This is the ultimate guide to spring in Abu Dhabi

Spring is here – and with it comes a host of activities and events for friends and families. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to as the season changes

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The weather is turning and spring is taking over. For us Abu Dhabi folk, that means eternal sunshine (we hope), a slew of camps to keep the little ones busy, family festivities and seasonal dining options.

Happy campers 

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Kids and teens ranging from five to 18 can get their English and maths skills sharpen at Kip McGrath. Combining fun learning with tailor-made lessons, students will develop a love of numbers and words with help from the centre’s fully qualified teachers. 24th March-6th April. AED 200 per session. Al Raha Mall, Channel Street. 9am, 11am and 1pm. Contact: 02 558 8505, kipmcgrath.ae 

Sporty kids and teens can unleash their boundless energy at Zayed Sports City’s Kids Holiday Camp. Sports activities include football, basketball, team building games, tennis and dodgeball. Meanwhile, creative activities like painting and papier mâché will let participants explore their imagination. 25th-29th March and 1st-5th April. AED 1,050 per week. Saif Ghubash Street. 9am-2pm. Contact: 02 403 4222, zsc.ae

With artsy interiors and ambiance, 1868 Restaurant Café and Gallery is the ideal venue to stir creativity in kids. Hosted in its expansive arts studio, the venue’s camp includes activities like drawing and sketching, soap making, cooking, clay modelling, ceramic painting, reading and arts and crafts. There are also recycling classes to instil a love of the environment in children. 25th March-5th April. From AED 150 half day without food, AED 190 inclusive of meal. Opposite Al Raha Gardens Gate 14, Khalifa City. 8am-5pm. Contact: 02 666 1868, 1868uae.com

Learning French while on school break – why not? Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi is running a camp for kids four to 10 years old. Participants will learn or improve their French while enjoying the outdoors and engaging in other fun activities including cooking.  25th March-5th April. AED 126 per day. Villa no. 75, Street 32, Al Bateen. 9am-2pm. Contact: 02 612 2900, info@afabudhabi.org

The Superhero Camp makes a comeback at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort. Kids from four to 14 years old can take part in water activities that include swimming, kayaking, banana and dragon boat rides and beach games. The action continues on land with picnics, football, tennis and Zumba classes also part of the programme. As a bonus, parents can access the pool and beach for free during camp hours. 25th March-5th April. AED 200 per day, AED 850 for five days, AED 1,500 for 10 days. Corniche East. 9am-2pm. Contact: 02 697 0272, sheratonabudhabihotel.com

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Run, jump, skip and roll – you can do it all at Little Smarties Nursery’s Happy Spring Camp for kids aged two months to six years old. An array of activities awaits including sports, dance, music, storytelling, science, organic gardening, arts and crafts and puppet shows. 25th March-5th April. AED 200 per day, AED 600 per week. 21st Street, Khalifa City and Sheikh Zayed Road, near Abu Dhabi Municipality. 8am-2pm. Contact: 02 556 5500, littlesmartiesnursery.com

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Parents looking to enhance their child’s adventurous side should check out the Adventure Camp by Discover Sports. With activities that include climbing, cave treasure hunting and zip lining, little Indiana Joneses aged four to 12 years old will surely get their fill of adventure. 25th March-5th April. AED 200 per day, AED 1,000 per week. Adventure Zone, Yas Mall, Yas Island. 8.30am-2pm. Contact: 056 242 2231, facebook.com/discoversports

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Kids five to 12 years old will have plenty of fun things to do at this spring camp from Emirates Palace. With the expansive palace grounds as their playground, little ones will get their hands on cooking, wake boarding, kite making and a host of exciting fitness activities. 25th March-5th April. AED 190+++ half day, AED AED 275 full day with lunch and AED 1,255+++ with lunch. Corniche West. 8.30am-4.30pm.  Contact: 02 690 7310, beach club@emiratespalace.ae

A unique roster of activities awaits kids aged five to 11 at Hallabolou from slime making, rocket blasting and magic shows to derby car making and racing. The exercises are designed to stir imagination, creativity and problem solving skills in a fun environment. 25th-29th March and 1st-5th April. From AED 150 for half day, AED 500 per week. Villa A54, Marina Office Park, next to Marina Mall. 9am-3pm. Contact: 02 622 2285, hallabolou.com

Is your child a budding tech wizard? Let their digital skills shine at the Minecraft E-magination Camp at Computer Explorers. Participants aged six to 14 will get to grips with everything from programming and coding to Android app design and creative graphic designing, all aimed at sharpening their imagination and digital ingenuity. 25th March-5th April. AED 265 per day with lunch. Nation Galleria, Corniche West. 11am-3pm. Visit: computerexplorers.com/uae 

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The Spring Time Bloomers at Riverwood Nursery will keep kids busy during the school break. From arts and crafts and science experiments to flower planting and maths exercises, curious participants will have plenty to keep their brains ticking over. The camp is open to children from 45 days to five years old. 25th March-5th April. AED 500 per week. 18Z-5C, opposite Bareen International Hospital, Mohammed Bin Zayed City. 9am-2pm. Contact: 02 583 2399, riverwoodnursery.ae

Little explorers will enjoy trying out a variety of fun (and educational) projects at Camp Imagination from Kidz Factory. What’s in store for campers? Science, arts, cooking and fitness activities, among others, are prepared to indulge participants. 25th-29th March and 1st-5th April. AED 165 per day, AED 750 per week. Dalma Mall, 19th Street, Musaffah. 10.30am-3pm. Contact: 052 978 5982, kidzfactory-uae.com 

The Sandcastle Club at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort will host a variety of activities designed to entertain kids. Campers four to 12 years old will get to participate in team-building games, arts and crafts, swimming lessons, obstacle courses, and more. Snacks will be handed out as well as a gift pack containing a baseball cap, shirt and bag. 25th-29th March and 1st-5th April. AED 272 per day, AED 1,099 per week. Saadiyat Island. 9am-3.30pm. Contact: 02 498 8991, sandcastle.saadiyat@stregis.com

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Stress among kids and teens is real. That’s why The Art of Living has designed special workshops for children aged five to eight (Little Angels), eight to 12 (Art Excel) and 13 to 18 (Yes!). Fun activities will boost concentration, creativity and productivity, likewise improving youngsters’ relationship with parents and friends. Little Angels 2nd-6th April, 5pm-7.30pm; Art Excel and Yes! 2nd-7th April, 9am-11.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm. AED 315  to AED 420. M-02, Kalyan Silks building, junction of Muroor Road and Al Falah Street. Contact: 056 673 2913, artofliving.org

For families 

Yas Marina becomes a fairytale land on 30th and 31st March for its Once Upon a Springtime Festival. Relive favourite childhood tales through colourful sceneries made more whimsical by the themed attractions like Unicorn Land and Enchanted Forest, featuring face painting and arts and crafts booths. Adding to the fun are puppet shows, storytelling activities, outdoor games, live entertainment and a pop-up market. AED 30 per child. Yas Marina, Yas Island. 1pm-6pm. Visit: yasmarina.ae

The annual Bunnyville hops back into town to mark Easter. Here, kids can showcase their artistry by painting and decorating eggs and working on arts and crafts projects. The programme also includes an egg hunting game and petting zoo, while a life-size Easter bunny makes the rounds to charm guests. 31st March. AED 95 per adult, AED 130 per child. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, Corniche East. 4pm-8pm. Contact: 02 677 3333, sheratonabudhabihotel.com

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The events lawn of The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa will host an Easter Weekend and Bunny Chase for the occasion. Expect food trucks, live music, a petting zoo, kids’ activities and a bunny chase for kids and adults. 31st March. Free. Sas Al Nakhl. From 5pm. Contact: 02 616 9999, westinabudhabigolfresort.com

Springfest takes over Yas Waterworld from 16th March until 7th April where you can catch the Mermaids Show every weekend, featuring interactive underwater performances. There’s also live music and two giant aquatic trampolines installed at the Amwaj wave pool. AED 185. Yas Island. 2pm-6pm. Contact: 02 414 2000, yaswaterworld.com

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Itching for some outdoor shopping? Then make your way to the Eastern Mangroves Promenade for the Spring Fair organised by La Loupe. Get your hands on pre-loved and new items from more than 50 UAE-based sellers. Catering to the whole family, this weekend pop-up market will also dish out live entertainment, kids activities and food and beverage stalls. 30th and 31st March. Free. Sheikh Zayed Street. 2pm-9pm. Visit: facebook.com/laloupeauh

The Galleria welcomes families on 30th and 31st March for various activities. Meet the Easter bunny (who might just have a sweet treat for you), join in arts and crafts activities and dine out from one of the participating restaurants in the shopping centre. Free. Al Maryah Island. 3pm-9pm. Contact: 02 616 6999, thegalleria.ae

Eating out 

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The garden-themed lunch dubbed Pranzo in Giardino at Roberto’s Abu Dhabi will serve traditional Italian Easter fare for friends and families. The picnic vibe will be made more lovely by the addition of lounge chairs, low tables, balloons and faux grass. Kids, meanwhile, can enjoy activities including face and egg painting, egg hunting and colouring. 31st March. AED 245+ per person, kids below 10 free. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Noon-4pm. Contact: 02 627 9009, robertos.ae

Bring along the entire family and celebrate Easter at Latest Recipe on 1st April. Complementing the international buffet are fun activities for little ones such as egg hunting, giant Easter egg decorating and an Easter bunny chase. AED 149, half price for children aged six to 12. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah. 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 644 6666, lemeridienabudhabi.com

The kids are alright at Las Brisas in Emirates Palace. The Easter Eggs-travaganza brunch will feature a gourmet buffet plus activities including face painting, carnival games, balloon bending, Easter rabbits and live entertainment courtesy of pop and blues trio, Jasmine, Mike and Matt. 30th March. From AED 370+++ per person, AED 180+++
for kids between aged 10 to 12, children under 10 years old free. Corniche West. 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 690 7999

The Easter Eggcelent Brunch at Urban Kitchen will spread out an array of international dishes served buffet style. As for the kids, they will be treated to special activities including an egg hunt and egg painting. Sweetening up more the deal is the chocolate factory housing a mix of treats. 1st April. From AED 145+++ per person, AED 73+++ per child between seven to 12, children six years old and below free. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street. 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 698 8137, reservation.table@dusit.com

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Easter merrymakers can hop their way to Beach Rotana to celebrate the occasion. The brunch will feature food specialties from the hotel’s restaurants including Prego’s, Benihana, Rodeo Grill and Brauhaus. As expected, Easter treats such as homemade chocolate bunnies and eggs will be paraded for kids and adults to enjoy. 1st April. From AED 340+++ per person, AED 170+++ children six to 12, children below six years old free. 10th Street, Al Zahiyah. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Contact: 02 697 9000

WORDS Ferdinand Godinez

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