12 fun things to do in Riyadh this weekend: December 29 to 31

Let’s end the year on an unforgettable high…

It’s the final weekend of 2022, and as always, our city is bursting with plenty of fun things to do. From great eats to plenty of family-friendly festivities and cultural events, here’s what you can get up to this weekend to end the year with a bang.

Thursday December 29

1. Check out the Noor Riyadh art exhibition

The Noor Riyadh citywide artworks might have ended, but one of the festival’s highlights is its accompanying exhibition entitled “From Spark to Spirit”, co-curated by Neville Wakefield and Gaida AlMogren. The art exhibition at JAX district traces the role light plays in shaping our relationship with a world in which light itself has become a signal of change, exploring themes such as the “Technologies of Light”, “Architectonics of Light”, and “Consciousness of Light”. So, don’t miss the Noor Exhibition, whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for somewhere fun to hang out with your loved ones.

“From Spark to Spirit Noor Riyadh Art Exhibition, until Feb 4, 11am to 1am, JAX 03, JAX District. @noorriyadhfestival

2. Flex your artistic skills and decorate a cake


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Whether you’re new to cake decorating or fancy learning new skills, you’ve come to the right place. This two-hour cake-decorating workshop lets you layer and stack a six-inch cake, crumb coat it with buttercream, and adorn it with rice paper curtains. And the best part is you get to take home and eat your beautiful creation.

Cake Decorating Workshop, Dec 29, 5pm to 9pm. SAR350 per person. Tel: 054 154 3727. @ayamade_

3. A world of toys to have fun and enjoy

Riyadh Toy Festival, the biggest toy festival worldwide, is currently underway as part of Riyadh Season 2022. Shop and take advantage of great offers and discounts for children’s toys from well-known local and international brands. The festival also includes more than 35 entertainment parks for the whole family and live shows and performances.

Riyadh Toy Festival, until Jan 1, 4pm to midnight, Next to Boulevard Riyadh City. Book your tickets here. SAR50 for the Bronze ticket and SAR100 for the Silver Fast Track ticket. @riyadhseason

4. Catch an explosive display of fireworks

If you’re looking for that real-life spark to light up your last weekend of the year, head to the open area by the lake at Boulevard World to admire the beautiful burst of celebratory colours. Trust us, the view here will be magical.

Fireworks, Thursdays 9pm, Lake at Boulevard World. @riyadhseason

Friday December 30

5. Start your weekend right with breakfast at Angelina


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Good food to put you in a good mood. Located at the newly opened Bujairi Terrace, this iconic French café, Angelina, gives you a chic European atmosphere and Parisian-style brunch vibes. It’s the perfect place for when you just want a hearty meal, great coffee and decadent pastries.

Angelina Riyadh, Bujairi Terrace, Diriyah 13711, daily 10am to 2am. Tel: 050 955 3788. @angelinaparisksa

6. Have a jazzy winter evening


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Who’s to say that you have to enjoy jazz indoors when you can listen to it at Kan Ya Ma Kan Farm? Situated at Al Ammarya (the exact location will be shared by the organiser once your booking is confirmed), listening to a jazz band while enjoying a delicious dinner and socialising with a community of like-minded people is a great way to spend the last few days of 2022.

Jazzy Evening Social Gathering & Outdoor Dinner, Dec 30, 4.30pm to 1.30am, The Farm, Al Ammarya. No transportation will be provided. Book your spot here. SAR420 per person. @kymk.sa

7. 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 30, 26-year-old Solemann Haddad, Michelin Guide’s Young Chef of the Year and executive chef of Moonrise restaurant in Dubai, will delight diners with an omakase experience (a concept where the chef selects and serves his specialities). Chef Haddad’s menu features a delectable blend of Japanese and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a strong focus on hot dishes. While he might use Japanese recipes or French techniques for his dishes, the ingredients and their pairings are often regional, such as yuzu, a citrus fruit from Syria, and spices, honey, and flour from local Dubai neighbourhoods.

‘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

8. The Little Prince lands on Boulevard Global Theatre

It’s the opening night of the stage adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s best-selling novel The Little Prince. Promising aerial artistry and an immersive experience packed full of enchanting original songs, this uplifting tale of love and friendship is the perfect family treat this festive season.

The Little Prince, Dec 30 to Jan 14, 8pm, Global Theatre, Boulevard Riyadh City. Book your tickets here. The ticket price starts from SAR50. @riyadhseason

Saturday December 31

9. Shop at Riyadh Market in downtown Tahliah Street

Open every Saturday, this farmer’s market is not new to the market scene. The Riyadh Market is a popular choice amongst locals for its quality and diversity in fresh produce and artisanal goods. There’s a fun, convivial atmosphere at the market, with delicious street food and games for children.

Riyadh Market, every Sat, 2pm to 10pm, Tahliah Street.

10. Head to The Groves at Diplomatic Quarter


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It is a whole adventure here for those who still haven’t visited The Groves. Set in the Diplomatic Quarter’s Al-Khuzama Park, this Riyadh Season zone fuses entertainment with hospitality and an indoor and outdoor experience. Check out the craft market and the variety of restaurants available – from the Zama Zulu restaurant offering African dishes along with live dance shows, and the Zodiac Garden restaurant specialising in Italian and Japanese dishes, to an authentic Italian pizzeria and a Greek-inspired restaurant, Khawaja Yanni. If you really love the freezing cold, immerse yourself in the Arctic experience, where the temperature reaches -8 degrees inside The Polar Ice Bar.

The Groves, Al Khuzama Park, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, until Jan 15, 2023, 4.30pm to 1.30am (Gate closes at 12.30am). The tickets for general entry are SAR50 from Sun to Wed and SAR75 from Thurs to Sat. Tickets and reservations can be booked via Groves mobile app. @the_groves_sa

11. Indulge in a Spanish New Year’s Eve feast


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What better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Riyadh than a delicious Spanish meal? Azure has you covered with a five-course Spanish Fiesta, plus a live mocktail station. Dine on classics like braised beef cheeks, traditional Andalusian squid, oxtail beef croquettes and paella.

Holiday Season Special, Azure, Dec 31, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Olaya St, Riyadh 12213. Make your reservations here. SAR300 per person. Tel: 053 341 1234. @azureriyadh

12. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at KAFD


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KAFD rings in the New Year with a pyro-filled countdown. As the clock strikes midnight, an awe-inspiring spectacle will set off at AlWadi. Other special events include family-friendly activities such as a kids’ dance show and saxophone performance.

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