Summer movies for familiesWill Milner, 28 May 2017 07:53:03 +0400Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (July)

What’s it about?
Although technically a literary adaptation, any parent expecting highbrow culture needs to pull the pants from over their eyes. What you can expect from the animated version of Dav Pilkey’s book series is plenty of silliness and the sort of plot that appeals to kids. A couple of fourth graders hypnotise their head teacher into becoming the eponymous superhero to stop a turbo toilet from destroying laughter forever. Yeah, it is that kind of film. It comes from the same studio behind Shrek and How to Train your Dragon and stars hot comic property Kevin Hart so standards should be high.
Watch if you like: Captain Underpants books, Horrid Henry, Trolls, underwear jokes.
Who’s in it? Jordan Peele, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll.

Cars 3 (July)

What’s it about?
Lightning McQueen is back and, we know he is just a talking car in an animated movie about, well, other talking cars, but after seeing the trailer where he flies off the track and gets all smashed up we have to own up to getting a bit emotional. Will he come back? Is he too old? What do cars do after they retire? We’re not going to lie, we’re probably going to end up watching this on replay a thousand times in a year or two, so we’re hoping that the message is that old people/cars can succeed if they just put their minds to it.
Watch if you like: Other Cars movies, Toy Story, underdogs coming good.
Who’s in it? Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer, Kerry Washington.

Despicable Me 3 (June)

What’s it about? We liked the Minions movie, but consider the babbling yellow sidekicks to be the least enjoyable part of the Despicable Me franchise, so it is nice to be back with Steve Carell’s brilliant Gru. He walks the tightrope between evil and good once again but this time must face up to a more successful, richer and less bald twin brother as he does so.
Watch if you like: Other Despicable Me movies, Minions, James Bond.
Who’s in it? Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Steve Coogan, Jenny Slate.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (June)

What’s it about?
As if a wimpy kids don’t have enough to worry about, this cinematic adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular book series has faced a backlash before even reaching screens. This is the fourth film in the series, but a whole new cast arrives as the principal characters. That means Greg, Rowley and all the Heffley clan are all changed up for some fresh faces. That is the danger of young actors who age faster than the characters they play, of course. The new cast features Alicia Silverstone as “mom” (come on now, how old does THAT make you feel?!) and sees the usual procession of wimpy awkwardness as the family go on a road trip for granny’s 90th birthday. Lovely.
Watch if you like: Previous Wimpy Kid films, Horrid Henry, Nanny McPhee.
Who’s in it? Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright, Jason Drucker, Owen Asztalos.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (July)

What’s it about? This is the third different Spider-Man series of the century so far, but unlike other versions the latest iteration will be part of a wider cinematic universe. That means we will see Robert Downey Jr. cracking wise as Iron Man Tony Stark, as well as a few other cameos from familiar superfaces. It will sit between Captain America: Civil War and an upcoming Avengers sequel, but as a one-off it sees Peter Parker trying to balance his life as a high school student and emerging as a crimefighter with incredible powers.
Watch if you like: Movie reboots, Marvel superheroes, spiders.
Who’s in it? Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Stan Lee.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (August)

What’s it about?
The original wasn’t one of the massive animations that are beloved by adults, but kids enjoyed the humans versus animals capers and forced music sequences pushing a Gangnam Style dance-off (presumably at the request of the Korean co-producers). This time round, the plucky park animals are battling with a corrupt mayor. Most of the cast is back and Jackie Chan and Gabriel Iglesias are among the new arrivals. As a street-fighting mouse and tough groundhog, of course.
Watch if you like: The Nut Job, Over the Hedge, Secret Life of Pets.
Who’s in it? Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, Maya Rudolph.

Transformers: The Last Knight (June)

What’s it about? Multiple Oscar or Emmy-nominated and winning actors Anthony Hopkins, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg are the human talent sharing screen time with the robot race that keep coming back to Earth to blow things up and disguise themselves as cars. We’ve seen the trailer and it looks to have just as much slow motion-running and robo-scrapping as all the others. Consider it an extended advert for the toys you will be asked to buy later in the year.
Watch if you like: Films about toys, explosions, talking cars.
Who’s in it? Mark Wahlberg, Gemma Chan, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock.

Wonder Woman (June)

What’s it about? Oh, great, another line of comic book story arc you need to be fluent in or lose the respect of children. Wonder Woman inhabits the same world as Superman and Batman, but this is a story dedicated to her. Gal Gadot plays the Amazonian princess in disguise who leaves her island to help stop World War One. Standard superhero origin plot maybe, but Gadot is great.
Watch if you like: Superhero movies and strong female role models. Turn page 66 for more on why we think you should take your kids to see this film.
Who’s in it? Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis.


Come the autumn, the big family movies won’t stop...

Coco (December)

What’s it about?
We don’t want to give them an easy ride, but simply seeing the Pixar logo attached to this project is enough to make us interested. The Disney-owned animation studio has earned the right (see below). Here Pixar tells a new story and is bringing new characters for us, probably, to fall in love with. Based on the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead the story sees a 12-year-old boy looking to uncover secrets about his musical father and travelling to other worlds.
Watch if you like: Toy Story, The Book of Life, Spirited Away.
Who’s in it? Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor.

Ferdinand (December)

What’s it about?
Carlos Saldanha adapts the popular children’s novel about a bull who prefers sniffing flowers to fighting. Having already been at the helm of animal animations Ice Age and Rio, the December release seems an assured winner for young children and trailers suggest this will be a charming favourite for younger audiences.
Watch if you like: Ratatouille, Ice Age, Rio, non-violent conflict resolution.
Who’s in it? David Tennant, John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (December)

What’s it about? Remember Jumanji? When Robin Williams and some kids were transported into a board game? This is a distant sequel-cum-reboot. Updated with Dwayne Johnson and a video game instead of a board game, it looks like being plenty of jungle fun and seems to be an attempt at a new franchise for The Rock.
Watch if you like: Jumanji, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Hook, Zathura.
Who’s in it? Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan.

Justice League (November)

What’s it about? You know how The Avengers brings together different superheroes into a single evil-battling squad? This is just the same, but with better heroes from the DC stable. That means Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and more are all present under one roof. There is some cobblers about them banding together to fight extra-terrestrials but are you really going to an ensemble comic book movie for the plot?
Watch if you like: Superman, Batman, The Avengers.
Who’s in it? Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Jesse Eisenberg.

My Little Pony: The Movie (October)

What’s it about? Any child could like this big-screen story based on the Hasbro toys so we don’t want to generalise. But it is a head start if your kid loves the colour pink, prefers cuddles and fairy dust to war games and toy guns and has already started collecting the mini equine toys. If that sounds like your offspring then an all-star cast awaits for a story about Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and more Ponyville favourites on a journey to save their kingdom.
Watch if you like: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Lego: Friends, loving things.
Who’s in it? Zoe Saldana, Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, Sia.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December)

What’s it about? This really needs no introduction. Children, and parents who grew up with the original trilogy, have been waiting for the latest instalment in the saga since seeing a bearded Luke Skywalker take delivery of a lightsaber in The Force Awakens. Will be one of the biggest films of the year and keep up the current run rate of a Star Wars movie every year.
Watch if you like: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, epic sci-fi.
Who’s in it? Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver.

The Lego Ninjago Movie (October)

What’s it about?
A spin-off movie of a spin-off toy line. The folks behind The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie are involved in this so expect it to be closer in style to those cinematic releases than the Netflix TV series based on the same characters. That means we can look forward to lots of ironic humour, quirky asides and knowing jokes for adults. This time the action does not focus on the wider Lego world so cameos are kept to a minimum and instead focuses on a more linear storyline centred around Lego ninjas defeating monsters and riding dragons. While non-too subtly brainwashing kids with toy ideas as well.
Watch if you like: The Lego Movie, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, Angry Birds: The Movie.
Who’s in it? Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, Dave Franco, Jackie Chan.

What’s on TV?

There are also some real highlights to look out for on streaming TV services this summer...

You know how you love to stream a full series after the kids have gone to bed? It is just the same for the little ones, too. Check out these new Netflix Originals available in the UAE.

Buddy Thunderstruck: When kids are barraged with 3D and modern animation, there is something charming about this stop-motion animation comedy. The visuals have a kitsch retro appeal but the humour is all 2017.

Legend Quest: If there are two things that kids love on screen it is legends and quests. Throw in some ghosts, wacky humour and a cast of quirky characters and attention will be rapt throughout the summer with this animated fantasy comedy-horror.

Tarzan and Jane: It seems every generation has its own retelling of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan story. The latest is a computer animation from the same folk that made the Kong: King of the Apes series. Expect the whole story to be updated as Tarzan battles foes in jungles urban and, er, jungly.

Trollhunters: This big-budget animated Netflix and DreamWorks collaboration has the voice talents of Kelsey Grammer and the late Anton Yelchin and is created by Guillermo del Toro. The story is all trolls, knights and comedy and it is a noticeable step up in quality with A-list talent.

Pixar is the animation studio behind the most imaginative, beloved and cross-generationally appealing films of the past few decades. Since Academy Awards began recognising animated films as a category in 2001, Pixar has scooped the top award eight times with the next closest, Disney, at just three. OSN will celebrate the films of Disney Pixar with a special pop-up channel running from June 23-July 28. That means a total of 13 Pixar movies will be available over the course of three weekends. In real terms that means a movie marathon including the Toy Story trilogy, the Finding Nemo series, Wall-E, Up and Cars. OSN Movies Disney Pixar could save you a fortune in DVD and cinema costs. See for details.

25 things to do with kids in BahrainWill Milner, 27 Oct 2016 07:49:52 +04001 Choose your favourite water park

We’re blessed with not one, but two great water parks in Bahrain and, as every parent knows, you should give both a chance. Lost Paradise has 18 slides including a family raft ride, vertical drops and a pirate ship, rain fortress and lazy river for younger children. Wahooo! Water Park on the other hand is supremely convenient thanks to a Seef Mall location and is actually 70 percent indoors, meaning you can enjoy all year without fear of sunburn.
Lost Paradise of Dilmun Park, Zallaq (17 845 100). Wahoo! Water Park, City Centre Bahrain, Seef (17 173 000).

2 Go-karting at BIC
The Bahrain Grand Prix is the sporting highlight of the year and kids can get their own speed thrills on a specially constructed go-karting track at the world-class Bahrain International Circuit. Around 300 metres long, and designed to be safe for children as young as seven, it is the first step to a lifelong adrenalin addiction. Parents of mini petrolheads can get on the F1 track and try the new Ultimate Track Experiences, driving or being taken around in a variety of nippy sports cars.
Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir (17 451 745).

3 Picnic in the park

A day out with kids doesn’t need to mean splashing cash. A few homemade sandwiches, a rug to sit on and a ball to chase after is close to a child’s image of what bliss looks like. Especially if you throw in an ice cream. At Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park there are play areas, a small boating lake, cycle track and food kiosks to keep you entertained and away from malls and video games. Check out, also, the farmers’ markets in Budaiya Botanical Gardens for more outdoor simplicity and sunshine vibes.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park, off Prince Khalifa bin Salman causeway. Budaiya Botanical Gardens, Budaiya Highway (near the police station).

4 Make sandcastles on the beach

The Ritz-Kids programme at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain comes with a premium price tag, but is also a world-class family option. Even without full family membership, day passes will give kids access to the fun, including a packed itinerary of activities including sports, arts, games and more. If all else fails, there is a private beach just perfect for sandcastle-making sessions while Mum and Dad enjoy a break.
The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 586 612).

5 Build your own teddy bear
If you’ve ever lost a child’s favourite toy you will understand the connection toddlers can make with their furry friends. When that is a teddy that they chose, made and named themselves the bond is even tighter. The genius of the Build-A-Bear Workshop chain is that it makes a trip to the toy store into a major event and, while parents stand on the sidelines looking baffled by the devotion, there is no denying the smiles on little faces.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, City Centre Bahrain, Seef (17 178 560).

6 Get creative at Studio Ceramics

A hub of creativity enjoyed by youngsters and arty adults alike, this Seef-based art studio offers ceramic painting, clay building, ornament decorating and more crafty projects than you can wave a paint brush at. Kids can join in lessons and creative sessions or just go wild and let their imagination spill out on a stock-cupboard full of ready-made ceramics and other materials.
Studio Ceramics, Seef Mall, Seef (17 002 911).

7 Take your first skydive (indoors)

Vertical wind tunnels may sound like some swish engineering equipment, but strap on a flight suit, pull on a crash helmet and for anybody over the age of four it becomes a thrill ride. Controlled and solo indoor skydives are still new to Bahrain and for anybody wanting to simulate a plane jump without, you know, actually jumping out of a plane. But it is an extreme sport with an excellent safety record, and has a home here in Zallaq.
Gravity Indoor Skydiving, Zallaq (13 100 000).

8 Fire lasers at your friends
There comes a time when every little kid grows out of a soft play area (somebody needs to tell a few “grown-up” Time Outers we know) and a new diversion needs to be found. Welcome to the Ozone entertainment centre. With laser tag, ten-pin bowling, gaming and billiards rooms, it is an interactive funland for older children. That’s right, there is laser tag in Bahrain!
Ozone Entertainment, Sitra Mall, Sitra (17 749 499).

9 Enjoy the rides at Adhari Park
There are a few zones and attractions at Bahrain’s theme park designed to elicit squeals of excitement from children. Circle around on a gentle carousel and play crazy golf in Groovy Town, get dizzy on a roller coaster in Discovery Village, splash down the log flume in Sports Camp and see much more besides. There are around 40 indoor and outdoor rides with each measured for thrill and speed rating, meaning you can select something suitable for the child you’re riding with (and make sure you don't get too scared as well).
Adhari Park, Ain Adhari Road (17 407 300).

10 Visit a Magic Island
The big picture says there are 4,300 square metres and more than 20 rides and play areas for kids, 150 arcade games and traditional games in Seef entertainment centre Magic Island. But the real story is the hordes of little children that buzz around with smiles on their faces as they pass between ball pools, flight simulators and other indoor fun. Did somebody say LED underwater theme bowling alley? It’s got one!
Magic Island, Seef Mall, Seef (77 911 211).

11 Find fun in fitness at My Gym
Like a gym, but for kids. That means far less Lycra, grunting and heavy lifting and a lot more running around playing ball games and quirky sports. My Gym’s classes operate from Tiny Tykeswaddlers (seven months) all the way through to Champions (eight-year-olds) and are designed to be age-specific for the physical, psychological and physical well-being and growth of each category. It’s popular with parents who can sit by and let kids exhaust themselves.
My Gym, Al Victory Suites, Seef (17 566 566).

12 Experience Chakazoolu
We’re not exactly sure what the name is all about, but we know we like chanting it as a family as we walk up to the Dana Mall entertainment centre. The 4,500 square metre play room has a roller coaster, ghost train, bumper cars and arcade games, plus cinematic experience simulators. Bingo.
Chakazoolu, Dana Mall, Sanabis (17 558 500).

13 Be cool with Pingu
A venue based on the quirky animated penguin might sound like one of the more bonkers ideas ever to be given the green light. However, strange as it may sound, this is an educational attraction aimed at building the confidence and ability of non-native English speakers. Consider it a fun after-school club with an interactive approach to learning. With added penguins. We love it.
Pingu’s English, Seef Mall, Seef (17 002 877).

14 Book a hut at Al Dar Island

To get away from the island, just visit another island. Al Dar is a ten-minute boat ride away from the fishermen’s port in Sitra and is one of the best days (and nights) out in Bahrain. Beach huts are ideal for barbecues and can be rented by the day at a modest cost (BD15). When set up, families can try watersports or make use of the kids’ zone with play area, shaded paddling pool and more. Ask kids if they want to visit and you won’t need to go beyond the boat ride before they agree it is one of your finest ideas yet.
Al Dar Islands, Sitra Fisherman Port (17 704 600).

15 Become a Padi bubblemaker
Living on an island means thoughts of the sea are never far away. So why not let children’s thoughts take on a fantastical edge by introducing them to an underwater world through scuba diving lessons. Dive schools around Bahrain such as Scuba Life have certified courses for children like the PADI bubblemaker, seal team, snorkelling or junior master diver awards.
Scuba Life Diving Centre, Seef (17 003 636).

16 Get creative at Artzania
This is a play centre with, as you can imagine, an arty aspect. There is a large castle, but it is more for artistic inspiration at the Ramli Mall play area which operates on the philosophy that learning is fun. Children here are more likely to get stuck in an arts and crafts project than they are a ball pool and it is a change of pace we’re sure parents will appreciate.
Artzania, Ramli Mall, A’Ali (17 640 663).

17 All aboard the Yellow Submarine
There is an underwater theme to Saar Mall’s soft play area that kids seem to enjoy. They are also rather partial to the ball pools, ball canons, slides, building blocks and assault courses as well. Parent and child mornings throughout the week are great for meeting new families, plus a large party room is a popular option for birthdays on the toddler society circuit.
Yellow Submarine, Saar Mall, Saar (17 000 037).

18 Pamper little ones at Lalapaloza

Glitter tattoos, mini-manis, dolls, hair, make-up and sweet-inspired décor – certain kids will view this junior spa and beauty parlour as something close to paradise. Whether you’re stopping in for parent and child pamper sessions or junior make-up parties, the Al A’ali-based shop, spa and party venue is a bright and cheerful location which offers an intriguing alternative to the usual boisterous play centres. You can also drop them off and shop while they play.
Lalapaloza, second floor, Al A’ali Shopping Complex, Seef District (1610 1612).

19 Ready, get set, cook at Saar Mall

Proudly calling itself the first kids’ cooking school in Bahrain, Ready Get Set Cook is more about inspiring junior masterchefs to pick up a rolling pin and whisk than being a centre for culinary arts. Recipes can be themed around movies, globetrotting adventures or dress-up games (like last month’s Halloween party) and give a fun introduction to basic recipes. Cakes and no washing up – can adults come along too?
Ready Get Set Cook, Saar Mall, Saar (17 000 260).

20 Play a round at the Wee Monty course

Tiger Woods was swinging a golf club before he was two years old. Consider that for a moment while you watch your child eating crayons. You might not need to follow the devotion to the game of golf of young Tiger, but a visit to the Royal Golf Club’s Wee Monty pitch and putt course is a way for sporty youngsters to develop their swing on quality greens. Designed by pro Colin Montgomerie, the nine holes are between 60 and 140 yards and it’s a walking course with some challenges. Various junior lessons and programmes are available.
Royal Golf Club, Riffa (17 750 777).

21 Dance in every style
“Never miss a chance to dance.” “If you hear the music, dance.” “Dance like no-one is watching.” Sometimes the Internet memes are right and you need to let the rhythm get you. Introduce children to a lifetime of happiness by introducing them to music and dance. Lessons in many styles such as Bollywood, ballet and street are available in the dance schools across Bahrain and you’ll be able to see your little twinkle toes in action when they get their chance to perform.
Bollywood Steps, Ramli Mall, A’ali, (3932 3453). Bahrain Ballet Centre, Barbar,, (1769 3232). Harmony Music Centre, Abu Saiba, (1362 2002).

22 Eat out at Bahrain’s best family restaurant
Next month sees the winners of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards 2016 announced. Before we reveal our favourites in the family category, eat your way through a shortlist including burger joints (Fuddruckers, Johnny Rockets), Italians (Luigi’s, PizzaExpress, Prego, Rosso), diners (Chili’s, TGI Fridays) and all-round international favourites (Bahrain Bay Kitchen).
See for listings and reviews of shortlisted restaurants.

23 Experience the madness of science
Sparking imagination with scientific experiments is the aim of Mad Science, an edutainment centre that visits schools and also runs creative holiday camps and workshops. The idea is that by doing highly visual and interactive stunts, children will be wowed by the marvels of modern science. The learning can be sneaked in without a child noticing, as they are too busy watching mini-explosions and other chemical reactions designed to make kids gasp.
Mad Science, Abu Saiba (17 591 136).

24 Just Play at Seef Mall
The many different zones and themed rooms are what make Play stand out among the many entertainment centres here. Tiny Tots Room is ideal for young children taking their first steps, while The Town is a mock play area with a fire station, doctor’s office and supermarket. A creative water room, art pod and auditorium are also present in an attraction where imagination and creative role-playing are actively encouraged.
Play, Seef Mall, Seef (17 564 900).

25 Say hello to kitty
Sugar and spice and all things nice are what children who come out of the Hello Kitty Spa will smell of. Even if they go covered in felt tip, blended food and pre-teen angst, they will emerge glowing and relaxed. Not that we’re sure what toddlers have to be so stressed about, but there is no denying a trip to the simple cartoon-inspired spa and café gives a glow to little kids that, if we’re honest, they never really grow out of.
Hello Kitty Beauty Spa, City Centre Bahrain, Seef (17 211 896).

Spa birthday at Lalapaloza in Bahrain, 28 Aug 2016 02:57:32 +0400Are you running out of ideas for your little girl’s birthday parties? Lalapaloza might just have the answer, and you wouldn’t even have to leave the house, as this local store has launched a brand-new service, where they now bring their kids’ spa to your door.

Any excuse for a good old princess pampering session will do. All you need to do is choose one of their spa party stations and let the team help you create a custom party package that suits your (or at least your daughter’s) needs.

For ages five and up, from toddlers to tweens and teens, there are a range of options to take advantage of, including henna tattoos, fancy face art, hair braiding, candy-coloured nails and even a glittery make-up station. You can pick just one or go all-out with the Glam Station package, which includes three activities. Your little beauty queen and all her friends (they can cater for 15 to 18 guests) will love getting dolled up, plus you can rest assured that all the products used are made with organic, hypo-allergenic ingredients (read: that kid from school, who’s always sick, won’t be going home with a nasty red rash because of you).

If there are no celebrations on the cards (get it?), and you do fancy getting out of the house, this home-grown kids brand also has a host of in-store deals and packages, including mother and daughter bonding treats that allow you two to get a mani-pedi, hand and foot massage and even have a karaoke session, among other things.

Now, who’s got the party favours?

From BD50 for one station, for a minimum of three hours. Lalapaloza, Al A’ali Shopping Complex (16 101 612).

How to pick a nursery in Bahrain, 26 Jul 2016 03:44:47 +0400One of the hardest decisions you’ll make in your parenting career comes when you’re looking for the perfect nursery. At this time of year, learning institutions all over the country are opening their doors to parents for nursery tours and registration visits. “It is a proven fact that the human brain develops more in the first five years in a child’s life,” says Sue Jones, the founder and CEO of Evolution Childcare, formerly known as the Kids Academy Group. “It is crucial to make the right choice.”

As Evolution Childcare, which was brought to Bahrain by Abeer Rasti, gears up to open the doors to its own nursery in Saar, including those of its brand-new second branch located in Adliya, they’re looking to answer parents’ most pertinent questions, says Jones. “We relish parents who visit with a shopping list of questions,” she says. “Nurseries come with their own unique learning outcomes and objectives for children, so how do you unravel the curriculum and find the right one for you?”

Jones offers a few tips on what to consider. For instance, what qualifications do the staff have? Are they happy and engaged in their roles? Is the environment stimulating? Does it look fun? Can you see learning opportunities everywhere? Will your child be happy, make friends and be confident to have a go at everything?

It might be exhausting, but once you have the answers to your questions then your mind will be at ease. There are plenty of nurseries for you to choose from in Bahrain and Evolution Childcare is just one of them.

Evolution Childcare, Saar (32 199 110); Adliya (32 063 696).

Kids News

Kids For All Seasons
The Four Seasons’ kids summer camp runs until September 30, with one-day, one-week and one-month packages.
Bahrain Bay (17 115 000).

Pingu’s English
This summer camps boasts English lessons, games, dance, arts and crafts. It’s BD75 for three camps per week. Seef Mall (17 002 977).

The Jungle
Tribal Fitness’ kids’ camp will keep your children active and healthy in the hot months by teaching them natural movements. It’s on until August 25, three days a week. From BD35 per week. Budaiya Highway (17 300 859).

Caramelo Kids Boutique in Bahrain, 28 Jun 2016 05:53:31 +0400A new, home-grown brand has launched in Bahrain, with inspiration from across the oceans. Caramelo Kids Boutique, founded by Andalusian entrepreneur Elisa Plaza Godoy, focuses on elegant kids’ products, which have all been made in cities across the Iberian Peninsula.

“Spain has a strong tradition of fine tailoring and it is incontestable in classic kids’ occasion-wear,” says Godoy. “You can immediately see the difference when they prance around in one of my outfits.”

Across the bright and stylish 300-square metre boutique, which is located across the road from the House of Uniforms, in the growing area of Segaya, you’ll find a range of clothes, accessories, furniture and bedding for kids of all ages, from new-borns to tweens.

What makes this place different, says Godoy, is that these are limited-edition products that are exclusive and bespoke, but also reasonably priced.

“Every item was hand-picked by myself during my business tour in Spain,” she says. “I have pieces from all over the Iberian Peninsula, from the Basque region and Catalunya to Sevilla.”

It’s not just about shopping, either. You can also book a one-on-one consultation to chat about what kind of furniture you’re looking for and even get your baby’s bedding tailor-made. On top of that, the Caramelo team will help you reserve or choose presents for baby showers and birthdays, and they have a delivery service.

Let’s just say it’s a bit of a one-stop-shop for all your kids’ comfort needs.

Tala Plaza Mall, Segaya (17 231 733).

Kids News

The Mobile Spa
Now you can book a spa-themed party at a venue of your choice with Lalapaloza.
From BD50. Call 39 660 642 or email

New Clothing Store
Spanish brand Losan has opened, with casual collections available for newborns to 16 year olds.
Seef Mall, Seef (77 911 113).

Okaidi Kicks
A new collection of clothes and accessories are now available in Okaidi, including a range of shoes for little boys and girls.
City Centre Bahrain, Seef (17 178 049).

Manama Theatre Club, 24 May 2016 07:47:45 +0400Do you have a budding Anne Hathaway or Leonardo DiCaprio at home? Then perhaps you should think about signing them up for a workshop with the Manama Theatre Club, a community of amateur drama enthusiasts hailing from different parts of the world.

The junior workshops explore different types of drama, from shadow puppets to mime, to give the kids a taste of theatre’s many elements. This month, on Saturday June 25, children from seven to 14 can sign up for a fun, two-hour session, which then culminates in a small 15-minute performance for all the parents.

The performance? The Rock ‘n’ Roll Trolls, a heart-warming story that sees three children on a quest to find the Fairy Queen, who has been captured by the trolls. On their journey, the kids discover just how smart, strong and brave they can be, and how friendships can pop out of anywhere with a little understanding.

“Drama builds confidence and self-esteem,” Bev Coombridge, the junior drama coordinator at Manama Theatre Club tells us. “[It] builds listening skills and awareness of social cues, develops language and communication skills, as well as emotional intelligence, and gives kids the opportunity to be creative.”

With so many reasons to get your kids involved in theatre from a young age, and the chance to see your little one deliver the performance of their lifetime, what are you waiting for? You can sign up now by registering at The British Club reception.

BD3 (British Club members), BD5 (non-members). Sat June 25, 3pm-5.30pm. The British Club, Um Al Hassam (17 728 245).

Lalapaloza in Bahrain, 27 Apr 2016 03:58:26 +0400Walking into Lalapaloza is like walking straight back into your childhood. This dessert-themed spa, salon, retail shop and party room boasts hundreds of brightly coloured sweets and candy-inspired toys, alongside inviting smells of chocolate, strawberries and other tempting flavours.

It might sound like an indulgence, but actually the aim here is to promote a healthy body image for children by introducing them to make-up and beauty treatments early on. “This is not about children looking like grown-ups,” co-founder Nash Elkounfoudi explains. “We actually want to introduce a healthy way of dealing with make-up and also how to deal with your skin when you start reacting to hormones.”

While kids are invited to make-over dolls in the Lala Mini section, or enjoy spa treatments that use natural, hypo-allergenic sweet treats, mums can also get involved by booking the new package that allows them to enjoy a day with their daughter.

First on the agenda is an ice-cream flavoured mani-pedi, followed by a sweet hand and foot massage. Then decorate mini cupcakes together, while sampling some complimentary refreshments.

After the little one gets her glitter tattoo, and enjoys being dolled up in some organic make-up, head to the party room, where you can have a go on the karaoke machine.

To top it all off, the team will take photos so you can savour the day for years to come. It’s what (sweet) dreams are made of.
BD20 (BD10 per additional guest). Mon-Wed noon-4pm. Book three days in advance. Lalapaloza, second floor, Al A’ali Shopping Complex, Seef District (16 101 612).

Kids news

Swim at bfit

Summer swimming classes run every Monday and Wednesday for kids.
BD50 per month (non-members). Crowne Plaza Bahrain (17 531 122).

Fun furniture

New fairytale furniture has launched at Wild Child Designz, manufactured in the UAE, from BD150. Order for delivery.

Showers at the ritz

Got a baby on the way? Have your baby shower at The Ritz, where they’ve launched new packages, including breakfast or afternoon tea.
From BD13.5++ per person.
The Ritz-Carlton (17 586 499).

Young yogis, 03 Apr 2016 08:39:52 +0400Yoga isn’t just for grown-ups. There are many benefits for little ones too, such as improving balance, strength and coordination, not to mention helping in those moments when parents need to calm the kids down and practically peel them off the ceiling.

Bahrain-based GroovyKids Yoga instructor Catherine Campbell says getting your kids doing even just six simple yoga poses can help. She suggests the Downward Dog, Cobra, Boat, Tree, Warrior and Bridge. “[The poses] improve their overall mind-body awareness,” Campbell tells us.

“The combination of concentration and calmness enhances their ability to relax and reduces stress.”

Campbell explains that children are affected by the speed with which their family conducts daily life. “Therefore, it is really important to be able to give children effective tools to manage stress and anxiety,” she says.

Even if you haven’t had a go on the mat yourself, there is no denying the benefits.

“A yoga class is an inclusive, healthy and non-competitive environment,” Campbell says. “It also increases their confidence.”

In her particular classes, open to children aged three to 12, she teaches how to manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement. Essentially, she says, at GroovyKids Yoga, “we try to host programmes that combine yoga, joy and movement in a fun and innovative way.”
BD5-6. Mondays at MyGym, Seef, and Tuesdays at Twinkle Twinkle, Saar. Classes also held privately. Call Catherine Campbell on 36 22 0949.

Three poses

Boat Pose

Sit straight, bend your legs. Press your hands against the floor behind your back and raise your half-bent legs with your shins parallel to the floor.

Tree Pose

Bend the right knee, shifting weight onto the left leg. Turn the right knee to the right wall, while resting the heel against the left leg.

Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor, lift your hips to the ceiling and roll your shoulders back.

Disney Live! in Bahrain, 25 Feb 2016 07:50:05 +0400Amusical mash-up of mega proportions is arriving in Bahrain this month, as the renowned Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival makes its island debut.

The show is set to be the biggest family-friendly entertainment performance the country has seen so far, and forms part of the exciting calendar of events planned for Manama Gulf Capital of Tourism 2016.

Expect to hear top hits from some of the world’s biggest family blockbusters, such as Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Toy Story, performed by an all-star line-up of more than 25 much-loved Disney characters.

The experience begins with video projections, followed by music beats, heart-stopping acrobatics and even, we hear, flying carpets (courtesy of Aladdin, Jasmine and co). You’ll then be plunged into the depths of the “ocean” where Ariel, Sebastien and their nautical pals groove to some reggae. Then stomp to the rodeo-style tunes of Woody and Buzz, as the characters start to dance in the aisles.

“One song can touch millions of people around the world,” says Kenneth Feld, producer and CEO of Feld Entertainment, the company responsible for bringing the show to our shores. “We’ve created an environment where audience members will be able to connect with the Disney stars. Within each concert moment are elements of personal interaction and the audience will be harmonising, dancing, laughing and having an outrageously good time.”

Whether you’ve got a family of Disney loving little ones (two and above), or you’re just a big kid, this is a show not to be missed.
BD10-85. March 15-19, various times. Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre,

Mommy Wellness Day Spa, 02 Feb 2016 08:55:28 +0400Ladies, prepare to say goodbye to those aching feet as a new concept just for you is coming to Bahrain to encourage the health and wellness of mothers during pregnancy and all those exhausting years after giving birth.

Mommy Wellness, a South African brand, will arrive at Seef’s new shopping complex The Courtyard early this year, brought to you by Masgo Ventures, a local company that aims to bring unique international lifestyle concepts to the region.

This will be the first GCC location for the brand and the idea is for it to become a regional haven for mums and mums-to-be, offering services such as prenatal and postnatal treatments, baby massage courses, and luxuries serving every woman’s needs. Treatments such Mama
Mio for anti-ageing, toning and tightening are available, as well as other pampering sessions like manicures and facials.

Uniquely, they’ll also teach you how to massage your infant in a nurturing way using natural oil. This process has proven to have emotional and physical benefits such as deepening the mother-baby bond, creating a sense of harmony and encouraging healthy growth and digestion, among many others.

Jenan Almaskati, Masgo Ventures managing partner and mother-of-one, says, “The Mommy Wellness franchise will allow us to provide women across the region with unique treatments and services that are critical to the needs of every expectant mother, and women generally.”