Parents need an escape from their children that goes beyond locking the bathroom door. One of the biggest challenges is finding a babysitter or a place you can just pop out to for a short reprieve. Here are ten ideas for quick-ish escapes for harried mums and dads.
- Garvey’s Family Club is a low-key compound club house which is open to the public. On Saturday mornings you can drop your children for an hour at Go Kidz Go. While your children are filling up on social contact and expending their excess energy, you can rejuvenate with a drop-in class at Yama Yoga or just sit by the pool with some fresh apple-carrot juice. Registration is required for the 8-week children’s program. Contact Kirsten of Art of Abundant Living at 7721 7399 for the next course Go Kidz Go course and Yama Yoga at 6617 5802.
- Mathaf: Museum of Modern Arab Art is not just for exhibitions. You can sit outside and watch the sun set while enjoying a cup of tea from the cafe. If you can’t manage to find a babysitter, let the children climb the stone art sculptures outside. This museum does not have the spectacular views like at the Museum of Islam Art Park cafe but the easy parking makes Mathaf an adequate stop for a quick breath of fresh air, especially for parent’s who live near Education City.
- Drinks at Strata. This is definitely an outing worth getting a babysitter for. Modern chandeliers sparkle on the inside and city lights sparkle on the outside. The bar’s location on the 56th floor of the new InterContinental City (near City Center) ensures a view of city lights to the horizon. Organize happy hour drinks with some friends. To mix things up tell everyone to bring a friend. Plan to shell out for your night out—mixed juice is QR60—but, really, you’re paying for the view and it’s worth it.
- Being with children day in and out, it’s easy to forget you’re an adult. Nothing says sophisticated civilisation like a classic afternoon tea. Four Seasons Tea Lounge serves a classic posh English tea while Jones the Grocer also serves a high end tea but the environment is refreshingly casual with an energetic city vibe.
- Driving out of town towards the horizon never fails to re-shift brain energy. One of the quickest jaunts out of town is Simaisma Beach about 20 minutes out of town near Al Khor. If you can’t get rid of the children they’ll at least have a playground to play in, sand and water to splash about in and you’ll get a taste of salty air. Immerse yourself in water, even if just to wash your hands, has been proven to immediately reduce stress. To make it even more stress-free, grab a picnic basket from W Cafe.
- A trip to the spa is a favorite Doha escape from children. But booking in advance can be prohibitive for a parent whose schedule is erratic. Last minute appointments can be made at Lucia Lounge. Dad’s can stop in at Star Massage for Men on Al Waab Street while mom’s are a few doors down at the Royal Thai Lady Spa.
- Every Thursday the Museum of Islamic Arts holds a free concert put on by the talented Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy the music, the views and some French delicacies from Alain Ducasse Restaurant. At 6 pm every first Thursday of month in the museum’s atrium.
- Bookstores with cafes don’t exist in Qatar but you can get close at the library of the Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar. Grab a cup of chai at the coffee shop around the corner and browse through the library stacks. The emphasis is on design, fashion and art but there’s enough variety to keep most moms and dads happy. Look for The Far Side Complete Collection.
- At the Al Samariyah Equestrian Center you can ride a horse. They accommodate last minute appointments when possible. You can ride solo or if your child is accompanying you, get a separate lesson for your child while you take a walk around the grounds (look out for the peacocks) or pop into the quirky Sheikh Faisal Museum if it is open. For horse riding lessons contact Megan 5513 6661.
- If you can’t manage to get out of the house, have dinner come to you. Through Doha Delivery you can browse restaurant menus, place an order online and see delivery rates for your zone. Eat dinner outside with your favorite person, while your child watches their favorite DVD inside.
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