Week 2 of the #nocampforus summer holidays is here and thus far we are injury free. I’ve lost my voice but that is totally unrelated….I think….? We headed out to Abu Dhabi this week to check out a new play area there (because you know, there aren’t enough in Dubai obviously?). Orange Wheels has recently opened in Al Wahda Mall extension which if you haven’t been there before I suggest you ask a security guard for directions or like us you spend a good amount if time walking around aimlessly. This could lead to just abandoning the play area idea and loads of shopping instead. I resisted and we played and this is hands down our favourite play area in the UAE!
- The Cafe
Of course I would start with the coffee, it was after all a bit of drive to Abu Dhabi 🙂 We were too busy having fun to enjoy much more than the coffee (which is yum) but expect organic, healthy, nut free snacks and drinks for parents and kiddies alike.
I cannot think it is a simple task to achieve calmness in the middle of a play area but between the soft lighting and greenery floating around, this really is a chilled out spot in the heart of Orange Wheels.
2. Small Playground:
Most play areas for smaller kids tend to cater for the teeny tiny tots and don’t always interest the more adventurous 3 – 4 year olds who just aren’t ready for the big-kid obstacle courses but know they want more than a ball pit. In this case, the ball pit is there but there are also a couple of more advanced options catering for those under 5.
A mini version of the play space for older kids, the Toddler play area has balls, blocks, slides and obstacle courses. Best part, it’s just next to the cafe if your little one is ready for a few minutes of independent play.
3. The Gym
This was probably the area where they were the silliest. They were literally launching themselves around the place. I can think that once the gymnastics classes are up and running this will be a great spot to expend some energy but we loved free play option. Both boys had heaps of fun in the Gym area simply being crazy boys. They climbed and jumped with no fear of injury which is great for developing those gross motor skills!
4. Mini Town:
Kind of like a mini Kidzania! We were pilots, barbers, grocers, clowns, and firemen. Each area has its own costumes and accessories in the dress up area so they really get in to character. Mind you, everyone was clambering into the fire truck and I’m pretty sure it had to do with the siren!
My all time personal favourite – the Library Bus. I would have been happy to throw myself on the bean bags and just sit and read. Could we please have a grown up version of this?!
5. Art Centre
We probably spent the least amount of time here which for me was ok because I would rather they do more of the physical activities that we wouldn’t be able to do as much at home. At least not without climbing on the couch and dining room table!
6. Main Playground:
Wow! This area is amazing! I lost Joshua in here for a good hour! It’s a maze and an obstacle course with slides and trampolines. The kids got to wear electronic arm bands which they used to “check-in” at various points along the maze. The aim being to complete the course correctly as quickly as possible. I’m not sure who had more fun, Joshua or the two playmates that were playing with him!
7. The Climbing Wall:
And this, was Liam’s absolute favourite. He did not even complain once that Joshua wanted to go off and do something else which normally results in a melt down! I lost track of how long he spent on those walls but he insisted on showing me how he could reach the top, 15 feet up!
We spent about 2 hours in Orange Wheels and I reckon the boys would happily have spent another 2 hours there! There is also a Salon section where you can get the kids’ hair cut, mom can get a mani-pedi on her own or with their daughters! There are quite a few package combinations so best to have a look at their menu for pricing details!
If you are looking for our reviews of other play areas we’ve reviewed, have a look here!