Every April, Sharjah throws a big ol' two-week-long cultural party in the old city: Heritage Days. Jeremy can only handle it once every two years, but I take the girls every year. It's nothing amazing or in-your-face exciting, but I enjoy strolling around the old city and seeing it mocked-up to how it looked in the olden days, with increasingly elderly Emiratis sitting around, plying trades from the days of yore.
At Heritage Days, you can get henna done, watch a special kind of cow (the one with the big hump over the shoulders) assist in drawing water from a well, see an old-style garden, sample traditional food, and watch Emirati men and women cook dumplings, sew fishnets, weave baskets, salt fish, and dance. There are a few old houses opened up for you to walk through, which makes you really appreciate modern AC. There is even an old-style playground that is more than a little rickety, but sturdy enough for the kids to play on for a few weeks once a year.
The best year was probably 2012, when the girls and I stumbled across an empty lot filled with bouncy castles. For 15dhs each, the girls got to bounce to their hearts' content for a whole hour. They still haven't forgotten that year, even though it was rather less like a traditional Emirati activity. I guess it was just a fluke, because they haven't appeared again.
I'm glad we have the chance to visit Heritage Days each year. It's a good reminder of the essence of this place that we live.