With the holidays coming up, are you racking your brains for ideas to keep your family entertained? For months, you have been cooped up indoors as a precautionary measure against the pandemic, stepping out only for the essentials. But life has to go on. And children need a change of scene from the devices and the concrete jungle that surround them. So do the elderly. They would love to stretch their bodies beyond the corridors of the building they live in.
So why not plan a jaunt to Dubai Garden Glow? A stone’s throw from the city centre, it’s a sanctuary that can wash away the stresses and strains of living through a pandemic. Large green spaces house attractions that appeal to both the young and the old.
Located at Zabeel Park, Gate No 6, Dubai Garden Glow is spread across 50 acres of greenery and is a sight for sore eyes. Set out a little early in the evening before twilight so that you can enjoy its lovely grounds and the crisp weather at leisure.
Head to the Dinosaur Park first. But don’t forget your masks and all the learning over the past ten months. Just like in every other public place, you have to follow the safety guidelines at the park too to ensure you and your family remain protected. With vast open spaces at your disposal, maintaining proper physical distancing wouldn’t be difficult at all. As more and more tourists make their way to the attractions, the emphasis is on having fun without throwing caution to the wind.
The entrance to the Dinosaur Park gives a glimpse of what lies ahead – a peak into the age of dinosaurs depicted through animatronic creatures of all sizes and shapes. A visit to the park – the only one of its kind in the region - is a must if your child is a fan of these magnificent animals that dominated the Earth for millions of years. Children would have the time of their lives running around identifying their favourites among the 100-odd installations that move and roar.
For the novice, it’s an opportunity to get acquainted with these exotic creatures, opening up their minds to the concept of evolution and extinction and sparking their imagination. Laid out in a systematic manner, the park takes you through the dinosaurs that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, and ends with a meteorite collision that led to the mass extinction.
As your children engage with the installations and discover new facets of dinos, you too can refresh your memory and at the same time marvel at the delight parks such as this bring to youngsters.
Dubai Garden Glow is huge with extensive green spaces. With attractions such as the Glow Park, Art Park and Magic Park left to explore, it would be a good idea to take it slow and easy. Get some refreshments from the eateries that serve a variety of food. Buy a little something from the stalls to get the feel of being at a fairground. Sit back and drink in the beautiful sights and sounds of the great outdoors.
Lure of lights
Lights spark joy. Combine it with the craftsmanship of the artists who have built about 500 installations around the theme of nature, and you have an unmatched visual experience.
But the Glow Park is not a place that you can rush through. Take a stroll around the garden and examine each of the installation in detail – turn it into an exercise for both your body and mind. Let children wander about and make their own discoveries – oversized bugs resting on plants; penguins sliding down a castle; pandas munching on bamboo shoots; an archway dedicated to characters from the movie Nemo; and much more.
Peppered with scores of fantastic photo opportunities, the park is a boon for photography enthusiasts. From a heart-shaped archway that serves as a beautiful backdrop for a couple shot to a colourful butterfly just right for a selfie, the Glow Park offers a perfect setting for amateur as well as professional photographers. Some of the installations, such as the giant peacock one, can even turn out to be a bit of a challenge.
Right in the middle of the Glow Park is the Art Park, an area with installations built using recycled material such as CDs, glass and plastic bottles, and porcelain tableware. Camels studded with CDs, a bull made using bottles filled with coloured water, and an elephant fitted out with cups and saucers can all trigger conversations about the importance of conservation.
Time for tricks
One of the latest attractions to pop up at Dubai Garden Glow, the Magic Park is the place to capture memories that you would love to look back at even after a long time. Fascinating and intriguing in equal measure, the park calls for participation.
You need to engage with the 25 plus 3D artworks and installations to create pictures that depict visual illusions. So give it a go. Become a severed head on a platter presented by a genie, a scaredy-cat escaping from King Kong’s attack at Burj Al Arab or just be cool and hang upside down in the living room.
As you can make out, it is one of those attractions that offers a lot to see and experience. You might not be able to do justice to all the offerings in a single outing. With the weather taking a turn for the better and the park being open until April next year, you can always come back to explore them at leisure.