Dubai: The rising temperatures may have anyone longing for winter days when they could venture outside and embark on diverse outdoor activities. Fortunately, the UAE has several indoor retreats where one can engage in new adventures or sweat it out without breaking the routine. 

Unlock your inner Sherlock Holmes

Escape rooms have become the latest craze these days, and this trend is taking Dubai by storm as evidenced by the number of outlets springing up all over the city. Patterned after video games, participants are basically imprisoned in a room, and are tasked to search for clues, break codes and solve problems within an allotted time to gain freedom. These interactive mind games make for a challenging but fun outing for families and groups of friends, and even as a team-building activity. Check out Brain Game in Karama (Dh110 per person), Challenge Chambers at Sunset Mall (Dh125 per person), Escape Hunt at The Galleria Mall (Dh130 per person), Escape Quest/No Way Out in JLT (Dh120 per person), HintHunt at Times Square Center (Dh110 per person), Hungarian Games in Al Quoz (Dh180 per person), Phobia Dubai in JLT (Dh110 per person) or X-Space in WAFI Mall (From Dh115 per person).

Hunt ghosts

Enter into the realm of ghostbusters for a few minutes with the Ghostbusters: Dimension virtual reality game brought to Dubai from New York by Utah firm, The Void. The game is based on the popular movie, Ghostbusters, and allows players to battle it out with monsters in the streets of New York. The Void’s game arcade at The Beach in JBR is described as a virtual-meets-physical experience. Players are not limited to wearing VR headsets; they don full battle gear and are immersed into real environments to overcome different elements and fight enemies in the digital world. The Void, which has a limited run in Dubai, is suitable for adults and children aged 10 and above and costs Dh110 per person.

Be a ninja warrior

Fancy swinging from one monkey bar to another, and climbing a warped wall? All these and more are available at Just Play’s Ninja Warrior course, a first at the Dubai Sports World, which runs until September 2. Featuring over 10 hurdles, adults and kids – sports enthusiasts or not – are challenged to push themselves to the limits by racing against themselves or with their peers in a matter of minutes. Head to the Dubai World Trade Centre for a 30-minute challenge for Dh50 or Dh90 for an hour.

Get your sweat on

Think gymming is passé? This year, bin your dumbbells and try parkour (free running), the sport which involves dodging obstacles by running, jumping, climbing, swinging and the like. Known in the past as a hobby exclusive to daredevils or rebellious teenagers, parkour has recently sparked interest among fitness enthusiasts as it offers a full body workout. While there are establishments in the city solely dedicated to parkour training, a few fitness studios also offer parkour classes for both kids and adults. Check out Parkour DXB on Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, with rates starting at Dh120 per person, or Gravity Calisthenics Gym in Al Quoz, with rates starting at Dh100 per person.

Experience films with a new dimension

With the advent of 5D to 9D cinemas, present-day movie viewing has become a departure from the days of yore when all one had to do was simply “sit back, relax and enjoy the movie.” Now, moviegoers can throw themselves into the middle of the action and feel what they see on screen at Dubai Dolphinarium. Moving seats, water, wind, smoke, lightning, and all sorts of physical effects that simulate the scenes in the movie become a thrilling but fascinating assault to the senses, and a totally extraordinary experience altogether for Dh25 per person.