You know you are in for something special when the parents are as excited as the kids. Oli Oli, a 30,000-square-foot facility in Al Quoz, is a dream come true for founders Asha and Purshotam Ramchandani who have taken inspiration from their travels visiting the most successful children’s museums, science centers and art studios across the world to create ‘tomorrow’s playground’
No more crazy soft play with tones of overstimulation and crammed-in noisy kids. Oli Oli, which means “joy” in Hawaiian because the “whole purpose is to bring back smiles of discovery on the faces of the children”, is more of a journey than a destination.
From the second you enter, there’s a sense of calm but also overwhelming excitement. You can tell this is something totally different and something Dubai has been screaming out for.
In total, the galleries include over 40 interactive, whimsical and wonderful things to do – unlocking creativity at every turn and sparking a genuine love of learning while really friendly smiley staff encourage the children to go for it – there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way here. It’s an emotionally-safe environment full of fun, interactive and educational activities with no outcome. Kids go along with it and interact as they see fit, depending on their age and development.
Toshi’s Net – A giant spiderweb structure, a rainbow of springy mesh holes, caves and hiding spots, where kids can roam free and let their imagination take the lead. 77 year old Toshiko MacAdam spent two years with her husband Charles creating a crocheted rainbow of nylon – tonnes of nylon – and turning her art into an interactive play space for children in Dubai.
Air. Checking out a wind tunnel booth, playing with floating sculptures and monkey’s fave bit, popping coloured scarves into different airways to see where they would pop out next.
Future Park. This is tooooo cool – draw and colour a fish, jelly fish or turtle fish and then watching it come to life on a digital wall? Have a look at our video to see it come to life!
Cars & Ramps. We built cars out of lego ( it took forever) and then launched them down ramps and jumped through hoops of ‘fire’.
Water. We saved this area for last as I knew my monkey would get soaking wet. Luckily, cute little yellow macs are provided! Here they can wash a car, fill tubes and fired special balls into nets.
There is also, Forts & Dens. Creative Lab, Toddler Space and an awesome cafe service delicious food and heavenly coffee.
There’s also fabulous little treats and details around every corner.
In short, we absolutely loved this place and we will be back again and again.
It should be open to the public any day now, but check www.olioli.ae for all the details and opening info.
We have since been back 3 more times!