Beach, parks only outdoor outlet for families

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Many major entertainment spots for children are yet to reopen due to the coronavirus pandemic. Entertainment arcades located inside malls are closed, along with cinemas, and there is no indication when they will reopen. Even the nation’s only zoo in Omariya is closed until further notice. These facilities can only reopen when the government activates phase 5 of the plan to return to normalcy.

Given the circumstances, the seaside and gardens are the only source of outdoor entertainment for children in Kuwait. These places have a lively atmosphere during mornings and evenings, especially on weekends. “Children are bored in the house, especially when they have no online classes. They want to go out but I always remind them of the dangers. The problem is they are now glued to gadgets – they do not want to put down their devices,” said Janice Sanera, mother of two boys aged 11 and 6. “My boys are really active – they love outdoor activities,” she told Kuwait Times.

Sanera said her children’s relationships with their peers have been affected. “My kids miss playing with their friends. I don’t allow them to interact with other children whom I don’t know – I feel it is very unsafe for my kids. If I go to malls, I don’t allow them to touch anything. We only go to malls when necessary; other than that, I feel safer at home. When we head to the seaside, I tell my husband to go far from the crowded Marina Crescent. I don’t care if people say I am paranoid – I just want my kids to be safe,” she said.

“I hope they open the zoo soon. I want my kids to see the animals – it’s been a while since we visited the zoo. This pandemic has brought everything to a standstill, and it’s really hurting and affecting our kids. This year has been very bad for everybody – we all pray for better months to come and hope the New Year will improve the lives of everyone,” said Sanera.