Class, welcome to fun 101…

This time of the year is always hectic for parents. There’s the new uniform necessitated remortgage, sorting through maths stationery torture trinkets, labelling almost every item in your child’s possession – despite knowing full well they’ll still end up losing it. And then it’s the chaos of morning school runs, sleep deprivation, after-school activities and homework (for all involved). This is why it’s so important to make sure you all get the downtime you deserve…

Here are 12 back-to-school activities in Dubai. 

In search of thrill

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai isn’t just an indoor slope: off-piste, you can now catch a flick in the snow or even make a brand-new penguin friend – but, pro tip: make sure the kids watch Mr. Poppers Penguins first. Do you wanna build a snowman? You can also take the little ones on an adventure in the snow park with rides, slides and subzero shenanigans.

Ski Dubai, Al Barsha, Mall of The Emirates, Mon to Fri 10am to midnight, Sat and Sun 9am to midnight.

Oli Oli


Described as a ‘play museum’, OliOli takes the Mary Poppins spoonful-of-sugar approach to entertainment, helping kids learn as they play. With countless interactive galleries and hands-on exhibits intricately designed by craft masters – your mini-mes can continue learning in an engaging way that’s fun for everybody.

Oli Oli, Al Quoz 1, open daily from 10am to 7pm, from Dhs139. Tel: (0)4 702 7300.



Give the little ones a taste of the adult world in quite possibly one of the most fun ways. KidZania is the perfect opportunity for them to step into real-world professions and also university (some of us could have used that preparation sooner). Whether they want to work at the Kinder Chocolate Factory, take a spin on the decks at the DJ Corner or focus on saving the world as a scientist for the day, the options are endless.

KidZania, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall, open daily 10am to 11pm, from Dhs195. Tel: (800) 38224 6255.


While your youngest is working away at KidZania, the bigger kids are probably also looking to let off some back-to-school steam. PlayDXB is the perfect place for teens to relive that summer feeling that came and went so quickly. Ride rollercoasters, play arcade games and even delve into the Transformers universe.

PlayDXB, Dubai Mall, open daily 10am to 10pm, from Dhs200 with Dhs75 credit bonus. Tel: (800) 38224 6255. @playdxbbyemaar

Bounce Dubai

bounce x

We’ve been a fan of this place since the jump because Bounce at X-Park Dubai combines energy burning with frantic ‘off the wall’, fun. The super-sized trampoline park springs into action with obstacle courses, dodgeball, zip line, a speed slide, a slam dunk area and, of course, trampolines galore.

Bounce Trampoline Park, 4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, prices start from Dhs85. Tel: (0)4 321 1400.

Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts


Sometimes you need a holiday from the holidays and what better way to escape those blues than by taking a staycation? When you book into Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts you automatically receive entry into the theme parks. So, while your kids are ripping around on rollercoasters you can sit back by the pool and relax, or join in on the rollercoaster fun.

Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection, from Dhs470 per night. Tel: (0)4 810 9999.

In search of chill

Aya Universe

Aya Dubai

Rooms of dancing colours and immersive experiences, Aya is the ultimate lo-fi engaging activity to keep the little ones busy. The venue is a walk-through entertainment park based on a fractal depiction of natural beauties of the cosmos. Divided into 12 different zones, each one has a water and space theme, such as ‘the falls,’ ‘luna,’ and ‘aurora.’

Aya Universe, Wafi Mall, from Dhs125, free for kids under three. Tel: (0)4 542 0300.

Wild Paint House

Want your little ones to let out their creative expression in a safe and stress-free place? Look no further than Wild Paint in Al Quoz. With no experience required, bring the kids out for a fun day of paint splattering, spinning, swinging, pouring and spraying fun. Book in your activity of choice and let their imaginations run wild in a fun and relaxing way.

Wild Paint House, Al Marabea Street Al Quoz 1, open Mon to Fri from 2pm to 10pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 10pm. Tel: (0)56 833 6804. @wildpainthouse

Yoga House

Yoga is the perfect way for the little ones to wind down and learn tools that will help them throughout the school year. Techniques such as finding tranquillity through breathing, expanding confidence, constructive teamwork and feeling comfortable in their body and mind. Child yoga classes are available for four-to-10-year-olds every Saturday.

Yoga House, The Green Studio, The Greens, Sat from 10.15am, from Dhs70. Tel: (0)50 578 9585.

Sketch Art Cafe

Perfect for pint-sized Picassos (and their folks) this unique coffee shop invites guests to sketch, paint and draw as an arty side to their coffee and cake. Sketch also offer DIY art kits, which can help you unleash your creativity at home, making your own tote bags or clay ring trays.

Box Park, Jumeirah, Al Wasl Rd 35 Street, Sun to Thur 8am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 7am to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 271 2650. @sketchartcafe

The Green Planet

It’s hard not to be impressed by nature in this indoor tropical rainforest that’s home to over 3,000 plants and animals. Wander through an amazing Arabian Amazon, and get up close with exotic inhabitants that include sloths, an anteater, an armadillo, bats, birds and more.

The Green Planet, City Walk, Dubai, daily 10am to 6pm, from Dhs140 (advance online booking). Tel: (0)4 317 3999.

Theatre of Digital Art

TODA Being Van Gogh

Offering a ‘sit down and enjoy the show’ kind of experience, artworks come to life in front of your eyes. Located at Souk Madinat, this is a must-visit whether you have a love for art or just looking for a fun but relaxing activity to do. There are shows featuring the greats such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. The theatre also hosts mediation programmes and yoga.

Theatre of Digital Art, Souk Madinat, from Dhs200.

Images: Supplied, Gett and Social