In a year where we’ve home-schooled, locked down, quarantined and spent more time with the grandparents virtually than ever before, we think the kids need a bit of a treat this Christmas. We’ve pulled together our top suggestions for the kids this winter and with three whole weeks off and many mums not braving the cold of the UK, we’re sure you’ll find this a super helpful guide to filling our days!

It’s Not Christmas without Snow…

For the ultimate, magical treat this Christmas, take a trip to Ski Dubai and visit their amazing Winter Wonderland. There’s nothing quite like seeing the snow at this time of the year, and it’s the only place to get a taste of a cold winters’ day! With various packages, there’s so much on offer, with sweet treats, a snow cinema, penguin encounters and a whopping 40-foot tree to admire! Throw snowballs and sledge with the whole family in the snow park, take the kids to meet Santa and Mrs. Clause*, and enjoy a hot chocolate to warm yourselves up.

Prices start from just AED 125 to meet the big man with prices increasing based on number of activities selected.  Children under two are unable to visit due to safety reasons.

To book, please visit their website, select your preferred date and package and book in a time slot – it couldn’t be simpler. Santa is at Ski Dubai daily right up until Christmas, and also available on Christmas Day morning! *Mrs. Clause’s arrival date is after 13th December.

Santa’s Best Kept Secret

This Christmas make sure you visit Publique at Souk Madinat which has been transformed into a wonderful winter wonderland! With live entertainment, a Christmas sleigh, Santa Clause, the Gingerbread Man and Frosty the Snowman showing up, the kids will be thoroughly entertained! And for us parents??? A mouthwatering four course menu of cheeses, cold cuts, a traditional Christmas dinner and a delicious sharing selection of deserts, including chocolate fondue, this is truly not be missed this December.

Prices start from AED 275 per person with additional drinks packages available. Children over 5 are charged at AED 80 whilst 4 years and younger join in for free. This fab wonderland is available right through until 8th January from 12noon daily. Reservations are essential, please call 058 108 2465 or visit their website for more information.

Say it with Chocolate this Christmas

If you’ve got little ones, then Christmas isn’t Christmas without oodles of chocolate. If you’ve got little chocoholics at home, then you need to try out the Step Up Ceramic Café’s chocolate workshops, led by the amazing Katie Higgins, taking place on Wednesday 16th and Wednesday 23rd December from 10am – 12noon. This parent and child activity is a fab one to do with the kids over the winter break and you’ll get some delicious self-made goodies to take home as well.

Priced at AED 260 for one adult and one child, this included all materials, plus additional children can join for AED 120. Please visit their website to book and be quick as places are limited!

Festive Celebrations in the Desert

If you’re looking for a beautiful setting with all the essentials of a Christmas market, Bab Al Shams is the place to go, as it transforms into a desert themed wonderland for the season. Take a trip to the desert resort to check out their huge Christmas tree and Santa Clause carriage, take part in their festive sing along, and enjoy some mulled grape, hot chocolate and mince pies. Why not make a night of it and enjoy their festive market buffet too?

Taking place from 12th – 20th December from 6pm -10pm, adults enter for free whilst children pay AED 50 which is fully redeemable on F&B! For more information, WhatsApp 056 549 4440, email  restaurants@babalshams.com or visit their website.

Festive Fun Outdoors this Winter

The winter weather is amazing and now the temperatures have dropped, what better way to spend a Friday or Saturday than browsing the stalls and taking part in the festive activities at The Ripe Market! Do a bit of Christmas shopping with a choice of unique and homemade gifts or let the kids enjoy some Christmas workshops and gingerbread decorating. You can take the kids to see Santa in his grotto and pick up your own real tree to fill your home with the gorgeous scent of pine. Finish your afternoon by gathering around the tree for the tree lighting ceremony to feel totally in the Christmas spirit.

The Ripe Market takes place at Academy Park in conjunction with Dubai Police every Friday from 9am – 7pm and every Saturday from 10am – 7pm throughout December. Entry is free and for more information visit the website.

Gingerbread House Making for the Whole Family

Enjoy a traditional family fun activity at Arabian Ranches Gold Club and put together and decorate your very own gingerbread house. Whether it’s to eat or purely to admire, you and the kids will be able to create a showstopper piece covered in icing and sweets (as long as they make it onto the house!), with prizes going to the best house.

Theis fab event takes place at Ranches Restaurant from 3pm – 6pm on Sunday 13th and Sunday 20th December. Prices start at AED 125 per person which include the activity, a meal and a soft drink. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. Email restaurant@arabianranchesgolf.ae or call 04 360 7935 to book. 

Meet Santa at Bookworm

With COVID making things a little more difficult this year to meet Santa, Bookworm are offering the chance to meet Santa virtually so you can still get that Christmas photo for keeps. Post your photo on social media and you could be in with a chance of winning some great prizes! Bring your letter to Santa along to pop in the postbox to make sure it gets to the North Pole in time for Christmas, and to receive a personalised letter back.

Available at Bookworm, Al Ferdous and The Meadows Souk. Visit www.bookworm.ae or call 04 323 5305.

Pantomimes and Shows 

We’re thrilled that despite the circumstances, there’s tons of pantos and shows to take the kids to this year. It’s not Christmas without a panto – oh no it isn’t!!! Here’s a run-down of what’s taking place this December in Dubai.

Jack and the Beanstalk will be showing at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City this Christmas. A classic pantomime the whole family will enjoy with lots of laughs, songs to sing along to as well as some magic. There will be popcorn and ice cream for the kids with some festive drinks available for the adults. Tickets start from AED 125 and are being sold in bubbles of three, four and five people. Performances take place from 16th – 27th December at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City and you can book online at www.dubaipanto.com.

Beauty and the Beast, the enchanted fairytale will be showing at the Theatre by QE2, with plenty of songs to sing along to, lots of love, laughter and a happy ending. Tickets start from AED 120 per person and performances fun from 16th – 27th December. Book tickets online at www.theatrebyqe2.com.

Merry Muddle is full of seasonal songs, fun and magic tricks with the UAE’s favorite magician, Magic Phil this Christmas! A great one to entertain the kids with tickets starting at just AED 100 per person and shows taking place on the 11th and 12th December only. For more information or to book, please call 058 838 3107 or visit www.theatrebyqe2.com.

The Christmas Show at Fairmont The Palm will be offering up plenty of festive fun for the whole family to enjoy. With Christmas themed sketches and sing along favorites, as well as a snow flurry to keep everyone entertained! Prices start from AED 120 and the shows run from 17th – 28th December. Book online now as tickets are only AED 120!

The ultimate festive, feel good, family Christmas concert, Jingle Bell Rock is coming to the Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday 18th December, and you don’t want to miss it. Featuring the most loved Christmas songs with a stellar line up of international performers and musicians, Jingle Bell Rock will get you in the festive spirit and is the perfect way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Ticket prices vary and are available online at PlatinumList.

Not quite a panto, but The Snowman is a well loved, all time magical Christmas classic, and is being shown this December for the first time in the UAE. Based on the Raymond Briggs book, the film of the west-end show will appeal to both young and old. Showing at The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates on 11th December at 11am, tickets start from AED 45. For more information or to book, please visit PlatinumList.

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