Fun-seeking family @thecharmedfamily are here to showcase an unforgettable day out in Sharjah that ticks all the boxes! Join them as they step back in time to discover the lives lived within the walls of Al Hisn Fort Museum before being whisked back into the present for an animal adventure at the Arabian Wildlife Centre, broken up with much needed tranquility within the culturally significant and peaceful beauty of the Islamic Botanical Garden. Words and images by Jaime Morton-Hawley.
An Afternoon in Sharjah
Whether you’re looking to have fun family moments or take a walk through Arabian history, you might consider enjoying the experience of an afternoon in the old-world charm of Sharjah. My family and I took a quick drive north into the Emirate of Sharjah to explore the immersive world of the Arabian Wildlife Centre, the Islamic Botanical Garden, and one of Sharjah’s historic landmarks: the Al Hisn Fort Museum.
Arabian Wildlife Centre
This expansive indoor facility features a safe, air-conditioned environment to explore while providing a unique experience for families to enjoy. My youngest loved the open-air aviary and exploring the many caves filled with creatures in their natural habitats. My eldest was captivated by the playful and interactive baboons in their natural environment. Each outdoor exhibit features vegetation, elevation, and other natural surroundings to simulate a backdrop where these animals can thrive. The self-guided tour allows visitors to travel at their own pace through the well-mapped animal houses, which makes it perfect for individuals, families, or school tours. From the snakes, lizards, spiders and scorpions to the mammals in the nocturnal house, there is something for everyone at the Arabian Wildlife Center.
Islamic Botanical Garden
With over 50 plant species throughout the grounds, taken directly from mentions in the Quran and the scriptures, the Islamic Botanical Garden is both culturally significant and a peaceful beauty. My boys enjoyed grabbing a quick snack and refreshing drink from the convenient café, centrally placed in the indoor glass lobby. The landscape is a beautifully well-maintained and tranquil experience for the entire family. The Islamic Botanical Gardens is a wonderful location for experiencing the natural beauty of Sharjah or just taking an amazing photo with the family.
Al Hisn Fort Museum
Prepare yourself for a trip back in time as you step inside the historically grand walls of the Al Hisn Fort Museum! As we approached the sizable structure, we were immediately greeted by the formidable cannons standing guard over the Fort, just as they had been when they were necessary and functional. Upon entering, we found ourselves enjoying the experience of exploring the inner corridors and rooms. We spent reserved moments in each space, gaining insight into the lives lived within the walls, from the great Sheikhs to the criminals inside the prison. Along the optional voice-guided tour, you are taken through the weapons armory, which was a big hit with my eldest and my husband. They were enamored with the details of the ornately designed knives and swords that were displayed throughout the armory. The collection of guns was also a highlight, as they represented not only progression of design, but showed the advances in weaponry throughout history. My youngest loved the sizable model of the Arabian fishing boats that depicted every last intricate detail of what these incredible sailing vessels used to look like! The Al Hisn Fort is a historical landmark your family will not only enjoy, but one you won’t want to miss!
When searching for a fun, educational, and affordable way for your family to spend the afternoon, you will get everything you asked for and more in Sharjah!
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