By Nohad Mouawad
If you live in Dubai, then you’re definitely fed-up with the heat. It seems like the cooler weather comes later and later every year! After months of being stuck indoors, everyone is itching to get outside by now and enjoy our favorite time of year in the UAE. Even though the temps are still in the 30s, right now can be a great time to do some mid-season activities that will keep you and the kids cool but are also outdoors.
One of my absolute go-to activities at this time of year is going to the waterpark. I don’t know about you, but I turn right back into a little kid when I’m at the waterpark, because it’s so much fun for both kids and adults. In fact, there are lots of discounts that can make a difference if you’re booking a day out with your family, like the one at Laguna Waterpark, where entrance is starting at only 125 dirhams right now. There are also deals at Wild Wadi and Legoland water park, so it’s the best time to go, especially if you get there early to have the rides as much to yourself as possible.
If the waterpark is too busy or active for you, there are much more low-key activities to do, like going to Dubai Miracle Garden. They’ve recently added a whole Smurf’s village that kids will go crazy for. Not only are you going to end up with some very Insta-worthy pics of yourself and your kids, but their café sells Starbucks coffee, so you know that you won’t regret the trip.
If you really want to do something different while the weather is still quite warm, there’s a special offer to swim with the dolphins on at Dubai Dolphinarium, and- ask anyone who’s been- it’s a must-do for anyone living in the UAE. Neither you nor your kids will forget this special memory of being near such gentle creatures.
On the other hand, if you’re the more adventurous type, you can sign up to kayak in the mangroves at Al Zorah Nature Reserve in Ajman, where you can take a guided tour for kids or adults and see over 58 species of rare birds. There’s also UAE-style camping, in other words “glamping,” at Longbeach Campground, where you can book a family tent (with a discount of up to 35% on most tents until November 24th) and kids can get up-close and personal with animals native to the UAE.
Going out more can also mean the simplest of plans. One of the best things to do is to hit the skate park, where the kids can scooter, ride or skate and you can get a minute to breathe while they get their energy out. At Dubai Hills they actually have both a skate park and a splash pad, so there’s a lot to entertain both young kids and pre teens or teens.
Another laid-back activity is a day spent at Ripe Market which just started it’s new season last month. The best part about a day spent at Ripe Market, is that you are outdoors with your family snacking and watching them play, either at the park or enjoying one of the activities from the different stalls. You shop and try different snacks and they get to have fun outside, without spending a ton of money.
Whatever big day out you plan, especially with kids, it’s good to keep these tips in mind:
Choose your Time of Day: Although the weather is getting better, it can still be hottest at midday, so you would do best to avoid being under the direct sun at that time, especially with very young kids and babies. Choosing to go to the waterpark or any activity when it first opens, is usually the best time to avoid crowds and have the place to yourself. If you want to manage your kids more easily and have a stress-free time get to your activity first thing in the morning, and leave by the afternoon when it gets more crowded.
Don’t Forget the Snacks: Whether you’re kayaking or whooshing down slide after slide, you need some snacks to fuel you through the day. Luckily, most destinations have cafes and cafeterias where you can get a bite with the kids in between splashing or rowing. Do check what food is available before you go and, if you need to, at least pack some cereal bars, dried fruits, fruit pouches or crackers, as well as bottles of water to keep your kids from having those mid-activity meltdowns.
Have the Right “Gear”: If you’re planning a waterpark day or a swim with the dolphins, it is really best to have your kids wear the “sock” type of water shoes or ones made for surfing, as they won’t have to keep slipping their crocs on and off and they won’t slip themselves when running between one slide or pool and the other. You also would want to consider non-slip footwear when kayaking. At a garden or park outing, or if you’re out riding bikes and scooters, hats are so important to protect kids’ and adults’ heads from heatstroke and sunburn. Helmets and protection for skating and scootering can also mean less bumps, bruises and injuries and a better time for everyone!
Have a Meeting Place: Wherever you take your family outdoors, especially when it gets busy, always agree on a safe spot to meet if someone gets lost. One of my tried and tested hacks is to attach a bracelet with my phone number to my kid’s hand (I used to do this when they couldn’t memorize my number yet) or if you don’t have time to order those labelled bracelets with their name and your number then write your phone number on the back of their hand (where it can’t be erased). This is a good method when you’re somewhere like an enclosed park but it’s hard for your kid to spot you. When they can’t find you a staff member will be able to see your phone number.
Between the water activities and the outdoor fun, we can make it just a little longer in this warm weather.
<a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/couple-together-kayaking-river_5495761.htm#query=kayak&position=1&from_view=search&track=sph”>Image by senivpetro</a> on Freepik