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).
EDITOR’S PICK Embrace the Arctic at Iceland
Have a cool day out at the UAE’s latest waterpark – Iceland in Ras Al Khaimah. Surrounded by penguins (plastic, of course), floating icebergs and Snow River, it’s suitably seasonal and offers more than 50 attractions for all ages. There are tons of slides (from the tame to the thrilling), a full-sized water football pitch with frequent rain showers, tube rides and a rain disco.
Dhs225 for adults, Dhs175 for kids under 1.2m tall, kids under 0.8m tall free. Open daily 11am-8pm. Ras Al Khaimah: at the end of Emirates Road, turn left; the park is 4km on right, www.icelandwaterpark.com (800 969 725).
EDITOR’S PICK Ride around Dubai at Fun City
Mini motorheads (aged eight and above) and dads should race down to Fun City to test the new Super Bikes 2 arcade game, a larger-than-life racing adventure, boasting 11 tracks, including Paris, Las Vegas, Miami and even Dubai. The first arcade game to be customised for the region, speedy sprogs can thunder down Sheikh Zayed Road, cruise past the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa (it’s all very hi-definition) and take in the sights of the city, with the choice of nine riders and 12 superbikes.
Dhs8 per ride. Fun City, Oasis Centre (04 339 7783) and Arabian Centre (04 284 5679).
Rock star party at Planet Hollywood
Dress up as your favourite rock star and join the party at Planet Hollywood, with fun and games, a DJ, dancefloor party and an international buffet.
Dhs245 for adults, Dhs95 for kids (aged six to 12), under sixes free (one child per adult). 12pm-3pm. Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 4777).
New Year’s Eve in the desert
Get your glad rags on for a New Year’s Eve gala ball themed around 1001 Arabian Nights with a majlis set-up and live entertainment, including a DJ, local band Skitzophonic, bellydancing performances, camel rides and fireworks.
Dhs1,200 for adults, Dhs350 for kids (aged five to 12), under fives free. 7pm onwards. Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers, JBR (04 315 3218).
Saturday January 1
Celebrate with a full-on family feast at Planet Hollywood
Start the new year on a full stomach with a New Year’s Day roast and breakfast. The mouthwatering menu includes an international buffet, hot breakfast station and prime roast beef with all the trimmings, while the kids can get stuck into the activity-packed play area.
Dhs95 for adults, Dhs50 for kids (aged six to 12), under sixes free (one child per adult). Noon-3pm. Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 4777).
EDITOR’S PICK Camp it up on the beach in Umm Al Quwain
Located in a lagoon, bordered by mangrove trees and populated by flamingoes, the Marina Club is a stunning spot to set up camp. Boasting barasti shades, wooden picnic tables and all the essentials for novice campers (changing rooms, toilets, hot-water showers), you can also get stuck into loads of al-fresco family activities, from kayaking, angling, wakeboarding and surfing to doughnut and banana-boat rides. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and let off steam on the jungle gyms in the playground, before enjoying a tasty barbecue dinner at 7pm. Bring your own tents and equipment.
Dhs100 for adults, Dhs50 for kids, Dhs75 for a barbecue with charcoal. Umm Al Quwain Marine Club, www.uaemarineclub.com (06 766 6644).
EDITOR’S PICK Journey to the land of Lilliput
Don 3D glasses and chow down on popcorn while watching new comedy Gulliver’s Travels (3D), which promises lots of laughs. Funny guy Jack Black plays Gulliver in this fantasy-filled modern reworking of the timeless tale, which follows a shipwrecked journalist’s adventures when he finds himself a giant among men the size of his thumb.
In cinemas across Dubai.
Join the new pet club
Pint-sized pet-lovers rejoice! UAE pet store Pet’s Delight has created an online kids’ club (for children aged three to 10) that bursting with fun and informative news on pets and how to look after them. The site is packed with quizzes, puzzles and games, and young ’uns will also be invited to upload their favourite pet photos for the chance to win prizes. The group also organises pet owner get-togethers during the cooler months.
EDITOR’S PICK Let little ones loose at Mini Monsters
Little imps’ imaginations can run wild at the just-opened Mini Monsters, the largest indoor soft play centre in the UAE. With plenty of opportunities for creative and active play, the centre offers different themed play-frames, toddler zones, a party room and, most importantly, a café for mums to indulge in coffee and chats. Fun classes for tots and tykes are also planned – keep an eye on the website or email for info.
Mini Monsters, near Times Square, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.minimonsters.ae (04 325 5331).