Now that the weather is a balmy 29 degrees Celsius, what are you waiting for? Pile into your cars with your children and head straight to Dubai Garden Glow, which has opened its fifth season with a brand-new attraction, the Magic Park.
Although the optical illusions at the Magic Park alone guarantee an evening of fun, favourites of the past seasons – the Glow Park, Dinosaur Park, Ice Park and Art Park – are also back after a revamp to add to the entertainment.
With so much to see and savour, here’s a list of things you should do without fail at Dubai Garden Glow.
1. Get in on the act at the Magic Park
If you are someone who doesn’t like sitting on the sidelines, Dubai Garden Glow’s latest attraction is just the place for you. Unleash the actor in you and put on the photographer’s hat as you and your family interact with the exhibits to create Instagrammable optical illusions.
Take photos of you climbing up the walls of the upside down room. Or create an image of you in a mirror looking out at you. Or capture a shot of you standing at a 45-degree angle in the living room.
Try out various combinations to come up with fun, quirky photographs that you would love to share with the world. Don’t worry if you feel a bit lost. There are people on hand to help you capture the precious moments for posterity.
2. Be a part of 3D art
Just like the exhibits, the 3D artworks blended into the floor and walls of the Magic Park offer photo opportunities to ratchet up your popularity on social media. You can pretend to be scaling a skyscraper next to the tallest building in the world, running away from King Kong at Burj Al Arab, or escaping a ferocious dinosaur attack.
“It’s something different, something definitely unique,” says Mohammed Al Hammadi, who is at the Magic Park with his family. “I quite like it. The children are enjoying it. It's a good place to visit.”
Be sure to explore the countless picture-perfect options to create mementoes of the good times you have as a family at the park.
3. Light up your world at the Glow Park
It’s the first thing you notice about Dubai Garden Glow and probably the thing that drew you to the park - the lights. About 500 beautifully lit artistic sets, made with hand using recycled fabric and more than 10 million LEDs, form the perfect backdrop for a family night out. Stroll around the park taking in the new attractions, from the peacock sets to the panda installations, built around the theme of nature.
Let the children explore the bees, bugs and butterflies as well as the elephants and rabbits. Once you are done, sit back and drink in the festive atmosphere and fresh air to recharge your batteries for the daily grind ahead.
4. Roar with the dinos at the Dinosaur Park
Why are children so fascinated with dinosaurs? That’s a question many a parent have tried to answer, intrigued by the range of emotions these pre-historic creatures evoke in their little ones. Check out Dubai Garden Glow’s Dinosaur Park and see for yourself how their initial wariness turns into familiarity, excitement and adulation as they interact with the roaring dinosaurs.
Wait around for the walking and roaring dino to make its appearance at the entrance, which would give them a glimpse of what lies ahead. In no time, they will be dragging you around the park showing you the 100-odd dinosaurs, while you too come away impressed by the sheer variety and scale of these creatures.
5. Chill out with the sculptures at the Ice Park
It might be a pleasant 29 degrees Celsius outside, but who doesn’t want to get a taste of freezing temperatures right here in the UAE? Even people visiting from cold countries can’t resist a tour. “We are from Scotland,” says Joanne Yule, who is in Dubai with her young family and friends. “So the Ice Park is our favourite. We didn't even want the jackets on because it's our temperature.” Of course, the sub-zero temperatures - around -8 degrees Celsius - are a big draw. However, cranking up the novelty factor by several notches are about 50 exquisitely carved ice sculptures of wild animals.
As your children gape at the ice statues in amazement, you can soak yourself in the workmanship of 100 men, who sculpted Arabian horses, mountain gazelles, peacocks, leopards, lions and more from 500 tonnes of ice in a matter of two months.
6. Lounge about in the Art Park
Constructed using recycled material around the theme of nature, the Art Park at Dubai Garden Glow is an attempt to drive home the message of conservation. What better place to start a conversation with your children about environment-friendly practices than here, surrounded by wildlife installations made of used materials such as bottles, CDs and porcelain cups and plates. Before long, the conversation is bound to turn to the artistes who have painstakingly shaped these materials into peacocks, pandas and cobra.