ABU DHABI // A petting zoo, carnival rides, street performers and a giant inflatable zone are among the activities amusing thousands of families from across the Arabian Gulf at KidsFest Abu Dhabi.
The five-day event began on October 15 and saw UAE residents joined by tourists from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Lebanon at Zayed Sports City, where the pitches were transformed into an oversized playscape.
“This is a very fun family event. The children love the activities,” said Rania Obeid, a mother of two from Lebanon. “We were going to come just for today but we have all had a good time so we are coming back tomorrow as well.”
On the first day of the festival the most popular place was the main stage. Live music and performances of classic children’s tales, such as Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland, wowed festival-goers with songs, staging and costumes.
More dancing and acrobatics could be found at the circus school tent, where children tried plate spinning, face painting and balloon modelling.
Goats, a pony and a cockatoo amused crowds at the petting zoo, although the star attraction was the python.
The health and fitness area offered adults and children a bit of fun as they went head-to-head in a giant inflatable obstacle course.
Inflatable slides, bouncy castles, climbing walls and even soapy football proved big hits, as did pedal cars.
At night, lights and music from the carnival rides lit the sky as visitors enjoyed a performance from the Young Musician Music Institute.
“It has been a brilliant day,” said Thomas Wellman, a father of two from Abu Dhabi. “We were really surprised at the number and the variety of activities there are for children.”
His son James, 6, said: “I liked the inflatable castle the most. The cookie decorating was also fun because I got to put candy on it and then eat it.”
KidsFest Abu Dhabi is open from 3pm until 11pm until October 19.
Admission is free. For more information visit www.kidsfestabudhabi.com.