) The Play Zone is a great spot for Birthday Parties and Mum’s Groups – grab your mama friends and head over for their special ‘mums mornings’ on Sundays – Thursdays from 11am – 3pm where 2 hours of accompanied play will cost you only AED 50. Perfect.
Need to run around the shops? CreaKids also offer a ‘drop and shop’ service so that you can sort your groceries (or get that mani-pedi) in the knowledge that your little people are in expert hands and having a tonne of fun. And why not buy the 10 or 20 session passes? The more your kiddos play, the more you save, mamas – hooray!
Open daily from 11am – 10pm
Even if you’re not a JLT mama, a trip to this part of town – and specifically to the Kiddies Café play area – is totally worth it if you have little people to entertain. As the name suggests, this is part play space and part café, meaning that mama can get her fix of caffeine while the kiddos have a ball inside, assisted by super friendly staff (and in full-view through large glass windows).
If your small people are keen on playing grown-up then a scaled down ‘supermarket’ is perfect for filling little baskets with toy fruits and foods while a ‘mini-garage’ allows for tinkering around with tools and a gorgeous wooden 2-storey playhouse is just about the cutest thing ever. There’s a fab little 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 and an arts & crafts room where they can unleash their creativity.
And it gets better mamas, these guys also do the coolest customised birthday parties that guarantee a great time for all (you included) – combining their fab space with zero stress and plenty of fun and games.
Kiddies Café, Cluster Y, JLT Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0) 4 360 8571, www.kiddiescafe.com
Open daily from 10am – 7pm
City Walk’s brand new play space, Mattel Play! Town, is divided into different zones – all of which offer a unique way for the kids to use their imagination. We love the Barney area on the top floor – the most peaceful of all the zones, decorated to look like an outdoor park with slides to fly down and rope ladder bridges to scramble across plus mini climbing walls and wooden benches for mama to watch from. The walls are painted with trees and birdsong is piped into the space to complete the vibe. It’s pricey but a fabulous summer treat.
Mattel World, City Walk Dubai (‘J’ Parking Section)
Tel: +971 (0) 4317 3999
Open daily from 10am -10pm
If you have boisterous boys or a mixed age group then the play area at Extreme Fun is perfect – with dedicated zones to suit all ages and skills, whether they’re only tottering about or need to jump and climb. Located just above the Union Co-Op Supermarket in Satwa, this play space is a recent discovery for the Sassy crew and we’re so glad to have found it – with masses of space, loads of natural light, a café and tables with a full view of everywhere that your little monkeys will be playing – it’s just perfect. There’s a dedicated trampoline area, electric cars to ride, structures to climb and slides to whizz down. Definitely one of the better thought out indoor play areas in the city. Oh, and it’s really clean too. Brilliant.
For curious kids who love to figure out how things work by getting hands on, Little Explorers offers a mix of education and entertainment in 5 zones; Discover Myself, Locate Myself, I Can Do, All Together and I Experiment, where kids can discover, explore and work together through lots of fun activities that incorporate the elements, space, the human body and more. The idea is for kids to learn physical as well as social and emotional skills through interacting with their petit peers –this place is a real Sassy Mama fave and a very popular choice for the kids.
They also offer 60 -minute workshops with hands-on activities and supervised exploration of the five Zones, every day on the hour.
Mirdif City Centre (inside Playnation), Tel: (+971) (0)80 0386, www.theplaymania.com/little-explorers
Also now in Dubai Marina Mall!
Many mamas rave about this Umm Suqeim Street indoor play area – and for good reason. Designed by a mum (with input from her kiddos, the real experts in all things fun), Kids HQ has recently had a makeover, which means that it’s even better and brighter than it was before. We love the sense of space, the little track for little ones to race their wheels around, the climbing area with slides, ball-pit, and mini trampoline – and the dedicated baby area that’ll keep your tinies safe stimulated and away from the bigger kids. Older kiddos can get stuck into a building and create with fabulous blocks, designed to get imaginations fired up, easy to use and mega safe too. And while the kidlets are happy in their respective zones, mama can relax with a cup of Jo. Just remember your socks too or you’ll be wearing rather attractive plastic shoe-covers to get in.
Now here’s the scoop, there’s a special offer only for Sassy Mama readers: if you have two children from 6 months to 8 years, simply mention Sassy Mama and you’ll only pay for one child while your other one gets to play for free. This special offer is applicable only for play time and not to summer camp. Get there fast, mamas, as the offer is open until Thursday, 31 August, 2017.
Opening hours: Sunday-Wednesdays 8.30am-7pm, Thursdays 8.30am-8pm, Fridays 10am-8pm, Saturdays 8.30am-8pm
Seriously mamas, if you’ve never taken the fam to Kidzania then you’re missing a trick. A massive indoor kid-sized town where children quite literally run the show, little ones are encouraged to work for their ‘money’ (issued by the Kidzania bank of course) and enjoy role-playing in little replica versions of everything from a hospital to a fire-station, juice factory to a DHL office.
If they’re curious about trying their hand as a pilot, dentist, chef, musician or fashion stylist and just about every other career you can think of in a really fun way then this place is a must. Mamas can check the kids into the ‘real’ world for a while or watch them go to work (literally) from a nearby lounge.
Suitable from 4 years and up. There are soft play areas for younger kids but they must be supervised at all times.
Sassy Mama Tip: Go early to avoid the crowds
Dubai Mall, Level 2 (opposite Reel Cinemas), Tel: (+971)(0) 4 448 5222, www.kidzania.ae
Opening hours: Morning session 10am-4pm, Evening session 5pm-11pm
Galeries LaFayette has taken its French heritage to a whole new level with a built up French town replica for kids called Le Petit Palais. Your petit people get to explore a mini Boulangerie, Salon de Beaute and even a little Chateau – plus get stuck into arts & crafts, ride around on motorbikes and do all of the general fun stuff that soft play areas offer – just this one is a tad more stylish.
Role play plus a bit of European flair? Mais oui! A trip to France without the airfare – and perfectly positioned right next to Lafayette Gourmet for refuelling once everyone is all played out. Need to get some shopping done? Le Petit Palais offer a ‘drop and shop’ service that’ll ensure your kiddos are having oodles of fun while you’re trawling the mall.
Opening hours: Saturday & Sunday 10am-10pm
An indoor playroom that’s been designed to look like a park – complete with painted trees, blue skies, wooden play structures and even a few strategically placed little benches for exhausted mamas to chillax on (yippee!)… that’s exactly what Kids Connection is. We love the feeling of space, the absence of bright flashy lights and noisy games machines – and the fact that whenever we’ve been it’s been quiet enough for the kids to roam without bumping into each other.
Kids Connection definitely gets the Sassy Mama stamp of approval for keeping our littlies entertained for the entire 2 hours you pay for, which by the way is only AED45 per child, AED35 for under 3 years- pretty darn decent for Dubers in our opinion!
Wafi Mall, Oud Metha Road, Dubai, Tel: (+971) 4 327 9011
Fairytales is a magical little play area that’s all about escaping reality. There are no gadgets, flashy lights or hectic sounds here – this is a kiddie fantasy come true where little imaginations can soar and make-believe rules. Created by two mamas with a yearning to give kids something different, Fairytales is all about nurturing a child’s spirit of adventure and creativity in a safe and healthy environment. With a beautifully crafted pirate ship, a ‘tree of knowledge’ and a two-storey castle at the Fairytales centre, kids are encouraged to play at being their fave characters and reconnect with traditional toys, props, puzzles and dress-up kit.
G/F, Jumeirah Town Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 04 344 5030, www.facebook.com/
This article was originally published in July 2016. This is updated with latest offers.
All images are taken from the Facebook page of the respective play areas. Featured Images from Kids Connection Facebook page.