Best kids' parties in Abu Dhabi

Treat your brood to some of the city's most fun activities Discuss this article

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While kids seem to spend the entire year counting down the days to their next birthday, we parents tend to look on it with something much more akin to dread. As the day draws near the logistics and planning begin to look insurmountable, while the demands from the kids grow ever more expansive, not to mention expensive. Here at Time Out Kids we’ll help you take the pain out the planning, showcasing some of the city’s freshest new options as well as our trusty old favourites, guaranteed to appeal to each age and budget. The only decision now is which one to choose!

Feeling sporty?

Zayed Sports City
ZSC has a ‘skies the limit’ list of possibilities all designed to get little bodies moving. Enjoy a meal at one of their food outlets, or let them pack you a picnic. Activity wise, ZSC has it all; from aerobics classes to football clinics and bowling tournaments to ice skating, with bouncy castles, stadium tours, character appearances, magicians and balloons in between, they will customize your party for any budget and every option.
For all Zayed Sports City party options, email birthdays@zsc.ae or visit the website, www.zsc.ae (02 403 4200).

Bowling – Dhs90 per hour for one lane, including shoes and the screening of an age-appropriate movie, this activity is both fun and reasonably priced.

Abu Dhabi Ice Rink – This is where my own girls celebrated last year and it got rave reviews from all participants, including the mums! The kids have a skate session for 90 minutes then have pizza and cake. The recent opening of Figaro’s pizza inside the rink makes this party planning a no-fuss event. It is particularly good if you are expecting a large crowd. Prices range from Dhs35 per child for a public session up to Dhs2,000 if you want the rink to yourself for an hour. Skates, socks and all protective equipment are included.

Football and fun on the field – Want to rent the stadium or just a private pitch for an hour? How about having a coach teach a private clinic with customised jerseys? It is all-possible! Rental prices range from Dhs600 up to Dhs1,000 per hour and include access to the changing rooms, pitch-making and team bibs.

Tennis – Game, set, match! Choose from a private court or even rent centre court at ZSC. Do you have little ones? Mini-tennis is available as well. Foosball and access to the changing rooms is included. Prices range from Dhs30-200 per hour.

Get Fit – How about an aerobics class to shake the birthday cake sugar out of them? It makes for great photos, that’s for sure – and they’ll be exhausted afterwards. Prices are Dhs75 per child and include one class and activities such as basketball, dancing, combat club, cricket and circuit games.

Al Forsan
This international sports resort has loads of activities including motor sports, paintball, shooting, equestrian, water sports and fitness and leisure. Custom create the type of event that suits you.
Email info@alforsan.com, www.alforsan.com (02 556 8555).

Make It Yourself

Abu Dhabi Pottery
Get down and dirty while unleashing your child’s inner artist! Children are introduced to hand-building pottery. They will make a pinch pot, animals, a small teapot and small pendants (time permitting). The items will be bisque fired and you pick them up four to six weeks later. The minimum number of children is eight. Birthday parties can be arranged on-site or at home. The cost is Dhs55 per child including materials. No food options are offered.
Email mail@abudhabipottery.com, or visit www.abudhabipottery.com (02 666 7079).

APi CAE Gourmet
Does your child like to cook? If so, APi CAE Gourmet is the place for you. Kids get to play with dough, decorate cookies, make pizzas and more. Customise a package according according to your little one’s favourite dish. Packages start at Dhs79 per child, and include a customised birthday cake and a meal. Parties can be held at the APi CAE Gourmet restaurant or even in the comfort of your own home. See p26 for more information.
Email mail@apicae.com or website www.apicae.com (02 666 8909).

Build A Bear
Newly opened in the capital at Al Wahda Mall’s new extension, this is a party extravaganza! Each guest gets to choose their own furry friend from bears, bunnies, dogs and more. Everyone goes home with a smile and a new best friend. Every party includes a gift for the guest of honour, party games and your very own party leader to guide you through the whole process.
info@buildabear.ae, www.buildabear.ae (02 641 1190).

Pampering

Anahata Spa’s Mimi Spa Birthday Packages
Treat your daughter and her friends like the princesses they are with this complete treatment party package. It is excellent for busy mums because they organise everything (even the invitations!). All you have to do is show up and smile for their photographer. Packages vary but can include a yoga or zumba class, a facial, a neck and shoulder massage, manicures, pedicures and coloured hair extensions (which last more than a month). Make up, the birthday cake, canapés, refreshments and a party video CD are also available. Prices range from Dhs70-500 per attendee.
info@anahataspa.ae, www.anahataspa.ae (02 557 7722).

Ticklish fun
One of Dubai’s original party salons, Tickles and Giggles is soon to be launched in Abu Dhabi. It is geared up to any size of kids’ spa parties, from five kids or less, up to 12 kids in the salon – plus, they have large party areas that will accommodate more than 25 kids at one time. As well as all manner of themes to choose from, including Magic Castle, Safari Jungle or Party Princess, which come in a number of packages that include options such as décor, balloons, party games and food, the full pampering packages include spa services, plus karaoke, fashion shows, birthday toasts – you name it, they can do it! Small group spa package from Dhs1,000 (five kids or less). Basic party package, Dhs1,500 (ten kids or less). They can also organise parties for you at home.
For more information visit www.ticklesandgiggles.com.

Amusement

Fun City
This chain offers complete party packages in dedicated party rooms where kids are catered for from the moment they arrive until the final guest departs, freeing up parents to really enjoy the party with their child. The Fun City team takes care of all party games, time in the play area, or a face painting session, theme décor, food for children and parents and much more. It also offers popular party games like passing the parcel, pop the balloon, Maria went to town, etc, with lots of Fun City goodies to win. With a duration ranging from 90 minutes to two and a half hours, there is a package and price range for everyone.
Prices range fromDhs55-144 per child. Locations at Marina Mall (02 681 5527) Dalma Mall (02 550 7407), www.funcity.ae.

Party Planners

Whether you’re planning a party at home or considering a separate venue, there are lots of party planners who can help your birthday bash go off without a hitch – and reduce your stress levels too.
Me and Riley
This gorgeous Aussie import brings effortless Sydney charm straight to your very own yard. Think understated style and unusual activities and you’re half way there. There’s T-shirt painting for the big ones, garden planting and hand puppet making for ‘tweens’ and masses of play dough and cutters for party animal tiddlers. The Me and Riley gang bring it all, manage the lot (down to receiveing the gifts when you arrive and doling out the party bags on your way home) and then scoot off with the mess, what more could you ask for in a home party?
Visit www.meandriley.com (050 286 7896).

Splash ‘n Bounce
This outdoor party planning company has all the supplies you need, from chairs and decorations to bouncy castles, popcorn machines and super slides for your pool. They have a very diverse array of inflatables as well as face painters and other entertainment options. Even though they are Dubai based, their pricing includes delivery, setup and removal. This is the perfect option for slighly older kids who like the ‘cool’ factor of inviting their friends over for a pool party. Plus, it’s great exercise too, so all the cake and party nosh will be worked off within the first hour. Full packages start at less than Dhs3,000 for 20 attendees. www.splashnbounce.com. (050 282 5257).

Tiny Bean Events
This is a one-stop-shop party planning company. Tiny Bean events will work with you to supply just the basic supplies like tables and chairs or they will take the headache out of the birthday and plan the entire party for you. Magicians and other entertainment can be booked too, as well as party bags, balloons, cakes and even personalized lollipops. This Abu Dhabi-based company will help you celebrate in your custom style. info@tinybeanevents.com (055 843 6574).

Cheeky Monkey Parties
One of the UAE’s most established party providers, Jane Victory and her colourful team of performers and game organisers can throw pretty much any kind of party kids (and grown ups) can dream of. There are themes for all age and budgets, from petting-zoo parties, discos, clowns or balloon bending, Barbie, Hawaiian Luau, mermaids and superheroes – the list is endless. You can even organize your own bash, and Cheeky Monkey will provide the entertainers, from stilt walkers to juggling clowns to acrobats. Just give them a call, let them know your budget, and they’ll take it from there. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!
Visit www.cheekymonkeyparties.com (04 451 7201).

Party supplies!

Party Centre
Located in Al Raha Mall and just open in the new Al Wahda Mall Extension, Party Centre has every supply you could ever imagine. They carry balloons (and they make lovely creations out of balloons as well), boas, piñatas, invitations, decorations, goody bags, costumes and more. If you can’t find it there, you don’t need it! Check out their online lists that will help you organise yourself efficiently for the big day.
Al Raha (02 556 5563), Al Wahda (03 445 9595), www.mypartycentre.com.

Chase that party

Check out this adorable website packed full of all of those fabulous event supplies that you see in overseas magazines. Most items are imported and not available anywhere else in the UAE, not to mention fabulous me&riley contemporary events items to create that amazing event that all of your friends will love!
www.chasethatparty.com (050 286 7896).

By Time Out staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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