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8 places to take curious kids (for Dh10 or less!)

Spark your child’s natural curiosity and promote learning as well as fun with these great-value hidden gems in the UAE

Imogen Lemon
27 Sep 2016 | 03:00 pm
  • Source:Shutterstock

Emirates Park Zoo

Entry price: Dh25 for adults, Dh10 for children under six, free for children under two

This zoo is located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and was the first privately owned zoo in the UAE, with the aim of teaching visitors about nature and conservation through interaction. The zoo has more than 1,700 animals, of which some, such as the white tiger, are endangered. Visitors can feed elephants and giraffe and visit the bird park. Special shows such as the sea lion performances just add to the fantastic array of animal entertainment on offer for the whole family.

Opening hours:

9am-8pm (Sunday to Wednesday)

9am-9pm (Thursday to Saturday)

Contact details:
02 5010 000, info@emiratespark.ae

2 Children’s City

Entry price: Dh15 for adults, Dh10 for children

Inside Dubai’s Creek Park, the most popular attraction is probably Children’s City. In this brightly coloured collection of buildings, children between the ages of two and 15 can learn through a range of interactive exhibitions and activities. The 220 exhibits include a planetarium, nature centre, international culture exhibition and theatre, as well as the popular magic carpet simulator. For younger kids, there’s a toddlers’ play area with interactive climbing structures. Children’s City also provides hands-on workshops in arts and sciences that are designed for both children and parents.

Opening hours:

8am-9pm (Saturday-Thursday)

3pm-9pm (Friday)

Contact details: 04 334 0808, www.childrencity.ae

3 International Village

Entry price: Dh3 per person or Dh10 per car, free for children under two

Not to be confused with the very different Global Village, International Village is located beyond Mirdiff, in Mushrif Park, and is a collection of child-sized houses. Each house is built in a traditional style from a different part of the world and the garden around each displays plants that can be found in the same country as the house. After you’ve finished exploring this small and unusual collection of buildings, head for the pool, bike tracks and game areas on offer at Mushrif Park to keep your children entertained for the rest of the day.

Opening hours:

8am-10pm (Sunday to Wednesday)

8am-11pm (Thursday to Saturday)

Contact details: 04 288 3624

4 Sharjah Discovery Centre

Entry price: Dh10 for adults, Dh5 for children over three, free for children under three

This activity centre focuses on educating children about the world around them through play. The centre is divided into several themed areas including Water World, Body World, Build Town, Drive Town, Storyteller Area and Sharjah Kids’ International Airport. Just as is the case in Children’s City and the Sharjah Science Museum, there is a scientific element to many of the activities, but what makes the Discovery Centre different is that it focuses on practical life skills, such as shopping or travelling. Children can feel like adults in their own special world.

Opening hours:

8am-2pm (Sunday to Thursday)

4pm-8pm (Friday to Saturday)

Contact details: 06 558 6577

5 Sharjah Desert Park

Entry price: Dh15 for adults, Dh5 for children 12-16, free for children under 12

Sharjah Desert Park consists of three different attractions: Arabia’s Wildlife Centre, the Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum, and the Children’s Farm. The Wildlife Centre is the best known of the three and is home to a large assortment of animals, including Arabian snakes, flamingos and baboons. The Natural History and Botanical Museum has displays of bones and fossils, and models of volcanoes and dinosaurs, and is equally fascinating for parents and children. The Children’s Farm is aimed at younger kids, allowing them to interact safely with animals.

Opening hours:

9am-5.30pm (Sunday to Thursday; closed on Tuesday)

2pm-5.30pm (Friday)

11am-5.30pm (Saturday)

Contact details: 06 531 1411

6 Dubai Museum

Entry price: Dh3 general admission, Dh1 for children under six

Dubai’s biggest and most popular museum has its home in the Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in 1787 and is the oldest building in the city. You can follow Dubai’s evolution from a small trading village to the sprawling metropolis that it is today through a series of walkthrough exhibits. The displays are as informative as they are fun. Walking amongst the life-size models, children can pretend they’re exploring an old souq or are underwater with pearl divers.

Opening hours:

8.30am-8.30pm (Saturday to Thursday)

2.30pm-8.30pm (Friday)

Contact details: 04 353 1862, dubai.museum@dubaiculture.ae

7 Sharjah Science Museum

Entry price: Dh10 for adults, Dh5 for children over four, free for children under four

The Science Museum offers a fantastic interactive experience that allows children to learn and carry out experiments in a safe and fun way. The museum includes more than 50 interactive exhibits so children can find out how almost anything works – from illusions, to the human body. They can also watch a laser show, visit the planetarium or try out the popular plasma globe. The games and displays have been created to be engaging for both adults and children.

Opening hours:

8am-8pm (Sunday to Thursday)

4pm-8pm (Friday to Saturday)

Contact details: 06 566 8777

8 Creek Park

Entry price: Dh5

Running alongside The Creek, this vast park is the perfect place to spend a relaxed day out. With plenty of space for picnics and barbecues, it is ideal for kids to run around and get some fun exercise. It also offers amazing Creek views – arguably better than you’d see on a dhow cruise. If you’re happy to pay the extra cost, you can go up in a cable car, play mini golf, or treat your little one to a pony ride.

Opening hours:

8am-10pm (Sunday to Wednesday)

8am-11pm (Thursday to Saturday, holidays)

Contact details: 04 336 7633

Imogen Lemon

Imogen Lemon