Keeping our boys and girls engaged in activities outside school is at the top of most parents’ list. It is during our children’s formative years where their minds are open to new challenges, and signing them up for afterschool activities help to hone in on their passions. Luckily for our youngsters, Dubai and Abu Dhabi…Read More
Whenever Dubai Shopping Festival rolls into town, you can be sure to find heaps of family friendly fun to do with the kids. This time is no different! From awesome K-Pop performances, mesmerizing drone light shows to a trip to a magical wonderland, there’s plenty to excite every member of your family this DSF.
1. Alice’s Wonderland at Al Khawaneej Walk
It’s Alice in Wonderland! Favorite characters from the timeless fantasy adventure, including Alice, Mad Hatter, White Queen, White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Dormouse, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Playing Card, Frog Footman, Queen of Hearts and even the Hedgehog that served as her croquet ball, will be at Al Khawaneej Walk to greet you and the kiddos this winter.
There’s whimsical decor, music, arts and crafts workshops, outdoor cinema and a groovy maze in store, offering something for everyone. From theatre and musical performances to game shows and cosplay competitions, Alice and her friends have planned a packed schedule of entertainment to enchant the little ones.
First up on the list is the Magical WonderMaze. With complimentary access for all, a spellbinding three-storey structure built within the mall will lure you and your littles into a magical maze. Each level will be occupied by a room featuring immersive experiences – the Infinity Room full of wonder and lights, the Illusion Room that will have people shrink or shoot up like Alice herself, and the Slinky Room packed with rainbow-colored slinkies that make for the perfect picture.
Take a stroll through the Enchanted Garden with the whole mall transformed – from the book-shaped entrance to the magically lit feature tunnel down to the signage and the information desk. The entire destination will come alive with the theme, with flower lights, giant mushrooms, multi-coloured rabbits and caterpillars all around.
Then make your way over to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where all kids are invited. The one-of-a-kind gathering, set up inside the mall and hosted by the Mad Hatter himself, will offer fun-filled workshops teaching children how to create characters, teacups, hats and crowns out of coloured paper, and conjure smiles on their faces. A dedicated arts and crafts area within the mall will also host quirky workshops to build rabbit masks, greeting cards, White Rabbit’s pocket watch, bookmarks, strings of hearts and card armies, among others.
Mad about theatre? A vibrant show featuring local and international artists will present a new adventure every week. Each week will bring kids a new tale with fun twists and turns to the original story, including a musical journey with Alice as she razzle-dazzles through the enchanted land, a kooky tea party with the Mad Hatter and a close encounter with the ruler of Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, where she reveals why she is so mean.
You and your kiddos can even compete in a live game show at the mall. From catchphrase to quizzes to singalong games, players will have many chances to win exciting prizes throughout the month.
Plus your children of all ages can literally slip into the shoes – and the whole rest of the outfit – of one of the characters from Alice in Wonderland and they take part in the Cosplay Competition. The best costume will be crowned a winner.
If you spend AED 50 or more at the mall, your kiddies will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with the much-loved characters.
There’s also something for the movie fans! With a spend of AED 50 at any Al Khawaneej Walk or Last Exit outlet (same-day receipt), you can enjoy merry movie nights at the spacious on-site outdoor cinema. The line-up of movies will include the likes of Alice in Wonderland, Shrek, Frozen, Enchanted, Trolls, Madagascar, Snow White and How to Train Your Dragon.
Last but not least, you can’t miss The Enchanted Tree, a breath-taking installation which will captivate your little ones with a spectacular show featuring feel-good stories on the topics of kindness, love, hope, family and following one’s dreams.
2. Al Freej Village at Boxpark
Every weekend at Boxpark, the much-loved characters from Freej, the popular Emirati cartoon TV series, will bring to life tales that showcase the UAE’s culture and history as they meet and greet you and your kiddos.
Through simply spending AED 50 at any Boxpark outlet, the whole family can enter the dedicated Freej Village that will host a petting zoo, rodeo rides, as well as a face painting corner, and arts and crafts area.
You will also have the chance to meet Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Khammas, Um Allawi and Abood.
3. Etisalat Market OTB
Dubai Shopping Festival’s flagship al fresco event Etisalat Market OTB returns to its seasonal home at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. Set in the shared backyard of the iconic Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, this alternative bazaar brings together a range of local and international brands, food trucks, and live entertainment under Dubai’s exceptional winter weather.
Explore this year’s theme, NEWTRO, an emerging trend from South Korea and Japan that blends elements of the 1990s with contemporary culture. Combining the “new” with “retro”, discover some of South Korea’s finest beauty and fashion brands and take home vintage chunky shoes, throwback street and sportswear, flamboyant patterns and so much more. All the while, you can enjoy delicious treats from homegrown food stops and enjoy a packed line-up of exciting entertainment all day, every day.
This year’s line-up of fun activities includes Newtro ninjas, Glow Drummers, K-Pop performances, Yoga classes, Korean Orchestra performances, Movie screenings, Fashion shows, Flame Throwers, and Street Dancers
4. Parisian Flair & Live Music at La Mer
La Mer is bringing you Paris! Transport yourself and your family to the magical city at La Mer, where they promise to bring you Parisian ambiance right here in Dubai.
Adorned with 160 scintillating lights from the Champs-Élysées – one of the world’s most famous shopping avenues, known for its splendid vibes at this time of the year, the beach-front destination will be transformed to resemble the City of Lights – fashionable Paris. Illuminating palm trees and forming golden tunnels that are picture perfect.
Enjoy a spot of music? Catch South African born multi-talented singer Leone Murphy lighting up the stage with her soulful covers and original compositions.Groove to the beats of viral international street percussionist, ‘Bucket Boy’ as he uses everyday items such as pots, pans and buckets to play the funkiest, creative beats out there.
Feast on food from around the world: Check out the amazing deals from La Mer’s unmatched mix of dining outlets as you dig into cuisines from every corner of the globe. From succulent crab-and-lobster dishes from Aprons & Hammers, to scrumptious steaks from Argentina Grill, and fusion Emirati-Indian delights at Sikka Café, and much more.
5. DSF Drone Light Shows at The Beach
This year, The Beach brings magic to you and your family with a spectacular light show featuring drones. Through launching 300 drones into the night sky, the light show creates incredible 3D shapes choreographed to popular soundtracks and tunes.
This is all set to the background of fun entertainment and activities for the whole family. Besides shopping and dining, you and the kiddos can watch the roaming street performers, stilt walkers, jugglers and even magic shows!
6. Treasure Hunts & Live Entertainment at City Walk
Ready for an adventure? Head down to City Walk where you and the kids can channel your inner Indiana Jones during the massive treasure hunt every Friday and Saturday from 8 January to 30 January 2021 across the open-air destination. Treasure seekers can look out for a series of clues that will be hidden across City Walk.
Capture ‘gram-worthy moments at the new ‘Mirror Room’ at City Walk next to the fountain between 24 December 2020 and 30 January 2021. Upon a minimum spend of AED 50, you can enter a larger-than-life room and experience a world of LED lights, reflected against giant mirrors, to create a visual spectacle. Open from 2pm to 10pm every day, you can also check out the beautifully illuminated palm trees at the boulevard that make for great photo opportunities.
Join Modesh and Dana, Modesh’s new best buddy, from 18 and 25 December as they swing by. You can also experience gravity-defying performances first-hand from LED-aerialists between 7 – 9 January and 14 -16 January 2021.
7. DSF Market at Al Seef
Al Seef is host to a lively DSF Market where families can enjoy a range of exciting experiences, from food tastings and child-friendly workshops, to barista battles during themed weeks (they’re hosting a Chocolate week, a Coffee Week, a Kite and Bubble Week, and a Date Week) .
There will be art of all sorts on display: from dace to food art to showcases inspired by Gaudi himself- you and the kids will are in for a fascinating cultural experience, bringing you the local and international in dazzling display that will engage all of your senses. Every day an exciting repertoire of acts will take place on the main stage, and will be complemented by an Emirati showcase, embodying that typical Dubai magic of blending the homegrown with the global.
So head down with the kids and drink in the magic of Al Seef and enjoy all the fun and excitement the DSF market has to offer.
8. Rooftop Festive Village at Nakheel Mall
The Festive Village is inspired by celebrations from all over the world, and bring you nostalgic festive and free activities such as live music, entertainment, market, ice rink, a huge festive tree, and kids play area. The rooftop is complemented by festive decorations, to bring you that seasonal cheer.
You and the kiddos will love the market for all your holiday shopping, a fun play area for the kids with Toy Factory Workshops, a winter-wonderland ice rink, and a 13-meter Christmas tree and live music every day at the entrance of Santa’s Village.
In addition to the endless fun, the Rooftop Festive Village features food kiosks by Dubai’s homegrown Ripe Market that are set to make your tummies rumble.