Laser quest, arcade games, network gaming and more Bahrain fun
Time Out Bahrain staff
School’s out and the temperature’s on the rise but don’t worry we’ve got it covered with info on our favourite play areas for kids both big and little plus our super summer camp round-up.
Bahrain Science Centre The big brightly-coloured building on the Isa Town Road has some great stuff for kids and young adults to see and do. The centre has an impressive collection of 36 skeletons, a whole host of interactive exhibits and six galleries where youngsters can enjoy discovering and learning with tools such as an X-ray simulator allowing them to move through the human body. There are various zones concentrating on topics such as the Earth and nature and mind zones where it’s possible to test reactions. It’s particularly popular for school visits but individuals and families are just as welcome and there are regular events and talks aimed at both children and adults. Bahrain Science Centre, Isa Town, open Sat-Thu 8am-1pm and 4-7pm, Fri 3-9pm, closed Wed afternoon. Entry is free but there is usually a small charge for lectures or special events. (17 686 466).
Chakazoolu Not a new one but still one of our favourites. A proper indoor funfair with dodgems, a ghost train and even a roller coaster! Must admit though, we think we’d give the jungle rapids ride a miss, it looks a bit like floating in a bath tub.
There are also loads of old school arcade-style games and a 7D, yes you read that correctly, cinema – think 3D with glasses and add lots of special effects. It’s used for short animation films and lets kids join in. It’s a shame that circumstances have pushed Dana Mall out of the spotlight a bit as this is definitely one of the more fun places we visited and the prices are really reasonable too. Chakazoolu, Dana Mall, Seef. Open 10am-10pm weekdays, 10am-midnight at weekends. Rides from 300fils to BD1.800. 7D cinema BD2.500. (17 558 585).
Fun City Just opened at the Oasis Centre in Muharraq, with a sister branch at Riffa which launched in May, this has good quality toys and equipment in separate play areas for kids aged up to four and four to tens and there’s even a Fun N Learn dress-up area in the little ones’ section.
Big rides include the happy swing, beach safari and bumper cars and there are arcade games galore such as Fruit Ninja FX, Deal or No Deal, Monster Drop X-treme, Treasure Quest and Big Bass Wheel. Oasis Centre, Riffa level 2 and Oasis Centre, Muharraq level 2. Open 10am-10pm weekdays, 10am-11pm weekends. From BD3 per day for play zone and Fun N Learn. Riffa (17 210 822), Muharraq (17 210 559).
Fun Land Another oldie but goody with a range of stuff for both the young and the young at heart. Take to the lanes for some bowling at the 18-lane ten pin alley. There are regular tournaments and a league but lots of people also just pitch up and have a go.
Or chill out at the island’s only ice skating rink, grab a group of pals and have your own mini ice disco. Kids can also take lessons with details available at the centre. Funland Centre, Al Fateh Corniche. Open daily 9am-1am. Bowling BD2 for the first game and BD1.5 each subsequent game. Ice skating BD3 per session except Thu and Fri when it’s BD5 from 9pm. (17 292 313).
Game Zone Another new one, this time upstairs at The Lagoon in Amwaj. Not a huge place but so far the first of its kind in Amwaj and somewhere to go for a game of pool or Fussball and there’s also PS3 plus you’re right upstairs from all those great restaurants. It does get pretty busy at weekends though so you might have a bit of a wait. Game Zone, Amwaj Lagoon. Open daily 2pm-midnight, 2pm-1am weekends. Entry free. (36 662 686).
Live Gaming One for computer games fans, particularly since they recently hosted gaming tournaments at AICON Bahrain, this place has lots of PC games, Xboxes and PS3s as well as Foosball and billiards. Live Gaming, Atiyat Allah bin Abdulrahman Road, Zinj. Open daily 10am-2am. (33 006 344).
Magic Island This one’s a major favourite at Seef Mall, being one of the anchors of the extension and the largest covered play area on the island. But did you know you can also now find Magic Islands at Ramli Mall in Aali and Isa Town Mall, both of which have opened in the last few weeks. At Seef you’ll find a full scale bowling alley and mini roller blading arena as well as kids’ rides, arcade games, and loads more.
Magic Island at Ramli Mall includes more than 150 new entertainment options for children and young adults such as bumper cars shaped like Formula-1 cars, a kids’ train, various other amusement rides, arcade games, soft play areas and several themed areas and rides such as Mini-Miami and Swingin’ Bears. The branch at Isa Town is on a smaller scale but has many of the attractions found at its bigger sisters. Magic Island Seef Mall, open Sat-Wed 9.30am-10pm, weekends 10am-midnight. (17 582 894). Ramli Mall, open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, weekends 10am-11pm. (17 641 220). Isa Town Mall, open Sat-Wed 9.30am-9pm, weekends 10am-10pm. (17 003 691).
Magic Planet The big one at the island’s biggest shopping mall. This one has some really funky rides that even adults will enjoy as well as a state-of-the-art bowling facility plus soft play area for younger kids. Magic Planet, Bahrain City Centre, open 10am-midnight, entry free, activities from 300fils. (17 173 113).
Ozone at Sitra This one is pretty much brand new, so much so that our favourite bit was yet to open as we went to press. Ozone’s going to be introducing Bahrain’s only laser tag facility before Ramadan alongside six Foosball tables, gaming consoles for regular games and Xbox, 17 screens for computer games, nine Megatouch screens dotted about the place, eight billiard and snooker tables, a state-of-the-art, 12-lane, Switch-technology bowling alley, party room, VIP room and snack bar. Plus if you want to have an event there they can step up with full catering too. We can’t wait to try out the laser tag. Ozone, Sitra Mall. Opening hours 10am-midnight weekdays, 10am-2am weekends. Entry free and activities start from 100fils for a Megatouch game, BD1.8 per game for bowling, BD2BD per hour for billiards. Laser tag TBC. (17 749 499).
Pirate Land Another recent addition to the island’s play scene at the newly completed Al Hayat Mall in Zinj. It’s quite small and most of the shops in the mall aren’t yet open so it doesn’t seem to get very busy, but the play area’s really nice for little ones with a pirate galleon surrounded by the waves of a bright blue ball pool – we actually wanted to jump in. There’s also a very dinky little merry-go-round and some arcade games. Pirate Land, Al Hayat Mall, Zinj. Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Entry is free and game prices start at 300fils. (17 231 282).
Play The ideal name for a place that’s all about learning through hands-on play and one of our favourites, if only because they’ve actually got a mini fireman’s pole and a fire engine! Play’s designed to meet the various stages of kids’ development with a range of equipment from a soft play area to stimulate the early walker to a pirate ship for older, more active children. This place also has its own mini town where kids can role play shopping at the supermarket, mailing letters at the post office, putting on the uniform at the fire station, laying bricks on the construction site and learning about public safety at the police station.
If we were kids, we’d be happy to spend the afternoon here. Play, upstairs at Seef Mall. Open Sun-Wed 10am-8pm, weekends 10am-10pm. Prices range from BD2 for two hours for under twos during the week to BD10 for kids aged four and up at the weekends. Over fours do not have to be accompanied. Please note, everyone entering the play area must wear socks. (17 564 900). Wahooo! The island’s only indoor/outdoor water park so the temperature’s the same all year round. It has some awesome rides and slides and even has a special party room to cater for kids’ birthdays. Wahooo!, Bahrain City Centre, open daily 11am-8pm, weekends 11am-9pm. Entry BD6, under 1.2m in height, taller BD10. (17 173 000).
Fun & games too
If you need even more help with keeping the kids entertained during the long school holiday, look no further for the island’s best summer camps
Berlitz Offering kids and teens several options to learn a new language over the summer improving their reading, drawing and writing skills while tackling English, Spanish, French, German and more. The summer camps also include creative activities such as cookery and crafts to keep young minds engaged. Berlitz, Budiaya Campus. Sun-Thu, 8am-12.30pm, throughout July and August. BD45 a week or BD310 for two months. (17 694 233).
British School of Bahrain One of the biggest overall camps on the island the British School has three separate groups running, the Superweeks Youth Club, for ten to 12-year-olds, Multi Activity Mania, for five to nine-year-olds, and the Busy Bees Club for four-year-olds.
The youth club has up to seven different activities each day ranging from music and dance workshops, an assault course and drama with a talent show plus day trips to Wahooo!, bowling and more.
For the mid age group activities include theme days such as 007 mission spy and wizards and fairies academy, circus acrobatics and arts and crafts with day trips to the likes of Chakazoolu.
For the little ones there’s sand and water play, teddy bear Olympics and dance and music games as well as visits to Build a Bear and Play Bahrain British School of Bahrain, Hamala. From July 7 to August 1, 9am-1pm. BD80 for one week up to BD285 for four weeks. Ten per cent discount for siblings. (17 610 826/17 610 971).
JC’s Tennis Academy Think you might have the next Nadal or Williams in the family? Encourage their interest with a three-day camp at JC’s. For early explorers, aged three to five years, this includes warm-up and agility, balance and coordination, raquet skills and fun team games. Kids aged six to ten join the mini tennis classes consisting of group warm up, technical sessions and fun games and competitions. JC’s Tennis Academy, Riffa Views International School. July 15-17 and 22-24. Early explorers BD30 per week, mini tennis BD60 per week. (39 979 717).
Life-fit The Life-fit guys are back at Riffa Views International School with a range of summer activities for kids aged three to 13 including football, tennis, arts, cooking and lots more. Weeks are either three days or five days. Life-fit, RVIS, July 7-August 22, 9.30am-1pm. Prices from BD45 for one three-day week to BD300 for six weeks of five days. (17 692 424).
Little Acorns A new summer camp for kids with special needs (see this month’s hot seat to hear from the founder). Activities include cooking, fine motor skills, sensory learning fun, sports and games, music and lots of other things. Classes are suitable for kids aged five to 14 years. Little Acorns, The British Club, Sun-Wed from July 7 to August 14, 9.30am-12.30pm. BD40 per day or BD150 per week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pankooshi’s Something a little bit different with this one. Do you feel your kids need to lose a couple of kilos and get a bit more active, then this could be the answer. The kids’ weight-loss boot camp promises healthy meals, lots of activities such as yoga, taekwondo, basketball and volleyball, cookery classes concentrating on preparing healthy meals, morning walks, cycling and health talks to help youngsters become more aware of how to lead a healthier lifestyle. The classes are aimed at kids from 10 to 15 years and there are only 12 places per camp with two camps running throughout the summer. Pankooshi’s, Durrat Al Bahrain. Running till September 7. BD390 for two weeks. (39 996 690).
PLAY Play is offering summer camp five mornings a week in the air-conditioned facility where trained professionals engage the children in structured themed activities including team-building sports, science, art, cooking, music and storytime. The camp’s for kids aged three to12 and a healthy snack’s provided. Play Bahrain, Seef Mall. Running through to August 8. BD15 per day, BD70 per week, BD195 for three weeks. (17 564 900).
Ritz-Carlton Ritz Kids Summer Camp Youngsters will be introduced to the natural wonders of the island through a variety of hands-on adventures. Designed for children from five to12 years of age, the supervised programme entertains kids with educational games and fun activities featuring a different theme each day. Ritz-Carlton, running through the summer Sun-Wed 10am-4pm. BD99 members, BD119 non-members for four-day week. Day rate BD29 members, BD35 non-members. (17 589 380).
Kids’ Soccer Camp Kids aged six to 14 can enjoy fun-filled soccer (you mean football right?) afternoons on the croquet lawn where they’ll learn how to play and to use the right tactics at the same time as having fun and making new friends. Ritz-Carlton. Sun and Wed, 4-5.30pm. Free for hotel guests, BD5 for others. (17 589 380).
Royal Country Club They’re calling it the ‘Ultimate Summer Kids Camp’ with golf, football, taekwondo, scavenger hunts, swimming and much more. The camps are suitable for kids aged five to 12 years and the price includes a packed lunch each day. Royal Country Club, Riffa. Camps run from July 7-21 and August 11-25, activities Sun-Thu 8am-2pm. BD100 per week per child. (17 750 777).
Studio Ceramics Bring out your youngster’s creative side with fun and crazy arts and crafts, ceramic painting, clay modelling and a healthy dose of Mad Science. Studio Ceramics, off Budaiya Highway.Timings 9am-1pm. BD15 per day. (17 599 026).
TOFO ME If you have a budding fashion designer, dressmaker or model in the house, check out the courses at TOFO which include styling, sketching, modelling and catwalk and sewing, dressmaking etc. The classes are suitable for both boys and girls and all materials are included. TOFO ME, Avenue 33, North Sehla. Weekly classes running right through till August 22. BD60 per week, BD150 for one month, BD260 for two months. (17 180 343).