1 – appleseeds Dubai Summer Membership
I’m so impressed with appleseeds Dubai that we have become members – and the great news is that the centre is offering summer membership deals so you can hide from the heat. The play area is one of best thought out I’ve seen in Dubai – and there are also classes, a café area (open after Ramadan), and a fun-packed summer camp. I highly recommend giving it a go over summer!
Unlimited for July; Dhs475 per family. Unlimited for July and August; Dhs700 per family. appleseeds Dubai, Gold and Diamond Park. www.appleseedsdubai.com
2 – Julia Donaldson Summer Camp
This camp almost made me cancel my summer holiday! Such an inspired idea for little Julia Donaldson fans, with a different story from the famous author introduced to children every day through mediums including arts and crafts, mask making, puppet shows, drama workshops, and much more.
Dhs1,000 per week. July 5-17 2015, 10am-1pm (morning) or 2pm-5pm. The Courtyard Playhouse Theatre, Street 4B, Al Quoz. www.courtyardplayhouse.com
3 – Lost Chambers at Atlantis
We adore this aquarium, located in Atlantis The Palm. It’s so well suited to smaller children, with displays that are so beautiful it takes your breath away – and lots of room to toddle, run, and explore. I recommend stopping by Cold Stone for an ice cream afterwards (open during Ramadan). And if you have the Entertainer app or book, you can get 2-for-1 on entry.
Dhs75 per adult (resident rate), Dhs100 per adult (visitors rate). Dhs50 per child (residents rate), Dhs70 per child (visitors rate). Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. www.atlantisthepalm.com
4 – Mini Monsters New Location
I was very excited to hear about the new Mini Monsters location in DNATA Building on Sheikh Zayed Road. The play area and boutique café (closed during Ramadan) look brilliant – but it’s the sensory room I’m really excited about, with features including a colour changing ball pit that I know Wilfred would go mad over.
Dhs50 for two hours play, Dhs35 for sensory room, Dhs75 for two hours play including sensory room. Ground Floor, DNATA Building (beside Emirates Holidays), Sheikh Zayed Road. www.minimonsters.ae, 04 259 8843 or 052 529 2192
5 - Gelato Making Workshops at Dri Dri
Dri Dri at The Beach is one of our favourite places for treating the boys after a warm morning on the sand – and I love the idea of enrolling on their Gelato Making Workshop. They can be organized whenever you want, with a minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 children in each session. Give them a call for more information or bookings.
Call 04 553 0647 for more details. Located at The Beach, opposite JBR.
6 – Le Petit Palais Summer Camp
I’m a big fan of this lovely play area in Galeries Lafayette in The Dubai Mall, which is set out like a mini village. My boys had hours of fun driving cars around the track, filling trollies with groceries, and cooking in the large playhouse. The play area is running a summer camp this summer and I’ve heard some great things already, so make sure you book in soon.
Sun-Thurs, until August 28th, 10am-3pm. Dhs140 per day, Dhs650 per week. Le Petit Palais, Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall. www.lepetitpalaisdubai.com 04 382 7333 ext 2754.
7 – Kidzania
I can’t wait to take Stanley to Kidzania, where he will be able to get a fun-filled taster of professions including a fire fighter, chef, surgeon, and much more. During Ramadan, kids can also take part in cultural activities like henna, Arabic calligraphy, and modeling traditional clothes.
Dhs140 per child, Dhs95 per adult (book online for discounts). Kidzania, The Dubai Mall www.kidzania.ae
8 – Fairmont The Palm and Falcons Junior Club
Regular readers know that I am a big fan of this extremely family-friendly hotel – and I could very happily spend a day of my weekend making use of the Falcons’ Junior Club, lounging around the pool, and enjoying the Break Slow Brunch (back after Ramadan). The kids’ pool is shallow and safe, with water cooled down to keep little ones at the perfect temperature during the hot summer months and lots of shade.
Falcon Juniors’ Club, from Dhs60 per hour per child. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah www.fairmont.com
9 – Kiddies Café
I recently rediscovered this brilliant play area in JLT and remembered why I loved it so much when Wilfred was first born. It is one of the only play areas in Dubai where you could happily sit with a newborn while an older sibling played the other side of the glass window. Staff are brilliant and very helpful – and what is inside the play area (a large play house, craft room, small jungle gym, and mini grocery store) keeps toddlers and young children very happy.
Dhs45 per hour, Dhs25 per additional hour. Kiddies Café, Cluster Y, Lake Shore Tower www.kiddiescafe.com (04 360 8571)
10 – Urban Picnic at Vida Downtown
I have a new favourite brunch in the city – so after Eid, I would highly recommend trying the Urban Picnic. You can pretend you are in cooler climes, with picnic baskets to fill from a vast and absolutely delicious spread – and then a selection of dishes are brought to your table as mains. It’s the perfect way to bring the outside inside this summer – I cant wait to take visitors when we are back in the autumn.
AED 265 inclusive of unlimited soft beverages and juices; AED 295 inclusive of unlimited selected beverages; AED 495 inclusive of unlimited bubbly. Vida Downtown Dubai. www.vida-hotels.com
11 – Dubai Dino
No trip to The Dubai Mall is complete without a visit to Dubai Dino; the bones of a dinosaur from the late Jurassic era, circa 155 million years ago. This dinosaur skeleton was discovered in 2008 at the Dana Quarry in Wyoming, USA, and air-freighted to Dubai. It now lives in The Souk Dome and is completely free to pay a visit. Stanley loves checking in on Dubai Dino between shopping errands – it’s amazing and surreal that such a precious thing is free for everyone to see!
Free. The Souk Dome, The Dubai Mall. www.thedubaimall.com
12 – Caboodle, City Walk
Caboodle at City Walk is another place that I have rediscovered recently – and both my boys were in heaven when we paid it a visit one Saturday morning. They both had a haircut in the salon section, before moving next door to the play area to climb, slide, and use their imagination. It’s a lovely airy play area that you could easily go to with two children and keep sight on both – and if you have errands to run, you can also drop the children with the amazing staff.
Dhs70 per child for first hour (with parents), Dhs70 per child per half an hour (supervised by staff). Caboodle, City Walk, Jumeirah 1. www.caboodle.ae 04 3444570