OilOli is the latest, coolest, most engaging place to take your kids to in Dubai. It is a marvelous world of exploration where they can learn and discover art, science and technology, and all whilst having fun.
In Hawaiian, OilOli means joy, and I can testify that this place truly carries its name, as my daughter had a blast in this world. My favorite part as a mom is how the different galleries are designed in a way that encourage kids to try everything they offer, pushing them to discover new experiences. As soon as kids enter a gallery that they like, they dive into a new world, never wanting to get out of it!
I have to say that not all of the galleries were of equal interest to my 4 year old. Some galleries offered activities that required more advanced skills and, as a result, she was not intrigued enough to spend too long in some of them. However, we still managed to spend over 3 hours in OliOli, and this gives you a good perspective of how enjoyable this place can be for little ones!
I think it’s best to describe each gallery separately, so I can truly share what each one of them contains. OliOli offers just so much to talk about that I won’t be doing it justice by just sharing a quick overview of this little world.
So let’s get started, shall we?
When Googling OliOli, the first gallery that pops up is Toshi’s Nets. With its varied, bright colors and its gigantic size, this net immediately stands out. Kids can access it through tunnel holes that are close to ground level, and which will take them to the big wide net where they can climb, jump and have the best time of their lives.
The website says that the net can fit up to 29 baby elephants—and this makes it totally legitimate for moms to have a blast without worrying about destroying the place, right?
The Water Gallery was one of my daughter’s favorite rooms. I have to say she enjoyed it even more than Toshi’s Nets, which came as no surprise to me, as this girl absolutely loves water!
The Gallery is filled with water experiments, day-to-day water activities, ball canons, and fake rain where kids get to walk underneath it. Now, if you’re wondering, yes your child will be totally wet from head to toe in this Gallery, but the good news is that OliOli offers them the cutest raincoats. This way they can have a total blast and truly enjoy all the activities presented in this room.
My daughter’s favorite was cleaning a blue car with the different equipment available. We spent over 20 minutes doing just that!
teamLab Future Park Gallery
This was another one of my daughter’s favorite Galleries, and one where she spent over one hour.
The Gallery is completely dark, as most of the activities are based on technology and are done on screens. Kids in here get to color a drawing that will be scanned and injected into a virtual town where they can watch their creations come to life on a gigantic screen. You can bet that my daughter scanned her drawing over 10 times!
Another favorite activity was the round table with little virtual elves that you can interact with by pushing them into different directions.
Note: this area contain some “sock only” zones
Forts and Dens Gallery
This is a totally cool Gallery where kids get to build their own fortresses using all the material available in the room: chairs, sheets and ropes. Although this seemed like my daughter’s dream come true, she did not spend much time in this Gallery, probably because she did not get to truly experience what this room was about as she was the only child in it.
Note: this is a “sock only” zone
This Gallery is located right next to the Forts and Dens Gallery, on the mezzanine floor. It is large, spacious and well lit and looks like a safe environment for little ones to play in.
Note: this is a “sock only” zone
The Air Gallery, the Creative Lab Gallery & the Car and Ramps Gallery
The reason I’ve decided to group these three Galleries together is because we did not spend much time in them. My daughter had a quick glance at them and left as she either did not find much of interest (the Cars and Ramps Gallery is absolutely awesome, but probably not for my little girl), or they required more advanced skills or knowledge than she has, which was certainly the case with the Air Gallery or the Creative Lab where kids learn how to create and build using real tools.
Having said that, I can totally see her enjoying these two Galleries in a year or two, when her curiosity about how the world around her functions kicks in.
Do I recommend OliOli to other parents? Totally!
This place is awesome.
It can attract all little ones from toddler years to tweenagers alike, while parents can enjoy a warm cup of coffee at the café.