15 amazing things to do in Riyadh this weekend: December 22 to 24

Cheers to the weekend…

Looking for activities to do with your friends and family? Gear up and grab your crew for a day of fun adventure and activities in Riyadh. From exciting dining destinations to plenty of family-friendly festivities and cultural events, here’s our list of 15 amazing things to do this weekend.

Thursday December 22

1. Get your caffeine fix


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Hailing from California, Alfred takes pride in their coffee. Their milky smooth lattes are a hit with many, so be sure to try those and enjoy with their menu of savouries and sweets.

Alfred, Lumiere Mall, Hittin, Riyadh 13513, daily 5pm to 11pm. @alfredsaudiarabia

2. Watch one of the most beautiful films of the year

Welcome back to Pandora. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar 2: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a brutal war against the humans.

Avatar 2: The Way Of Water, Action, Rating PG12, 3h 12 min. Book your tickets here. @amc_cinemas_sa

3. Tuck into tasty tapas at Azure


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If you’re on a hunt for tapas in Riyadh, vibrant hotspot Azure is the place to be. Tuck into bites like patatas bravas, gambas, mixed olives, tuna tartare, fried baby squid, meatballs, lamb skewers, seafood or chicken croquettes, and so much more.

Tapas Night, every Thurs to Sun, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Azure, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Olaya St, Riyadh 12213. SAR199 per person. Make your reservations here. Tel: 053 341 1234. @hyattregencyriyadholaya

4. Catch the fireworks at KAFD


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There’s nothing quite as spectacular as watching the night sky light up with pyrotechnics. As part of KAFD’s AlWadi Activation, a firework display will take place at 9pm on Thursday December 22. We suggest heading to  KAFD Wadi early so you can enjoy a live ballet performance, which starts at 8pm, as you wait for the dazzling illuminations in the sky.

AlWadi Activation, KAFD Wadi, Al Aqiq, Riyadh 13519. Free entry, but you must book tickets to enter the event venue. @kafd

5. Embrace the festive spirit at Winter Wonderland

Featuring an outdoor skating rink with various ice sculptures and a huge selection of entertainment and activities, from haunted carnivals, family-friendly rides and a LEGO display to a journey inside Blippi’s world and live performances, there are enough fun things to do at Winter Wonderland to fill a whole day and evening.

Riyadh Season Winter Wonderland, until Dec 24, 4pm to 2am. Book your tickets here. The entry ticket is priced at SAR55. @riyadhseason

Friday December 23

6. Check out the Saudi Coffee Exhibition

Learn about the history of Saudi coffee through exhibits, events and periodic activities and programs at the historic Masmak Palace museum. The multi-sensory experience explores how coffee beans were harvested, processed and roasted and the rituals of serving coffee to the guests.

Saudi Coffee Exhibition, until Dec 31, 9am to 9pm, Al Masmak Palace Museum, Riyadh. Free entry, but you have to book your visit here. @museums_moc

7. Have a family fun day at Riyadh Zoo

Riyadh Zoo opens with a new look and many exciting new experiences. Featuring more than 1,300 animals from 190 species in six sub-zones, each area offers family-friendly activities that will amaze you – from giraffes and kangaroo feeding, an adventure in the owl house, and interacting with turtles and other farm animals to wall climbing, an animals’ visual reality experience, and playing tug of war with the white lions.

Riyadh Zoo, until Jan 8, 10am to 5pm, Al Malaz, Riyadh 12832. Book your tickets here. The entry ticket is priced at SAR10 and SAR5 for kids below 10 years old. @riyadhseason

8. Try this state-of-the-art virtual reality experience

Get ready to be transported to a whole new world at Dreamscape’s first-ever experience in Saudi Arabia. Located on the first floor of Riyadh Park Mall, the venue features four epic adventures to provide visitors with the magic of immersive and full-sensory storytelling. Guests are invited to soar to new heights and perform a daring rescue mission in DreamWorks Dragons: Flight Academy; a journey to a wildlife refuge of intergalactic creatures in Alien Zoo; leap into a daring adventure to find a cursed treasure in Curse of the Lost Pearl: A Magic Projector Adventure; or suit up as agents and save the universe from the extra-terrestrial world in MIB: First Assignment.

Dreamscape, First Floor, Riyadh Park Mall, Gate 3, Sat to Wed 11am to 12.30am, Thurs 11am to 2.30am & Fri 1pm to 2.30am. Suitable for ages 10 and above. @dreamscapeksa

9. Take part in a baking class

Learn how to make French pastries with Chef Juli Lewa at Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana Hotel this festive season. Participants will also get to bake the Yule log cake, a popular winter dessert made of a chocolate roll designed to look like a tree trunk. Plus, you can bring home all the winter delicacies and share them with the family.

Winter Delicacies Cooking Workshop, Dec 23, 4pm, Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana, Olaya St, Al Olaya, Riyadh 11564. SAR270 for Alliance Francaise members and SAR300 for non-members. Tel: 053 057 8351. @alliancefrancaise_ksa

10. Experience rooftop dining at KAFD


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KAFD is hosting its inaugural ‘Level 23’, a rooftop supper club celebrating food and fine dining by bringing diners together to unwind in a chic and opulent setting. On Friday December 23, Chef Luigi Stinga, who’s currently helming ‘Talea by Antonio Guida’, a Michelin-starred new Italian restaurant in Abu Dhabi, will delight diners with his signature Italian delicacies.

‘Level 23’ Rooftop Supper Club, Dec 23, 7.30pm to 11pm, KAFD Area 4, Level 23. Make your reservations here. SAR1,000 per person. @kafd

Saturday December 24

11. Celebrate local food at Saudi Feast Food Festival

Love Saudi fare? The second edition of the Saudi Feast Food Festival showcases Saudi Arabia’s rich food heritage, introducing the culture and history of the Kingdom and the Middle East region through interactive experiences and live shows. Expect a variety of activities and events, including cooking competitions and workshops, a gift shop area, and a souk to buy local food products. The restaurant zone is the largest festival zone there and will include restaurants and food carts offering more than 200 food concepts.

Saudi Feast Food Festival, until Dec 29, 4pm to midnight, Hittin, Riyadh 13518. Book your tickets here. SAR35 per person for general admission. @mocculinary

12. Pop by the region’s largest perfume expo

The Perfume Expo is back. As part of the Riyadh Season festivities, the event showcases more than 150 regional and international brands. You’ll get to witness the launch of new scents from various brands for the first time and have the opportunity to create your own fragrance, too.

The Perfume Expo, Riyadh Front, Dec 24 to Jan 9, 4pm to 1.30am. Book your tickets here. SAR30 for weekdays and SAR45 for weekends. @riyadhseason

13. Go back in time at the Qariat Zaman zone


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Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, is akin to a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past. Learn about old times while listening to traditional music and buying antiques. Its array of activities brings together many talented people in the theatre and arts. Visitors can also learn old stories and tales related to Saudi traditions and heritage and enjoy displays of traditional artworks, ancient crafts and dance shows.

Qariat Zaman, until Jan 22, 4pm to midnight, Prince Bandar Ibn Abd AlAziz, Riyadh 13233 (near King Fahd Stadium). Free entry, but you are required to book your visit here. @riyadhseason

14. Venture into space at Discovery Space Mission

Discovery Space Mission

Enjoy an out-of-this-world experience through Riyadh Season’s newest immersive activation, the Discovery Channel’s Discovery Space Mission at Boulevard World. From setting foot on the moon to exploring the milky way and the solar system, watching the big bang unfold, and creating their own Mars terrain, visitors will find themselves in awe of the wonders of space as they learn more about what lies beyond the planet Earth.

Discovery Space Mission, until Jan 2023, Boulevard World. Book your tickets here. @riyadhseason

15. ‘Tis the season for feasting


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If you’re looking to throw an intimate party at home, but your cooking chops are mediocre at best, fret not. Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel & Convention has got your festive meal covered with its take-home treats. Highlights of the festive family bundle include the traditional roasted turkey, served with various sides – guaranteed to make a perfect centrepiece.

Special Roasted Turkey Bundle (serves 4-6 people, size ranges from 4kg), available until 31 Dec, SAR 800. Pick up only at Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel & Convention. Two days booking in advance and prepayment upon booking is required. WhatsApp Number: 055 870 7059. @cpriyadhrdc

Images: Social