In an effort to give the kids more play time outdoors, given that the outdoor life here in the UAE is very time-limited, we went to visit Al Tamimi Stables in the neighboring emirate of Sharjah while the weather is still in our favor.
Al Tamimi Stables is a family friendly farm and educational activities centre that boasts of over 30 acres of lush farm land with over 500 domestic and exotic animals, sports facilities, stables, a horse trading enterprise, a recording studio, a petting farm, creativity studios and a quaint café.
They had a Family Fun Day event last Saturday so we looked forward to fun activities for the kids. First up was “Introduction to Falconry”.
Did you know that the falcon, the national emblem of the UAE is one of the fastest bird in the world, flying at a speed of about 300 kilometers per hour? I didn’t!
The petting zoo was an instant hit for the children. Living in the desert, children in the UAE don’t get a lot of chance to be near animals, unless parents buy them as pets – but still could be a difficult arrangement for those living in apartments.
Pristine was very eager to hold everything. For the life of me, I could not do this.
I am not just proud of her for holding little critters like hamsters and guinea pigs, I am proud of her for encouraging other (scared) children to touch the animals!
These tortoises? They destroyed the age old myth that tortoises/turtles are slow pokes. They moved pretty fast!
There are a lot of activities (yes, it is very possible to stay there for the whole day!), including flower pot painting and transplanting a flower to your own pot.
Meanwhile, Benjamin could not get enough of the bouncy castle.
There were other attractions like free dance classes, a flea market, a short equestrian show but Benjamin had dozed off in my arms so I wasn’t able to take photos.
At first, the location will put you off, especially if you’re not driving much here, like me. Luckily, my friend Mio of Third Culture Family blog got my back on this. I just turned on the Google Maps navigation on my phone and she drove me and my kids, along with her kids to the stables!
It was surprisingly an easy drive so if you have Google Maps on your phone, use it and you’ll get there without any problems.
Tips when going to Al Tamimi Stables (a.k.a. things I will do on my next visit)
- Bring enough water – it’s still cool for now but at midday, it’s hot if you’re not in the shade and the children could be dehydrated.
- Bring a picnic mat – there were lots of bean bags available but there were also a lot of visitors so it would be convenient to have your own mat.
- Bring food – while there is a live cooking station selling burgers/barbecue, the queue was unbelievable especially at peak hours!
- Apply sunscreen – for yourself and for the kids. Never underestimate the desert weather even during “winter”.
- Convince your children that there are other attractions, force them out of the bouncy castle if possible! LOL
- BONUS (if you don’t mind looking weird) – bring an umbrella. I wish I did. My skin is so tanned from sun exposure especially while watching Benjamin play in the bouncy castle.
Located away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Al Tamimi Stables’ petting farm animals, beautiful grounds and hands on activities provide a fun learning experience and a welcome break from the usual mall visits for the whole family. I know we will visit again.
Entrance fee to Al Tamimi Stables is AED60 for adults and AED35 for children over 3 years. Family package of AED180 for 2 adults and 3 children of over 3 years. See complete price list.