Visit Santa Claus at Ski Dubai
Santa will be in residence at his grotto in the Snow Park – kids can meet the man in red to share their wish lists and take pictures in the grotto.
Dhs130 (adults), Dhs120 (kids under 12). Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm. Until December 25. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, www.skidxb.com (800 386).
Cook up a festive storm
Encourage your mini culinary geniuses: Little Chefs Dubai is offering a series of ‘Food as Gifts’ one-day workshops for kids, Suitable for those aged seven and above, the price covers recipes, ingredients, lunch, snacks and containers in which to take their creations home. Advance booking essential.
Dhs189 per child. 9am-2pm. Until December 24. Little Chefs Dubai, behind the old Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, email@example.com (050 458 3015).
Manda’s Magic Christmas show is back!
Head to Ductac and take in this interactive kids’ show featuring all manner of magic tricks, stories and surprises with a festive theme. As a bonus, Santa will give out kids’ goodie bags at the end of the show.
Dhs75 per person. 3.15pm and 4.30pm. Wilkie’s Lounge, Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, www.mandasmagic.com (050 456 0413).
Get festive at Caboodle Pamper and Play
This play centre is launching its ‘12 Days Before Christmas’ calendar of events in the run-up to Christmas Day. As well as special activities, there’ll be daily festive movies at 1pm and 8pm, and Christmas storytelling at 4pm. There’ll also be new additions to the café menu, including cocoa, hot chocolate, gingerbread, smores and the ‘Elf Experience’, where kids can enjoy a cocoa or babycino with a mini cupcake and a special elf story.
Dhs50-85 for festive events; Dhs25 for Elf Experience. Open Sun-Wed 9am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-11pm. Until December 26. The Dubai Mall, www.caboodle.ae (04 325 3367).
Watch the Wizard of Oz panto
Get your dose of festive spirit with this year’s stage show at the First Group Theatre. The show, which has been put together by H2 Productions in the UK, includes characters such as Toto, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and, of course, the mean old witch.
Dhs165 per person. Daily 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Until December 31. First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, www.madinatheatre.com (04 366 6546).
Last chance Meet Santa at Wafi
Want to meet Father Christmas? We’d advise you to arrive early, when the queues aren’t usually so bad. Wafi is one of the best-value destinations in town to meet the man in red: not only do kids get to chat to Santa, they also receive a gift and a photo, and there are vouchers for free coffee or hot chocolate.
Dhs55 per person. Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm. Until December 24. Wafi, Oud Metha, www.wafi.com (04 324 4555).
Party with Santa on the Palm Jumeirah
Kids aged three to 12 will have a whale of a time at the Atlantis Kids’ Club Christmas party. There are loads of activities laid on, including building your own gingerbread house, making cards for parents, playing festive games and a special visit from Santa Claus. Pre-booking essential.
Dhs250 per child. 7pm-10pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 1387).
Get merry at the Mövenpick
The Talk restaurant is hosting a Christmas Eve dinner with a festive carvery buffet and plenty for little ones to enjoy, including a fun-packed kids’ corner and a visit from Santa.
Dhs199 (adults); free for kids under 12. 6.30pm-11pm. Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach, The Walk at JBR, www.movenpick.com (04 449 8888).
Have a cracking Christmas Eve at Traiteur
Put down the wrapping paper and head for dinner at Traiteur, which boasts a babysitting service. Mums and dads can enjoy shucked oysters, rotisserie beef and potatoes roasted in hazelnut butter while the kids are looked after by helpful staff. Babysitting is for kids aged four and over, and must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.
Dinner Dhs525 per person. From 7pm onwards. Also available on December 25 and 31. Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 317 2222).
A festive picnic at Al Badia
For an alternative way to celebrate Christmas, choose either a table or a posh picnic blanket, which will be spread with festive dishes. There are play supervisors on hand to entertain the kids, and Santa Claus will make an appearance.
Dhs295 (soft drinks); half price for kids aged six to 12, free for kids under six. Noon-4pm. Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City. www.albadiagolfclub.ae (04 701 1127).
Head to The Irish Village for a bargain festive brunch
Christmas Day at The Irish Village begins at 11.30am, with live music and a visit from Santa to hand out gifts to all kids aged under 12.
Enjoy a full festive buffet with plenty of Christmas cheer. Dhs90-165. 11.30am-4pm. The Irish Village, Garhoud, www.irishvillage.ae (04 282 4751).