Kids' calendar

The top stuff for the family this week...

Thursday 19

Stick Man ( Don’t miss this wonderful show adapted from the hilarious children’s book by Julia Donaldson. Suitable for everyone over the age of three (mums and dads included), the performance also features a seasonally appropriate guest star who dresses in red – a perfect treat for good little boys and girls. The show starts at 4pm at the Madinat Theatre and tickets cost Dhs100 for under-12s and Dhs140 for adults.

Friday 20

FREE! JESS Night Market ( Get yourselves well and truly into the Christmas spirit at the Jumeirah English Speaking School Night Market. There are loads of crafty stalls to browse for possible gift ideas, as well as plenty of fun activities for the little ones, including a miniature train ride, face painting, a treasure hunt and a games section for older kids with fairground favourites such as shoot-the-hoop, loop-the-duck and even a coconut shy. Santa will also be in his grotto for those who have been good this year. From 3.30pm to 7.30pm at JESS Jumeirah.

Family fun day at the Animal Sanctuary and Petting Zoo (050 273 0973; Stroke a goat, cuddle a cat and get to say hello to all sorts of wonderful furry residents at the emirate’s only petting farm. This family fun day not only includes a tour of the zoo and information on how to care for pets, but loads of great activities for little animal fanatics, with games and prizes to be won. Entry is Dhs10 for adults and Dhs5 for children.

Saturday 21

Go cycling in Mushrif Park (off Airport Road; 04 288 3624) A great exercise activity and wonderful in the cooler weather, cycling will blow away the cobwebs while you get back to nature in Dubai’s only combined park and nature reserve. Pack a picnic and enjoy Mushrif’s many facilities, including the swimming pools, play areas and a miniature world village, featuring a pagoda and a windmill. Entry costs Dhs10 per car.

Sunday 22

Triple P seminar (050 552 9819; Get some expert advice on teen psychology at the Raising Responsible Teenagers seminar. Taking place at the Australian Family Care Centre, 7pm-9pm.

Monday 23

The Tales of Peter Rabbit (04 341 4777; Don’t miss the children’s show of the season, as one well-loved naughty bunny and his friends gather on stage at Ductac for The Tales of Peter Rabbit extravaganza. Running three times a day until November 25, this show promises to be a fun-filled singing and dancing romp that will enchant both children and adults. Call the theatre for details – some performances are for schools and nurseries only.

Tuesday 24

Basic First Aid Training (050 953 5075/04 394 1000;; Make sure all your first aid techniques are up to speed by attending this practical workshop at the Keith Nicholl Medical Centre – a useful diary date for anyone with little ones to look after. The class, run by Family First, takes place from 7pm-9pm and costs Dhs250.

Wednesday 25

Festive Fayre at Kings Dubai (050 514 8575) Another great chance to get in a festive frame of mind with the Kings Dubai Fayre. A fun-filled evening for all the family, the event will feature choirs and bands, a pay-as-you-go organic barbecue, heaps of interesting stalls and loads of activities for all the family. The fun starts at 5pm and lasts until around 8pm.

Mother and toddler group (050 656 5837; Don’t let the pre-school rugrats drive you up the wall during the week. Instead, pack them into the car and take them to the mother and toddler group at Wafi’s Encounter Zone. For Dhs25 you’ll get tea, biscuits and sympathy from the other mums, while your little horrors will be exceedingly well occupied in the wonderful room full of toys.

Movies and Munchies (Desert Palm, 04 323 8888) Relax by the pool and enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, while you tuck into the popcorn (and other snacks too). For Dhs30, it’s a fun-filled family evening that won’t break the bank. Curtain up at 6.30pm.

Thursday 26

Outdoor cinema ( Check out Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters at the biggest open-air cinema down at Media City’s Amphitheatre. The season starts today and runs until December 7. Visit the website for film screenings and timings.

Free! Feed the ducks at the Irish Village then wolf down some alfresco fish and chips for tea. It’s the perfect end to a week of hard graft and the kids will love it too. (You’ll have to pay for the fish and chips, though.)

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