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UAE: 7 affordable places to take your kids to this weekend

Published on March 27, 2021 at 09.47

From a peek at the stars to a visit to museums and space centres - here’s a list of amazing edutainment spots to visit with your young ones.

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Starting Sunday, it’s holiday time for a lot of schools in the UAE. While it is surely a welcome break from the usual rushed morning routines for both parents and children for two weeks, it is also a challenge for parents and caregivers on how to keep the young minds stimulated and entertained, i.e., if you have not already enrolled them for some camps. If you are looking to spend some quality time with your little ones and also pique their interest in science, we suggest visiting a few places in Dubai during this break. No matter what interests your kids, a little time spent with them outdoors will strengthen your bond and also lead to conversations that just cannot happen sitting in front of the telly. The weather is still lovely, so make the most of this holiday time and head out. Photo: Alamy
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Edge of Government: The set looks straight out of a sci-fi movie and why not. It houses exhibits and information on how people are using science and social skills to find solutions to some of the most pressing problems. And the most interesting bit is the interactive nature of this place. This year, the highlighted projects are from across the world. Some of them include the bus crash predictor from Singapore (a few buses in Abu Dhabi are already using it); How used plastic bottles can give you free bus rides in Indonesia; How cow manure is being used to clear air pollution in Pakistan. There are many more examples. Next year, the exhibits will be all from the UAE. The exhibition is open all day long, but for a guided tour be there between 8am and 3pm on weekdays. And while you are in the vicinity, don’t forget to show kids the world’s first 3D printed office (it is presently undergoing renovation), and the upcoming Museum of the Future. Where: Mezzanine floor of Jumeirah Towers Ticket price: Free
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Innovation Centre: This is a perfect spot to educate and enlighten kids on how adapting new technologies fuels progress and why harnessing renewable energy is key to a sustainable future. A little far off from the heart of Dubai, you will have to snake through the single lane road in the desert to reach this newly opened centre but it is worth the drive. You and children can learn about the history of electricity, space, properties of light through interactive exhibits, how energy from the sun can be converted into electrical energy using different methods and much more. The interactive format makes the learning really interesting. On the way back, you can probably stop by for a picnic at any of the three lates on the way: Love Lake, Flamingo Lake, and Al Qudra Lake. Where: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Ticket price: free; book your visit on the website
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Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre: There is so much to do at this astronomy centre. You can gaze at the moon through one of the largest telescopes in the region that has a one-metre diameter mirror, or attend shows at the planetarium and astro cinema. Kids can also don the role of an astronaut or space scientist and test their rover landing skills on mars. There are plenty of activities related to the celestial world.Where: Mushrif ParkTicket price: Varies according to activities (Dh10 to 30)
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Children’s City: An educational space dedicated to children between the ages of 2 and 15, this has been a popular space for years. It allows children to play, explore, practice hobbies and learn about the world in which they live. Different types of exhibits include Natural Sciences (human body science, nature’s centre, earth and life sciences), Physical Sciences (electricity), Technology and Electronic Sciences (computers and communications), Space Exploration (The Planetarium and The Small Explorer). It also has shows on the UAE culture and civilisation and on world civilizations. Besides, you can always enjoy a good picnic at the park post the visit. Where: The Creek park Ticket price: Dh10; open on weekdays
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Etihad Museum and Al Shindagha Museum: Shindagha Museum tells the universal tale of human innovation, resilience, and the desire for progress which shaped the Dubai. And the Etihad Museum displays the social, political, cultural, scientific and military history of the UAE. It exhibits a lot of interesting artifacts including the old passports of the rulers of the UAE. The most interesting aspect about museums in general here is the clever use of technology to make the tour interactive. This in itself is an education for children who besides learning about the history of the UAE also get acquainted with new technology and its use. Where: Creek area Ticket price: Dh40 for both
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Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre: Outer space is a fascinating space, and more so with the launch of UAE’s satellites, Hope Mission, and the first astronaut to the International Space Station. The centre is a perfect place to educate children on the limitless possibilities that exist and also widen their horizons in terms of future career options. The centre conducts camps and allows tours. Call them before heading to the centre. Where: Al Khawaneej
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Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Many are familiar with Ripley’s believe it or not museum. This year, they're at the Global Village in the USA pavilion. The museum hosts over 150 natural, scientific, artistic, and human oddities and is a good family-friendly destination, with quirky galleries, mirror mazes, animal oddities, pop-culture memorabilia and more. Where: Global Village
 
 
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