The Nutcracker opens today
Don’t miss the superb first-night performance of The Nutcracker by the Vienna Festival Ballet. It tells the story of Clara, who is given a magical nutcracker soldier doll that mysteriously comes to life. They venture off to a distant land and confront the evil Rat King, and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Dhs165-Dhs185. Thu 4.30pm and 8pm; Fri 11am and 4pm; Sat 11am, 2pm and 7pm. Until December 17. Ductac Theatre, Mall of the Emirates, www.ductac.org (04 341 4777).
Festive cheer at the Christmas Cup brunch
Chukka up at the Christmas Cup brunch and bazaar at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. Grab a table on the terrace at Palermo to watch the action on the polo pitch and enjoy a seasonal brunch, then browse the crafts bazaar (you can book a stall to sell your own goodies for Dhs100 per table).
Dhs199-Dhs375, half price for kids aged six to 12, free for kids under six. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, near Arabian Ranches, www.poloclubdubai.com (04 361 8111).
Visit the festive market at the Madinat
Meet Santa at the launch of the Madinat Jumeirah’s famous Souk Festive Market. Taking place every day from today until December 26, there will be a Christmas train station, a winter forest, snowball throwing, T-shirt painting, Christmas movies and festive balloon bending. There will also be stalls selling traditional gifts, plus food and beverage stands with everything from gingerbread houses to mulled drinks.
Free. Sun-Thu 3pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 1pm-midnight. Until December 26. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com/dubaifestive.
Elves’ tea party in Old Town
This party takes place at the Royale Ballroom in The Palace, and will include tree lighting, a children’s buffet and a visit from the man in red.
Dhs145 per person. 3pm-6pm. The Palace, The Old Town, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7806).
Decorate a gingerbread house at the Radisson Blu
Buy a gingerbread house for Dhs70 and the little ones will be able to decorate it with icing, goodies and sweets at no extra charge. They’ll also get the chance to meet Santa, and receive a surprise Christmas present. Advance booking recommended.
Dhs70 per gingerbread house. 2pm-4pm. Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek (04 205 7333).
Meet Santa at Ski Dubai
Father Christmas will be taking up residence on the snowy slopes from today until December 24. He’ll meet kids, take photos and find out about their Christmas wishes.
Dhs120 (adults), Dhs110 (children). 4pm-10pm. Until December 24. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates (800 534 7873).
Christmas art camp at Ductac
Help the kids unleash their creative side (while making some fun festive gifts into the bargain) at Ductac’s Winter Camp. Running from today until December 22, they can try their hand at drawing, painting, ceramics and more.
Dhs900 per child for five days. 10am-1.30pm. Until December 22. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 341 4777).
Holiday cookery camp
Tina McFazdean’s Little Chef’s Holiday Cookery Camp is a fun way for kids to learn their way around the kitchen, from food safety to how to cook recipes from around the world. Suitable for kids aged five and above, the course runs from today until December 22, and includes lunch, healthy snacks, apron and recipe booklet.
Dhs700 per child for five days. 8.30am-1.30pm. Until December 22. Behind Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, email@example.com (050 458 3015).
Father Christmas comes to Wafi
If you haven’t yet seen the festive displays at Wafi, make a date to do it today. This year’s theme is The Nutcracker, and it’s great value – for Dhs50 you get to see Santa, have a photo taken with him, the tots get a toy, and you’ll also get numerous vouchers for deals in the mall, plus entry into a Christmas draw to win a trip to Lapland.
Dhs50 per person. Daily 9am-9pm. Until December 25. Wafi, Oud Metha, www.wafi.com.
FREE! Feel all warm and festive with the Le Méridien choir
Warm up those vocal cords – the choir at Le Méridien will be performing yuletide carols every evening from today until Christmas Eve. They’ll also be serving eggnog, hot chestnuts and mince pies, plus Santa will be there to say ‘ho, ho, ho!’ to the little ones.
Free. Daily 7.15pm-8pm. Until December 24. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 702 2347).
Peter Pan at the Madinat
Join Peter, Tinkerbell Wendy, Captain Hook and the Lost Boys as they take to the stage in the Madinat Theatre pantomime. Suitable for children aged five and above, the JM Barrie tale will get you in the festive spirit.
Dhs150 per person. 7pm (matinee performances on subsequent days). Until December 31. First Group Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinattheatre.com.