With temperatures breaking records, we can all agree that it’s hot, hot, hot outside. Check out these indoor activities that promise to keep the fun going without having to endure Bahrain’s scorching summers. From adventure sports and unique fitness routines to off-beat crafts and nature-inspired pastimes, there’s so much you can do.
BRING YOUR PLAYGROUND INDOORS
Lightning Fitness, a unique fitness studio in Riffa, creates a playground-like set up indoors. Explore a fun, interactive style – PRAMA – of working out with high-speed games and challenges that will get your heart racing. PRAMA is a unique circuit training programme controlled by software that combines music, videos, mood lighting, interactive software and high-intensity group training. Mixed sessions for kids and parents, and kids only are available, making this an activity for the whole family.
GO: Visit www.lightningfitnessbh.com for more information and membership
Too hot to walk outside? Head to the mall – Bahrain has many! In fact, in 2015, the Ministry of Health in Bahrain launched the Healthy Mall programme, which aimed to create a healthy environment inside malls. City Centre Bahrain, which also introduced the City Walkers programme, Mall of Dilmunia and Oasis Mall were among those that met the criteria set for the programme.
GO: Visit citycentrebahrain.com, mallofdilmunia.com and landmarkgroup.com (Oasis Mall) for more information.
ONLINE ZUMBA CLASSES
Zumba has taken over the fitness industry with its unique blend of cardio and various dance forms from salsa to Bollywood. Not in the mood to drive to class, just live stream a session at home. Choose from a range of timings, durations and trainers. The fee for each session varies and payment is online. Not a fan of Zumba? Netflix offers generic workout videos that you can try at home.
GO: Visit www.zumba.dance to book your session.
MASTER THE MARTIAL ARTS
Explore the unique Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira, which combines the elements of dance, acrobatics, music and spirituality. Conducted at Fitness 365 studio at The Park Janabiya, the kids’ classes run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 5pm for four- to seven-year-olds and from 5pm to 6pm for eight- to 12-year-olds, both priced at BD 45 per child per month – siblings get a discount. Adult classes run on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays from 7pm to 8.30pm and are priced at BD50 per adult per month. Prices include one free class. The Fighter Taekwondo Center on Budaiya Highway offers classes for adults on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7pm to 8pm, priced at BD30 per month.
GO: Call 3330 6805 (capoeira) and follow @f_tkd (taekwondo) on Instagram for more information and bookings.
Looking for an instant rush of endorphins? Gravity Indoor Skydiving over in Zallaq offers the thrill of sky diving without the hassle of jumping out of a plane. Expert instructors, high-quality equipment and safety are priorities at Gravity, which offers a unique, unforgettable adventure in a massive indoor wind tunnel for individuals of all skill levels. Prices start from BD17 depending on the number of flights and participants. Go solo or book a session with friends, from Tuesday to Saturday, from 1pm to 9pm. It’s recommended that participants be at least four years old and weigh at least 15kg.
GO: Visit gravitybah.com for more information and bookings.
INDOOR MARINE DIVING
Whether you’re certified or a newbie, Bahrain Aquarium offers diving sessions in a 17-metre-tall and seven-metre-wide tank spanning four floors of Mall of Dilmunia. Only those who are 15 years or older can register and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The dive is conducted with all the safety precautions and guidelines and lasts 30 to 45 minutes. The Introduction to Free Diving session is priced at BD45 and Discover Scuba Diving at BD65. Get up close and personal with up to 3,000 marine animals across 85 species! Wetsuits and other gear will be provided.
GO: Visit www.bahrainaquarium.com for more information and bookings (advance reservation required).
INDOOR PLAY AREAS
The island is home to many family entertainment centres, featuring a wide range of fun, from ball pits to trampoline-like structures, as well as coin-operated and other games. Yabeela at Al Liwan features wall climbing, amusement rides and arcade games among other interesting things. Matrix Bahrain in Juffair Mall offers roller disco, bowling, VR and other thrills. Lazertron in Saar has a unique, retro vibe with neon lights, arcade games and 80s’-inspired merchandise.
GO: Visit @yabeela.bh, @matrix.bh and @lazertron.bh on Instagram for more information.
MAKE BOOKS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Reading is a great entertainment option while also offering a mental workout; it’s said to improve concentration and sleep, and reduce stress. Jarir Bookstore and Virgin Megastore in Seef, and Jashanmal outlets across the island offer a variety of reading material. You could also browse the bookshelves at the thrift shops run by the animal shelters in Saar.
GO: Follow @dogfathersecondhandshop and @bspcathrifshop on Instagram.
JOIN AN ONLINE CLUB
The pandemic opened our eyes to a whole new way of operating – virtually! Many social clubs continue to meet in this way as it offers the benefits of networking from the comfort of your home. One such club is the Bahrain Writers’ Circle (BWC). More than a decade old, it’s arguably the only one of its kind in the region. They host monthly meetings online. Learn how to write prose and poetry, and e-meet guest speakers from all over the world – accomplished authors, poets and individuals associated with the business of writing. Whether you’re planning to write a book or simply want to start journalling, this group is your platform!
GO: Visit www.bwcbh.com for more information and membership.
Located off Budaiya Highway, Bahrain Mosaic House offers mosaic kits suitable for both adults and children. Get creative at the studio or take your kit home; if you’re a newbie, we recommend the former as the team at the Mosaic House will guide you. Make something unique for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. The regular kits cost BD8.8 and take about two hours to complete while the large ones vary depending on the size. It’s best to book in advance especially if you’re going as a group. Bahrain Mosaic House is open daily from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 7pm on the weekends.
GO: Follow @mosaichousebarhain on Instagram or WhatsApp 3962 2468 for more information and bookings.
TOY KNITTING CLASSES
Knitting is no longer just for the elderly. Many youngsters are turning to it as a hobby or therapeutic activity. Further, knitting is not just to make sweaters and socks. Bahrain-based Zizi makes crochet plush toys, from octopuses and Homer Simpsons to bunnies and all sorts of cuddly ‘friends’ that you can purchase from her Instagram page. Try your hand at this craft for BD10 an hour. Usually, about three to four hours would suffice to learn and make one toy. Be ready for homework too!
GO: DM Zizi @handmade_toys_bh on Instagram for class location details and more information.
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Remember the scene from Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts learns Italian with the handsome Luca Spaghetti. Have your own Eat Pray Love moment right here in Bahrain. Hablo offers paid online classes, as well as free-of-cost, in-person meet-ups every Saturday where you can practice with natives; there’s a club for German and another one for Spanish and Arabic. The physical session lasts up to an hour and is typically hosted at a coffee shop or restaurant. Hablo also invites participants on cultural trips to historical locations in and outside Bahrain; the language exchange students travel to Spain or those in Spain and other GCC countries come to the Kingdom. Yusuf, co-developer of the language exchange programme, says that the main idea is to connect with people all over the world.
GO: Visit hablohoy.com for more information or look up @habloglobal on Instagram.
SIGN-UP FOR A COOKING CLASS
Cooking is a survival skill. This summer, register with Kitchen United Cooking Class and learn from qualified chefs. The classes – group and private – are hosted at their well-equipped kitchen in East Riffa. Make a variety of dishes from pasta and sushi to mochi and macarons. Days, timings and fees vary depending on the class. If you have a sweet tooth, sign-up with The Cake Holics and learn everything about baking and decorating. Their classes are conducted in New Hidd; the organisers will share the exact location once you register. Only women and kids from seven to 14 years can register. Each session is an hour-and-ahalf long. Bookings take place a month in advance; last day to book for September is August 24 and classes are scheduled on September 8, 15, 22 and 29. There are two slots: 10.30am to 12pm and 4.30pm to 6pm. The original price is BD85 but you can enjoy 25% off. Price includes four workshops per month, ingredients and a certificate of completion. You can even take your creations home for your family or friends to taste!
GO: Follow @kucookingclass and @bakingclassesbahraincakeholics on Instagram for more information and bookings.
ENJOY AN AFTERNOON TEA EXPERIENCE
Summers summon a certain sense of ease and slow-paced rituals such as afternoon teas. Make a reservation for a relaxed time with friends. Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay’s afternoon tea is wellknown as is the longtime popular one hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. You could even enjoy an authentic Japanese tea experience at Chawan tea house. They have exciting events planned for later this year, including a Japanese food festival so, stay tuned!
GO: Call 1711 5500 (Four Seasons Bahrain) and 1758 6499 (The Ritz-Carlton), and visit chawanbh.com for more information.
RELAX AT AN AESTHETIC CAFÉ
Bahrain spoils you for choice when it comes to Instagrammable cafés. The newly opened EL&N London at The AvenuesBahrain offers great vibes with its marine-inspired décor – jellyfish-like lights and shell-like seating. Café Rumi at Al Liwan has a life-size mural of a Sufi dancer, and VIII Cafe at District 1, Janabiya serves gram-worthy 3D coffee, both offer a lovely atmosphere – a change of scene from the four walls of your home. Crust & Crema’s Galleria Mall branch and Higher Grounds Cafe in Tubli offer a selection of books. And Fuddruckers’ outlets in Amwaj, Hamala, Sanad and Adliya have dedicated game zones if you prefer Esports.
GO: Follow @elan_cafe, @caferumibh, @viiicafe, @crustandcrema, @highergrounds.bh and @fuddruckersbahrain on Instagram for more information.
INDOOR FARMERS’ MARKETS
The farmers’ market at Hoorat A’ali is an indoor, air-conditioned space. It runs from Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 3pm and is a fun activity for the whole family. A great opportunity for your children to learn about local varieties of fruit and veg; Bahraini corchorus – a medicinal leaf – bright yellow local figs, a variety of peppers and chillis and more. Kids can even try their hand at pottery on the weekends. There’s a food court to refuel too.
GO: Follow @farmersmarketbh on Instagram for more information.
GET GREEN FINGERS
Gardening isn’t an indoor activity but if it’s your own garden, you could always slip indoors to cool off. Jenan Abdulla is offering a summer course where you can learn everything about gardening in the comfort of your own space – the class will be customised to the conditions in your garden. Arabic- and English-language classes are available and priced at BD45 for two hours. Days and times are flexible and can be mutually arranged. Jenan also offers to accompany you to buy materials for an extra fee and offers extra classes if you need them. Don’t have a garden? Get creative on your rooftop or balcony!
GO: Contact Jenan @letitbee.bh on Instagram for more information.
REKINDLE AN OLD HOBBY
Remember the days when hobbies were included on your resume? These days, we only speak of passions, side hustles and other such. There’s pressure to be exceptionally good at anything you do or worse, monetise it. Whatever happened to being average, or even terrible at something but doing it anyway, just because! The easiest way to rekindle a hobby is to revisit your childhood. What did you spend hours doing? It could have been conventional things such as painting or working on a jigsaw puzzle, or something out of the ordinary such as dismantling toy cars and rebuilding them. Remember, you can never be too old to become a child again!