11 Things to Do to Keep Kids Entertained Throughout Winter Break in Dubai
Winter break is right around the corner, and for many parents, that means stacking the days with activities and entertainment that keep children occupied. Figuring out what to do can be a delightful challenge, and fortunately, Dubai is a treasure trove of unique experiences, particularly when the cooler weather blows in.
From winter-only shows at the Theatre of Digital Art to free outdoor movies and special discounts at Madame Tussauds, discover how to keep children occupied through the holidays.
Follow the yellow brick road to The Theatre of Digital Art at Souk Madinat Jumeirah
December at the Theatre of Digital Art (TODA) is packed with family shows, musical performances and meditation sessions that combine sound, lights, projections and technology in an immersive 360-degree experience. Discover their programme of stories and shows suited for the family:
The Wizard of Oz (1 – 21 December, all day)
The heartwarming and timeless tale of Dorothy and Toto and their fantastic adventures in Oz come to life like never before at TODA. Little ones can dive right into the magic of this classic. Tickets available here: https://toda.ae/the-wizard-of-oz
Swinging into Christmas (15 December, 9pm)
Get into the holiday spirit with award-winning singer and songwriter Chinua Hawk, who will perform all-time carols, from ‘Favourite Things’ to ‘The Christmas Song’. Tickets available here:
One Thousand and One Nights (17 December, 8pm)
For one night only, the legendary tales of Scheherazade arrive at TODA with captivating storytelling, piano accompaniment and immersive art projections. It will be a spectacular night with Arabic scripts bridging the past and present.
Tickets available here: https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/toda/items/506537/?full-items=yes&flow=no
Where: Theatre of Digital Art, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Catch a movie under the stars at JBR
The Walk at JBR is one of the liveliest places, especially when the seasons shift. As part of the ongoing JBR Winter Nights, settle into a plush bean bag with your little ones for a free movie night under the open sky. Screenings occur twice daily, every Friday and Saturday, so everyone can catch all-time family favourites, from Alice in Wonderland and Snow White to holiday classics like Home Alone. Children can even participate in arts and crafts activities from 5pm to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Where: Rimal sector GF near Olab coffee shop., JBR The Walk
Have some monkey fun at TR88HOUSE, Bluewaters
While you can explore different experiences every day of winter break at Bluewaters, TR88HOUSE is the ultimate draw for little ones. This imaginative destination offers four action-packed areas for toddlers through to early teens: a trampoline park, bioluminescent, multi-level laser area, glow-in-the-dark mini golf and a play area for little adventurers. You can spend a whole day exploring the different levels and entertainment before refuelling, as a food hall on the ground floor boasts six original dining concepts, from pizzas to burgers and Thai food. The wider Bluewaters destination is also worth a visit, transformed for the holiday season into Santa’s secret island. Visit Santa at his grotto, see mesmerising light installations, catch themed roaming entertainment and, for the Dubai Shopping Festival, jaw-dropping drone shows at 8pm and 10pm.
Where: TR88HOUSE, Bluewaters
Chase action and adventure at JBR
JBR’s buzzing boulevard is the perfect spot for adrenaline junkies and fun lovers alike. A group activity worth the hype is TEP Factor, where teams of two to six players take on 21 challenges that test patience, logic, and physical and mental skills. It’s a mix of hearty competition and humour as teams crawl, jump, climb, balance, and race to the final chest. Meanwhile, Blacklight Minigolf 3D offers a mesmerising mini-golf experience where the entire course, from floor to walls and ceilings, is wrapped in bright, hand-painted murals by the world’s best 3D artists.
Where: Bahar, JBR
Indulge in movie magic at Roxy Cinema Al Khawaneej Walk & Boxpark
Fill up your holidays catching up on the latest movie magic! Roxy Cinema at Al Khawaneej Walk has launched the After School Club, a week-long programme where kids, teenagers and their parents can enjoy the latest and greatest family flicks, from awe-striking animations to jaw-dropping action. For AED59 only, you get a movie ticket, unlimited popcorn and a juice or soda of your choice from Monday to Friday between 3:30pm and 5:30pm.
Roxy Cinema’s outpost at Boxpark is an experience all on its own, offering an original boutique film-going experience where you can pick from a carefully crafted menu of gourmet movie treats, sink into ultra-plush leather seats and enjoy a one-of-a-kind family movie night.
Ticket for the After School Club here: https://www.theroxycinemas.com/events-cinemas/after-school-club
Where: Roxy Cinemas, Al Khawaneej Walk & Roxy Cinemas, Boxpark
Mingle with world-famous figures at the region’s only Madame Tussauds at Bluewaters
Encounter your favourite celebrities and public figures at Madame Tussauds. This winter break, children under the age of 3 can take a free tour of the world-renowned wax figure museum, while UAE residents with a valid Emirates ID enjoy 25% off their tickets (AED110 for adults and AED85 for 3-11 years). Or opt for the friends and family offer, where you can get 20% off on four adult tickets or two adult and two child tickets, plus unlimited digital photos for AED424. Snap photographs with world leaders such as the late Queen Elizabeth and Mahatma Gandhi and celebrities from Hollywood, Bollywood and the MENA region. Tom Cruise, Spiderman, Shah Rukh Khan and Kris Fade all await. On 8 December, the attraction is hosting a tree lighting ceremony where little ones can sip on hot chocolate, get their faces painted and decorate wax moulds of their hands.
Where: Madame Tussauds, Bluewaters
Don’t believe your eyes at the Museum of Illusions Al Seef and Illusion City at Bluewaters
Discover a fascinating world where nothing is quite as it seems. Children will love all the topsy-turvy rooms and mind-boggling trickeries at the Museum of Illusions in Al Seef. It’s an intriguing visual, sensory and educational experience for children, introducing them to the ploys of perspective through deceiving rooms, curious images and optical illusions. Tickets cost AED65 for children ages 3-15 years and AED90 for anyone over 16 years, while toddlers under three go for free! You can even opt for the special family package of four tickets for AED250.
Over at Bluewaters, Illusion City brings even more seemingly impossible visuals to life, with high-quality magic tricks, technological marvels and optical, auditory and tactile illusions. Children under seven years can go free, while tickets for anyone under 18 cost AED60 and for adults AED75.
Where: Museum of Illusions, Al Seef & Illusion City, Bluewaters
Build a mini city at JBR’s Bricks 4 Fun
Bricks 4 Fun invites little ones to construct buildings, cities and structures using a never-ending selection of Lego bricks. Playing independently or cooperatively, children can let their imaginations run wild with themed sets from Batman, FRIENDS and Ninjago. There’s more than just Lega Lego mania – kids will be occupied for hours at a video gaming zone for gamers ages six and up, a play area for toddlers ages 1-4 years, and face painting.
Where: Bricks 4 Fun, Rimal 5, JBR
Compete over arcade games at Al Khawaneej Walk’s The Arcade by Hub Zero
The region's first gaming-inspired entertainment park is enough of a sell for teenagers and children alike. The Arcade by Hub Zero at Al Khawaneej Walk offers some of the most sought-after video games in pop gaming culture, whether retro classics like Pacman and Space Invaders or heroic pursuits battling villains as Batman or as part of the Justice League. This winter, parents can get a bang for their buck by topping up and receiving extra value on their cards. See below for the breakdown:
- Top up AED130 and get AED20 bonus games on selected machines
- Top up AED250 and get AED50 bonus games on selected machines
- Top up AED350 and get AED100 bonus games on selected machines
- Top up AED500 and get AED150 bonus games on selected machines
Where: The Arcade by Hub Zero, Al Khawaneej Walk, Al Khawaneej
Explore a new generation of cybersports at True Gamers at Bluewaters and Villanova
True Gamers provides an unparalleled e-sporting experience combining state-of-the-art facilities, futuristic design, and top-notch gaming equipment. It’s perfectly suited for teenagers, offering ultra-competitive gamers a chance to challenge one another at scheduled tournaments to win big prizes or partake in some laidback gaming fun. Along with PCs and PS5s at both locations, the outpost in Villanova offers two car simulators that bring high-octane racing sessions to life.
Where: Bluewaters and Villanova Marketplace
Lock in some creative playtime at Villanova’s Koko Kids
Cultivate a love for creativity and let imaginations run wild at Koko Kids. New to Villanova Marketplace, a lively community centre located off Emirates Road, this indoor play area is designed to spark imagination, encourage physical activity and provide unlimited fun for children ages six to 15 years old. Wall climbing and an exhilarating rope course challenge children to push their physical abilities and conquer new heights. For little ones, arts and crafts stations, soft play and a dedicated toddler zone for the youngest adventurers guarantee an endless winter.
Where: Villanova Marketplace, Emirates Road