Having kids can be expensive. They want cool trainers, the latest gadgets and have you ever tried keeping little ones entertained all summer without spending some cash? It’s no easy task. Luckily there are lots of great deals for families to help keep the costs down.
1 Healthy eats
Arrows and Sparrows
This cool restaurant in The Greens serves up free kids’ meals to those up to 12 years old every weekday from 3pm until 7pm. So if you’re looking to refuel post-school, this is a top choice. Dishes on the kids’ menu include burgers, cheesy toast, grilled chicken with mash, chicken Milanese pasta and grilled salmon fillet, so there are healthy options, too.
Sun-Thu, 3pm-7pm. Emaar Business Park, The Greens (04 558 8141).
2 Dinner and a view
With views over Yas Marina and a menu of delicious sushi and other seafood dishes, Aquarium has always been a fun spot for a bite to eat in Abu Dhabi. But it looks like our obsession with the restaurant is only going to grow, as it now has a family-friendly deal that’s a winner in our eyes. Every weekend from noon until 6pm kids under 12 dine for free.
Fri-Sat noon-6pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (050 696 9357).
3 That Saturday feeling
Don’t fancy cooking on the weekend but don’t want to spend a fortune on a meal out? Saturday’s Festa Di Famiglia at Certo in Dubai Media City is a top option. The Italian restaurant offers a free meal for kids under ten, while 11 to 18 year olds will be charged just Dhs55. Meanwhile adults get an eight-course sharing menu, with a bottle of grape to share, for Dhs149. There’s face painting, a magician and even pizza making classes, too, so you can slurp your spaghetti in peace.
Dhs149 (per person). Sat 11.30am-3pm. Radisson Blu Dubai Media City (04 366 9187).
4 It’s taco time!
This brand-new Mexican spot in Studio City is promising a whole bunch of classic Mexican flavours, sounds, vibes and fun, for all of the family – especially on a weekend. From a vibrant décor to traditional-meets-contemporary dishes, the menu stars quesadillas, tacos, guacamole, padrón peppers, nachos and so much more to scoff down with the little ones. Plus, kids under eight eat free from noon until 4pm every Friday and Saturday. Arriba!
Free. Fri-Sat, noon-4pm. Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City (04 514 5411).
5 Bring the whole gang
Jim’s Kitchen Table
This family-friendly (and dog-friendly – see our pets feature on page 30) spot offers up free kids’ meals with every adult meal ordered, every day after 5pm. So that’s dishes included cheese and turkey bacon toasties, margherita pizza, fish fingers and chips, cheese balls and fries, burgers and messy mac ’n’ cheese. Kids up to 11 get to eat completely free, which is a tidy saving.
Daily from 5pm. Siemens Building, Masdar City (02 491 9401).
6 Dubai and Abu Dhabi deals
Jones The Grocer
This is a fab family-friendly chain and kids across both Dubai and Abu Dhabi can’t get enough of the tasty children’s menu. The Dubai Mall branch has a top kids’ play area, too, if you’re in need of a break mid-shop. And the best news is that kids under 12 get a free kids’ menu item for every two adult mains bought at branches across both emirates.
Daily, times vary. Various locations including The Dubai Mall and Al Nayhan, www.jonesthegrocer.com.
7 All aboard!
If you’re off for a meal on world-famous cruise liner The QE2, stop off for a meal at Lido restaurant. The venue serves up an international buffet every night and à la carte for lunch. Kids aged four and under eat for free, while kids under 12 get 50 percent off, which is not to be sniffed at.
Times vary. The QE2, Port Rashid (04 526 8888).
8 Fancy dining
In the mood for a steak? Don’t leave the kids behind next time you make a date at Seafire Steakhouse & Bar, because for every adult main course bought, kids will get a free dinner from the kids’ menu. The deal is valid for kids under 11 and is served every single day between 6pm and 7pm.
Free (with every adult meal). Daily, 6pm-7pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).