For many children in Jeddah, depending on which school they go to, they are either in the middle, or just starting their Winter Break. If you are wondering how you’ll ever be able to keep the little monkeys busy this holiday, we have some great places to visit and fun things to do right here in Jeddah.
Launched earlier this year to much fanfare and excitement, Jeddah’s first aquarium can be found on the busy Corniche Road. Enthusiastic Jeddawis have been flocking to visit the aquarium and have come away with excellent reviews. They tell us that the area is very clean (food and drink are not allowed inside), and the staff are efficient and organised. The dolphin show is a must-see. Open every day from 11am-11pm and from 1:30pm-11pm on Fridays. Make sure you keep a note of the dolphin and seal shows which are scheduled every day for 1pm, 7pm and 9pm and plan around this time. Free wifi is a great plus for those of us who hate to stay away from the internet for long.
Kathy Bacchus wrote in to tell us, “A lady’s morning at Jeddah Aquarium found me there. Vibrant, fresh and welcoming from the outside,we purchased our tickets with ease. Inside, I was struck by the imagination and detail in my undersea exploration. The aquarium is vast with many shark, stingrays, starfish and all species identified and described carefully which I found very educational for all ages. The Dolphin show is a must!.On the day,there were School trips visiting and school children giggling enjoying the show. All in all a very enjoyable visit and a delight to families”.
Expect to pay: SR 50 per person for entrance to the aquarium and SR 50 per person for the dolphin show.
Situated in Stars Avenue Mall, (by the entrance that goes up to the supermarket – thank you Soreya!) this delightful spot is a sure winner with kids of all ages. Children choose a clay object, from figurines to decorative plates, and then take their time to paint the piece, being as creative as they like. Once they’re done, you take the finished pieces to be glazed and set, and return after a week to pick up your masterpiece. The only problem is, your children might want to start all over again when they see how awesome their creation turns out. One 11 year old girl says, “I like Cafe Ceramique because it’s fun to pick out what you want to paint and then you get to keep what you’ve made”.
Parents can also have a go at practicing their artistic skills. Snacks and drinks can be ordered while painting.
Expect to pay: SR 30-100 per clay piece depending on the size.
Particularly popular with younger children, Stationery Fantasy on Prince Sultan Street, next to GNP Hospital offers a range of activities kids can indulge in from cooking to arts and crafts, the sandbox, dress-up and a large ball pit. You buy tickets from the counter for your choice of activity and then send the children into the activity room while you sit and watch them through large glass windows. The children are generally well-supervised by staff. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. Stationery Fantasy also caters to birthday parties. “I like going to Stationery Fantasy because they have lots of nice games which are a lot of fun, especially the ball pit. I like the snacks too”, says a very active 9 year old boy.
Expect to pay: SR 7-45 per activity. The sandpit is SR7 each, the cooking class SR15 and the carpentry section is around SR 45.
Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to take your young ones to Sail Island. Located on the Corniche (you can’t miss the huge white sails atop the venue), children have a blast swimming in the pools and playing in the sandy playground. The restaurant is set up overlooking the sea and in our opinion, it’s one of the best places to view the sunset from. The best part is that the entrance tickets can be redeemed at the restaurant for meals. The grilled hammour is particularly delicious and cooked to perfection. One boy we asked said, “they have a big area to swim in with fun sprinklers and the beach-side sandy playground.”
Expect to pay: SR 60 per adult and SR 40 per child.
If your children are in the older age category, then you might want to introduce them to In10so (pronounced Intenso, aimed at kids over 10 years). This gaming area can be found on the third floor of Serafi Mega Mall, on the opposite side of Moon Toon, and also in Red Sea Mall. It’s a great place for teens to hang out decked out with a snooker table, Playstation and Xbox games, and racing/ go-carting. They also have a wide range of challenging arcade games and a bowling area. The latest pop music plays in the background and there’s even a hangout spot with sofas and lights for the teens to chill and chat. There’s also a snack bar with snacks and beverages. One young teen says, “I like it because it’s a good alternative for older siblings to hang out instead of going to Moon Toon which is more for younger kids.”
Expect to pay: SR 50-100 depending on the number of activities chosen.
For more kids’ stuff, click here.