12 fantastic things to do in Riyadh this weekend: March 16 to 18

Make the most of your weekend with our guide…

Get the scoop on all the fantastic things to do this weekend in Riyadh – from cool cafés and restaurants to exciting festivals and exhibitions. And we’ve got family-friendly activities for a ton of fun with the kids, too. So, whether you’re a raver or a theatre lover, there’s plenty to do all through Saturday.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday March 16

Nothing quite like that freshly baked bread smell


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Never has there been a bakery that’s made us want to dive headfirst into a tray of croissants like Chestnut Bakery. Trust us; you’ll love their signature sourdoughs, indulgent twice-baked croissants, and handmade flatbreads. For those searching for a lazy brunch, there’s no better place for your weekend morning than watching your pastries being made and a bright and airy seating area to sit back and relax. With its pain au chocolats, Kouign-Amann (a sweet Breton cake made with laminated dough) with black sesame praline, pistachio cake with cream cheese frosting, and Tahini dates cakes, you’ll be forgiven for spending far too much riyals in this sweet bakery.

Chestnut Bakery, daily 10.30am to 3pm, Pure Centre, 3213 As Safarjal, Al Mohammadiyyah, Riyadh 12364. @chestnut.sa

Check out the free European Food Festival

Culinary delights from around Europe will be offered at Saudi Arabia’s first-ever European Food Festival. Discover the diversity of European cuisine, with specialities and food items available from European countries, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. From savoury dishes to sweet treats, there is something for everyone’s taste buds. Aside from delicious food, the family-friendly event will also have live music, entertainment, special activities for children, and live cooking shows featuring leading Saudi chefs competing to prepare dishes using European ingredients.

European Food Festival, Mar 16 & 17, 4pm to 11pm, Al Kindi Plaza, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh. Free entry, but those interested in attending need to register online. @euinksa

Catch the works of 19 artists who turned heartache into art


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Very Public, an artist-run exhibition space in Riyadh, launches an art exhibition that encapsulates the theme of ‘Heartache’. Explore how 19 artists have channelled feelings of heartbreak into their work. The resulting pieces run the gamut from impassioned and cathartic to deeply mournful.

Heartache Group Exhibition, Mar 16 to 22, 7pm to 10pm, Al Safarat, Diplomatic Quarter (Coordinates: MJRH+9P9). @very.public

Take your Ohm outdoors and be one with nature


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Practising yoga outside the confines of concrete walls and high-rise buildings allows us to connect to the earth, wind, sky, and the energy that ties us to everything else around us. So why not head to Saray Spa where you can work up a good sweat and enjoy a breeze at the same time. All you really need is an open mind and an open heart.

Outdoor Yoga Fitness Class, Mar 16, 7pm, Saray Spa, Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter. Tel: 055 085 9933. @sarayspariyadh

Don’t miss this epic underground party by madhaūs


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Get ready to party all night at this futuristic underground extravaganza by madhaūs. The stage will be graced by DOBé, a Grammy award-winning artist from Berlin, well known for his deep, dark, groovy and euphoric sounds. After touring the world with his music – from Burning Man and Watergate to B018, he’s coming to Riyadh for his debut show, and we could not be more excited. Complementing the line-up will be madhaūs’ resident DJs, Kontrast, Moses and Noa, as well as a surprise guest artist.

Mischief by madhaūs, Mar 16. DM @therealmadhaus for more details.

Friday March 17

A matcha made in A.O.K Kitchen heaven

AOK Kitchen x So Matcha

Matcha lovers, this one’s for you. All-day dining destination A.O.K. Kitchen has collaborated with homegrown brand, So Matcha. So if you’d like to get your matcha fix, you will be delighted to discover two limited edition matcha-based drinks on the A.O.K. menu: the So Matcha Classic Matcha Latte, served hot with a matcha biscuit and matcha chocolate on the side, and the Jazzling Matcha, a refreshing creation served over ice that brings together the crisp taste of matcha with hints of jasmine, lemon, and mango. A series of bespoke products, packaged in collectable A.O.K Kitchen and So Matcha branded tins and baskets, are also available, making them the ideal gift for any matcha enthusiast.

A.O.K. Kitchen, KAFD, daily 7am to 11.30pm. Tel: 9200 25304. @aokkitchensaudi

Schedule your next nail appointment


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Nothing says well-groomed quite as beautifully as immaculate hands and feet. The Nail Bar specialises in manicures and pedicures that cover traditional nail polish, gel polish and nail art. They also offer rejuvenating treatments like hair repair, massages, and threading so you can experience a spa day in one salon. What’s more, in celebration of The Nail Bar’s first birthday, they’re offering a 10 per cent discount on all services only on Friday March 17.

The Nail Bar, Al Takhassousi, Ar Rahmaniyyah, Riyadh 12341, Fri 2pm to 9pm, Mon to Thurs & Sat noon to 9pm. Tel: 011 221 3772. @thenailbar.sa

The new ‘Shazam!’ is in theatres

From New Line Cinema comes Shazam! Fury of the Kings, which continues the story of teenage Billy Batson, who, upon reciting the magic word “Shazam!,” is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam. Bestowed with the powers of the Kings, Billy and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with having adult Super Hero alter-egos. But when the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient Kings, arrive on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Billy – aka Shazam – and his family are thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of their world. So, catch this latest instalment at VOX Cinemas and get ready to jumpstart your adventure with an irresistible deal. With ‘VOX35’, you can enjoy a Standard movie screening any time of any day for just SAR35.

Shazam! Fury of the Kings, Adventure/Comedy, Rating PG12, 2h 10min. Book your tickets here. @voxcinemasksa

Sweat it out while having fun


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Love grooving to the music? Then, take part in this Zumba class and expect to be in for an excruciatingly fun time. It is a complete workout that ensures you get enough cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, and boosted energy.

Dance with Passion Zumba Class (ladies only), Mar 17, 7pm to 9pm, Wadi Qortuba Compound. Registration is a must for access to the compound. Contact [email protected] or @zj.cleopatrassaf

Saturday March 18

‘Elvis: Direct from Graceland’ rocks Riyadh

Can’t help falling in love with the King of Rock n’ Roll? Immerse yourself in Elvis Presley’s incredible career through hundreds of artefacts from the extensive Graceland Archives, including his fantastic collection of gold and platinum records, stunning jumpsuits, memorabilia from his movies, and more.

Elvis: Direct from Graceland, until Mar 20, 4pm to 11pm, The Arena Riyadh Venue for Exhibitions, Gharnatah. Book your tickets here. SAR75 for the entry ticket and SAR100 for VIP. @mocsaudi

Dance like your favourite K-Pop stars


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Korean pop music fans will be thrilled to participate in this class. Learn the choreography of the trendiest K-pop music, “Left Right” by XG and execute it step by step in this hour-long dance class.

Ladies’ Only K-Pop Dance Class, Mar 18, 7pm to 8pm, Syrup Lounge. SAR150 per person. @syrupllc

COVA Ristorante at Bujairi Terrace is now open


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Originating in Milan, COVA Ristorante is a sophisticated Italian restaurant at Bujairi Terrace. Celebrated for its high-quality produce and unique interiors, the menu will offer diners a selection of Mediterranean mains and continental side dishes with daily chef specials and traditional Milanese options in an intimate fine dining setting.

COVA Ristorante, Bujairi Terrace, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: 9200 33772. @majd.food

Images: Provided / Social