How to Spend Winter Break: Find Santa, Forget the Turkey and Keep Your Guests Happy!

How to Spend Winter Break: Find Santa, Forget the Turkey and Keep Your Guests Happy!

By Nohad

For Moms|Indoor|Lifestyle|Little Kid|Outdoor|Parenting|Play|Toddler|What's On

By Nohad Mouawad


Winter break is finally here and there’s a lot going on. How can you make sure that your kids have a fun break from school without going crazy? How can you keep your out-of-town guests entertained and make sure that they see the best of the UAE? How can you know what events are on and decide which to book? At QiDZ, we’ve got a shortlist to answer all your questions:

Where to Meet Santa (for Free!)

 Every parent wants to capture that adorable picture of their kids on Santa’s lap, smiling and looking so festive. I know that the first picture my daughter ever took with Santa, at Souk Madinat Jumeirah when she was one and a half years old, she was crying and screaming.

This year, go to meet Santa well-prepared, and hopefully you will get some smiling photos and make some sweeter memories. Make them wear red and green or a cute Christmas sweater, or at least a fun holiday headband or Santa’s hat. Promise them a hot chocolate or candy cane for right after the photo, and even wave it at them during their turn so they smile in the picture!

There are so many places to meet Santa this year in Dubai, and these that we’ve rounded up for you are almost all free!

They’ve got a full Santa’s Secret Island and Drone Show at Bluewaters, where you can meet Santa at his grotto, enjoy live shows and even drone shows, as well as an ice-skating rink and kids’ workshops.

At Expo City Wonderland they’ve got a full chalet-style Christmas market, a place to meet Santa and post your letter, as well as hot chocolate, mince pies and mulled drinks for the grown-ups. Big kids can do climbing, jumping and zip-lining, while younger ones get a customized teddy bear at the Teddy factory!

If you need to get some holiday shopping done, why not stop by Mercato, where there are daily Santa parades, story time, and holiday stage productions. You can also have your kids do some festive workshops while you browse for gifts.

At Mall of the Emirates your kids can also meet Santa Claus and have their picture taken until the 7th of January.

At Festival Bay, for a small fee, they’ve got a whole festive village with lots of activities.

One of the most famous and popular holiday markets, is the Souk Madinat Festive market, and this year they’re back with not only their decorated Abra rides and snow machines but also the holiday music played by live bands, gingerbread house decorating and food stalls and mini train rides.


Christmas Dinners and Brunches

Do you want to enjoy your holiday, and not have to worry about cooking? Well, forget about the Turkey, and book you and your family in for one of these Christmas brunches or dinners where you can relax, feel festive and entertain your kids. How about a Christmas dinner with Santa by the beach?

At Longbeach Campground their beach-side Christmas dinner includes a visit from Santa, live music, a live DJ and breakfast the next day when you stay overnight in one of their glamping tents.

If you’re looking for a Christmas Eve dinner, there’s an evening celebration at Palazzo Versace, and they’re also offering brunch and entertainment on Christmas Day.

Some other great Christmas Day brunches are at Geales, Eat & Meat and Raffles Dubai.


Winter Shows

Looking for a fun winter show? Kids will love Elf the Musical at Mall of the Emirates (based on the very funny movie) and performed by actors from London’s West End.

If you’ve got a Frozen fan in your house, definitely take them to see The Snow Queen: A Frozen Tale on the QE2 cruise ship in Port Rashid. Your kids will be mesmerized by the spellbinding story that takes them to a frozen faraway world.

For the adults, The Sound of Christmas at Dubai Opera is a great night out to enjoy classic holiday tunes played by the Dubai Opera Big Band.

Where to Take Holiday Visitors

Now if you’ve got friends and family visiting you in the UAE over the winter break, there are a few must see activities for them to do, to say that they saw the best of the country and did something unique! First of all, they have to visit the iconic Museum of the Future, known not only for it’s breath-taking architecture, but also for its one-of-a-kind exhibits that make visitors think.

A very family-friendly day out with visitors, is a trip to Al Ain zoo, where they can enjoy the great weather this time of year while visiting the cute and fascinating creatures there.

If your guests haven’t yet been on one of the UAE’s famous Desert Safaris, then just use the QiDZ app to book them in for the ride of their lives! They will be off having a great experience and you will not have to worry about whether they’re entertained or not.

If you have active visitors, they could also try kayaking and enjoy the landscape of the mangroves. If they are really adventurous, then book them in for a Jebel Jais flight, the longest zipline in the world certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, with stunning views of the Hajar mountains.

If your visitors want to learn about the cultural heritage of the UAE, then Al Shindagha museum is the best place to start. If they’re into archaeology and want a different experience, then book them in with Mleiha adventure for a special tour.

Between a visit to Santa, a yummy and entertaining festive meal and happy guests, your winter break can’t go wrong!

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