Visiting the Bayan Botanical Garden

Post by Mark


If you’re interested in visiting the Botanical Garden at Bayan Palace I have some good news (and a bit of bad news as well). The Bayan Botanical Garden is open to the general public every Thursday. You don’t need special permission or anything of the sort. All you need to do is give security your civil ID and they will let you access the garden.


The Bayan Botanical Garden contains three different zones with different kind of plants in each. It’s not that big but it’s still pretty cool and most of the plants are labeled with their names. There isn’t a guide book that contains details on the plants so if you’re really curious to know more about each plant be prepared to wikipedia from your phone.


Now for the bit of bad news. The Bayan Botanical Garden is open every Thursday… from 9AM to 1PM. That pretty much sucks for everyone who has a job. It also explains why the only other visitors at the garden while I was there were housewives with their kids. Still, it’s better than having no access at all. If you’d like to visit the garden, here is the location of the entrance on [Google Maps]

Thanks Maaz!

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The most interesting event taking place this weekend I think is the Top.of Market or Foug Market I’m still not sure what its called. Its a market taking place on Saturday at the top of the Arraya parking lot where Qout Market used to take place. Why I find this market interesting (or confusing) is the fact there are a bunch of different activities and workshops taking place at the same time. Weirdly, the market starts at 5AM which is kinda absurd unless you’re coming back from a late night party. The other activity I personally find interesting is the Madeenah Tour which is also taking place on Saturday. But it’s already sold out so if you didn’t book you’re out of luck. Check out the full list of events below:

Exhibition: Behind the Crisis
Palestinian Cultural Exhibition
Rooftop Movie: Timbuktu

Aswat 3
Kuwait Motocross Race
The Big Bazaar
Chill-Out Fridays

Aswat 3
Yoga at the Park
top.of Market
Run Q8 Charity Run
Al-Ghanim Bilingual School Winter Festival
Madeenah Tour: A Kuwaiti Haven
Protein Sheikhas: Bootcamp
Rooftop Movie: Water

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

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Camel Race Season

Post by Mark


If you’ve never been to a camel race before it’s worth checking out and now would be the time to go since the weather is great. I went to one a couple of years back and had a blast so figured I’d write about it again now since the AWARE Center is organizing a trip to a race next month. If you’re interested in joining them, click [Here] for more information.

You can of course go without them, just check out my old post for details [Here]

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MAS Arena

Post by Mark


For the past year on my way to The Avenues I’ve been passing this large rust colored warehouse located on the main road. I didn’t know what the building housed, I knew it had something to do with sports because of the large neons covering the building but I couldn’t tell what was inside since the building looked like it was still under construction. Then last week I found out the place was an indoor football arena and that they had actually been open for a few months now but still look like they’re under construction because of the empty shops facing the main road. So I passed by to check it out.


The large building houses three indoor football fields and has air conditioning which means no matter how hot or cold it is outside, you could play football anytime of the year. MAS also have showers and locker rooms in case you want to change before heading out which is something I haven’t seen at other football fields. Price wise they’re much more expensive than the outdoor fields, an hour of indoor football is going to cost you KD45. If you’re interested you can book a field by calling 66148079 or 22230096. They’re open from 9AM to 10PM and here is their location on [Google Maps

Update: The official opening is next month

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Live Sketchbook for Kids

Post by Mark


Yesterday I got an email from the owner of a business called Live Sketchbook inviting me to check out her place in Avenues. She described it as a 4D interactive park for kids and although kids stuff never interest me, I was curious to what a 4D interactive park was so I asked her if she had some photos. She emailed me a few and as soon as I saw them I headed over to Avenues to check the place out in person.


Live Sketchbook is a small space located up escalators #20 in Grand Avenues (right next to Muji). It’s a space for kids to come and spend time playing around with one of five different activities they have including:

– A Live Mask station which is a screen you sit in front of and the computer will combine your face with one of an animal of your choice resulting in a creepy/realistic outcome.
– 3D sketching tablets
– A reading corner
– A live mirror in which when you stand in front of will have realistic looking animals walk next to you
– And finally the star of the place, the Live Sketchbook


The Live Sketchbook occupies the majority of the space in the shop and it’s composed of a bunch of touch screens laid out in front of a large wall that has animated illustrations projected onto it. Kids can get on one of the touch screens, open up a coloring book, choose an animal of their choice and then color it in digitally using the onscreen crayons. Once they’re done they can then cut out their animal and flick it up their screen. When they do that their illustrated animal will fly off their screen and onto the animated wall in front of them where their illustration will join the other illustrations on the wall. If that alone wasn’t cool enough the kids can then go up to the wall and interact with their sketch by having it bounce around every time they touch it. I tried it out with a lion I colored in and found it fun so I’m sure kids are going to find it very cool as well.

According to the owner she brought the Live Sketchbook concept from Korea and has the exclusive rights for the brand in the region. I found a video of the Live Sketchbook online which you could check out above to give you a better idea of how it works. They’re going to be soft launching next week and it will cost KD10 for the full day and kids can leave and come back as many times as they want during the day. If you’re interested to find out more, here is a link to their Instagram account [Link]

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Trapped Inn – The Largest Escape Game in the Middle East

Post by Mark


Escape games are adventurous group games where each group is locked in a themed room and have 60 minutes to solve the mystery. Back in June I posted about one called Room of Clues thats located in Kuwait City but there is a new one opening up in Symphony Mall in Salmiya and it’s supposed to be the largest facility in the region. They started taking bookings yesterday and the prices range depending on how many people you are but generally they’re around KD10 per person and up. The most interesting aspect is that I counted six different type of games available to play which means if you take part in one escape and like it, you could come back and play one of the other games.


Trapped Inn opens on September 2nd and if you’re interested in finding out more or booking a game you visit their website [Here]

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Alive Yoga

Post by Mark


I just spent the good part of the morning thinking about if I should actually post about this place or not. You see, I have a few well kept secret goodies that I haven’t shared on the blog like this small little Korean place I go to in Mahboula or where I go play tennis (they even have indoors) for just KD5 an hour. Sometimes I don’t post about things because I don’t want them to change, like I don’t want to not be able to play tennis whenever I want to because now they’re suddenly always booked. But, I don’t have that many secret places because most of the time I put the blog ahead of my personal interests. And this is the case with this new yoga studio I passed by yesterday called Alive Yoga.


I’m not a yoga buff but I do go do yoga every now and then, mostly for stretching purposes and to keep me somewhat flexible because I weight lift. My go to yoga place is The Palms since you don’t have to be a member and it costs just KD5 for a class. But yesterday I tried Alive Yoga and I think it’s my new favorite place, not just as favorite yoga place but like in general, my favorite new place in Kuwait. It’s located in a two story villa in Bneid Al Gar and the place is just really well done. The ground floor has a very cozy waiting area and small boutique filled with yoga gear while the top floor has two large yoga studios one of which brings in a lot of beautiful day light.


They have a bunch of yoga instructors and a lot of different classes available through out the day. Some of the classes are mixed while some are for women only. If all this already isn’t enough to sell you on them, Alive Yoga also have a very practical and functional iPhone app which you use to check out what classes are available and for signing up to them. Price wise they’re more expensive than what I usually pay at Palms. A single class is KD12 but if you buy 5 classes it’s KD50. They also have unlimited plans which start at KD95 a month. That means if you do yoga three times a week it’s like you’re paying KD7.9 a class or if you do 6 classes a week it’s basically KD3.9 a class. Right now though they have a new members offer where they are offering 2 weeks unlimited classes for just KD24. Thats what I signed up to and I’m going to make sure I take advantage of it by trying as many different instructors and classes as I can in this period. If you’re interested to find out more about Alive Yoga then make sure you check out their instagram page [Here]. Also, here is their location on [Google Maps]

Update: Here is the link to their website [Link]

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The Promenade Ice Skating Rink

Post by Mark


A new ice skating rink opened up inside the Promenade mall in Hawalli and I think it’s the only other ice skating rink in Kuwait not including the main one in Kuwait City. I passed by yesterday to check it out and it turned out to be bigger than I expected it to be but A LOT smaller than the Kuwait City one. One hour of ice skating costs KD6 and that includes the ice skates and a helmet. It’s not just for kids, it’s for ages 7 and up so adults can skate there as well. The same floor has the trampoline park (which I think is just for kids) and yesterday when I passed by during the day it was super packed. Kids must be loving it. Anyway if you’re interested in ice skating I’d personally recommend the ice skating rink in Kuwait City but if you want to check this out you can call them on 22277138. Here is the location of the mall on [Google Maps]

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Best Leisure Activity in Kuwait 2015 (Adults)

Post by Mark



Winner: The Secret Garden
A common refrain you hear from people here, expats and locals alike (no fighting, children), is that “there’s nothing to do here.”

Common Mack! Sure there is!

Why, you could perhaps go to the airport and GTFO AND GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM! Or you know…take a vacation. I personally love Kuwait’s locale. You could literally go anywhere from here. Go somewhere new! Try the local food! And in general, you could be less of a bitch. We have more holidays a year than anyone and centrality to use it to experience something new.

But what do you do when you’re between vacations?

The Secret Garden Project.
The instagram account @mimikuwait is how I found out about these entertaining events. She’s a force of good, tenacious and talented. The project hosts weekly events a few times a year during the cooler months when people stop bitching about how hot or dusty it is, and start bitching about how cold and dusty it is during those few minutes between being inside a severely over-air conditioned building and a severely over-air conditioned car. The mini-market is located at a tiny park off Baghdad street. Lots of good food, like the gentlemen who re-karaked chai karak and the merchant prince of smoked ribs, Roc. It’s a swell place to take your spouse or the girl who somehow responded positively to you yelling at her from you car (please don’t have children). It’s also a good place place to bring the kiddies for some fun activities that don’t require them rubbing their disgusting fingers all over the phone you put next to your face 20 times a day. It’s the kind of place women walk around repeatedly saying the word ‘cute’ incessantly. kinda like…

Runner up: Qout Market
For personal reasons, I couldn’t make most of the early Qout Markets this year (I had nothing to wear). But the ones I visited had the same elements it did last year: great atmosphere, great food, and lots of random small stands selling everything from jams to t-shirts. My only reservation is how people going to Qout overdress. Last time I felt compelled, as I often do, to make a statement by overdressing just. that. little. bit. more. Some of you may have seen me in the final Qout Market of the year.

Photo by Hind Al-Awadi

The gauntlet has been thrown ladies and gentlemen, do you accept the challenge?


Winner: The Secret Garden
During the cooler seasons if you ever want to know where to find me on a Saturday morning, it’s usually at The Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is a small park right off Baghdad Street in Salmiya that was turned into a community garden by the talented chef Mimi. Every so often she invites a bunch of other talented chefs and together they hold a brunch or dinner at the park. It’s a very chill atmosphere with picnic tables spread all about, good music playing and a lot of interesting people all around. It’s a great social event and a great way to spend Saturday mornings. If you haven’t been to a brunch or dinner yet at the park then make sure you do, whenever there is one taking place I tend to post it with the “Things to do this Weekend” list so keep an eye out for it or just follow Mimi [Here]

Runner up: Madeenah Tour
The Madeenah Tour is another activity that takes place during the cooler months of the year since it usually involves a lot of out door walking. Once a week Madeenah takes a group of people on an educational and informative tour around a specific area with historical or current significance. They tend to stay off the beaten path so you’re always bound to discover something new. Like with The Secret Garden, whenever there is a tour taking place I list it under the weekly weekend activities list but you could also follow them yourself and find out directly from [Here]

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Best Leisure Activity in Kuwait 2015 (Children)

Post by Mark




Winner: Kuwait Little League
When I first moved back here, 20 seasons of The Simpsons ago, someone recommended to my mother that she put us in the Kuwait Little League. Back then, everything was on sandlots. But the movie, The Sandlot, had come out the year before and therefore, I was unfazed. The league, to my ten-year-old perception, was very well organized. We had organised teams with practice and jerseys and coaches and the whole thing. I loved every minute of it and can’t thank enough the school nurse for suggesting it to my mother.

I was reminiscing out loud with Mark and the KLL came up. He showed me pictures of the fields they use now, which somehow, despite the sun’s continually murderous efforts, were green. Perhaps they’re artificial grass, I don’t know, but nonetheless, it’s all very Chenna mo bel Kuwait. Look them up for online registrations if you want to give your kids something outdoors to do in the delightful months of the year.

Runner Up: Kidzania
The winner was something I had done as a child in Kuwait that is still around and even better that before; The runner-up is something so enticing, that I rue the day I grew into a towering oak of a man. Kidzania is off at the edge of the Avenues. You might have had to double-take as I had when you see a goddamn Qatar Airways desk inexplicably in a mall. Well that’s where the kids take their pretend passport, to check into Kidzania. I have a real goddamn passport and I’m gold member with Qatar Airways, but sadly, I’m too tall for this ride…


Winner: Kuwait Little League
I passed by the Kuwait Little Leagues a few months back by accident. Well not really by accident, I was going to a yard sale and I knew it was a KLL Yard Sale, I just didn’t think they would be actually playing baseball games as well. So when I got there I was in total shock and awe. They had 4 green grass diamond baseball fields (real grass btw) and there were all these kids dressed in baseball gear on the fields playing while their parents were sitting in the stands watching. The fields were surrounded by high green trees and the sky was blue so you literally felt like you were at some school game taking place in the US. Unlike Nima, I spent my childhood playing football in sand lots but if I had know about KLL I would have begged my parents to sign me up to it. If you want to know more about KLL they do have a website but it looks like it was designed back in the 1800s and doesn’t seem to be functioning properly as of this post [Link]. They’re also on [Facebook]

Runner up: K Camp & Q8 Books
It was difficult to choose one runner up so I’m choosing two. Last year I passed by K Camp for the first time since I had a friend working there and was overwhelmed by how much fun the kids were having. The kids were split up into various teams based on their ages and numbers and through out the day they would all have different activities to do. What probably surprised me the most is how great the various young volunteers were with the children, many of who were previous K Campers themselves. Sadly this activity takes place only a few weeks a year, check out their website for more details [Here]

The other runner up is Q8 Books, through out the year they have various reading events for children where they invite guests to come and read for the kids. They even somehow convinced Monstariam to come read wearing a rabbit costume. It’s all really cute and it takes place inside the bookshop so your kids will probably also want to pick up a few books on their way out which is always a good thing. Follow them on instagram to find out when the next one takes place [Link]

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If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]