Things to do as a family in Abu Dhabi: Summer edition

These days I tend to get contacted fairly frequently through the blog with people asking for information and advice, and every now and then one of these questions prompts a post, and this is one of those such occasions! I was recently contacted to ask for ideas on what to do with the kids in Abu Dhabi during the hot summer months and since it’s so timely, here’s a few ideas for you… 

  • Indoor play centres
    Of course it has to be these places – love them or hate them, most malls have them and the biggest and newest is Fun Works in Yas Mall. As well as loads of rides to try out, they also have a huuuuge five storey soft play house (the biggest around by a country mile) called Wizz Works where kids can let off steam in soft play safety. What’s also unique to Fun Works is the ‘My Works’ workshop concept based around five different themes where kids can get hands on by performing on stage, creating artistic masterpieces, making fun stuff with recycled goods and even learning about energy through firing catapults and loads more.
Fun Works Yas Mall
Fun Works
  • Kidzfactory UAE
    Kidzfactory is housed inside Al Wahda Mall and offers a heap of different things for kids to do in the way of art and creative hobby activities and also offers special themed days too. Create your own door hangers, snow globes, collages, try candle making, practise letter writing and loads more. Check out their Facebook page for further details.
  • Mushrif Central Park Kids Workshops
    Wait, what? A park? But that’s outdoors, I hear you cry… Well, yes, but the park is hosting a series of indoor kids workshops for the hotter months where kids can try silk painting, building their own gingerbread houses, learn magic tricks and loads more. There’s even a soft play area. Suitable for kids aged five to 12 activities will take place three times a day every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sessions will last two hours each and cost Dhs150 per child. For more information check out the park .

SummerFunAtMushrifCentralPark_ChildrenWorkshops

  • Softair Battlezone
    Over at Yas Mall you can visit the Softair Battlezone to try out their shooting range or course with electronic targets, or play as a team in their Battlezone where teams can play against each other.
  • Al Forsan Sports resort
    If you want to stay with the indoor sports for the heat of the summer you can go paintballing, try out the laser simulator  or try your hand with a bit of pistol shooting. Get wet outdoors to keep cool with water board and ski sports. There’s also a clubhouse with indoor and outdoor kids play areas.
  • Murjan Splash Park
    Located at Khalifa Park the main feature is a water play park in shallow water with water guns, tipping bucket and slides. There’s also a lazy river, surf wrangler where kids under the age of 11 can practise their balancing skills on a surf board surrounded by inflatable soft pads and also a bumper boat ride. One of the great things about this place is the price – everyone over 75cms pays Dhs40 to get in, everyone under that height enters for free!
  • Yas Waterworld
    Of course if you’re looking to cool off and enjoy some water activities that don’t involve the beach, Yas Waterworld is the place to go. This huge water park has water based activities to keep family members of all ages amused. There’s even a roller coaster – just watch out for the people shooting the water cannons from below as you whizz past! 🙂
Yas Waterworld
Yas Waterworld
  • FerrariWorld
    People often think that Ferrari World is for adults and men who like cars, but in actual fact this couldn’t be further from the truth  as the majority of the rides are family focused and geared towards kids. Take a gentle journey around the landmarks of Italy in a small scale 1958 Ferrari or  take part in the Junior Grand Prix are just two of the options. Take a look at the post I previously wrote about the park here.
Bell'Italia ride with small scale 1958 Ferrari 250 California
Ferrari World Bell’Italia ride with small scale 1958 Ferrari 250 California
  • Adventure Zone 
    Who wouldn’t love this place? Yes, it might seem a little random that it’s in a mall and attached to an outdoor equipment shop, but honestly, it’s reeeally good.  There’s a 3.5m boulder wall that offers difficulty levels for all ages – kids under the age of six can take part but must be supervised by an adult, a cable climb that winds its way around the rafters of the store, a super fun trampoline park for kids aged four and up, a skate park for skateboards and BMXs, a BMX pump track and it’s all indoors! It’s really very good and the staff are all very well trained to international safety standards.
  • Dolphin watching / eco tours
    Captain Tony’s run a whole load of different water based activities where you can feel the breeze in your hair from stand up paddle board tours to dolphin watching and eco tour excursions. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even charter your own boat and go spend a day, or even an overnight on your very own deserted piece of paradise.
  • Emirates National Auto Museum
    Is worth a visit for any car enthusiasts young and old. It’s located on the road out towards Liwa but is indoors and houses an amazing wide array of every kind of vehicle you could ever imagine, and some that you just couldn’t make up!
Emirates National Auto Museum
Emirates National Auto Museum
  • Ice skating
    If you really want to stay out of the heat there’s always ice skating! There are several ice rinks around the city – Zayed Sports City, Sparky’s at Khalidiyah Mall and Marina Mall.
  • Indoor Sky Diving
    There’s also Spacewalk at Abu Dhabi Country Club – it’s the only place to go indoor skydiving in the city and anyone aged three years old and up can give it a go, in groups or on your own!
  • Art Beat
    Another crafty find for arty kids and families, Art Beat offers all kinds of arts and crafts activities and workshops for kids and adults. Get your hands dirty painting, clay modelling, glass painting, ceramic painting and loads more.
  • Abu Dhabi Pottery
    If you fancy having some fun and learning a new skill, at Abu Dhabi Pottery you can send the kids off for classes on their own or take a family group session…
  • Abu Dhabi Summer Season
    Keep your eyes peeled for the full line up yet to be confirmed, but there are a whole host of activities, shows and events planned including Barney Live, Shaun the Sheep Live, Sesame Street Live, family comedy night, performance troupes and loads more. Events take place at venues all over Abu Dhabi.
  • Tee and Putt
    Recently opened in July 2015, there’s now a glow in the dark 18 hole mini golf centreatDalma Mall! Suitable for kids from three years and older, every hole is neon lit and features interactive obstacles to make for an interesting and fun game!

    Tee and Putt mini golf Dalma Mall Abu Dhabi Arabian Notes 1
    Tee and Putt glow in the dark mini golf Dalma Mall
  • Indoor Children’s Pool and Children’s Village
    The Armed Forces Officers Club has extensive recreation facilities including men’s and women’s gyms, shooting, bowling , football fields, tennis courts and even a martial arts stadium but it’s not all about the grown ups – they are kid friendly and also have two indoor kids pools, both with water slides along with a Children’s Village: a play area for kids with a range of toys, arcade and computer games.
  • Wadi Adventure
    Another water based adventure if you fancy a trip down the road to Al Ain… there’s a high ropes course if you’re not phased by the heat or heaps of water based activities for all the family from sedate  swimming to the more exhilarating surfing and white water rafting…
  • Al Ain Zoo
    The other one in Al Ain which is *really* good, is Al Ain Zoo – again, quite hot during the day but during summer they’re open during the evenings from 4pm-10pm which is well worth going to. It’s actually much better in the evenings as not only is it quieter and cooler, but all the animals are also out and much more active at night time!
  • Stay indoors at home with The Happy Box
    And, if you’ve exhausted all of these ideas and still need more, what about trying a ‘Happy Box’? The Happy Box are a UAE company that offer kids activity boxes available to purchase individually or on subscription with varying activities and hands on ideas to keep kids busy and entertained each and every month. The boxes are suitable for kids aged two to 11 and every box is customised for the child’s age and gender. An individual box is priced at Dhs250 and further refill boxes can be purchased for Dhs200, or take advantage of one of their subscription options.
Just one example of a Happy Box activity...
Just one example of a Happy Box activity…

And there you have it, these are just a few of the things you can still get up to in summer here with the kids when the weather is hot. What’s your favourite summer activity in the city?

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