Dreaming of a Fun Winter Break? Don’t Make This Mistake!

Dreaming of a Fun Winter Break? Don’t Make This Mistake!

By Nohad

Afterschool Activities|Arts & Crafts|Games|Indoor|Learn|Lifestyle|Little Kid|Outdoor|Parenting|Play

By Nohad Mouawad


I see you mom and dad! Next week the winter break starts, and you have all sorts of beautiful ideas about how you will spend it with your kids. First, you imagine yourself decorating your house. You get out the boxed-up Christmas decorations from last year and put them up to the sound of festive music, and you add to the décor with some homemade crafts. In your mind, the house looks so sparkly, and your kids laugh together as they make their adorable wreaths and snowmen. After you make your home more festive-looking, you’ll bake some holiday treats. Little Aya and Karim will have a wonderful time in the kitchen with you and also learning measurements and fractions, following instructions, and basic life skills. You can almost smell your house filled with the aroma of freshly baked brownies and cinnamon. Once you’ve enjoyed tasting your delicious snacks, it will be time for some holiday-themed coloring or crosswords to test their spelling. I’m sure that they will really value how much you care about their education. As a reward, a family holiday movie, cozied up on the sofa eating popcorn, will be the perfect end to the day. Simply rinse and repeat throughout the winter break, including outings to the park, visits to the mall Santa’s grotto and days out by the pool.

Okay mom and dad: now wake up from your fantasy! We all know that winter break at home will go nothing like the above scenario. Between fighting siblings, constant nagging, unappreciative whining, and Pinterest fails, winter break can only go wrong without some scheduled activities! At the very least, none of us will be able to sustain the mall visits, crafts and family time for more than a few days. I have a clear warning for you: don’t make the same mistake you make every year and regret it, or don’t even try to have your kids home for the entire break! That’s what winter camps are for. If your kids have siblings, they need to get away from each other, and be distracted by other kids and fun activities, and if you have an only child, they would love to be around other children their age and do activities that they like. Every year, the selection of camps in the UAE gets better and better, and there’s something to fit every family:

To Get Your Kids Moving:

  • Do you have a very active kid? Do you want your kids to spend a fun day, but most of all come home tired and get a good night’s sleep? An active camp is probably right for you! At Adventure Zone (by Adventure HQ), in Al Barsha, Al Quoz or Al Wasl, all the fun of Adventure HQ can be found in a camp, with a climbing wall, rope course and many more indoor activities, including arts and crafts, team building challenges, trampoline fun and drawing. Adventure Zone Winter Camp offers 1-day, weekly and full-time options during the break.
  • If you have an active, budding athlete on your hands, the Track & Field Athletics camp might be right for them. The camp, hosted at Gems World Academy, prepares kids for all kinds of track and field Olympics-style events, from long jump to hurdles and shot put. With the proper training of expert coaches, the Track & Field Athletics camp will be exciting and challenging for any sporty kid. The Track & Field camp has options from 1 to 15 days or up to 3 weeks. Flip & Kick in Nad El Sheba has a Winter Fitness Camp on during the entire break, with loads of fun physical activities for kids aged 4 to 12, including an obstacle course, dodge ball, parkour, football training, jumping and bouncing and so many more. It’s a great way to keep your kids active and entertained during the holidays.
  • If your kids love to move through dance, there’s actually a winter camp on at Hip Hop Cardio in Al Quoz. It’s more than just dancing, as the camp includes graffiti, deejaying, basketball and all kinds of cool street style fun.
  • If you want to get your kids outside and moving, the weather right now is perfect for Aventura Parks Life Skills camp. The winter camp, for ages 5 to 12 years old, is actually set in Ghaf tree forest and includes STEAM activities, interaction with nature, arts and team building activities in the forest rope course and across the natural setting. There are 1 to 5 day passes available.

To Get Your Kids Creating:

  • I don’t know about you, but all 3 of my kids, girls and boys, love robotics. It combines creativity, math, steam foundations, construction and so many principles of learning, but is so fun when they see their creations come to life. If you have kids that like to invent and build, or you just want your kids to try something new, there are 2 great robotics camps on this winter break. First, there’s Fun Robotics in Al Wasl (at Al Wasl Center), and they’ve got all kinds of activities from Lego robotics to coding and Minecraft programming from age 7 to 13.
  • At Vexbot Robotics winter camp in Al Barsha (Golden Tulip Hotel), between the 19th and 30th of December, Dr Garo Pilawijan, robotics professor from LIU University in Lebanon will be teaching kids the fundamentals of robotics and helping kids build their own robots as part of a team, enhancing their understanding of programming, mechanics and design. This camp has options from age 7 to 16 years old.

To Immerse Your Kids in Culture & the Arts:

  • What if you and your kids are looking for something more cultural or artistic? The Sharjah museums are offering a Happy Holiday Winter Camp program across their museums from learning about the land and sea travel methods in ancient times, discovering what archaeologists do at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum, learning what a shipwright does at the Sharjah Maritime Museum or getting to be a scientist at the Sharjah Science Museum, and many more fun and educational workshops.
  • How about signing your kid up for a Spanish cultural and language experience that can give them a leg up over their peers, and help them learn valuable skills for their future or even their next trip to Europe? At the Spanish Cultural Winter Camp at UCAM Español Institute in JLT they can learn or practice Spanish with other children their age, while playing games and doing other fun activities.
  • The Winter Break Art Camp at International Studio Art & Galleries in Al Safa will surely bring the little Picasso out in your kid, especially those who already love to draw, paint and be creative. Give your budding artist the chance to explore their creative side with 10 unique workshops across different media from mixed media and quilling to more traditional painting and drawing techniques.


If Your Kids Just Want to Have Fun:

  • There are a couple of camps that offer a wide variety of fun activities and Christmas celebrations with a visit from Santa Claus himself. There’s Velocity camp in Al Quoz (suitable from ages 5 to 12) that will be offering a little bit of everything from arts and crafts, kids Zumba, pizza making, cookie designing, free play, football matches and a visit from Santa Claus.
  • The Tr88house camp will keep your kids very happy with their glowing laser tag jungle, glow-in-the dark mini golf, a trampoline park, cooking classes and arts and crafts, as well as an optional lunch menu that kids can’t refuse, with everything from mac and cheese to sliders and chicken nuggets. If that doesn’t convince your kids to sign up, they also have a soft play area and a choice of donuts or popcorn for snack!

If Your Kids Have Already Tried Everything:

  • If you’re a UAE-veteran parent, and you’ve already tried it all- sports camp, dance camp, fun camp, and robotics- then I have the perfect camp for you. At the Winter Circus Camp, from the 12th to the 16th of December, your kid will really feel like they’ve run away to join the circus! Kids get to try all kinds of acrobatics and aerial activities, including silks, hoop, hammocks and a real trapeze! On top of that, the Circus Camp teaches juggling and also offers yoga, meditation, trampoline and parkour. This is not a camp that your kids will come home bored from.

With all of these great options still available- go ahead and book winter camp for your kids. Just imagine this: you at home or the office drinking your hot cup of cocoa in peace, knowing your kids are having a great time, and you might even get some last minute holiday shopping done.

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