The top stuff for kids to do in Dubai this week...
Café Ceramique (04 232 8616) Visit the new branch at Dubai Festival City, where your little ones can paint festive plates as last-minute pressies. There’s also a range of crockery, Christmas trees, Santa cookie jars, stars and baubles to decorate.
Tree lighting (04 360 7935) Head to the grand lobby of the Arabian Ranches Golf Club on Friday between 6pm and 7pm for a festive feast of carol singing, mulled beverages and loads of mince pies. Lots of Christmassy fun for just Dhs50.
Star in a story (050 265 2065; www.ricogifts.com) For an unusual and very personal gift, trot down to a Rico Gifts kiosk, give them your child’s name and a few details and see them star in their very own story. Choose from Superman, Garfield, Princess, sporty-themed titles and many more. Rico has branches at Dubai Festival City and Dubai Mall, inside Hamleys.
Theatrical winter workshops (04 341 4777 x234/5; 050 158 5653; www.kidstheatreworks.com) Put a bit of drama into Christmas with Kids Theatre Works’ Winter Wonderland workshops at DESS school and Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. Week-long workshops begin today and cover art, drama, song and dance, as well as acting, choreography and singing. Perfect for little performers aged six and over, the week ends with a stage presentation for friends and family to enjoy.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic at The Palace (04 334 4550) Treat the kids and their furry friends to a teddy bear’s picnic tea with Santa. Carol singers and a photo opportunity with the man in red, as well as a storytelling session, complete the perfect afternoon. Adults pay Dhs120 each, while kids get in free.
Peter Pan on Ice at the Arabian Centre Ice Rink (www.timeouttickets.com) Don’t miss out on this last chance to see Peter Pan on Ice. The classic tale of a boy who didn’t want to grow up is accompanied by a breathtaking performance from the international cast of skating acrobats. It’s the perfect seasonal treat.
Free! Souk Madinat’s Festive Market (04 366 6730) If you haven’t done so already, make the effort to visit the stunning Christmas market at the Madinat. Not only is it seriously seasonal, with a forest of decorated trees and lights, but the crafty stalls will provide late shoppers the chance to catch up on their present buying. And the kids can visit Santa too.
Carols at Ski Dubai (04 409 4000) Say hello to the man in red and his missus at Ski Dubai. With carols round the Christmas tree in the snow park, and Frostbite the polar bear also making an appearance, this festive treat has to be experienced at least once this season.
Free! Santa’s workshop at Mercato (04 344 4161) The toy factory on the upper level of the mall is bound to delight little ones. Complete with elves at work and loads of toys, we guarantee the ankle biters will be utterly enthralled. There’s also a letter-writing competition for good little boys and girls to enter.
Santa at Wafi (324 4426) With its Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme and Santa’s grotto, this excursion will have you all craving a dose of the sweet stuff. Dhs50 gets each child a toy, a photo with Santa and several other great freebies. Meanwhile, send your older ones on a mission round the mall, where they can enter the Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Challenge and win Dhs1,000 worth of Godiva chocolates. Mmmmm!
Sleeping Beauty at the Madinat Theatre (04 366 6546) Take the whole family along to this magical production for a seasonal treat they’ll remember. Charming characters including Dame Doughnut, Lester the Jester and, of course, the wicked fairy godmother will have them cheering, booing and hissing before you can say ‘he’s behind you’.
Gingerbread at Bead Palace (04 395 2771) Crafty workshops and the chance to decorate a gingerbread house are just some of the activities on offer at these festive workshops, which run throughout the Christmas season. Classes cost Dhs140, run from 2pm to 5pm and are suitable for those aged four and above.
Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club (04 361 8111) Deliver your Christmas list and go for a spin in Santa’s sleigh before it makes its round-the-world-in-one-night trip. With scrummy festive goodies available, as well as pony rides for kids, it’s a fabulous evening for the whole family. Festive fun gets going at 5.30pm, and you’ll pay Dhs30 for a 10-minute pony ride.
Atlantis Kids’ Club (04 426 1000) From making last-minute Christmas gifts to singing seasonal songs and watching festive films, the Atlantis Kids’ Club is laying on a huge range of festive activities suitable for tots to teens. Dhs95 per hour or Dhs285 per day will keep the little ‘uns happy, while Club Rush, for older kids, costs Dhs85 for the day.
Gulf Ventures Festive Desert Camp (04 404 5880) Take them sand skiing and sledge riding in the dunes at the very festive desert camp, which features a special visit from Santa during the evening. They’ll love the belly dancing, barbecue and whirling dervish, as well as the special Christmassy activities.
Carols at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (04 295 6000) Join in the carol singing and snack on fresh mince pies and warming mulled beverages at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. It’s the perfect Christmas Eve treat for little ones before they to bed to wait for Santa. Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! The festive cheer kicks off at 6.45pm.By Karen Iley
Time Out Dubai,