Thursday December 29
Last chance Book your seats for Peter Pan
Join Peter, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and the Lost Boys at the First Group Theatre as they take to the stage and give a spellbinding performance in the classic children’s pantomime. Expect lots of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘Oh yes he is!’ The kids will love it – and it’s a great treat to wind up the festive season. Suitable for kids aged five and up.
Dhs150. Daily 3pm and 7pm. Until December 31. First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinattheatre.ae (04 366 6546).
Kids eat for free at Mango Tree Bistro
We love the fact that this family-oriented restaurant serves all manner of Asian cuisine – and that kids under 12 get to eat for free. The weekend meal deal, which runs from noon until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, includes balloon bending, face painting and even a free family portrait of your dining experience.
Prices vary. Fri-Sat noon-midnight. Ongoing. Mango Tree Bistro, Mirdif City Centre (04 284 3635).
Today only Picnic at the polo
Pack a hamper and head down to the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club for some pre-new year polo and a picnic in the sunshine. A great place to take the kids when they need to run off some steam, there’s a large empty polo field behind the picnic area where you can fly kites, play cricket or kick a football around. There are always other children happy to join in too, so the nippers will be amused all afternoon while you tuck into the cucumber sandwiches.
Dhs50 (per car). 2pm-sundown. Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches (04 361 8111).
Today only Enjoy a New Year’s Eve buffet at Latitude
This Jumeirah Beach Hotel venue is holding a family buffet with access to the terrace, so when the clock strikes midnight you’ll get a prime view of the celebrations.
Dhs1,100 (includes a glass of bubbly and selected house beverages), Dhs990 (children aged 12 to 20), Dhs550 (children under 12). 8pm-late. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, www.jumeirah.com/dubaifestive (04 348 0000).
Editor’s Pick Today only New Year’s Eve fireworks!
Head down to Kite Beach just before midnight to catch the spectacular fireworks display at the Burj Al Arab for free. Alternatively, if you can find a friend with a handy Palm Jumeirah rooftop terrace, you can enjoy the fireworks display at Atlantis.
Today only Welcome the new year at The Westin
Book a family table at the gala dinner at the Westin’s Serdaal Ballroom. There’ll be Chinese acrobats and a kids’ corner. Dhs1,650 (selected house beverages), Dhs575 (children aged six to 12). 7pm-1am. The Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina (04 511 7139).
Sunday January 1
Storytelling sessions at The Old Library
Enjoy a lively tale or two in these popular storytelling sessions suitable for kids under seven. Keep the little ones enthralled for an hour, then choose a few books to take home. Pre-registration is essential, so call beforehand to avoid disappointment.
Free. Sun 10.30am. Ongoing. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, www.theoldlibrary.ae (04 341 4777).
Editor’s PicK Ice skating at Arabian Center
Glide into the New Year with a few turns on the ice. The Arabian Centre’s rink is made of a substance called synthetic ice, which is 10 per cent less slippery than the genuine stuff, and a lot less cold, making it ideal for beginners.
Dhs25 per person per hour, including skate hire. Open daily 9am-10pm. Ongoing. Arabian Center, Khawaneej Road, Mirdif (04 284 5555).
Visit Sharjah Old Cars Club and Museum
Located next to Sharjah International Airport, this museum displays more than 100 vintage vehicles dating back to the early 20th century. You can browse at your leisure, or book an appointment with the enthusiastic curator, who will happily give you a guided tour. This is a great one for dad and the boys.
Dhs5 (adults), Dhs10 (family). Open Sat-Thu 8am-2pm, 4.30pm-9pm; Fri 4.30pm-9pm. Ongoing. Near Sharjah International Airport (06 558 0058).
Kids dine for free at Spur
We love this South African family restaurant in Dubai Festival City, where the steaks are thick and juicy, and the nippers are kept entertained throughout the meal with colouring sheets, balloons and the restaurant’s own playroom. Mum and dad can tuck into hearty nosh while the kids make the most of the food. Best of all, the kids eat for free.
Prices vary. Tue 6pm-11pm. Ongoing. Spur, Dubai Festival City, www.spur.ae (04 232 8866).
Editor’s Pick Pony up for breakfast
Horsey families can spend a morning taking a two-hour guided tour of the stables at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, learning all about polo ponies and how they’re cared for. Afterwards, head to Epona Café for a slap-up breakfast.
Dhs195 (adults), Dhs100 (kids aged four to 12). Sat-Thu 8am-10am. Ongoing. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, www.dubaipoloclub.com (04 361 7111).