We decided to go to City Centre Mirdif today. We haven’t been in about a year, since, as it takes over 30 minutes to get there, it’s practically the end of the earth in the Dubai space–time continuum. But having exhausted all our usual options in our quest to keep ourselves and an active 10-month old entertained this summer, we decided to go on a little drive.
All I can say is wow, we had a fantastic time! At 10 months old, Zachy is in the between stages of play – not yet big enough to have fun with the older kids, but big enough to want to explore everything at home that is hazardous and not a toy (literally, all but the sofa, TV, and the bookshelf have been removed from our living room in an attempt to keep Zachy and our possessions in one piece!)
We went thinking we would have a little wander, buy my husband some new shoes, and sniff out some coffee. We knew Magic Planet was there, but being summer / Ramadan, we thought it would be packed with desperate parents trying to keep the little ones entertained. We were therefore surprised to find it so quiet, especially on a Friday.
We decided to go into the soft play area since it had a big open soft mat space for Zachy to crawl around, but seeing the soft gym area itself was practically empty (there were two other children around the age of 18 months also with their parents), we decided to go in. And oh my word, my husband and son were in their absolute element. Zachy was allowed to crawl, toddle and climb around freely, while my husband who has never been in a soft-play gym before (showing his age here) couldn’t wipe the smile off his face!
It was a breath of fresh air for me too. The place felt safe for Zachy to explore, and it was also SUPER CLEAN! I had paid AED 85 for an hour at Favourite Things in Marina Mall last weekend and was upset at how old, broken and scratty some of the baby toys were. I also left with a ‘gritty’ feeling – everything just felt a bit…gritty…like it hadn’t been cleaned in a while (particularly the ball pool). At Magic Planet, it was nice to not feel like I had to go wet-wipe sanitize my baby as soon as we left. On top of this, at only AED 35 for an hour, the place is a steal.
Showing my inner kid here, we were also allowed on a couple of the rides with Zachy sat on our knee. I took him on the jumping caterpillar ride, and my husband on the caterpillar loop-de-loop. My husband and I had a great time on these, but Zachy wasn’t so impressed…I think too slow for our crazy kid!
Anyway, if you’re a parent of a tiny tot stuck in Dubai for the summer and you’re looking for some entertaining things to do (for both you and baby) then I highly recommend you head down to City Centre Mirdif for a coffee, play, and a bit of stress-free shopping! We’ll definitely be back for a play next week…and to get my husband’s shoes that we totally forgot about…