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Activities for children abound during holiday break
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BEIRUT: Every child loves a good surprise. Rather than loading them up with gifts this year, try treating the kids to holiday-themed events that will lead to lasting memories of Christmas 2013.

Taking the kids out can offer a pleasant respite for parents, as well. From municipality festivities to ballet performances and concerts, the country offers plenty of options during the holiday season.

Monday is the last day for many of these family-oriented events, so make sure to catch them while you still.

Santa’s Factory in Beit MiskAmp up the Christmas spirit by taking them to the country’s mock North Pole. The kids can decorate their own wrapping paper, visit Santa Claus, enjoy Christmas stories and make decorations, picture frames and other crafts. Entrance is free for adults and LL15,000 for kids. The factory will be open until Dec. 23, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

Christmas by the Lake in EhdenTake the children to enjoy the festive activities at Lake Bnashii and put them in the holiday mood with Ehden’s wintery weather and idyllic lake. The festival is open through 9 p.m. Monday. Organized by Al-Midan NGO, it features parades, games, theater and Christmas carols.

Planet Discovery Christmas in Beirut Souks The holiday cheer doesn’t have to stop after Christmas ends. While the kids are still off from school, bring them to a day of holiday-themed learning at Planet Discovery in Souk Ayyas. Open Thursday, the children’s science museum will hold cooking sessions, photos with Santa Claus, a magic show, a museum tour and craft stations.

Christmas Fiesta at homeThis entertainment company is offering to bring the children’s activities home on Christmas Eve. Top Chrono is offering a special “Christmas Fiesta” package, which includes gift distribution with Santa, Christmas pinatas and face painting for kids and adults.

There are also several Christmas-themed plays that will amuse and educate children.

“The Nutcracker”This classic Russian ballet follows the dream of young Clara whose fantastic imagination takes her to a world where toys are larger than life. The performance will be held at the Theatre Athenee Jounieh Monday from 7:30-9 p.m. For tickets, call 09-912-321.

“Qu’il pleuve des Poussins”

The play, directed by Karim Dakroub, addresses the topic of children’s rights with an entertaining plotline. At points, children are invited to participate. The play will run at The Sunflower Theatre every Saturday until the end of February from 4-5 p.m. For tickets, call 71-997-959 or 01-391-290.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 23, 2013, on page 2.
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