The Bahrain Archipelago is located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Arabian Gulf. The smallest of all the states in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain is a diverse nation that has kept with modern times while still holding on to its rich history that goes as far back as 3000 B.C.
Understanding Bahrain’s history, of course, means knowing that they have been conquered and ruled over by many people all through the centuries. These included the Babylonians, the Persians, Assyrians, Portuguese, and then the British. As such, at least 50% of the population in Bahrain today are foreigners. With so many foreigners, the influence on Bahrain has been great and shows by way of diversification in architecture, cooking, and culture – there’s far more to Bahrain than first meets the eye.
This post compiles a huge list of ideas from culture, outdoors and history to indoor retreats perfect for when you’re travelling to Bahrain with the kids. Let’s take a look around Bahrain!
Best time to visit Bahrain
As with most of the countries in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain gets pretty hot and arid during the summer months. Temperatures can rise as high as 50 degrees which is very dangerous and the hot winds that come from the desert can be very stifling. Going to the beach is no fun as Bahrain’s waters are shallow and get super hot very quickly. Sandstorms, particularly between June and July are also common.
With all of these issues, visiting Bahrain during the months of May – December may not be the best idea. You are better off taking your family to Bahrain in the winter months, which are from November to April.
How to get around in Bahrain
Getting around Bahrain is pretty straightforward. The city’s public bus system is widespread, very safe, and links most of the main towns and residential neighborhoods. Public buses run from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily and typically come by every 10 – 15 minutes. Each trip typically costs BD0.3. Going around the city by bus is a great way to engage in Bahrain sightseeing with your kids.
If you wish to drive, renting a car to carry your family around can be pretty convenient and driving in the city is also a straightforward affair. Taxis are readily available, even though you might need to pester them to use their meters. There are car-hire companies that can provide you with a sedan and a driver to take you and your family around if you prefer a more convenient way to see the many tourist places in Bahrain.
Top 10 Places to visit in Bahrain
Ahmed Al Fatih Grand Mosque
Al Fatih is the grandest mosque in Bahrain and was built in honour of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Muhammad Bin Khalifa, who is known as the patron of modern Bahrain. 200 years after Al Fatih saved Bahrain from oppression under the Persians, the foundation stone of the mosque was laid 1983 by one of his descendants. Decades after, the mosque remains a place of worship and is also a cultural icon that foreigners are encouraged to explore.
Head over to the Ahmed Al Fatih Grand Mosque and take a tour of the building. There are multiple guides who give free tours both in English and in Arabic. All you need to do is make sure you and the kids are dressed modestly, show up at the mosque, and request a tour at the office.
Drive Laps at the BIC
Competitive driving is one of the biggest sports in Bahrain and the Bahrain Grand Prix is definitely the biggest sporting event of the year. While the adults drive laps around the main tracks of the Bahrain International Circuit, the BIC has also constructed a go-karting track so that little people who have dreams of being speedsters can get their own thrills. This circuit is only about 300 meters in length and is very safe for children not younger than seven years old. While the little speedsters zip around the tracks with glee, their parents can also go to the adult tracks where they can test out a variety of awesome supercars.
Learn more at www.bahraingp.com/karting/
Go to Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park
Parents looking for places to visit in Bahrain with their kids can sometimes be worried about overspending. However, one of the best free things to do in Bahrain with your kids is to take them out to the park.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park is especially awesome and has everything a child needs to have fun – from play areas to cycling tracks, and even a small lake for boat rides. If you are looking to have a quiet day, you can pack a couple of sandwiches and sit on a simple rug.
Visit the Lost Paradise Water Park
Being a very sunny nation, the water parks in Bahrain are absolutely necessary and a blessing to parents. Parents looking for things to do in Bahrain can take the whole family on a trip to Lost Paradise, one of the two amazing waterparks in Bahrain. Featuring 18 slides, vertical drops, a rain fortress, a family raft ride, and a lazy river for little people, Lost Paradise offers all the aquatic fun and happiness any family can ask for.
Learn more at lpodwaterpark.com
A visit to the Manama Souq Market is a great way to get your children submerged into the vibrant culture of Bahrain. Dive into the market and look into all the stalls and everything they have to offer from delicious foods and snacks to spices, clothes, and electronics.
Look at the variety of things on offer and all the people who are selling them. Taste some of the local snacks and fruits and get a quick lesson from one of the locals about the history of the spices in the market.
You can also buy awesome souvenirs to take back home like beautiful jewellery as well as hand-made scarves and blankets. Remember that the souq can get very hectic so hold on tight to your kids so they do not get lost.
Bahrain National Museum
The national museum of Bahrain is a national attraction and a great place to go with your family. From its main entrance, the museum takes its guests through nine halls which leads to multiple displays of historical artefacts and a wealth of fun education for the little ones.
As you take a tour of the National Museum, you and your family will learn everything about the Dilmun civilization that existed more than 5000 years ago. You will also see exhibits that show how Bahrain’s relationship with clothing, architecture, and death has evolved over the millennia.
There are also lots of other exhibits inside the museum such as the palaeolithic remains of marine dinosaurs and some more recent historical and cultural exhibits from Bahrain.
Learn more at www.culture.gov.bh
Qal-at al-Bahrain Fort
Qal-at al-Bahrain is a beautiful fort located on the northern coast of Bahrain, close to Seef. It was built about 3000 years ago and its present iteration was remodelled around sixth century AD. Lived in pretty much continuously for about 4500 years, the structure and the surrounding area have been full of many archaeological findings that tell about the people who lived in it.
Also known as the Bahrain Fort or the Portugal Fort, Qal-at al-Bahrain is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and has been one since 2005. Visit this protected place with your children and learn about hundreds of artefacts that are displayed in its five exhibition halls by an audio guide. If you are travelling with older children, visiting Qal-at al-Bahrain is a good way to spend 2 or 3 hours delving into Bahrain’s history.
Learn more at www.culture.gov.bh
Take Scuba Diving Lessons
You can take your kids on a trip to any of the gorgeous Bahrain beaches to play on the sand, or you can introduce them to life under Bahrain’s waters at any of the dive schools in Bahrain. Head over to the Scuba Life Diving Center in Seef, where they not only have scuba diving for adults but also teach little flippers to explore the ocean’s depths in certified courses such as the Seal Team or the PADI Bubble Maker.
Learn more at www.scubalife.bh
Al Areen Wildlife park
If you and your family like to spend time around animals, Bahrain has just the place for you to wander about for a few hours. Visit Al Areen Wildlife Park, a natural reserve and zoo that is situated in Sakhir. The park is one of five of Bahrain’s protected areas and the only protected area that is on land. It is located on Bahrain’s western end and houses thousands of animal and plant species in a well-tended, semi-natural habitat. You and your family will be absolutely mesmerized at all the amazing animals on display. From pink flamingos to the majestic Arabian Leopards and the Oryx, there are many wonders to behold in this amazing slice of wonder in Bahrain.
Learn more at alareen.org
Putt Away at the Wee Monty course
Many of the best golfers in the world, including Tiger Woods, started playing when they were little. So if your little person thinks whacking a ball with a stick is a fun thing to do, then maybe you should take her to the Wee Monty course at the Royal Golf Club.
The Wee Monty course provides the perfect challenge for your little people, giving them nine holes that are spread out through 60 – 140 yards. A one-off session is definitely fun, but there are also instructors to teach junior lessons for aspiring PGA winners.
Learn more at theroyalgolfclub.com
6 Best Indoor Activities with Kids in Bahrain
Dealing with the heat in Bahrain, there’s still plenty of fun indoor activities specifically aimed at the kids in Bahrain. If you are visiting Bahrain over the hotter summer months, why not try:
Visit the Magic Island
One of the most beautiful places in Bahrain to take your family is Magic Island that is located in Seef Mall. This mesmerizing place is about 4300 square meters large and contains everything a child could ever want on an island designed just for children.
It has over 20 amazing rides and well set up play areas, as well as 150+ games of the arcade and traditional kind. All in all, it is set up for kiddie joy and it works. Watch your child running around with other children with full grins as they jump in and out of ball pools, go bowling underwater, and so much more!
Learn more at seefmall.com.bh/magic
Take a Class at Ready Get Set Cook
Children love learning new things and eating. So what could be more fun than taking them to learn how to cook their own food? Ready Get Set Cook is located in Saar Mall and is the first cooking school for kids in Bahrain.
Inspired by seven children who loved to watch MasterChef and practice in their mothers’ kitchens, Ready Get Set Cook provides everything from easy ingredients to protective clothing so that your children can play a bit while learning to cook simple recipes safely. Classes are walk-in style so you can take your child there at any time (as long as they are open).
Learn more at instagram.com/readygetsetcook/
Get a Little Pampering at Lalapaloza
For the kids that like to play pretend with their mama’s makeup and wigs, a visit to Lalapaloza at the Al A’ali Shopping Complex is as close to a visit to paradise as it gets.
This children’s spa offers many glam services like mini-manis, glitter tattoos, hair styling and makeup, and so much more. Lalapaloza is bright and cheerful and is the perfect place to drop your little stars off to enjoy themselves while you go shopping in the mall.
Learn more at lalapaloza.com
Go for a Kiddie Workout at My Gym
If you are travelling with kids in Bahrain things to do are aplenty and full of fun. One example of a super-fun place to go is My Gym; the fitness space for kids that want to workout at the gym like their parents. But, unlike the adults’ gyms, My Gym has fewer weights, more running and throwing balls about, as well as a number of kiddie-inspired games designed to bring out the athlete in your little one.
My Gym welcomes kiddies as young as seven months old (the Tiny Tykeswaddlers) and as old as eight years old (Champions). You can relax by the sidelines as your little person tires themselves out.
Take A Creative Class at Artzania
Artzania is a play space with an arts and craft focus that is located in Ramli Mall. at Artzania, the children’s imagination is a gift and every activity is designed to help inspire little minds by giving them the chance to explore, discover new things, and develop creative skills.
Through arts and crafts, your children will be able to learn self-expression, independence, and confidence.
More importantly, if you want to pedal back on the high-energy activities and have some peace and quiet while your child has fun in a low-energy manner, this is a great option.
Let us know if you have any other favourite cultural or indoor family attractions you think families will love in Bahrain
Learn more at instagram.com/artzania/
Go Skydiving Indoors
Many people dream of being able to fly as children, but few have ever gotten the chance. Gravity Indoor Skydiving, located in Zallaq, gives adults and kids the ability to strap up and temporarily win the fight against gravity in their 12-meter wind tunnel.
One of the most exciting activities in Bahrain for kids, Gravity Indoor provides a safe space where your children can enjoy the thrill of jumping out of a plane without actually having to jump.
The speeds in these wind tunnels go as high as 250 miles per hour, sending little ones on a controlled but thrilling air ride that will have them grinning from ear to ear.
Learn more at gravitybah.com
Learn more about Bahrain & the Middle East
Whether you are looking at a short getaway in the Middle East or stopover options with Gulf Air in Bahrain, there’s more to this small island nation than first meets the eye! Don’t forget to check out our guides to:
- The Best time to visit Bahrain
- Everything you need to know visiting Bahrain with kids
- What should I wear in Bahrain?
Do you have any more helpful family-friendly suggestions for Bahrain? We’d love your comments or pop on over and join the conversation on our Family Travel in the Middle East Facebook Group.
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