General musings · Giveaways · indoor play areas · Things to do in Abu Dhabi · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Fun City….

Being a Dubai Mom is often synonymous with soft play areas because let’s be honest for several month it is scorching hot outside and even on those cooler days containing your herd is often easier said than done! Prior to moving to the UAE, we had absolutely no concept of soft play areas, in South Africa, it’s just unheard of. The weather is usually pleasant enough for outdoor play and while this play is less often in public parks these days, a large portion of families live in houses with gardens and space for play. Being an expat family means adjusting to your location and finding the gems to help your family adapt and thrive. Continue reading “The time we went to Fun City….”

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Education · kids activities · Things to do in Abu Dhabi · Things to do in Dubai

Review – Smurfs: The Lost Village

Last weekend we braved the unusual Dubai rain to watch the UAE premiere of Smurfs: The Lost Village at MOTIONGATE Dubai which is one of the 3 theme parks at the recently opened Dubai Park and Resorts. When the afternoon begins with Smurfs’ Vanilla ice-cream from London Dairy and face painting you cannot go wrong! Continue reading “Review – Smurfs: The Lost Village”

General musings · Things to do in Dubai

Review: Family Daycation Brunch at Lapita Hotel

Brunch is ubiquitous to the UAE but not something we grew up with. The South Africans have braai’s (at home with friends and family); the Portuguese weekend (and weekday) can also revolve around food and family but both for the most part are at home affairs not pool side at some of the world’s most amazing hotels. So, brunching in the UAE has been a bit of a culture shock for us and probably one of the things it has taken the longest for us to acclimatize to. After our recent brunch at Lapita Hotel however, I can honestly say we may have started a new family tradition 🙂 Continue reading “Review: Family Daycation Brunch at Lapita Hotel”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · kids activities · Me time · Things to do in Dubai

High Fives & Happiness: People often see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for,” Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird).

This week has been full of some really fun and exciting moments but mostly made up of many a power struggle between the parents and the 5-year-old. So suffice it to say it has been a tough week. This quote in particular speaks to me this week because it is really easy for me to get trapped in monster mom mode where instead of reacting to each situation and scenario as a new event, I enter into it expecting drama which creates this vicious circle of destructive and negative behavior that helps no one. And sometimes, instead of a parent and two children in a discussion, we end up with 3 children and tears. So this week, I’m aiming to be more mindful . To pause just for a minute longer before reacting and to not anticipate the outcome. I’m sure it will also help that the monkeys are back at school this week 🙂 Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: People often see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

General musings · indoor play areas · kids activities · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Cloud 7…

One thing that the UAE is not short of, is indoor spots to keep the kids entertained which makes sense considering how many of the summer months outdoor play is not an option. There are constantly new locales being launched but while all are generally good fun, they are mostly much of the same. In the last while two have stood out for me, the first is Orange Wheels in Abu Dhabi which opened up last year (read more about it here) and the second was Cloud 7 which we visited recently. Continue reading “The time we went to Cloud 7…”

kids activities · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Splash N Party…

Splash N Party
It is incredibly difficult to keep the excitement at bay when this is what they see walking in!

Most days I wish I had an endless brood of kids, no school/work/life responsibilities and a beautifully gilded, limitless credit card (that does not require payment) to make the most of all the amazing attractions and activities for Dubai! But alas…we’ll tick them off slowly but surely… Continue reading “The time we went to Splash N Party…”

General musings · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Kidz Palooza…

There’s a new play area in town and just in time for Summer!

So yet again, we’ve decided to keep the monkeys out of Summer camp this year. I’m not sure whether it’s because i’m not convinced they aren’t ready for it or merely because i’m not ready for it! Either way, we’re in this together and the creative hats need to go on because not one of us does well sitting around at home! Continue reading “The time we went to Kidz Palooza…”

General musings · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to meet the Otters…

A couple of months ago the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall, launched a series of new animal “Encounters”. You can now interact, albeit minimally, with crocodiles, rays or otters. We choose the cute furry guys for this weekend’s boredom buster and thought we would share the details. Continue reading “The time we went to meet the Otters…”

indoor play areas · kids activities · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Kiddies Cafe…

Kiddies Cafe

We don’t generally do play dates on weekdays simply because the boys either have homework, after school activities or the thought of a soft play area and all the noise and chaos that goes with it is generally too overwhelming for the boys (read the mother), but we conceded this week because it involved good friends and checking out Kiddies Cafe which was new to us and on the radar for future playdates with our DSAHM Meetup group. Continue reading “The time we went to Kiddies Cafe…”

Me time · Things to do in Dubai

Ramadan Iftar @ Sofitel JBR

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I am embarrassed to admit that up until last night, I have never attended an Iftar in Dubai…and now I’ve committed that to print I’m even more embarrassed. Iftar is the meal shared by Muslims when breaking the fast at sunset during Ramadan. So this is important and beautiful and yes getting more uncomfortable. I’m going to blame my previous lack of participation in this very family and community orientated event on two very anti-social members of my family (because obviously I have no say in planning our lives and am totally at their mercy, right!)

Now that I am properly chastised I can say that my introduction into this tradition was delicious! Although set in the A.O.C. French Brasserie restaurant in Sofitel JBR, there was little evidence of the quaint French decor as the venue had been astonishingly revamped with a mix of Arabian and Indian notes that perfectly matched the aromas floating around. The buffet was mouth-watering from the Karkadi (Hibiscus) and  Jallab (Rose water, dates and grape molasses) to the expressively named Explosion Praline dessert who’s sweetness literally explodes in your mouth. There was a perfect blend of traditionally Arabic, Indian and European desserts and dishes with several vegetarian options if that is your preference.

Traditional Iftar drinks

Delicious starters

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The Ramadan Iftar running from 7pm right up until 11pm is priced at AED140 per person with a great option that if mom and dad dine together, then up to 2 children under the age of 12 dine free. Older kids (under 17) dine at 50% of the full rate and complementary valet parking is available if you are attending the Iftar. All in, not a bad prospect, just make sure the kiddies have had an afternoon nap to see them through the crankiness. Dads have the option of sneaking in some sports on the big screen with their favourite house beverage at The Hub next door or Sheesha at the Infinity Pool Lounge. Alternatively mommies, grab your girlfriends as I think this would make a great option for a Mom’s Night Out.

Traditional Henna Painting

We also get a sneak peek at the Alliance Francaise Dubai’s “Climate, State of Emergency” Photo Exhibition which is running until the 5th of June and is very much worth a visit! For more information on the event and all things sustainability, I recommend my partner in crime for the evening Amrutha from GreenLivingInDubai.

Alliance Francaise Photo Exhibition

A.O.C. French Brasserie

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Residence

Dubai Marina

Website: www.sofitel-dubai-jumeirahbeach.com

Contact number: (+971) 44484848

 

Disclosure: I was invited for the preview of the Ramadan Iftar at A.O.C. French Brasserie by a friend and attended with no intent to write this review. I did however thoroughly enjoy it and felt the current offer worth while to share with other Dubai families.