Things to do this December

Your month’s essential events, by our panel of experts

December 13-18

Spinneys 92 Junior Races

The seventh Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge expects 2,500 cycling enthusiasts from all over the world to rock up this year. Young riders can sign up for their own race, taking place the day before with a 15-kilometre route for 7-11 year olds and a 30-kilometre one for the 12-16 crowd. There’s also a three-kilometre Kiddie Ride for under-sixes.
Dhs60 per entry, free (kids under six). Fri Dec 16, 6am. Dubai Autodrome, Motor City,

Go for glow
Prepare to be wowed as the Dubai Garden Glow is back for another season of brightly-lit wonder, inspired by events and places from around the world. This year’s display will take you to the Masai Mara for the wildebeest migration and to the tulip fields of the Netherlands as you’ve never seen them before. Enjoy live performances by international and regional artists and acrobats, too.
Dhs60, free (kids under three and handicapped guests). Until April 2017. Zabeel Park,

Wallet-friendly shopping
A first-of-its-kind online shopping portal has launched in the UAE, dedicated to selling affordable toys, equipment and family essentials for children up to the age of 12. It stocks more than 1,000 products across several brands, with every single item ringing in at under Dhs100. has promised quality over quantity and is committed to saving busy parents time and money. There are plenty of good-value options to put under the Christmas tree and to pop in a stocking!

December 19 - 25

Festive Kids' Craft Day at Arabian Ranches Golf Club

Let your children discover their creative spirit during the jolly season and enjoy crafting festive decorations and ornaments at Arabian Ranches. Enjoy fun-filled activities such as ceramic painting and a bouncy castle.
Dhs50. Tue Dec 20, 4pm-7pm. Water’s Edge, Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Emirates Road (04 366 4700).

Jingle All The Way!
Pull out your sparkliest outfits and get ready to sing your hearts out to Christmas classics like Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and Winter Wonderland at Dubai Opera’s Jingle Bells Favourites sing-along show. It’s performed by the London Concert Orchestra and West End soloists, and it’ll surely get the whole family in the festive spirit.
From Dhs150. Tue Dec 13, 8pm; Wed Dec 14, 3pm and 8pm. Dubai Opera House, Dubai Opera District, Downtown Dubai, (04 440 8888).

‘Tis the Season of giving
Panicking about buying all those presents? It’s now ridiculously easy to send e-gift cards, thanks to the Dubai-based You Got a Gift. You can also order via the app ­and, the best thing is, it won’t get lost in the post! With more than 100 retail brands to choose from, there is something to suit everyone.

December 26-31

Free Fruit!

Balance the December sugar overdose and take advantage of Just Kidding’s new in-store initiative − free fruit for little shoppers! Stands are loaded with fruits so kids can choose their snack for free, ensuring that they have at least one healthy bite and still reach that five-a-day quota. Oh, and there’s no more hungry tummies when shopping! Bingo.
Various locations including Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 341 3922).

Peter Pan comes to Dubai
Follow the tale of the boy who never grew up and the children who craved adventure through stories, fighting evil pirates and daring to walk the plank. This will be a brilliant, family-friendly panto, with song and dance a-plenty.
From Dhs140. December 20-27, various times. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha,

SOUQ Superstore is here
The popular online retailer has made everyone’s Christmas by launching the SOUQ Superstore, a digital hypermarket for grocery shopping, helping busy families save money and time by ditching the trolley and tantrums and easily tackling the dreaded weekly shop. You’re sorted!

Tree top fun

Zip-line through the branches or try out some tree-top surfing − Aventura nature park, set among a 35,000-square metre natural Ghaf tree forest in Mushrif Park, is set to open this month, providing plenty of outdoor entertainment for adventurers both big and small.
Open daily 9am-8pm. Mushrif Park,

More from Kids, Activities

Festive activities to include live performances and kids’ workshops

GEMS Choir’s annual performance to include festive treats

We’re counting down to the festive season with a Santa sack full of events

A new culinary school for kids and healthy lunchboxes 


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