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
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
It’s official – the season is upon us! And if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to dig out those reindeer ears and elf hats and get ready for some jolly fun! We’re talking fun fairs, Santa meet & greets, snow parks and so much more!
1. Elf Adventures at WAFI
Head over to WAFI this festive season for one of Dubai’s favourite Christmas experiences where your boys and girls can look forward to a gorgeous animated display of an Elf Village, Santa’s Grotto, Elf Mountain, a Ski Simulator, Christmas movies, Santa’s Post Box and more! Don’t miss the opening day on December 5th from 5pm!
WAFI, Dec 5-26, Daily 8:30am-9:30pm, AED 70 for Santa’s Grotto + Ski per child, AED 20 for Ski Simulator only, more info
2. Dubai Opera Christmas Market
Explore this 10-day market where you can shop for unique finds and enjoy everything from kitsch Christmas arts and crafts to mince pies, hot chocolate and other festive favorites. Your little ones will be kept entertained with a candy making station, arts and crafts and even a visit from the man in red!
Dubai Opera, Dec 4-14, Sun-Wed 4pm-10pm, Thu-Sat until midnight, free entry, more info
3. Festive Garden at Habtoor Palace
Explore an enchanting winter wonderland of festivities brimming with dazzling decorations and holiday carols in Habtoor Palace’s beautiful Versailles Gardens. Seasonal tunes will put you all in the festive spirit as you make gingerbread houses, enjoy the merry go round, chu chu train or even battle it out with your loved ones in the dedicated Snow Fight Zone.
To add on to the winter cheer, there will be a variety of kiosks and food stalls, serving up delicious traditional delights. What’s more, every day at 6pm sharp, a jolly Santa will arrive, and head straight to his grotto, where all the little ones can meet up.
Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Dec 5-24, Daily 5pm-10pm, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
4. A Christmas Market By The Beach
Browse through the exciting Christmas Market at the Hilton’s garden and delight in the festivities with over 20 stalls offering a wide range of Christmas goodies, gifts and decorations. Alongside the market, you can grab a bite at Wavebreaker offering a variety of festive food and drinks.
Don’t miss the special visit from Santa himself, and 50% off beach access for your entire family.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Dec 6-7, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
5. Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market
Experience 16 consecutive days of festive vibes at Madinat Jumeirah. Featuring a traditional market, food stalls, a breathtaking Christmas tree, and the unique opportunity to ride an abra with Santa, there’s enough holiday cheer for everyone in your family!
Your little ones will love the giant snow ball zone, four-land bungee jump, the play area and gingerbread house making station. Be sure to indulge in the delicious selection of seasonal food and drinks.
Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah, Dec 13-28, Sun-Wed 3pm-midnight, Thu-Sat open from noon, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
6. Festive Market at Aspen Lounge
Nothing feels more festive than browsing through a Christmas market trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Make your way to Aspen Lounge’s Festive Market to buy a gift for someone special or simply treat yourself to traditional festive sweets such as homemade mince pies, cookies, gingerbread houses and hampers.
Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dec 3 – Jan 9, Daily 12pm to midnight, free entry, more info
7. Festive Market & Santa Chase
Chase Santa down on the Westin’s beautifully transformed lawn and go shopping for some beautiful market finds. The Winter Wonderland will be packed with vendors and activities for your whole family including the annual Festive Market.
The Westin Abu Dhabi, Dec 7, Sat 12pm-7pm, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
8. Yas Winter Carnival
Enter a winter wonderland set at Yas Island that ticks off all the boxes for a perfect festive day out. Shop for your special Christmas favorites at the UAE’s largest Winter Market, join in on the celebration with a tree lighting ceremony, play with real snow and even build your very own snowman!
That’s not all – you can also experience the thrill of the fun fair, catch a stunning fireworks display, and build & decorate your own gingerbread house, all while singing along to your favorite festive tunes with the live choir.
Head to the Kids Zone for a variety of hands-on activities for your little ones.
Gateway Park South, Yas Island, Dec 11-15, Wed-Sun 2pm-11pm, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
9. Winter Fest at The Corniche
Get in the festive mood this winter and enjoy a variety of winter-themed activities at this beautiful wonderland on the Corniche. Enjoy arts and crafts, games, entertainment, market stalls, carol singers, performers and even an ice rink!
Formal Park, Corniche Abu Dhabi, Dec 12-21, Daily 2pm-10pm, free entry but activities are chargeable, more info
10. Swiss Christmas Market
Get yourselves in that cheerful Christmas mood at Beach Rotana’s annual Swiss market filled with the wonderful aroma of freshly baked cookies and other seasonal delicacies. Make your way through the small Swiss Village with its 40 nicely adorned wooden chalets displaying ornaments, decorative gifts and handicraft items typical of the season, to give your family a unique Christmas shopping experience.
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Dec 4-7, Wed 4pm-9pm, Thu 2pm-10pm, Fri-Sat from 11am, free entry