With a seven-year-old, four-year-old and ninemonth-old, it is nearly impossible to find an activity that all three of my children will enjoy. I have often found it difficult to find entertainment which will keep all three of them happy. Because of their different interests and abilities, more often than not it’s the youngest who ends up missing out.
That was the case until I took them to CurioCITY. Finally, there is a place in Qatar where children of any ability can enjoy the same entertainment centre.
Opening its doors for the first time earlier this year on the Pearl-Qatar, CurioCITY is an adventurous playground for children of all ages, optimised to help them learn through play.
Play for all abilities
Set up by Yousef Behzad Yousef and his wife Anastasiya Darozhka, CurioCITY was designed for children of all ages and abilities, with a specific focus on children with special needs. CurioCITY is intended to help children learn about science, engage them in physical activities and help familiarise them with the routine activities of life.
A wonderland of play
The multitiered wooden climbing frame with ramps, rope climbing and slides dominate the room, but it’s the little details that make CurioCITY stand out. Children can play dress up at the well-stocked, dress-up room, in everything from Spider-Man to Princess Elsa and then explore a large multi-sensory sequin board. Or they can role play at the shop/cafe with fake flowers, pastries and a till, along with a table and chairs for customers.
There is also a well-stocked arts and crafts room and a tree house where children can curl up to read. A darkened sensory room offers stimulus through light with a backlit peg wall, a touch-sensitive photoelectric ball, disco lights and a fibre optic spray. My ninemonth-old loved this room, delighting in the sensory aspect of all the colours, especially when his older brothers joined him and made the peg board light up in a riot of colours.
At the back of the play area you can find a variety of water tables where children can learn about water as an energy source as they push and pull levels to see how water can make cogs turn. Other magical touches include a sand pit, pedal cars and a room filled with stacking and threading toys. We spent two hours inside and feel like we only just scratched the surface on what was on offer.
Food and drink
The on-site cafe offers an assortment of food and drink options to tempt both little and big taste buds. An extensive drink menu offers everything from hot and iced coffee to milkshakes, smoothies and mocktails. A variety of pastries and muffins are available alongside a more substantial menu of the day where options range from sandwiches to chicken nuggets and pancakes. Organic baby food is also available in both pouch and jar form.
- Location: 18 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl
- Parking: Free parking is available at 18 La Croisette
- Contact: 7723-3233, facebook.com/centerofplay
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10:00–22:00, Friday to Saturday 10:00–23:00
- Ages: Up to 12 years of age
- General admission is QR 120 for one hour, QR 190 for two hours and QR 285 for unlimited play. Children younger than one are QR 20 and parents are free.
- Early bird admission (Sunday to Thursday 10:00–15:00 excluding special events and holidays) is QR 55 for one hour, QR 85 for two hours and QR 140 for unlimited play.
- Afternoon admission (Sunday to Wednesday 15:00–22:00, Thursday 15:00–17:00 excluding special events and holidays) is QR 85 for one hour, QR 130 for two hours and QR 185 for unlimited play.
- Admission for disabled children and children with special needs is QR 30 for one hour, QR 45 for two hours, QR 85 for unlimited play. CurioCITY offers special discounted “Play Pal” rates for children entering the play area together as friends or siblings.
- Accessibility: Children with physical disabilities and special needs must enter with a guardian. CurioCITY has six trained staff members, including specialists in caring for children with disabilities.
- Toilets: Both toilets and baby changing facilities are available within CurioCITY play area.
- Nearby mosques: Prayer rooms are available within Porto Arabia
- Dress code: No shoes are allowed in the soft play area. Socks must be worn. Open lockers are provided for shoes and bags. All children must wear a vest, which is provided by CurioCITY, during their time inside.
Doha Family Tips
- To benefit from the reduced rate for siblings and friends ensure that you all enter CurioCITY simultaneously
- Hosted parties, in private rooms on-site, can be booked by contacting the party planner directly on 7720-4220. At the time of writing, party packages were still being finalised so check with CurioCITY for more details
- Interactive science shows are scheduled at peak times. Currently they are held on Thursday at 6pm, Friday at 5pm and 7pm and on Saturday at 12pm and 4pm
- CurioCITY boasts staff members who are specialists in supporting children with disabilities
- Afternoons and weekends tend to be the busiest times; weekday mornings between 10am and 3pm are the quietest