Pope in the UAE: 11 ways to spend the UAE's last-minute school holiday with the children
There's still plenty to do, if you're not already planning to see the Pope
Schools across the UAE have closed for Monday and Tuesday in order to mark the historic papal visit. If you're not heading to Pope Francis's Mass tomorrow, then here are a few more ideas of what to do with the kids during this impromptu school holiday.
Specially for the occasion, the family theme park is offering free entry to adults with every ticket bought for a child. The offer is valid on UAE Resident Rate tickets (you'll need to present an Emirates ID) on Tuesday, February 5 only. It's open from 10am to 6pm.
Chinese New Year celebrations
On the same day Pope Francis celebrates a Mass, Chinese New Year also kicks off with festivities going on around the UAE. From Legoland (again) to Yas Waterworld, theme parks to outdoor markets, there are all sorts of fun and games for families to partake in. Not to mention some excellent Chinese cuisine to sample, too. For 11 great family-friendly ideas, click here.
Outdoors at City Centre Me'aisem
This community pop-up has returned to the Dubai-based shopping mall and will run until February 13, Sunday to Wednesday. Find food trucks, live music, carnival games, movie screenings and fun, themed workshops for kids throughout the week. It's open from 4pm to midnight.
KidZ Detective at KidZania
Running until March 31, KidZ Detective allows children to learn and hone skills necessary for them to become a super-sleuth. They need to find clues across four zones, navigate a maze, collect fingerprints and analyse evidence to crack the case. It's at The Dubai Mall, so while they tap into their inner Sherlock, you can get a bit of shopping done. Ticket prices start from Dh35 with economy ticket purchase of Dh180, or free when you buy a premium ticket for Dh250.
Festival Bay at Dubai Festival City Mall has been transformed into a Pirates of the Bay children's fun park, and it'll remain that way until April 30. So, now is the perfect time to check it out. There are pirate-themed play areas, an inflatable slide, sand play, a bungee trampoline, a waterpark, arts and crafts, pizza-making, carnival games – you name it. Again, the kids can play while you trawl the mall. It's open from 3pm to 10pm.
VR Park Super 7 Pass
The older tweens and teens will appreciate this one – as VR Park, the virtual and augmented reality theme park in The Dubai Mall, has launched a new Super 7 pass. It lets visitors pick any seven of the top 10 games to play, rides to go on and journeys to experience. This includes Dubai Drone, Dune Bash and VR Maze, among others. The pass costs Dh180 (discounted from Dh245) and the park is open from 10am to 11pm.
Air Maniax indoor adventure park
A brand-new indoor adventure park opened in Al Quoz, Dubai recently, and there's no better time to check it out as a family, as there are activities for all ages. It's all spread across five zones: there's an inflatable arena, an interactive obstacle course, a gravity-based zip line, an arcade-style laser tag and dedicated toddler areas. There's also a restaurant there if you all get peckish.
Pizza-making at 800 Degrees Pizzeria
Got a budding chef in the family? While you've got the time, why not check out the pizza-making classes at 800 Degrees Pizzeria in City Centre Me'asiem and Mall of the Emirates, Dubai? Children can learn how to make a Neapolitan from scratch, from kneading the dough to topping the pies and then cooking it. They'll get a chef's cap and apron to wear, and a certificate is handed out after they've finished. Plus you'll all get to try the fruits of their labour, topped off with a scoop of gelato.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
It's time to take advantage of this Dubai waterpark's winter offer. There's a special discount available on tickets for UAE residents all season, meaning you can enjoy the 30-odd rides and attractions for Dh149 and Dh69 (for children below 1.1 metres). Are you brave enough to try the world-famous Jumeirah Sceirah slide?
The Wonder Maze
Umm Al Emarat park in Abu Dhabi is currently home to the world's largest mobile maze, which is open until April. Figure out how to make your way to the middle as a family, and then take part in the games and find the clues hidden along the way. At the centre, there is a five-metre-high viewing platform, as well as a direct "quick exit" out of the maze, so you don't have to figure out the way back. On average, it takes visitors between 30 and 40 minutes to make their way through the maze. Entrance costs Dh35 (on top of the additional Dh5 to enter the park), except for children smaller than 100 centimetres – then it's free.
For tomorrow only, the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah beachside restaurant is hosting a "family day out". That means kids below 12 years old can eat for free all day. They'll also get complimentary access to the beach and pool from 9am. Access to the facilities for adults costs Dh180.
Updated: February 4, 2019 03:50 PM