Wow – we were spoiled for choice of activities to do over the festive period. We really had to pick and choose carefully as we were never going to have enough time (or energy) to do all the wonderful festive activities that Abu Dhabi put on for us over the break.
It's back to normality this week, and I have a newborn baby, an 18 month-old and an almost three year old to entertain.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be giving you my top five free and paid activities to do in Abu Dhabi and Dubai during the winter months.
First up, how can you entertain the littles for free in Abu Dhabi. I was really spoiled for choice here as there are a number of brilliant free activities in Abu Dhabi but I’ve tried picking ones that the under 5s will enjoy the most.
- While away countless hours at Umm Al Emarat park (Mushrif Park)
Free for kids and a nominal entrance fee for adults (AED 5), you can spend hours exploring the amazing Umm Al Emarat Park. There really is something for everyone at this park. You can get up close to goats, camels, rabbits and tortoises at the animal barn, cool off at the splash park, explore the botanic gardens, take a ride on the park train, or laze around in the many open green spaces as the children play in one of the many play parks.
We recommend heading over on a Saturday from 3pm as the Ripe Market Abu Dhabi brings a host of vendors, fresh produce, food trucks and activities for both parents and children. You can also find eco rascals™ range of organic bamboo plates and bowls on sale here on the first and last Saturday of the month!
- Flamingo spotting at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
Lose yourself in Abu Dhabi’s very own Wetland of International Importance. Enjoy five km squared of wetlands, sabkhas (salt flats), fossilized sands and dunes which are teeming with wildlife. Over 250 species of birds have been spotted here! Most renowned for its population of Flamingos, you can visit for free on Thursdays and Saturdays between 8am – 4pm (last entrance at 2pm).
- Vegetable picking at Al Rahba Organic Farm 182
Free to attend and open to the public on Saturdays only. Head to Al Rahba Organic farm 182 and teach your little ones about how vegetables grow. You pay for what you pick but don’t worry – you’ll beat the supermarket prices. It’s a great way to teach children from an early age about the importance of sustainability and being eco-friendly. It’s good for them to know that vegetables do not grow in the supermarket!
- Expend energy at Al Reem Central Park
Brand new to the capital is Al Reem Central Park. An amazing place for kids of all ages to ride their bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades. There’s a skatepark, playgrounds, a beach walk, food trucks, four multi-purpose sports courts and plenty of space to use up all that wonderful energy our children possess.
- Get creative at Al Bateen beach
A lot of public beaches in Abu Dhabi charge a low entrance fee but the last time we visited Al Bateen beach, it was still free. I love how the beach can bring out creativity in my children. They spend hours digging holes, building castles and picking shells to make art work with. The view is simply divine and with an earlier sunset, I definitely recommend taking a picnic or enjoying food from the food trucks. They have wash room facilities too and it is perfect for a family day out.
What is your go-to free activity in Abu Dhabi?