Four new indoor play areas for children in the UAE, from Mattel to Boo Boo Laand

There are options for every age to climb, slide, explore, play and learn this summer

A new restaurant in Bluewaters doubles as a playground for its young diners. Photo: Ribambelle
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Keeping children occupied can be a challenge, especially with soaring temperatures outside. Thankfully, a new wave of indoor play areas is coming, offering exciting and imaginative spaces for climbing, sliding, exploring and more.

From a Barbie-inspired wonderland to a restaurant that doubles as a playground, here are four of the newest indoor play areas to check out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Adventure Island, Dubai

This new Jumeirah Beach Residence venue is perfect for children who love to expend their energy via immersive gaming. Two activities are available: Laser Island and Pixel.

The Laser Island arena can hold up to 24 people. This is essentially high-tech laser tag, and each player is equipped with a gun and a vest that generates points when hit. Players can choose from three game modes, each with a 15-minute running time. It can be played in two teams or all-against-all.

Pixel, on the other hand, requires players step on a checkered floor that lights up in green and red, with the latter meant to be avoided. With each level, the difficulty and pace increase. This is for two to six players.

Open daily, noon-midnight; from Dh59; Bahar Plaza, Jumeirah Beach Residence; adventureisland.ae

Mission: Play! by Mattel, Abu Dhabi

Barbie lovers can check out this new entertainment destination at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. It's spread across more than 4,000 square metres, and also has zones for other Mattel brands such as Hot Wheels and Mega.

Both physical and digital play elements are on site, with a number of attractions catering to different ages and interests. In the Barbie domain, visitors can be anyone they want to be – from scientists to rock stars. Those who want to build their own cars can do so in the Hot Wheels area, while children can also play with numerous building blocks using Mega toys.

There's a dedicated event space, birthday and other celebration rooms, a cafe as well as a retail store that stocks Mattel products.

Open Sunday to Thursday, 10am-10pm, and Friday to Saturday, 10am-midnight; 02 493 7400; Al Maryah Island; thegalleria.ae

Boo Boo Laand, Dubai

Opening in Dubai Mall in June, the 2,320-square-metre space channels a whimsical universe blending play and fantasy.

There is a snow park, a super slide and a football stadium on site for thrill-seeking children. For more creative types, the Robot Art area is ideal, while those who want to play dress-up can enjoy the Princess Area. Engaging workshops are also available, including one for those who enjoy playing chef.

There's something for everyone here – even the youngest adventurers, who will appreciate the Little Crawlers park. There will be regular live performances, interactive shows as well as exciting meet-and-greets with mascots too.

Opening in June; Dubai Mall; booboolaand.com

Ribambelle, Dubai

This soon-to-open Bluewaters venue is both a restaurant and play area – offering a complete experience for all members of the family.

The airy space is filled vibrant greenery, interspersed with slides, ball pits and several play zones to keep the little ones busy while the rest of the family enjoy hearty meals from an international menu. There are salads, risotto, pastas as well as burgers and steaks, plus a dedicated children's menu. The restaurant also specialises in 3D cakes, with an extensive selection of sweets and pastries.

Self-play aside, little ones can also take part in various workshops, from arts and crafts to cooking. There will also be regular performances featuring beloved children's stories and playful cartoon characters.

Opening in June; Bluewaters; ribambelle.ae

Updated: May 17, 2024, 2:04 PM