It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (yes even with the sun shining and the palm trees swaying – a hint of that lovely sparkly time of year is definitely in the air). Not feeling very festive yet and need a little nudge in the right direction or just want to start filling your diaries with fun stuff for the whole family this December? Look no further mamas, we’ve put together details of some of the City’s best festive events to get you holiday happy.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND AT THE MADINAT THEATRE
Christmas is all about spending time with the fam – so head out to the theatre to catch the magical adventure of Alice in Wonderland. Delve into the rabbit hole and join Alice’s madcap voyage as she chases the White Rabbit, gets tied up with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, sings with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own dangerous game. Brought to life, Lewis Carroll’s classic story of Alice in Wonderland will capture the imagination of your whole clan.
When: 19th – 30th December
Where: The Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Tel: (+971) (0)4 366 6546
Cost: Tickets from AED 150
Image sourced from Pinterest
GINGERBREAD HOUSES AT APPLESEEDS
Appleseeds is spreading heaps of holiday cheer and inviting families (members and non-members) to decorate their very own Gingerbread Houses at their fab Gold & Diamond Park venue. Prepare to get creative with icing, sparkly sugar and your favourite candy to give your house the ultimate makeover – we think Hansel & Gretel would approve.
When: Thursday December 4th, 4pm
Where: Appleseeds, Gold & Diamond Park, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0)4 80 6064
Cost: members and non-members prices available, please call to enquire
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING MORNING AT BABYSOUK
Officially appointed as Santa’s Middle East representatives this year, the ‘soukettes’ (Dubai’s version of Santa’s elves) are on a mission to make sure everyone has a truly magical Christmas. Join them for a morning of festive shopping at the BabySouk warehouse for great deals on toys and gifts topped with entertainment for the kids, yummy nibbles, Christmas music and a big dollop of festive cheer. Then sit back and feel smug that your shopping is done and all you have to do is wait for everything to be beautifully wrapped and delivered in time to go under the tree.
When: Thursday 20th November 8.30am – noon
Where: BabySouk HQ, Al Quoz, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 321 4328
Cost: No charge for entry but be prepared to spend spend spend once you’re there!
STORY TIME, TREE LIGHTING & MUCH MORE AT BOOKMUNCH CAFÉ
What’s Christmas without chocolate, a tree, classic stories and gingerbread? Well mamas at BookMunch you get the whole shebang (and a whole lot more) during the month of December. Little helpers (aka the kids) will be rewarded with treats for joining in at the tree lighting ceremony and are invited to attend story time with a seasonal twist (think The Snowman, Father Christmas Needs A Wee and other kiddie favourites) followed by creating their very own gingerbread house to take home. Sounds pretty perfect to us mamas!
psst….every kiddo who visits BookMunch between December 20th & 24th for breakfast or lunch will get a free gingerbread cookie with candy and frosting to decorate.
When: Tree lighting Wednesday December 3rd, 6.30pm. Story Time & Gingerbread Houses December 18th & 19th 4pm – 5.30pm.
Where: BookMunch Cafe Wasl Square (near Safa Park), Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 388 4006
Cost: Tree lighting is free of charge and Story Time costs AED 120 per child and includes cookies, milk and the gingerbread house to take home!
THE BOUNCE CHRISTMAS JUMP-ERTake a giant trampoline park and add a whole load of festive sparkle, a sprinkling of seasonal treats, Santa, his helpers and classic Christmas tunes played by Dubai 92’s Geordie Bird and you’ve got yourself a party Bounce style and some real reasons to jump for joy! This is an evening event for some good old fashioned big kids fun (and we mean the mamas and papas too) with a Christmas Jumper dress code (the sillier the better – the most offensive wooly number wins a prize)! Book early or miss out!
When: Tuesday 9th December 8pm – 11pm
Where: Bounce, Al Quoz
Tel: (+971) (0)4 321 1400
Cost: AED 200 per person
CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THE DESERT
Have yourself a sandy little Christmas….picture this mamas – a candlelit glow over the dunes, warm campfires and a good old sing song. Christmas Carols in the desert is a chance to get together with family and friends to experience the magic of the desert while singing all of the best known carols. Bring food, drink, warm clothes, instruments, torches and even tents if you want to camp!
When: 19th December 4pm – 9pm
Where: Off the Bawadi Bab al Shams rd, Dubai
Image sourced from Pinterest
THE NUTCRACKER AT DUCTAC
This beautiful festive family performance brings to life the classical yuletide fairy tale by E.T.A Hoffman in Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable ballet performed by The Moscow City Ballet. The curtains open to a traditional cosy Christmas Eve scene complete with decorated tree, stockings and twinkling lights galore – where a beautiful hand-carved nutcracker with magical powers is given as a special gift and the magical adventure begins. Prepare yourself to be transported into a dazzling world of sugar plum fairies, giant mice, a wicked sorcerer and an evil rat king.
When: December 11th – 13th
Where: Ductac Theatre, Mall of the Emirates
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 341 4777
Cost: Tickets from AED 200
DUBAI CHRISTMAS FEST
Everything you love about Christmas (from ice-skating to pantomime) in one wintery wonderland complete with a snow fight zone (yup mamas, real snow in the desert), festive food from Dubai’s best loved eateries, workshops and crafts, games (reindeer rodeo or penguin bowling anyone?), shopping, Santa’s grotto – the list goes on and on! Jolliness is compulsory and any bah humbug must be left at home.
When: 11th – 13th December, 4pm – 10pm
Where: Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
Cost: Tickets from AED 55 per adult and from AED 25 per child (children under 3 go free). Some festival features will be charged extra once inside.
TREE LIGHTING & CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB
Nothing symbolises the holiday season more than a twinkling pine tree so prepare to make merry and feel festive at the Emirates Golf Club tree lighting ceremony – there’ll also be a choir singing all of the Christmas faves and a traditional seasonal buffet to tuck into (because all diets are officially on hold for the month of December mamas!)
When: 15th December 7pm – 9pm
Where: Emirates Golf Club
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 417 9999
CHRISTMAS MARKET & SANTAS WORKSHOP AT FAIRMONT THE PALM
‘Tis the season to be jolly so head over to Fairmont The Palm and experience their take on a traditional Christmas Market (complete with Christmas décor, spiced drinks and treats and hampers created by the resort’s culinary and spa team), launched on December 4th with a magical tree lighting ceremony for the whole fam to enjoy. Need some time to finish those last minute bits of shopping/cooking/wrapping/all of the above? Enroll the kids in the Fairmont Falcons Juniors’ Club for a Santas Workshop brimming with seasonal spirit including handcraft sessions, magical entertainment, ornament decoration and plenty of festive games.
When: The Christmas market is available from 4th December to 27th December 2014, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 9pm. Santa’s Workshop is available from Saturday 20th – Tuesday 23rd December from 2pm – 5pm.
Where: Fairmont, The Palm
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 457 3388
Cost: Santa’s Workshop prices start at AED 150 per child per day, advanced booking is required.
CHRISTMAS MARKET AT JEBEL ALI VILLAGE
Tackle your holiday shopping in one go at the Christmas Market in Jebel Ali Village where over 100 vendors will be selling gifts, décor, clothing, accessories, home accents, toys, food (in fact almost anything you can think of plus treats for mama of course!).
When: Saturday 6th December 1pm – 5pm
Where: Jebel Ali Village
Cost: Entrance is free of charge
CAKE SALE AT KEMPINSKI, MALL OF THE EMIRATES
You can’t have your cake and eat it…or can you? What if we told you that the Kempinski Hotel is hosting a charity sale of over 650 metres of German Stollen (the delicious sticky fruit cake covered in powdered sugar that simply tastes of Christmas)? The perfect festive dessert, foodie gift or little treat – Christmas comes but once a year and is more than just a reason to eat and spend mamas – so why not do so with a conscience.
When: Saturday 6th December
Where: Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 341 0000
Cost: Cake from AED 5 per slice or AED 100 per loaf.
FESTIVE FAMILY BRUNCH AT LOUNGE CAFÉ ITALIANOWho said that feasting and fun had to be reserved for one day only? Now every Friday can feel like Christmas day with Lounge Café Italiano’s new Festive Family Brunch featuring delicious authentic Italian food, a huge kids area, festive activities and toy corner for starters. AND each family who brunches will also be given a complimentary gingerbread house to decorate. Mama mia!
When: Friday 5th, 12th & 19th of December
Where: Lounge Cafe Italiano, Arenco Tower, Dubai Media City
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 453 3318
Cost: Adults AED 130, Children (aged 6-12) AED 60, under 5’s eat for free
THE SOUK FESTIVE MARKET AT MADINAT JUMEIRAH
Step into the Madinat Jumeirah’s festive market for a fab family friendly experience that not only includes the chance to shop and eat but also to catch a traditional North Pole train, skate on a unique ice rink, take a cooking class and meet the big man in red – all within the magical Madinat setting.
When: Wednesday 17th December to Saturday 27th December, 3pm – midnight on weekdays and 1pm – midnight on weekends.
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 366 6730
THE GIFTING TREE AT NYLA HOUSE
Mamas visiting NYLA House for a barre workout can expect more than toned muscles this Christmas. After certain sessions (keep an eye on their facebook page for details), attendees will be invited to pick an envelope off their gorgeous tree and receive gifts including free classes, meal vouchers, cute accessories and much more! If banishing bingo wings isn’t motivation enough to go along then the gifting tree should seal the deal mamas!
When: From Sunday 9th December
Where: NYLA House Al Wasl Road
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 321 2662
Cost: Classes cost AED 125 per session or monthly memberships start at AED 750
SANTA AT WAFI
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa and a chance for the kids to tell him just how good they’ve been this year! Every year the main man makes a very special trip from the North Pole to Wafi where he welcomes children into his grotto with a warm ho-ho-ho, a comfy lap to sit on and a little gift for all. Prepare to queue mamas – but so worth it just to see the looks on their little faces!
When: 9th – 24th December 10am – 10pm
Where: Wafi Mall, Oud Metha
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 324 4555
Cost: AED 60 per child including gift, pass for Kids Connection, framed photograph with Santa and a raffle ticket.