7 festive ideas for Dubai families
See Santa, watch a pantomime, decorate gingerbread and more Christmassy fun
Attend a Christmas Story Time
Take the kids to cosy café Book Munch on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th December to listen to Christmas stories and enjoy milk and cookies. Little minds will be captivated by the festive stories, which will include Father Christmas Needs a Wee and The Snowman – and when the books close, attendees can get creative designing and decorating gingerbread houses.
Dhs120 per child. Wed 18th and Thurs 19th December, 4pm-5.30pm. Book Munch, Al Wasl Square, close to Safa Park, Jumeirah, www.bookmunchcafe.com (04 388 4006).
Santa’s Grotto will be open for business at WAFI from 9th December. Located on the first floor next to Café Court, the grotto operates a queuing system rather than booked slots. As kids wait, they will be entertained by a team of elves, enthralling animatronics, and festive movies - and once they reach the big man himself, they will have a photo taken and be handed a surprise gift, a pass to play area Kids Connection, a token for a kid’s meal, and a raffle ticket to win a luxury family holiday.
Dhs60 per child (includes gift, pass to Kids Connection, kids’ meal in the restaurant, and raffle ticket). 9th – 24th December, Sat to Thurs 10am to 10pm, Friday 10am to 11pm. WAFI Mall, Sheikh Rashid Road, www.wafi.com (04 324 4555).
Watch a Pantomime
If heading to the theatre is part of your family’s Christmas tradition, book tickets for The Madinat’s pantomime Alice in Wonderland. Showing at family-friendly times between 19th and 30th December, Lewis Carroll’s classic tale will be bought to life to capture the imagination of the whole family. Join Alice’s madcap voyage as she chases the White Rabbit, gets tied up with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, sings with the bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game.
Dhs150 (balcony), Dhs175 (stalls). 19th Dec 7pm, 20-24th Dec 11am and 3pm, 26-27 Dec 3pm and 7pm, 28-30 Dec at 11am and 3pm. Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinatjumeirah.com (04 366 6546).
Attend a Christmas Party
Everyone loves a Christmas party and the Mamavents Santa Baby Festive Frolics Event at Caboodle City Walk will definitely get the kids excited over the festive season. The event is aimed at young kids and toddlers, with organised entertainment so that parents can relax over a cup of coffee while nippers enjoy themselves. There will be Christmas songs, stories, games, and a fun photo booth with snaps they can take away as a souvenir. A keepsake craft activity will also be included, with a gift handed to each child before they leave. Booking is essential.
Dhs125 per child and adult. Sun 7th December, 10am-12pm. Caboodle City Walk, Jumeirah 1, www.mamaknowsdubai.com.
Have Fun and Give to Charity
If you had plans to visit Kidzania over the festive season, you wont be disappointed. Along with the whole place decked out in seasonal lights and decorations, there will be special festive themed activities in the Arts & Crafts area, Culinery School, Jewellery Shop, Painting School and Beauty Salon. Kidzania’s theme this year will be about sharing wishes, with visitors encouraged to donate clothes and toys to less fortunate children.
Dhs140 (kids 4-16 years old), Dhs95 (adults and kids 2-3 years old). Sun-Thurs 9am-11pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 11pm. Kidzania, Dubai Mall, www.kidzania.ae.
Got creative kids? Put the paints, clay, and crayons to the side and give their hobby a festive spin with The Ritz Carlton Dubai’s Gingerbread Decorating Workshops. Taking place on a series of Saturdays throughout December, the classes will be taken by the hotel’s talented team of pastry chefs and are suitable for kids between 5 and 12 years old. Attendees wont go hungry as they get to work, with a selection of delicious treats from the Ritz Kids Afternoon Tea to keep tummies happy.
Dhs240 per child. Sat 6th, 13th, and 20th December, 2pm-4pm. Ritz Carlton Dubai, JBR, www.ritzcarlton.com (04 318 6150).
Enjoy a Festive Afternoon Te Enjoy a Festive Afternoon Tea A
What better way to spend a December afternoon than by combining the adult joy of afternoon tea and gluhwein with the childhood joy of meeting Santa Claus? Aspen by Kempinski is the place to head over coming weeks, where a festive afternoon tea will be served every afternoon. After enjoying the generous portions of sweet treats, children can head over to meet Santa, who will be landing his sleigh and reindeer in Aspen every afternoon from 6th December between 3pm-6pm. Each child will receive an early Christmas present and a photo keepsake.
Dhs150 per person for afternoon. Free to meet Santa Claus.
Daily from 6th December, 3pm-6pm. Aspen by Kempinski, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, www.kempinski.com (04 341 0000).
Time Out Dubai,