It should come as no surprise that Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, are geared up to keep families happy. Especially because in summer the temperatures can soar to 50degrees (and no mamma needs that added pressure).
But, no matter how long you stay in the United Arab Emirates, you will barely scratch the surface of what to do with kids, there is simply that much on offer. And just when you think you've done it all, they surprise you with yet another amazing theme park, or the like.
So what do you do when the thermometer seems to hang in the red all day long? Here are my top 5 (for now :D)
Think cruising at a cool 240km/h, or brave a daredevil rollercoaster with twists and turns with the worlds tallest loop! Or take a slow 'drive' through Italy. There are thrills and shows for everyone, including soft play for the tiny tots. But maybe this is not your thing and all you want is a photo op with a Ferrari, then, check. Or maybe still this is not enough. Well, for about AED695 (ZAR2500) you can actually drive a Ferrari. Yes, you read that correctly :D
For more info on Ferrari World visit www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com
Park Operating Hours
Every day from 11:00am - 8:00pm
While we are at Yas Mall, Fun Works is yet another source of great entertainment; I guarantee it will keep the kids happy for hours. My little ones, (aged 3 and 1) loved Whizz Kids, which is a huge soft play jungle gym. Even I had a go with my inner child and let me tell you, not even she wanted to leave! Massive slides, ball pits and more.
My Works, a division of Fun Works, consists of 10 hands-on areas including bake works, car works, energy works, build works, art works and recycle works.
Fun Works Yas Mall Opening Hours
Level 1, Yas Mall (Cinema Entrance – next to food court)
Daily 10 am to midnight
Of course, being indoors is not always fun and sometimes we brave the heat to cool down, at Yas Water World! Voted as the Middle East's leading Water Park with 40+ world class rides, slides and attractions, you will love every single second you are there. And speaking of seconds, it won't take you very long to reach the bottom of some of the most extreme water slides. Most of these have a height limit; which does mean though that there isn't an excuse for mom and dad to take a break from parenting and try them (at least once!)
But the tots pool is so much fun for the kids, with slides of their own and splash buckets. Yas Water World even has Mermaid School, where little girls can learn how to become the perfect mermaid! (I wonder if mamma can learn too?)
Visit www.yaswaterworld.com for more
November to February
10:00am - 6:00pm
March to May*
10:00am - 7:00pm
June to August*
10:00am - 8:00pm
September to October*
10:00am - 7:00pm
Moving away from the intense entertainment, go for something more cultural, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This structural wonder will leave you in awe. There are of course certain rules to abide by when visiting the mosque, such a dress codes, but do not let this deter you.
The guided tours will explain in detail the muslim culture, why prayers happen at certain times and beliefs. I found it incredibly interesting and recommend doing this when visiting Abu Dhabi.
See Sheikh Zayed Mosque for more info
General visiting hours
Saturday-Thursday 9am to 10pm.
Kindly note that The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is closed for tourism activities (and open for worship) on Friday mornings, and reopens after 4:30 p.m. for visitors.
*(Last admission at 09:30 pm in all days ).
But once all of the exploring is done, its then usually time to eat, and while there is no shortage of restaurants, its always nice to find that one that feels like home. Like Jims Kitchen Table
With a kids corner kitted out with pretty much all that a kid needs to be entertained (books, games, tables and bean bags) while moms devours her delicious food, Jim's is now perhaps my spot when visiting the Emirate. They have great coffee, amazing, hearty food and yummy cakes and even a section where different "arts and crafts" are sold. Jim's Kitchen Table is just a definite YES!
Check out their website for more details
Ground Floor Siemens Building
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
Tel: +971 2 491 9401
So, Summer in Abu Dhabi is a scorcher, but there is so much to keep you busy, you may even wonder what the fuss is about!
Here is a list of some other exciting things to do with kids during Summer in Abu Dhabi:
Bounce Abu Dhabi - Level 1, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi
Adventure Zone by Adventure HQ - Dalma Mall location – Level 2 (near to cinema end)
Little World Fun Discovery Center - Level 1, Nation Galleria, Abu Dhabi Corniche
Orange Wheels - Ground Floor Al Wadha Mall extension