Your month's essential events, by our panel of experts
Time Out Bahrain staff
Join the local community at St Christopher’s School where they’re hosting their annual festive fayre. Over 80 vendors are offering everything from festive gifts to home-baked treats. You’ll also find Santa’s grotto. BD1. Friday December 4. 11am-3pm. St Christopher’s School, Saar campus (17 605 014).
Giselle, a romantic ballet, has been inspired by ancient Slavic folklore and the work of Victor Hugo. First performed in Paris in 1841, the show has since become a global success and it now debuts in Bahrain. From BD20. Thursday December 3, from 8pm. Bahrain National Theatre, www.culture.gov.bh.
Do your bit tonight and join in the BSPCA’s festive quiz and raffle draw. The evening, at Candles, also features karaoke, carol singing, a photo booth and dancing prize. All the proceeds go towards the animal welfare charity. BD5. Thursday December 3, from 7.30pm. The Dilmun Club, Saar (37 335 375).
A Middle Eastern first Brave participants are taking part in the Middle East’s first ever Ironman 70.3 this week (that’s a half Ironman triathlon to those who don’t know). It includes a crazy 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run by individuals and three-man teams. We’re not sure about you, but we’re watching safely from the sidelines, thank you very much. Free to watch. Saturday December 5. 7am. Bahrain International Circuit, Zallaq, www.ironman.com.
Eat for charity
The Palm Association festive lunch Support the lovely ladies in The Palm Association, a charity created by expats to support Bahraini women and children in need, by attending their festive buffet lunch. Numerous vendors are there to sell their wares while you tuck into gourmet grub. All proceeds go to the worthy Feed a Family programme. BD22. Thursday December 10. 10.30am (sale), noon (lunch). Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (39 967 896).
Teddy bear afternoon tea
La Med is hosting a teddy bear afternoon tea and gingerbread decorating session. (If they can bear to part with them), kids can donate their teddy to charity while enjoying gourmet delights and tips from the chefs on how to personalise their gingerbread house. BD15++ (adults), BD10++ (children). Saturday December 5. 4pm-6pm. The Ritz-Carlton, Seef (17 586 499).
Tree lighting The first ever tree lighting for The Orangery Tea Room and Patisserie features mulled grape juice and (what we fully expect to be fantastic) cookies, as well as a beautiful doll house for the kids to covet. They haven’t forgotten the mince pies, either. They’d never forget the mince pies. Sunday December 6. 5.30pm. Palace Boutique Hotel, Adliya (17 725 000).
Pop-up art A new four-day exhibition is popping up at Words Bookstore Café, showing works by artists from Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Iraq, as well as a British artist presenting exclusive works with a Middle Eastern twist. At the launch, a premier screening of After Tomorrow, an award-winning documentary on the Bedouins of Petra, is also taking place, alongside a Q&A session with the film’s co-director. Free. From 7pm. Words Bookstore Café, Palm Square, Budaiya (39 785 868).
Cats the Musical
A version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s renowned West End and Broadway show Cats The Musical, is coming to Bahrain. A play by Mask Theatre Company, and featuring a cast of over 70 island-based children and adults, it promises to be a fantastic family affair and all proceeds are being donated to various local charities. From BD5-BD12. Thursday December 10 - Saturday 12. Bahrain Rugby Football Club, Saar, www.inspirebahrain.com.
The nest Be inspired Our favourite annual art fair is back and it’s even bigger than ever. This year find full programmes of workshops, music performances, film screenings and art exhibitions, as well as the announcement of who’s won their first ever annual art prize. Thursday December 10 until January 9, 2016. Al Riwaq Art Space, Adliya (17 717 441).
Creative group Boho Baha throw great parties and tonight they’re hosting a live storytelling rendition of Tim Burton’s magical A Nightmare Before Christmas with the Grim Reaper, melancholic music and plenty of fun. BD20 (before 10pm), BD25 (after 10pm). Friday December 11. From 8pm. Oliveto, Adliya, www.bohobaha.com.
National Day There are plenty of ways to celebrate Bahrain’s National Day this year. Get in your car and start tooting or cruise by areas beautifully lit up. Alternatively, head to The Royal Golf Club where they’re hosting their 13th annual golf tournament, marking the occasion. The 36-hole, two-day tournament sees 50 expat golfers paired with 50 Bahraini players in a bid to promote unity. December Wednesday 16-Thursday 17. From 7am. Royal Golf Club, Riffa Views (17 750 777).
Liquid night golf Try something new Here’s a novel way to spend your weekend nights – make the drive to Riffa in your best golfing attire and play your way through the night, over the nine-hole Mini Monty course, while enjoying five on-course beverages. A great festive experience. BD16 (includes equipment). Thursdays and Fridays, 5pm. Royal Golf Club, Riffa (17 750 777).
Bahrain bike week
This is a must-attend for all motorbike lovers. Bahrain Bike Week celebrates all things two-wheeled and gathers the region’s various bike groups and motorcycle enthusiasts for a week of pure speed. The three-day event also features a show, parade, dinner and charity ride. BD40. Thursday December 17 - Saturday 19. Various timings. Bahrain Mall, Sanabis, www.bahrainbikeweek.com.
Seeing alef Master calligrapher Samir Al Sayegh’s works are being shown in a new exhibition Alef in Many Letters, based on the book of the same name by the artist. Free. Sunday December 6-January 30, 2016. Bin Matar House, Muharraq (17 322 459).
Festive scrub Rimal Spa aromas Is there a smell more Christmassy than cinnamon? Rimal Spa evokes the aromas of the festive season in a new treatment they’re offering, which includes a Swiss chocolate body wrap and cinnamon scrub. Try not to lick yourself. BD35, one hour. Rimal Spa, Mōvenpick Hotel Bahrain, Muharraq (17 460 000).
Stellar steaks Nowhere in Bahrain does culinary theatrics like Plums steakhouse so, in our opinion, this is an pretty special spot to celebrate Christmas Eve. Chef Yann Bernard Lejard has crafted a five-course set menu of gourmet specialties to mark the occasion. BD55++. Thursday December 24. 7pm-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 586 499).
Last minute gifts at wojooh Got a little last minute present shopping to do? We suggest you head over to Wojooh where a huge selection of fragrances are available to suit any man or woman in your life. Nothing says you care like a spritz of perfume. Various prices. Wojooh, Seef Mall (17 582 226).
Pop down to T Spoon Café and you’ll find favourites such as stollen cake and yule log. You can even buy a build-your-own gingerbread house kit (imagine how fun that would be for the kids on Christmas Day). From BD7++. Until Saturday December 26. The Westin Bahrain City Centre, Seef (17 171 000).
Festive four seasons tea Traditional turkey and tidbits Tuck into a special festive afternoon tea at the Bay View Lounge where traditional items such as honey-glazed turkey and gingerbread spiced cookies feature. BD15++. Until January 7, 2016. 3pm-6pm. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (17 115 000).
Recover from the festivities on Boxing Day with a special seafood lunch buffet at Swiss-Café Restaurant. Dive into a fresh seafood and fish display and choose your favourite catch. BD16 (food and soft drinks), BD25 (with house beverages). Saturday December 26, 12.30pm-3.30pm, BD8 (children under 12), free for under-6s. Swiss-Belhotel Seef (66 310 041).
This New Year’s Eve, the Movenpick Hotel is putting on quite a show. A Vegas Nights show to be exact. Expect a dazzling party of flash and fun. Once you get sleepy, you can check in as the hotel also has room packages. BD158 (per couple, includes a one-night stay, seating in Flamingo or Silks and breakfast), BD190 (per couple, includes a one-night stay, seating in The Gallery and breakfast). Thursday December 31-January 1, 2016. Movenpick Hotel Bahrain, Muharraq (17 460 017).
Shop bahrain New Year’s fair You may have noticed the island’s retailers abuzz lately with the arrival of Shop Bahrain. Hundreds of stores across the country are part of the island’s biggest consumer festivel. And on this coming weekend, the organisers are hosting a family fair and carnival at Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park in Hidd. Visit www.shopbahrain.com. Cheap deals
Let’s face it, after a full-on festive season you’re totally broke (we certainly are). So you’ll be glad to hear then that the Eat app is offering 50 percent off at Italian poolside restaurant Vento over at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. We’ll get two pizzas please. Until Thursday December 31. Download eat for free from the App Store or Play Store. Make a reservation at Vento and include the code VENTO50.