31 things to do, keeping you busy every day of the month
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s too easy to totally disconnect over the summer and hibernate with air-conditioning and TV. But while there’s still so much going on in the cool, don’t waste your summer at home. We’ve found 31 things you can enjoy indoors – giving you at least one thing to do on every day of this month.
Bowled over Challenge your friends and family to a friendly game of ten pin bowling at one of Bahrain’s indoor alleys. Head to one of the malls – City Centre Bahrain, Seef Mall or Dana Mall – and pair your game with a spot of shopping. Alternatively, make your way over to Funland Centre on Al Fateh Corniche where there’s an 18-lane bowling facility and a game costs just BD2. Call 1729 2313.
Hit the ice Grab some skates and hit the kingdom’s only ice rink at Al Fateh Corniche’s Funland Centre. Cool off and have a whizz around with loved ones to the world’s latest tunes. You could also pop next door for a quick bowling match. Skating costs BD3 per person for two hours on the rink. Call 1729 2313.
Life in 7D The 7D cinema is at Chakazoolu in Dana Mall and it’s a great idea for a bunch of friends – young or old. Pick your movie from a special list and then experience the sights, sounds, smells and feelings (we’re talking snowfall and rain here!) that come with it. The longest film is 16 minutes so you can squeeze in a fair few through the day. It’s BD2.5 per showing. Call 1755 8500.
The brunch bunch Summer closures are over and our favourite Friday pastime is back! Dive into international cuisine at Bahrain’s top venues. We recommend the award-winning a la carte weekend brunch at Masso (1772 1061) or the epic old favourite at Sofitel (1763 6363). Alternatively, try the excellent newer offerings in town at Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (1711 5000) or Amwaj Islands’ Art Rotana (1600 0111).
Edutainment Take the little ones for a family day out at one of Bahrain’s most edu-taining attractions – the Bahrain Science Centre. This interactive entertainment centre addresses a wide range of themes in the natural and physical sciences such as human anatomy, physiology, diet and health through shows, talks, exhibits and quizzes. Have fun with your family while the little ones learn a thing or two about our universe (and you do too!). Call 1768 6466.
Get crafty Why not spend the slow summer days getting creative? EZ Art Pottery Studio (www.ezartpottery.com), for example, offers classes for budding artists in mosaic making and pottery. Alternatively, you could pop into Budaiya’s L’Atelier Art Lounge (1759 9030) to paint or draw, or play with ceramics.
Art attack Soak up some art at one of Bahrain’s galleries. Our favourites include the grassroots non-profit Al Riwaq Art Space (1771 7441) where they host exhibitions with local artists and you can wander round their gift shop or have a bite at the healthy urban café. We also love the contemporary Albareh Art Gallery (1771 7707) where they showcase regional artists’ work. The venue also boasts a quirky café.
Culture vultures Take some time to explore Bahrain’s more cultural side, particularly the kingdom’s museums. Your first port of call should be the Bahrain National Museum (1729 8718) where you can check out their latest exhibitions and explore the island’s rich historical past. To delve into the Islamic arts, we recommend a visit to the Beit Al Qur’an (or House of Qur’an) in Hoora. Call 1729 0101.
Trek the pearling trail Speaking of heritage – you must also discover the island’s past along Muharraq’s pearling trail. Listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site, the pearling trail site consists of 17 buildings, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore, and the Qal’at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island. The buildings, many of which you can explore today, include residences of wealthy pearl merchants, shops, store houses and a mosque.
Spring for a spree For such a tiny island, we have an abundance of malls with international and local stores to explore. From the vast City Centre Bahrain, with global brands, to the high-end Moda Mall, and on to the boutique A’Ali Shopping Complex where you’ll find small stores from local designers, there’s a mall for every taste.
A bevy of deals Bahrain’s bars have reopened their doors for the summer and so we welcome back a bevy of beverage deals from happy hours to ladies nights. One noteworthy deal is at Le Meridien’s Bizarre Lounge where a crazy happy hour runs on Tuesdays from 11am to 2am so you can avoid the heat all day! Turn to page 66 for details on plenty more discounts and promotions.
Let the games begin Grab some pals for a few beverages and games. Challenge your mates on the pool tables or at the dart boards – any of the country’s most popular sports bars have what you need. For a competition try JJ’s on a Saturday when it's their billiard tournament. It’s BD6 to enter and there are cash prizes to be won. Call 3932 9083.
Get quizzical Prove you’re the brains of Bahrain at one of our quiz nights. Get a group of mates together, form some hilariously-named team, pop on your thinking caps and battle it out to win cash prizes and special gifts. The island’s most popular is over at JJ’s Irish Restaurant on Sundays from 9pm to 11pm, when you can test your general knowledge in three rounds of questions. Call 2923 9083.
Live tunes Following the obligatory summer closures, Bahrain’s bars have imported a whole new batch of international cover bands so you can jam the night away. For instance, all the way from southern California, seven-piece cover band Energy are now playing nightly in Ramee Grand’s Ibrida (1711 1999). Over in Downtown, at InterContinental Regency (1722 7777), new resident band Explosions are on-stage and on Sundays you can jam with them for your chance to win a special prize from 9pm to midnight.
Fit in fitness Don’t let summer lethargy be an excuse to ignore your exercise obligations. Bahrain’s gyms have a whole host of fun fitness classes you could join in this season from the usual suspects such as yoga and Pilates, to more unusual options like Bosu and gyrotonic. Just check out our Body & Mind section or Sports listings for more details.
Calm contemplation Scientific studies show regular meditation can be beneficial, aiding with a host of health issues. So why not take this time to master meditation? You can learn the art of contemplation at the Bahrain Meditation Centre in Um Al Hassam where free lessons run in English and Arabic, plus Hindi on request. Call 1771 2545.
Bahrain-style breakfast Sample local delicacies at one of Bahrain’s many breakfast places. Taste traditional dishes such as eggs with tomato, mahiawa (fermented fish paste), and balaleet (sweet vermicelli noodles with an omelette). One of the best can be enjoyed at Saffron by Jena Bakery in one of their three branches in Muharraq’s Souq Al Qaysariya, the Manama souq or Riffa Fort. Call 3961 4131.
A spot of high tea Indulge in a seriously British tradition right in the heart of Bahrain. A number of tea houses serve afternoon tea with tiers of mini sandwiches, traditional scones and tasty cakes. One of our favourite spots is in The Orangery Tea Room & Patisserie (1736 9696). Alternatively, head to The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain (1758 0000) where afternoon tea is an international institution.
Get the spa treatment No matter what your budget, you’ll find a spa for you with massage prices ranging anywhere from BD10 to BD100-plus. One of the island’s best spas is over at Al Areen Palace & Spa (1784 5000), where you can cool off with one of their special hydrotherapy treatments. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (1763 6363) also offers the region’s only thalassotherapy treatments, utilising the magical powers of sea water.
Karaoke kings and queens We don’t know about you, but one of our favourite pastimes is busting out some tunes on the karaoke machine. For your chance to win some free beverages, sing your heart out at JJ’s Irish Restaurant on Mondays from 9pm (3932 9083). Alternatively, book a private room at cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurant Beijing where you and your mates can enjoy the microphone all to yourselves (1771 7969).
May the force be with you… Make like a space invader at Bahrain’s laser tag venues. The largest facility is at Sitra Mall’s Ozone where you can battle over two floors of darkened playing space with swirling smoke, blasting music and flashing lights. Ozone also boasts a bowling alley, gaming consoles, billiard and snooker tables, foosball, party rooms and a café. Call 1774 9499.
Blue suede shoes Rummage out your tutu and get into the groove at a dance class. This is a great time of year to join a new class and here we have salsa, ballet, jazz, hip hop, ballroom – you name it. Choose your discipline, learn the steps and impress your friends the next time you hit the club. Budaiya's Bahrain Ballet Centre not only teaches ballet but also a host of other disciplines. Call 1769 3232.
Explore the alternative Sometimes you’ve got to look to the alternative for a cure and, luckily for us, the island is full of complementary medicine practitioners. Looking to quit smoking? Try acupuncture. Got a niggling health problem but don’t want chemicals? Head out to one of Bahrain’s ayurvedic medicine clinics. Or, perhaps, you don’t know what’s wrong with you… Then we recommend reiki. Find listings for this and more in our Body & Mind section.
Pamper yourself Girls and guys can enjoy a pamper session at one of Bahrain’s many, many beauty parlours. Head out for a cut and blow-dry, mani-pedi or general grooming. We recommend the funky team at Elie and Jean for both men and women. They have three branches around town. Call 1722 7300.
Cook up a storm Are you a keen home chef who would love to take your skills to the next level? Then why not spend summer in a professional kitchen? Culina Catering College (1717 8952) offers a bill of programmes every month which range from basic kitchen techniques to baking. Alternatively, Juffair’s Cucina Italiana (1700 0317) hosts weekly cooking classes focusing on Italian classics.
Hello, salut, marhaba A great way to boost your skills is in the language centres. Improve your English or get some Arabic under your belt; take up Japanese or top up your Spanish por favour. Whatever it is, chances are you’ll find someone who teaches it here. We recommend the globally recognised Berlitz Language Centre, in Umm Al Hassam and Budaiya, where you’ll find loads of classes on offer. Visit www.berlitz-bahrain.com.
Splash down There’s no better way to cool off than at a water park and, in Bahrain, there’s no better place than the region’s first and largest indoor-outdoor, temperature-controlled waterpark Wahooo! Set against a sub-tropical backdrop over a vast 15,000 square metres, this mall-based entertainment park offers thrilling rides and attractions including the Sidewinder, multi-level rain fortress and various pools. Visit www.wahooo.com.bh.
Blockbuster summer Everybody knows the coldest place on the island is in the cinema. This summer we’re in for a huge line-up of blockbuster releases including the thrilling new Mission Impossible, the next Fantastic Four, all-star comedy ‘Masterminds’ and Emma Watson’s latest drama ‘Regression’ – to name a few. Visit our website to find cinema times and film reviews. www.timeoutbahrain.com.
Our year of heritage The annual event that all families on the island wait for is back – the Bahrain Summer Festival kicks off this month under the theme ‘Our year of heritage’. Great child-friendly activities are taking place at the Nakhool Garden, near Sitra Mall, as well as a whole host of captivating cultural events.
Ball pits and dodgems To keep the kids entertained all day and all night, then a visit to one of our local indoor entertainment centres is a no-brainer. With the obligatory ball pits and climbing frames, bowling alleys and arcade games, they’re bound to have the little ones going wild until they crash. Pair this with a shopping spree and a bite to eat, and it’ll be a day out for all the family to enjoy.
Camping out Parents, you can drop the little ones off at one of the country’s summer camps – kids can enjoy full days of activities, friends and fun while mum and dad kick back and relax. This month try Artzania (1764 0663), at Ramli Mall, where children can get involved with all sorts of crafty topics. Alternatively, for a fitness boost, try Tribal Fitness (3947 3710) where they’re hosting a three-day camp based on natural movement and safe exercise.