Essential events and activities for kids: December 23-January 5
Thursday December 23
See Christmas in with a bang
For a special festive night beneath the stars, Christmas Full-Moon Desert Drumming is a fun evening of music and dancing, with Dubai’s drumming community bashing out carols. There’ll also be camel rides, sandboarding, a barbecue and even Santa bearing gifts.
Dhs190 for adults, Dhs85 for kids aged six to 13, under-sixes free. 6.30pm-midnight. Gulf Ventures Desert Camp, www.dubaidrums.com (056 744 2128). www.timeouttickets.com
FREE! Treat the tykes to a free ice-cream with Time Out Kids
Get your copy of Time Out Kids December and head down to London Dairy Café, where you can choose not one, but two free scoops of ice cream from dozens of flavours. Just fill out the voucher on page 35 of the magazine and take it with you.
Free. Until December 31. London Dairy Café, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 269 0262) or Mall of the Emirates (04 341 5727).
FREE! Meet and greet Santa at Toys R Us
Share your stories, secrets and stocking wishlist with Santa at the Toys R Us store. Don’t forget to pen your letter to Santa – the 15 best letters will win a toy from Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Hot Toys list.
Free. Until December 24, 5pm-10pm. Toys R Us, Dubai Festival City (04 206 6564).
Build a gingerbread house
Creative kids (aged four to seven) can bling up a gingerbread house from edible ingredients at Cité des Enfants’ festive workshop, with the best house winning free entrance to the Snow Park at Ski Dubai. When they’ve finished getting creative with the gingerbread, there’s also a chance to explore Cité des Enfants’ brilliant play zones.
Dhs100 for a 90-minute drop-off session. Until December 25, 10am-midnight. Cité des Enfants, Mirdif City Centre (800 534 7873).
Party on at Peekaboo
With Christmas cookie decoration, festive arts and crafts and tons of games and prizes on the menu, the Peekaboo Party is the place to be this Christmas Eve. Santa will also be putting in an appearance, bearing gorgeous gifts.
Dhs85. 4pm-6pm. Peekaboo, Mall of the Emirates (04 347 0622).
Taste Christmas cupcakes at Sugar Daddy’s Café
This decadent bakery, which has just opened a new café in Galeries Lafayette, has created a variety of tempting treats decorated in the season’s sparkle. Dhs12-15.
Sugar Daddy’s, ground floor of Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall (04 344 8202).
FREE! See the big man on the big day
Once he’s delivered all his pressies, Father Christmas will be roaming around Poseidon’s Court at Atlantis. Pop down for a snapshot with the man himself, and don’t forget to say thank you for all the presents he delivered (we’re assuming you’ve been good for the past year).
Free. 2pm-4pm. Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1000).
Try traditional afternoon tea
One for mums (and sophisticated kids), tuck into a traditional afternoon tea and festive tunes courtesy of the hotel’s carol singers.
Dhs150 per person. 1pm-7pm. Palm Court Lobby Lounge, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8999).
Be a zookeeper for the week
For a brilliant back-to-nature experience, animal enthusiasts will love the wildlife winter camp at Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR), which offers kids close animal encounters such as reptile handling, giraffe feeding and a bird show. A fabulous learning experience, the keepers will deliver fascinating facts and offer a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo’s workings, showing how sick animals are nursed and how food is prepared. With tons of team-building activities, games, projects and art classes, camps don’t get much better than this.
Dhs200 (including refreshments and snacks). Daily until December 30, 8am-1pm. AWPR Education Centre, Al Ain, www.awpr.ae (03 781 1451).
EDITOR’S PICK Have a blast at a Mad Science winter camp
Diddy discoverers aged four to six can get to grips with green-fingered fun at the Garden Winter Camp, which lets little imps investigate all the goodies in a garden, from learning how things grow to discovering how insects live. Meanwhile, older kids (aged seven to 12) will be blown away by the Moving with Science camp. Exploring the ‘creative side of science’, they can view the world through a camera obscura and build bridges, cubes, pyramids and even crystal gardens.
Dhs700 per week (ages four to six); Dhs900 per week (ages seven to 12). Daily until December 30, 9am-1pm (ages four to six), 9am-3pm (ages seven to 12). Venue to be confirmed. Mad Science, email@example.com (04 3377 403).
EDITOR’S PICK Hit the ice at The Dubai Mall Get your tweens and teens into the groove with a Monday night festive fever on the ice. The public session includes a free disco with chart-topping music and dazzling lights.
Dhs50. 8pm-10pm. Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall (04 448 5111).
Begin antenatal classes at Infinity Clinic
New mums-to-be may want to sign up for these practical classes, which promise to prepare you for the birth and the early days with a newborn.
Dhs1,500 for a four-part course. 7pm-9.30pm. Infinity Clinic, Al Wasl Road (04 394 8994).
Enter a winter wonderland at KidZania
Soak up the season with KidZania’s ‘wintertainment’ programme, offering a rich Christmas calendar of festive activities and decor. Curious kids can check out the newspaper establishment and interview others to understand their views on the winter season. There’ll be gift sharing, festive songs and parades, a fashion show of special seasonal costumes, and storytelling sessions of Santa on the radio.
Dhs125 (aged four to 15), Dhs95 (aged two to three), Dhs90 for adults. Open Sun-Wed 9am-10pm, Thu 9am-midnight, Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall, www.kidzania.ae (04 448 5222).
Time Out Dubai,