Shopping with little kids can be slow at best and an utter disaster other times. Even the best-behaved kids can get bored and frustrated when having to follow their parents around. Luckily, Caboodle Pamper & Play comes to the rescue with a Drop N Shop programme, which provides secure, supervised playtime for kids in a bright and vibrant environment while parents enjoy some kid-free time.
The play area and the fabulous Drop N Shop programme are only two elements of Caboodle’s pamper and play concept. They also offer a kids’ salon and dining options—a cafe at the Doha Festival City location and a full restaurant in the new Mall of Qatar venue.
Doha Festival City boasts a jungle gym for babies and a soft play for bigger kids. To fire their imaginations and inspire inventive play there is also an arts and crafts activity room, a dress-up corner with a myriad of costumes and an imagination zone with a raft of role-play toys.
The Mall of Qatar venue is a bit larger. In addition to the toddler soft play area, it also has a large soft play for older children. There are LEGO and playdough tables and a video gaming area with PlayStations. A separate library and movie room contains plenty of books and age-appropriate movies.
At both locations, staff will organise ad hoc games and activities for the kids to play together when it’s busy—the kids’ karaoke is hugely entertaining!
If that were not enough, Caboodle arranges weekly classes for kids and a number of events, such as summer and winter camps, throughout the year. During the week, kids can sit in on storytelling sessions, enjoy talent shows, join fitness classes, and even have their faces painted. Later this year, baking classes and cake decorating classes will also be offered for budding chefs at the Mall of Qatar.
All Caboodle staff are trained in child care and safety and child-specific first aid. Children will not be allowed to leave the secure play area at Caboodle without being signed out by the adult or guardian who signed them in. If you opt for the Drop N Shop programme, your child will be assigned to a dedicated staff member who will stay with them for the duration of his or her visit.
Doha Family Rating
Kids can have their hair cut and styled, get their nails painted or try various types of manicures and pedicures at the salon. If your child isn’t a fan of having their hair cut, don’t worry. Caboodle staff are dab hands at entertaining little ones and keeping them occupied while the scissors are busy. My daughter had a ball having her hair trimmed while she sat in a seat that looked like a racing car; she almost didn’t notice her hair was being cut.
Basic haircuts cost QR 65. They also offer up-dos, curling, tangled hair treatments and more. Bubba’s First Package, for your baby’s first haircut, includes a cut, a certificate and a printed photograph for QR 95.
Nail treatments cost QR 25 for a basic nail polish, QR 45 for a mini manicure, and QR 55 and up for other treatments.
The salon staff are all trained hairdressers and use organic products on your little ones’ tresses. The salon offers both walk-in service and advance bookings. You can also purchase the haircare and styling products used by the salon.
When it opens, the restaurant at the Mall of Qatar location will offer an assortment of food and drink options to tempt little taste buds and to satisfy hungry mums and dads. A variety of meals, including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, crepes, pastries and more will be available, as well as organic baby food in jars and sachets. The restaurant will be able to accommodate food allergies, such as nut, dairy and gluten. Just be sure to let the staff know before you order.
The Doha Festival City cafe menu is smaller, but just as tasty. It is worth noting that no food or drinks are allowed in the soft play area.
If you opt for the Drop N Shop programme, you can give permission to allow your child to help themselves to the menu at the restaurant or cafe or you can preselect a meal or snack for them and pay once you pick up your child.
Location: Doha Festival City and Mall of Qatar
Parking: There is plenty of free parking at both malls
Hours: Doha Festival City: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00–22:00, Thursday to Saturday 10:00–midnight, closed 11:30–13:00 Friday
Mall of Qatar: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00–22:00, Thursday to Friday 10:00–midnight (closed 11:30–13:00 on Friday), Saturday 10:00–23:00
Ages: Six months to eight years old, Drop N Shop kids must be at least 18 months old
Fees: QR 65 for one hour and QR 35 for every additional hour. A day pass costs QR 250. Drop N Shop costs QR 95 per hour
Accessibility: Children with physical disabilities and special needs are free to enter with a guardian. The large soft play structures may not be suitable for children with physical disabilities, but the toddler play areas are easily accessible
Wi-Fi: Will be available in the Mall of Qatar location
Nearby mosques: Male and female prayer rooms are available in the malls
Dress code: No shoes are allowed in the soft play area. Socks must be worn and can be purchased from the reception desk. Open lockers are provided for shoes and bags
Doha Family Tips
- Currently, if you book a haircut for your child, they can also enjoy 30 minutes of free play. Caboodle gives discounts for playdate groups of 15 or more children entering the play area together, and mums get a free tea or coffee to boot
- For events and special offers on classes, keep an eye on the Caboodle website or ask the ever-helpful staff at the reception desk. Some activities offered are included in the entry costs, while others require an additional fee
- Ask the reception staff for one of Caboodle’s loyalty cards—if you play nine times, you get your tenth play session free
- You can join the Caboodle Club and get one month’s unlimited access to the Caboodle play area for QR 1,000
- Separate girls and boys toilets, each equipped with a baby changing table, are located inside Caboodle at the Mall of Qatar location. Toilets at Doha Festival City are located in the food court. If your child needs to use a restroom during a Drop N Shop visit, a staff member will accompany them to the toilet
- Hosted parties, in private rooms on-site, can be booked by contacting the Caboodle events team directly, or by completing a simple form on their website. At the time of writing, party packages were still being finalised so check with Caboodle for more details