If you’re not jetting off to cooler climes and have children to keep busy over the summer months then fear not, we’ve found some of the best ways to occupy them and avoid meltdowns! From sports to creative activities and more, consider this your kids activities guide to fun and sanity.
Guaranteed to bring a little zen into your life, pottery has been recognised to reduce stress and promote mindfulness so get your kiddos involved over the summer hols! Ceramic Corner café is a very cute set up in Jumeirah’s Town Center mall which offers over 200 unpainted pottery pieces including mugs, money boxes and even little nightlights waiting to be personalised. They’ll provide you with all the paint you need and any instruction too should you need help – and there’s great coffee too! Keep an eye on their website for summer workshops.
You could get the art box out at home and try not to stress over the mess, lack of enthusiasm or sibling fights or you could treat the kids to a session at one of our favourite Dubai institutions – the Dubai International Art Center – a space dedicated to creativity. Over the summer, sign up to a day, a few days or even a week of camp which includes painting, collage, mixed media, mosaic, paper craft and more. Perfect for the 4-12 year olds
One of the best things about our desert cities? The beaches! And while a day on the sand may be out of bounds during the hotter months, there are still ways to enjoy being by – and on – the sea. Pirates Surf Rescue will be running sunset sessions on Kite Beach 3 times per week with activities including mega sup, surf drills, games, marine biology and much more – your little ones just need to be confident swimmers to join. And the best part? They’ll also be offering simultaneous adult sessions so you can end your day on the water, getting fit while having fun as the sun sets – hooray!
If they’re climbing the walls at home then pack them off to do it elsewhere, under the save guidance of the Parkour DXB team who will have them jumping, swinging and vaulting obstacles and tackling new challenges in their Al Quoz warehouse location. Their holiday camp programme explores a different theme each day and is designed not only to get the kids moving but also to boost confidence. Perfect.
Dive into summer at one of Dubai’s most impressive indoor sports facilities. We’re talking the world class Hamdan Sports Complex with its Olympic swimming pool and diving tank that are perfect for keeping cool and active while learning a new skill over the holidays. DuDive summer camps are perfect for kids of all ages (the only prerequisite is that they are comfortable in deep water) and include gym training, warm-up trampolining and dry board work followed by an hour in the pool. For confidence, for skills, for fun – a great way to keep busy this summer. dudive.com
A world of sport
Back and bigger than ever, Dubai Sports World is a summer favourite and a great way to be active whilst temperatures soar. Held inside Za’abeel Halls, this massive indoor area not only offers a list of sports from cricket to tennis and football but this year also Pickleball courts, a 300 m running track and a whole range of free fun activities including retro video games, arm wrestling, mini golf, and giant Jenga. Each weekend there’s a festival featuring music and activities plus a pop-up market of homegrown UAE produce, tasting experiences and more. A must for the whole family.
An activity and a treat rolled into one, visit Dubai’s uber cool Mirzam Chocolate Factory this summer and take part in one of their fab workshops (yes, this is one for parents too – we’re not missing out!) Not only will the kids see what it’s like to work in a chocolate factory but also how Mirzam make their signature sustainable chocolate – before creating their very own to take away.
Calling all budding mini marine biologists – Chloe Blue Divers at JA Resort, Jebel Ali have put together a summer camp focusing on marine conservation and ocean adventures every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer hols .With activities including fish identification games, creating art from marine debris and exploring the beauty of coral reefs through painting plus lessons on the importance of the oceans, protection of marine life and more – this one’s all about empowering the next generation of eco-warriors – definitely a summer well spent.
STEM and mindfulness
Throughout the summer holidays, the Pure Minds Academy will be running fun-filled activities at Rove Hotel Downtown Dubai, Studio One Hotel and the Habtoor Resort & Polo Club for kids aged between 4 and 14 years. And not only can your little darlings learn and explore the world of robotics, coding, business, finance and cyber security through interactive projects and fun experiences but also practice mindfulness and gratitude through special exercises and a wellbeing focus designed to develop self-awareness and positivity. Sounds great to us!
For that all-important dose of green, book your nature enthusiasts into The Green Planet’s Summer Camp where they’ll learn all about the fascinating creatures which inhabit this incredible bio-dome, enjoy wildlife related arts and crafts and explore subjects including conservation, extinction and habitats. This incredible indoor eco-system is educational as well as recreational and is dedicated to the betterment of zoological best practice care and conservation through environmental, behavioural and scientific research collaboration – with many of the animals who live there having been rescued from the illegal pet trade.
This summer they have opened the rainbow river where guests can book to snorkel and feed the 2,000 species of over 30 African cichlid fish. And if spending the day there isn’t enough, The Green Planet is now also offering sleepovers and the chance to camp in the rainforest overnight before waking early to help feed the animals.
The UAE does many things very well – especially gorgeous hotels and resorts – with all the chilled pools and facilities you could ever wish for. Get the holiday feel without the need to jet away by booking into the Jumeirah Hotel Group this summer and take advantage of their Exceptional Summer Escapes offer with everything from 15 per cent off bookings made before 31st July for stays until end September, kids dine free in Dubai, free kids club access AND entry to Wild Wadi Waterpark throughout the stay. If you fancy a little road trip then take a drive to Oman where the Jumeirah Muscat Bay offers mountain trails, nature walks and extraordinary snorkelling too.
Theme Park Thrills
Did you know that going on theme park rides produce a healthy level of adrenaline and releases endorphins? And the kids will love being able to scream and yell without being told to ssshhh all the time (a great stress reliever too!). This summer, Dubai Parks & Resorts are offering free entry for children under the age of 12 with the purchase of an adult ticket – so whether you’re looking for thrilling roller coasters or toddler friendly fun, there’s something for everyone at Motiongate, LEGOLAND and LEGOLAND Water Park.