It’s tough to keep kids happy when it’s too hot to play outside. Here are some of the best indoor play areas.
Faby Land @ Deerfields Mall in Al Bahia
The 60,000-square-foot Faby Land can entertain up to 800 children, with an indoor surfing pool, a football zone, and a clip-and-climb wall and adventure rides for teenagers. There’s plenty for tiny tots as well, with an arts and crafts corner, bumper cars and a family swing ride.
• Open daily, 10am until midnight. Faby Land gives you a card that can be filled up with as little or as much money as you like to spend on its rides and attractions, which begin from about Dh5. Visit www.facebook.com/FabylandFEC for more details
Action Zone @ Boutik Mall on Reem Island
When it was launched in the middle of Ramadan, the residents of Reem Island rejoiced. On the first floor of Boutik Mall, located in the Sun and Sky Towers, Action Zone features a bowling alley, foosball and pool tables, a giant trampoline, a SpongeBob SquarePants bouncy castle, bumper cars and plenty of electronic games for kids (and adults). There’s even a resident face painter and an interactive room to host birthday parties. We are particularly impressed by the 4-D rollercoaster simulator, which seats two.
• From 1pm to 3pm on Sundays to Thursdays, Action Zone hosts a Bowling Happy Hour, during which it costs only Dh15 per person for a game to knock down those pins. Action Zone gives you a card that can be filled up with as little or as much money as you like to spend on its attractions. Rides average about Dh7 each. Check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/actionzoneuae
Caboodle @ The Galleria on Al Maryah Island
Perfect for tiny toddlers and kids up to the age of 7, Caboodle opened this summer and elevated the already elite Galleria mall to another level by creating an indoor playground, where “edutainment” is key. Drop off the kids with a play attendant, or grab a coffee and healthy snack at Caboodle’s cafe and watch the little ones play dress-up, scramble over the beautifully-made wooden jungle gym, hide in tepees, ride miniature cars around the space, shop for groceries and cook up a gourmet dinner. Then settle down for some arts and crafts with the staff. There’s even a salon and plenty of organic, toxin-free hair products for kids to buy. Every day has a new theme, and there’s even a room for older kids to play pool and engage in some Xbox and PlayStation fun.
• An hour costs Dh70 per child (must be accompanied by an adult), membership is also available. Dh90 for Drop & Shop. Open 10am to 10pm on weekdays and 10am to midnight on weekends. Caboodle has franchises in Dubai too. Check out www.caboodle.ae
Adventure Zone @ Dalma Mall in Mussaffah
This indoor activity park is a haven for all ages – and perfect for more adventurous children craving an adrenaline rush. Covering 20,020sq.feet, Adventure Zone has four distinct areas to explore. There’s a Trampoline Park, with horizontal and vertical trampolines, and after you are all bounced out, conquer the 3.5-metre sheer-faced Bouldering Wall. Get on your bike – or skateboard or inline skates – at the skate and pump track, then tackle the cable-climb course, a high-rope obstacle course suspended over the Adventure HQ complex, with 11 challenges high off the ground.
• From Dh50 for 30 minutes. Membership and multi-passes are also available. Minimum requirement is a weight of 15kg. Open from 10am to 10pm on weekdays, and until midnight at weekends. Check out www.facebook.com/AdventureHQme
Kidoos @ Abu Dhabi Mall, Deerfields Mall & Dalma Mall
Kidoos is designed to offer fun, educational and stimulating activities for kids, in which they learn through play and exploration. Parents can join in, too. The venue, on the top floor of Abu Dhabi Mall, was recently renovated, but is smaller than the one in Deerfields Mall. There’s a climbing wall; an arts and crafts studio; a pretend village complete with a clinic, supermarket, fire station and kitchen; and a place to host parties and get haircuts. There is also a soft-play area for babies and a dedicated zone for toddlers.
• Dh40 for an hour or Dh75 for a full-day pass for kids above 3 (drop-off service included), and Dh30 an hour or Dh55 for a day pass for babies and toddlers up to the age of 3 (accompanied by an adult). Visit www.kidoos-uae.com
Modhesh World @ Dubai World Trade Centre
Dubai’s largest indoor play centre is officially back. Open daily from 9am to midnight (and until 1am on weekends), until August 29, Modhesh World features an exciting mirror maze to navigate, massive trampolines to jump on, three custom-built slides that parents and children can ride and a formidable roller coaster known as the Scary Machine.
• Entry is Dh20, some rides cost extra. Children under 3 get in for free
Blocks @ BoxPark in Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road
A shopping area next to CityWalk with 30 food outlets, two playgrounds and three parks, BoxPark is a must-visit. Lego has now come to the space, with an exclusive play area where kids can build to their heart’s content with giant Lego bricks. Regular-sized bricks are available, too.
• Free entry, open noon to 10pm until September 5, as part of Dubai Summer Surprises
Wire World Adventure Park @ Dubai Sports World in the World Trade Centre
Until it opens at Meydan Racecourse, Wire World Adventure Park has set up shop at Dubai Sports World, with zip lines, rope courses with eight obstacles at a height of 1.8 metres, trampolines that come with bungee cords for smaller thrill-seekers, as well as a three-platform bungee trampoline – it can also be used as a kite-surf simulator for kids and adults. Summer and sports camps are also available.
• Open 11am to 10pm. Dh30 per person for two rounds on the mobile course, Dh35 per person for a five-minute session on the bungee trampoline. Dh50 for a combined ticket. Visit www.dubaisports world.ae
Pixies & Ponies @ Wasl Vita Mall in Al Wasl
We love the small cafe for adults, complete with glass doors so you can keep an eye on the kids. It has a ball pool and soft-play area for toddlers, plus a large activity and climbing area and game consoles for the older ones. Arts and crafts are offered, too.
• Dh40 per hour, arts and crafts cost extra. Check out the Facebook page for weekly promotions – they regularly host movie and popcorn days. Visit www.facebook.com/pixiesandponieskidsclub or www.pixiesandponies.com
Mini Monsters @ DNATA building on Sheikh Zayed Road
Perfect for preschoolers, Mini Monsters has a magical carousel, a sensory room that includes fibre-optic lighting, a fluoro-glow ball pit, and touch-sensitive bubble tubes that can keep kids distracted for ages. The slide is claimed to be the biggest in the country. Parenting workshops are held regularly, as are classes for babies and toddlers on several mornings each week. As a bonus, the cafe is chic and a hit with parents looking for some quiet time over a coffee.
• Dh50 for two hours, for children between the ages of 1 and 6. Opens weekdays from 9am to 7pm and weekends from 9am to 8pm. Visit www.minimonsters.ae