So what should we do this weekend?
With the weather cooling down, the city has been buzzing with the re-launch of some of our family favourites. So whether you’re looking to plop down for a casual family movie night under the stars or up for some carnival thrills, there’s plenty to do with the whole gang.
1. Global Village
Take your little ones on an around-the-world trip in just a day at Global Village where culture, food and festivities from across the globe come together in one place. There are amusement rides and arcade-style games to keep kids busy as well as a play area and live performances. This season, some of the main attractions are the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum, Stunt Show, Carnival and Circus.
Global Village, Sat-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thu-Fri until 1am, AED 15, free for under 3s, more info
2. Dubai Miracle Garden
Escape to floral bliss with your family as you explore the awe-inspiring flower designs and structures. Dubai Miracle Garden is home to 70 flower varieties and approximately 100 million blooming flowers! Be sure to pass by its structure of an Airbus 380 that has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest floral arrangement.
Al Barsha South 3, Sun-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat until 11pm, AED 55 for adults, AED 40 for kids 4-12yrs, free for under 3s, more info
3. The Ripe Market
Spend your weekends outdoors and enjoy kids’ activities, shopping stalls; grab a picnic spot and munch on seasonal organic fruit and veg, freshly baked bread, or experience some of Dubai’s best-loved food concepts.
To keep the whole family entertained, there will be yoga classes, kids’ activities, a petting zoo, pony riding, workshops, live music and more. This year, families can enjoy 6 permanent cafés that will be open 7 days a week, a dedicated dog park, and Just Play who will run a sports academy all throughout the week.
Police Academy Park, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat from 10am, AED 5 entry for adults, activities are chargeable, more info
4. The Wonder Maze
Make your way through the largest mobile maze in the world, stretching over 25,000 sq. ft., with nearly 3,000 meter of paths. Spend hours laughing together and at each other as you and your family members try to make your way out.
The best part is that you can visit again and again since the maze is designed and developed in modules – so the system of the paths is changed regularly. Make it to the center and you’ll find a viewing platform towering 5 meters high. There is also a direct “Quick Exit” route out of the maze, without having to walk all the way back again.
Riverland Dubai, Sun-Thu 2:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat from 10am, AED 35 for adults, free for kids under 100cm, more info
5. Movie Night Under The Stars
Bring your whole family for a cozy movie night under the stars, every Thursday during October and November at the beautiful Dukes the Palm Hotel. Every week there will be a kids movie and family movie to make sure there’s something for everyone.
West 14th Steakhouse, Dukes the Palm, Until Nov 28, Thu 7pm-10pm, a la carte, more info
6. The Camel Farm
Give your family a chance to experience a close encounter with some very curious and friendly Camels in Dubai’s desert. Your tiny little ones will also get to meet the fun rabbits, goats and chickens at the mini petting farm created just for them.
Some of the various Bedouin activities at The Camel Farm and in the surrounding desert include camel feeding, camel hugging therapy, a camel spa, mini farming workshops and a desert eco walk. You can also go on camel rides through the desert for 30 minutes or an hour.
Between Al Qudra Rd and Al Ain Rd, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun closed, AED 40, free for under 3s, more info
7. Dubai Garden Glow
A seasonal, must-try family activity, Dubai Garden Glow brings you multiple theme parks all in one place: Glow Park – The largest glow-in-dark garden made of millions of energy-saving bulbs and yards of recycled luminous fabric. Dinosaur Park – The biggest Dinosaur park displaying more than 120 animatronic dinosaurs. And finally, Art Park – A new eco-friendly art park made up of thousands of recyclable small bottles, ceramic dishes and CDs.
Zabeel Park, Gate 6 & 7, Sat-Thu 4pm-11pm, Fri until midnight, AED 65, free for under 3s, more info
8. JLT Cinema Under the Stars
Enjoy a wide variety of movies in a beautiful outdoor setting where there’s something for everyone including blockbusters, foreign films and animations. Bring your mats, lawn chairs, snacks or blankets and enjoy a picnic on the grass as you enter a world of movies.
JLT Park, Cluster O, Fri from 6:50pm, free entry, more info
And if you live in Abu Dhabi, head over to Umm Al Emarat Park for these family must-try’s:
9. Animal Barn
Head to the Children’s Garden where you’ll find goats, ponies, donkeys, cows and camels ready for you to pet at The Animal Barn and Petting Zoo. Your little ones can also enjoy daily pony rides from 4:30pm, or even feed the animals with their own two hands.
Umm Al Emarat Park, Daily 9am-11pm, AED 10 park entry, AED 10 for animal feeding, more info
10. Cinema in the Park
Spend a beautiful evening on the stunning grounds of Umm Al Emarat Park, watching all your favorite family movies. Check the schedule for which movies are playing when, so you don’t miss your little one’s favorite characters up on the big screen.
Umm Al Emarat Park, Daily 9am-11pm, AED 10 park entry, more info