Play and learn: how your kids can get the most out of Expo 2020

Tickets to the World Fair are free for those under 18 for the whole six-month season

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Read also: Expo 2020 Dubai tickets and opening hours - plan your visit with a month to go

There is now less than a month to go before the start of Expo 2020 Dubai and organisers of the World Fair have started to reveal details of the attractions and events on offer.

Children can enter Expo 2020 Dubai for free and many of the 190-plus pavilions have been designed with young people in mind.

Organisers promise tonnes of child-friendly activities, interactive exhibits, workshops, shows and a “world of extraordinary possibilities".

The National took a look at how to plan a trip to Expo 2020 Dubai with children and to find out which are the best attractions for those under 18.

How much does it cost to go to Expo 2020 Dubai with children?

Children under 18 as well as tertiary and higher education students can go to Expo 2020 Dubai as many times as they want, free of charge, for the entire six months of the World Fair.

What attractions are there at Expo 2020 Dubai for children?

With street festivals, daily parades, digital theatre, dance routines, stage shows, music and concerts, plus a smattering of A-list stars, there will be plenty of attractions for children at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Also, organisers have designed parks, playgrounds and family areas specifically for children to play and run.

Look out for a Mars-inspired play centre called Latifa’s Adventures, where children can climb their way to the Red Planet on fun nets while learning all about planets and the universe. Trampolines are included, so this could be a good way to tire them out.

After sunset, children will love the immersive light show in Al Wasl Plaza’s garden, and look out - and up - for acrobatic routines and regular firework displays.

Is there a particular pavilion that is good for children?

Children can learn about the natural world through a forest experience in the Belarus Pavilion in the Opportunity District, where an interactive “Tree of Mind” installation will keep them busy. Plus, look out for live performances by national folk and dance groups.

The kaleidoscopic experience at the Monaco Pavilion will delight children and reveal new perspectives through a multisensory mirrored exhibition space.

A “jump and run” game in which children guide a baby penguin back to safety past the deadly dangers of the Arctic is also available. They will also see how robotic baby penguins can be used to observe penguin behaviour.

Are there special shows for children at Expo 2020 Dubai?

Every morning from October 1, thousands of pupils from schools in the UAE will put on song and dance shows in Al Wasl dome, the centrepiece of the entire site.

The entertainment continues during the afternoons, when families can watch international choirs and dance troupes as part of a Music in the Garden series at Al Wasl dome.

The Expo mascot show at Al Wasl Dome is also a must-see event. Children are encouraged to help Rashid and Latifa restore the beauty of our planet as they battle Mr Scrap and find Salama’s stolen secrets.

The action is certain to capture the whole family's attention, as it takes place partly on the 360-degree screen.

Are there special events for children at Expo 2020 Dubai?

Every major holiday that takes place during Expo 2020 Dubai's six-month stint will be celebrated at the World Fair, including Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Expect special events on those days for both children and adults.

Furthermore, every country will be allocated a “national day”, when they will take part in the Colours of the World parade on Ghaf Avenue. This lunchtime event promises to be a colourful, cultural fusion, and a great opportunity for children to learn more about world cultures.

Budding astronauts will love Expo Space Week, which runs from October 17-23, and on Christmas Eve, December 24, Sri Lanka will host a book reading under the stars event for children.

Can schools arrange trips to Expo 2020 Dubai?

The World Fair is also running an Expo School Programme, with four interactive tours designed especially for school pupils.

The curated tours are titled “Legacy of the UAE”, “World of Opportunities”, “Sustainable Planet” and “Universe in Motion”, and aim to inspire pupils as they discover the latest technologies and ideas featured at the 200-plus pavilions.

Schools can book the tours now.

How can I tour Expo 2020 Dubai with children?

Strollers and wheelchairs (manual and electric) are available for rent at Information Points, which are located by the four main entrance gates and throughout the Expo 2020 site.

Little legs can also recover on the Expo people mover, a free bus system that runs around the perimeter of the Expo site and is fully accessible for families with strollers.

There are also a limited number of golf buggies available for hire at each of the four main entrance gates.

Where and what can children eat at Expo 2020 Dubai?

Many of the 200-plus restaurants, cafes and kiosks have special children’s menus and tempting snacks for even the pickiest of eaters.

Organisers have also ensured there are also plenty of family-friendly dining areas, plus green park areas for picnics.

Keep an eye out for delicious vegan cookies from Floozie Cookie in Terra - the Sustainability pavilion, pasta and pizza at Scarpetta, burgers at Adrift Burger Bar and all-day American food at The National.

What facilities do you have for parents at Expo 2020 Dubai?

Family toilets, breastfeeding rooms and changing facilities are available for family use.

Expo's Visitor Centres include dedicated family toilets and breastfeeding rooms equipped with bottle-warming facilities, plus there are changing and shower facilities in all men and women's restrooms.

If a child should take a tumble and graze a knee, there are seven first aid posts staffed with medics who are equipped to provide visitors with the necessary care in any emergency.

What if my child gets lost at Expo 2020 Dubai?

If a child becomes separated from their parent, they will be escorted to the nearest Information Point.

The staff there will help locate the parents and reunite the child with their family.

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Updated: September 04, 2021, 8:47 AM