The school children of the UAE are on extended leave for four weeks because of global health concerns and direction from the education boards in the region. Spring break has been moved to two weeks earlier and after that, most kids will experience distance learning for the first time, as they are taught their daily lessons at home.
Have you been wondering what to do with your little ones over this last-minute break? The list of places to go keeps getting smaller due to closures — bye beaches — event cancellations and concerns about being in crowded places. There are still some fun spots to visit, however. Just don’t forget the hand sanitizer.
This huge green space has plenty of room for the kids to run around in, even if you don’t want them climbing all over the swings, slides and sand. The paths are great for bike rides and the grassy areas are perfect for ball games and picnics, plus there’s the Animal Barn which is home to a host of animals including ponies, rabbits, tortoises, pygmy goats, horses and camels. You can feed them or simply enjoying looking at them.
Boomah — The Owl Cafe
You weren’t expecting this one, were you? There is an honest-to-goodness owl cafe in the capital — not surprisingly the first owl cafe in the Middle East — and it’s tucked in to the Al Seef Resort behind Al Seef Village Mall. Pay Dh70 for adults, Dh50 per child (with family packages available) to visit, pet (just on a specific part of their forehead) or get more than a half-dozen owls from all over the world to perch on your arm for a selfie.
This hotel is offering great deals until April 5, for children under 12 years old. Your young ones go free for brunch, lunch and dinner at Fairways Restaurant, receive a complimentary set menu at Italian restaurant, Sacci, and can chow down on a free chocolate chip muffin with each hot chocolate ordered in The Lounge. Plus they get free pool access on a weekday when accompanied by parents.
The Chippy Abu Dhabi, Reem Island
A British favorite, The Chippy, is offering a ‘Kids meal special’ of chicken or fish goujons and chips, chicken or fish burger and chips all with a complimentary drink for only Dh20, all lasting the duration of the school break. So, whether you fancy a TV dinner or a casual meal out, this might be your money-saving savior.
If you fancy being in the fresh outdoors or need a beach day, head over to Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah from 9am till sunset for a full day of fun and savings. Beach access for adults is Dh150 per person and up to 2 children (3-15 years of age) can go free. The fee includes Dh100 toward dining in any of their F&B outlets and one complimentary hour of kid’s club usage per child (then Dh55 per hour after that).
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
The hotel is offering you 99 reasons to spend your day outdoors at their Wavebreaker Beach Club. For Dh99 per person, you can enjoy beach access and a full F&B credit spend at Wavebreaker Grill and children below 12 years of age invited free of charge. The offer is valid until September 30 from 9am onwards.
For information and bookings, call 04 318 2319 or email [email protected]
Dubai Autodrome and Dubai Kartdome
The adrenaline-filled indoor racing track is increasing their preventive precautions so visitors can have a stress-free and safe experience. Ethanol-based sanitizers are freely available, every helmet, steering wheel and cockpit gets sprayed after each use and there are disposable balaclavas and gloves on offer, all so the whole family can have a day out in the knowledge that the activity centre is doing its bit to keep them safe.
In a bid to boost immunity and wellbeing, these urban spas are introducing two brand new immunity-boosting treatments to their list, and as a demonstration of support in response to the UAE’s unplanned changes to term dates, SensAsia is also allowing children 11 years and above to accompany parents and caregivers for treatments, for the first time.
The Defender massage is a 50-minute pressure point treatment using infection-fighting ingredients including ginger, lemon and honey tea and an anti-inflammatory shot of turmeric. The Prepare for Battle package offers 75 minutes of healing using a wrap with a body-boosting mix of cloves, cinnamon and ginger, plus a stimulating massage using warm antioxidant-packed blend of grapefruit and other essentials. They are also introducing Defence Squad which allows clients to add a friend or child above the age of 11 to their booking at a reduced rate (Dh299 for The Defender and Dh335 for Prepare For Battle). Treatments will be adapted to make them suitable for children and ,parents will be required to supervise and sign a consent form before treatments can be given. Prior booking is essential and is subject to availability.
SensAsia Urban Spas are located at The Village in Jumeirah, Emirates Golf Club and Golden Mile Galleria, Palm Jumeirah. THE SPA by SensAsia is located on level four at Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City.
Visit the Swedish home store, get your shopping done and treat your kids under 12 years of age to a complimentary meal and ice cream. Available all day, every Sunday – Thursday until April 2.
If you don’t fancy heading to a children’s play area (because let’s face it, kids are pretty germy), Oli Oli have been kind enough to offer ideas for activities that you can do at home. The first interactive play area in Dubai is known for its host of educational and fun games which keep little ones mesmerised for hours, and they are now sharing arts and crafts that will keep kids occupied whilst they are stuck indoors.
IMG, the world’s largest indoor theme park, has geared up with extra precautions for the health and safety of their guests. They’ve taken training sessions with their hospital partner NMC, installed thermal cameras to check guests on the way in and are performing hourly sanitization on all rides plus installing sanitizers at different points of the park.
A note from us: These are suggestions of things to do in the city with your children. In the current climate, we would urge families to consider the health of all members before choosing a venue that may include large crowds. Take precautions for sanitization and if any of you are feeling unwell, the best place to stay is at home.
A note from the editor: In the current climate, we would urge families to consider the health of all members of your clan before choosing a venue that may include large crowds. Take precautions for sanitization and if any of you are feeling unwell, in keeping with government guidelines, the best place to stay is at home.
Asha Sherwood owns Abu Dhabi Review, an online and social platform that gives you the scoop on everything happening in the capital.