Top 10 things to do in Dubai as a family before the kids go back to school
August 29 is almost here…
With 20 days to go before the little (and the not-so-little) ones are back at school, it’s time to soak them in with days of family fun. We’ve compiled our top 10 picks of family-friendly activities, sure to leave you with lasting memories until the next holiday.
Spend the day at an indoor theme park
Dubai’s IMG Worlds of Adventure has a host of brilliant rides, ranging from slow and peaceful to dangerously insane but so much fun (I’m looking at you, Thor Thunderspin). Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy it just as much as the adults. The park is divided into seven zones: Marvel, Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard, The Haunted Hotel, IMG Kids Zone and Novo Cinemas. Within each area, there’s a host of themed rollercoasters and rides, as well as dining and shopping. There’s also a 12-screen cinema connected to the park. It promises to be a day full of entertainment for everyone in the household.
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Dubai, Tel: (600) 500 962. imgworlds.com
Catch two astronomical phenomena
This astronomy event will make for a lovely evening. Head to the desert and set up camp as you wait to see the supermoon on August 12. It’s going to appear larger and brighter than our average moon sightings. That’s not all… this time, the supermoon clashes with the Perseids Meteor Shower to make for a doubly fun night.
Show the kids who’s boss (probably them) at Yalla! Bowling
Focused on family fun, Magic Planet’s Yalla! Bowling is a pretty standard affair. The venue has several bowling lanes, arcade machines, and cosmic bowling for all UV-loving neon-ravers. There are 12 lanes that have cutting-edge video simulations so you can really get stuck into the game and see what you’re doing right and where you need to improve. Yalla offers a traditional frame of 10-pin bowling at Dhs40 per player. Find it connected to Magic Planet in Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre. If you’re feeling peckish, well you’re in a mall, so options abound.
Magic Planet, Mall of The Emirates and Mirdif City Centre, weekdays 10am to 10pm, weekends 10am to 12am. Tel: (0)4 231 6316. magicplanetmena.com
Make a visit to a unique café
We’ve compiled the perfect list of eight unique café experiences in Dubai. Visit some adorable kittens and cats, spend a day making art, play a multitude of board games or feel like a storybook character. All of these come with mouth-watering food that will ensure you keep going back for more.
Take a boat ride at the Dubai Fountains
Seeing the Dubai Fountains from Dubai Mall is a glorious sight, but why not take it one step further and immerse yourself in the experience directly from the water around the fountains? You can book a swan-shaped boat for Dhs50 – manual or electric, ride a water bike for the same price or give your little ones the thrill of a lifetime in flamingo and duck boats from Dhs40 to Dhs45.
Dubai Fountains, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Tel: (800) 2875, tickets.atthetop.ae
Take a last-minute trip for under Dhs2,000
There’s still time to hop on a plane. We’ve found 10 trips you can take for less than Dhs2,000. Some of these are sure to shock you. All prices are from skyscanner.ae for round trips as of August 2, 2022. Don’t hold a strong passport? Check out these countries you can visit without a visa. Happy travelling!
Give the kids a foam-filled day at a soft play centre
There’s an abundance of soft play centres across Dubai but we’d recommend La La Land if you have older kids who need a distraction in the form of the PS4 area (ladies, we’re sure this works on husbands too). An assortment of activities awaits the children. The soft play hub lodges toys, doll houses, a kitchen, cars and pet rides.
La La Land, multiple locations in Dubai, Tel: (0)4 232 3919, @lalalandkidscentre
Celebrity sightings made easy at Madame Tussauds Dubai
At Madame Tussauds Dubai, visitors have the opportunity to take photographs with 60 global stars from a number of fields including sports, movies, politics and more, including figures from the Middle East. Fool your friends with a snap next to Rihanna, Will Smith or Justin Timberlake. There are seven rooms in total, including the leaders & royals room, fashion zone, film area, media zone, Bollywood, sports room and the A-list party zone. Guests can pose for a picture against a scarily life-like sculpture of their favourite star.
Madame Tussauds Dubai, Bluewaters, Sun to Thur 12pm to 8pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 8pm, Dhs135. madametussauds.com
Cuddle up at the snow cinema
Vox Cinemas has teamed up with Ski Dubai to offer up this cool cinema experience. You can watch a movie in negative four degrees while sipping on hot chocolate and munching on hot popcorn. You’ll receive gloves, boots, jackets and everything else you need to keep warm. Each seat even has its own designated heater. Do note though, that it does get pretty cold so in addition to the jackets you’re provided, come dressed up in layers (as weird as that is during the summer). You can keep up to date with the movies being screened here and book your tickets here.
Snow Cinema, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, daily, prices start from Dhs200 for two guests. uae.voxcinemas.com
Take in some pretty sights
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This summer up to three children under the age of 13 can visit Infinity des Lumières, the immersive digital art space in Dubai Mall for free. Inside, the impressive 2,700 square metres displays stunning works of art through the use of 130 projectors and 58 speakers on a total surface projection of 3,300 sqm. Visitors will be able to walk around the space and immerse themselves as they connect with a total of 3,000 high-definition digital moving images. The hall will also be filled with supporting music, making the whole experience very dreamlike.
Infinity des Lumières, opposite Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, infinitylumieres.com
Give the Lego Roadshow a try
Majid Al Futtaim malls across the UAE will be debuting a Lego Certified Store Roadshow until September 4 to celebrate 25 years of Dubai Summer Surprises. Launching at City Centre Mirdif, followed by City Centre Ajman and Mall of the Emirates, enthusiasts will be able to shop exclusive products, win fantastic prizes, participate in free building sessions, and so much more.
Lego Roadshow, 12pm to 10pm daily until September 4. lego.yellowblocks.me