22 epic things to do in Riyadh this long weekend: February 21 to 24

Happy Saudi Founding Day…

It’s the first long weekend of the year. Get ready to strap in for a busy weekend with plenty of unmissable events and experiences around the capital. We’ve even included things to do for Wednesday to start off the long weekend on a high.

Here is our shortlist of 22 epic things to do in Riyadh this long weekend.

Wednesday February 21

Try the special French toast at Crome


Obsessed with French toast like us? London’s first-ever French toast café is now open in Riyadh Park Mall, and it only serves one thing: French toast. Don’t be fooled, though; this doesn’t mean it’s easy to choose what to eat. First, you must decide if you fancy sweet or savoury, and it only gets trickier from there with a solid pick of options. What’s more, they also have a big list of colourful lattes.

Crome Riyadh, Riyadh Park Mall, Al Aqiq, First Floor, Sat to Wed noon to midnight, Thu to Fri noon to 1am. @crome.london

There’s nothing we love more than a spa day

Whether you’re looking for a particular treatment or just a simple day of indulgence, The Spa / Nail Shop has carved a reputation as one of the must-visit spas in Riyadh. For a full body massage worth writing home about, try the richly therapeutic dry brushing massage treatment, and book superb therapist Maya. Read our review here.

The Spa / Nail Shop, Cenomi U Walk, Prince Turki Ibn Abdulaziz Al Awwal Rd, An Nakheel, Riyadh 12373. @thespanailshop

Check out the Riyadh Toy Festival

Riyadh Toy Festival

Happening until Thursday March 7 at Boulevard Riyadh City, the Riyadh Toy Festival returns with loads of toys, exciting activities, edutainment workshops and live performances catered to children. Let’s play.

Riyadh Toy Festival, until Mar 7, 4pm onwards, Boulevard Riyadh City. The tickets are priced at SAR45 and can be purchased here. @riyadhseason

Step into the universe of Pablo Picasso

The ‘Imagine Picasso’ Exhibition goes beyond the traditional art exhibition format, offering a unique exploration into Pablo Picasso’s creativity, as a pivotal artist of the 20th century. By employing the latest advanced display techniques and technologies, the exhibition seeks to revive more than 200 of Picasso’s creations, giving attendees a distinctive, rich artistic experience, and allowing them to learn about Picasso’s world from a new creative perspective.

Imagine Picasso Exhibition, until Mar 3, Weekdays 4pm to midnight & Weekends 2pm to midnight, Laysen Valley, Riyadh. Tickets can be purchased here. SAR50 for kids & SAR100 for adults. @laysenvalley

Pop by the Professional Fighters League training session

MMA fans, this one’s for you. On Wednesday February 21, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) will host an open workout at Arena Fitness Innovation in Riyadh ahead of the PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions. Participating in the open workout will be headliners Impa Kasanganay and Johnny Eblen, Saudi Arabia’s very own Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Claressa Shields, and Biaggio Ali Walsh. Plus, the workout is open to the public.

Professional Fighters League Open Workout, Feb 21, 7pm, Arena Fitness Innovation, 2849 Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Rd, Al Mathar Ash Shamali, Riyadh 12312.

Thursday February 22

Happy Saudi Founding Day!

Saudi Founding Day

Foundation Day is an official public holiday in Saudi Arabia on February 22 each year. The holiday was created in 2022 to commemorate the foundation of the First Saudi State in 1727 by Imam Muhammad bin Saud. So, expect fireworks and a host of events and cultural celebrations in cities across Saudi Arabia. Check out our round-up of things to do in Riyadh during the Saudi Founding Day holiday.

Indulge in a lavish Saudi Founding Day brunch at The Ritz-Carlton

The brunch menu packs a flavourful punch with food stations serving various Arabic delicacies. And whilst you’re there, check out the Zaman Market from 3pm to 10pm, and a Saudi dance performance from 5pm to 7pm. It’s going to be a spectacular celebration at the hotel, so don’t miss it.

Saudi Founding Day Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh Hotel, Feb 22, 12.30pm to 5pm. Tel: 011 802 8020. SAR375 for adults & SAR160 for kids. @theritzcarltonruh

A taste of Najdi cuisine


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This Saudi Founding Day, 56th Avenue Diner at Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya Hotel pays tribute to the resilience, unity, and spirit of the Najdi people and Saudi Arabia. For only SAR150 per person, you can enjoy the tender Mansaf lamb, fragrant Kabsa infused with aromatic spices, savoury samosas, decadent desserts and many more. Indulge in the warmth of Najdi hospitality, where every guest is treated like family, and every meal is an opportunity to forge connections and create lasting memories.

Taste the Soul of Najdi Cuisine and Saudi Arabia, Feb 22, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 56th Avenue Diner, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya Hotel. SAR 150 per person. Tel: 053 341 1234. @56thavenuediner

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale returns for its second edition

Art lovers, rejoice. The drive to promote the cultural credentials of Saudi Arabia continues with the return of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale. Titled “After Rain”, it will feature 92 artists from 43 countries, including 30 artists from the wider Gulf region. Participating Saudi artists include Asma Bahmim and Abdulrahman Al-Soliman. The event will take place across seven halls and numerous terraces and courtyards in a series of repurposed former warehouses located in the JAX District of Diriyah, situated along Wadi Hanifa.

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024, Feb 20 to May 24, JAX District, Diriyah, Riyadh. Complimentary entry but you must book your visit here. @biennale_sa

Party it up with the Beasts on the roof


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Ever wanted to dance under the stars with the city’s skyline as your backdrop? Then, you’re in for a treat. Get ready for an epic musical night with MDLBeast at KAFD’s hottest rooftop experience. Soak in Riyadh’s best views and hottest vibes with DJ Nic Fanciulli, one of the UK’s finest exports in electronic music, alongside HiFi and K.Led.

FOWG: Rooftop Experience in Riyadh, Feb 22, 9pm to 1am, 4.04 KAFD, Al Aqiq, Riyadh 13519. The ticket price starts from SAR249 and can be purchased here. @mdlbeast

Enjoy as much sushi as you like


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Love sushi? Koi offers a diverse selection of all-you-can-eat sushi for a very reasonable price. The beautiful combination of perfectly cooked rice wrapped around fresh and fine-quality fish will definitely make you drool. The buffet includes salads and desserts, too. Alongside a menu of crowd-pleasing Japanese eats, including salads and desserts, your dining experience at this lively restaurant comes with pumping DJ sets and live music. And here’s a plus, they also have a waterside terrace for you to enjoy food with an incredible view.

Nikkei Thursday at Koi, Feb 22, 5pm to midnight, Crowne Plaza Hotel RDC, Gate 3, An Nakheel, Riyadh 12382. Tel: 055 167 0703. SAR290 per person. @koiriyadh

Friday February 23

Discover the free Tuwaiq Sculptures

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024 has unveiled its gorgeous artworks under the theme of “Dimensions of Movement.” The sculptures are being showcased at ROSHN Front until Saturday February 24, so catch it while you can.

Tuwaiq Sculpture Exhibition, until Feb 24, ROSHN Front. @riyadhartofficial

Make the most of the weather at Terhaab Al Thumamah

If you’re looking for a brand-new destination to enjoy the season with your loved ones, Terhaab Al Thumamah Riyadh is where you want to go. Complete with an entertainment area with multiple recreational sports activities and gaming facilities, it’s set to be fun for the whole family.

Terhaab Al Thumamah Riyadh, daily 2.30pm to 2.30am, 5M52+G4 Ath Thumamah. SAR20 per entry. Camps start from SAR800 and can be purchased here.

Tuck into delicious street food

Don’t miss the last few days of the street food festival at the Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Financial District Hotel. The festival showcases the world’s best street foods – from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China, Malaysia, Spain, Italy, Mexico and more – and a diverse range of mouthwatering dishes that are sure to leave your taste buds tingling with excitement. The price of the food ranges from SAR12 to SAR45. Or you can get a voucher worth SAR160, which includes five items from all the different country stalls.

Street Food Festival, Feb 15 to 24, 6pm to 11pm, Together & Co., Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Financial District. Tel: 058 002 9885. @hgiriyadhfd

The Saudi Cup races into Riyadh


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In the world of horse racing, The Saudi Cup is one of the most significant calendar events. The two-day international event will return to the King Abdulaziz Racecourse on Friday February 23 and Saturday February 24, with some of the world’s leading racehorses and jockeys in attendance. Off-the-track, this is the pinnacle of Saudi style, sophistication and glamour. Riyadh’s social event of the season is a showcase rich in entertainment, cuisine, high fashion, and cultural experiences, all included in your ticket. So, be sure to dress up for the stellar evenings.

The Saudi Cup, Feb 23 & 24, King Abdulaziz Racecourse, Equestrian Club, Riyadh 13645. Gates open at 2pm. The ticket starts from SAR199 for general admission and can be purchased here. @thesaudicup

Kuuru is now open


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Can’t get enough of Japanese fare? Kuuru, a staple in the Jeddah dining scene (it ranks 50th on the 2024 MENA 50 Best Restaurants list), is now open in Riyadh’s KAFD. The restaurant prides itself on being a true Nikkei experience, blending together the flavours of Peru and Japan. Just like the gorgeous interiors, the food menu at Kuuru is sumptuous; dive into dishes like wagyu tataki, Kuuru ceviche, and the black cod criollo.

Kuuru Riyadh, KAFD, Opens Feb 23. Tel: 9200 35739. @kuuruksa

Saturday February 24

Scream for (Dara’s) ice cream

Dara's ice cream

One of Egypt’s most prized possessions, Dara’s Ice Cream has set up shop in Riyadh’s Century Corner. The ice cream is exclusively made in-house with all-natural and real ingredients. This is why its prices – at SAR23 per scoop – tend to go a little higher than your typical ice cream stores. Currently, popular flavours include honeycomb, Belgian chocolate, and salted caramel crunches.

Dara’s Ice Cream Riyadh, Sun to Wed 1pm to midnight, Thurs to Sat 1pm to 1am, Century Corner, Al Olaya. @darasicecream.sa

Take the kids to the Big Fun Museum

It’s the last day of the mid-term break, so why not take the kids to visit the Big Fun Museum for a whole world of fun and illusion? This popular attraction features three immersive adventures in one place – Fairy Forest, Museum of Emotions, and Museum of Illusions. The right place to have a great time with friends and family.

Big Fun Museum, Park Avenue, Gate 4, Sun to Wed noon to midnight, Thurs noon to 2am, Fri 3pm to 2am, Sat 1pm to midnight. Tickets start from SAR80 and can be purchased here. @bigfun_family

Beat the bars at Prison Island

And while you’re at Park Avenue, why not take the older kids to spend their free time in cells filled with challenges? That’s fun at Prison Island, where you and your mates must work together to complete obstacles and tasks in order to break free. There are 35 cells to complete, each testing your physical or mental mettle. Prices start from SAR99 for juveniles and SAR149 for inmates. Activewear and trainers are required, and changing room facilities are available on-site.

Prison Island, First Floor, Park Avenue Mall, 7042 Said Ibn Zayd Rd, Qurtubah, Riyadh 13247. Tel: 055 028 7066. @prisonisland.ksa

Check out the new WWE Experience at BLVD City

Wrestling fans, the first WWE Experience in the world is set to make its grand entrance as part of Riyadh Season. Step into the WWE Experience, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a variety of themed rooms, each telling a unique story through historical photos, and a life-sized wrestling ring. There will also be a dedicated area paying homage to The Undertaker himself. Stepping into this section feels like entering a graveyard-themed sanctuary dedicated to the iconic wrestler.

WWE Experience, BLVD City. The ticket starts from SAR75 and can be purchased here. @riyadhseason

Don’t miss Russell Peters live in Riyadh

Russell Peters

The Canadian comedic megastar is heading to the Kingdom, returning to Riyadh for the first time in eight years. The one-night ‘Russell Peters: Live’ show is booked for Saturday February 24 at Princess Noura University Theatre, and tickets are already on sale. They are priced at SAR395 for Silver category, SAR595 for Gold, SAR650 for Diamond, SAR695 for Balcony seats, and SAR895 for VIP. Simply jump on TicketmasterKSA.com to secure your tickets. Take it and go…

Russell Peters: Live, Feb 24, 8pm, Princess Noura University Theatre, Riyadh. Book your tickets here. @smileentksa

Witness the first-ever mega MMA event of the year

Riyadh Season presents the first-ever mega MMA event of the year: Professional Fighters League (PFL) Champions vs Bellator Champions, to be held on Saturday February 24 at the Kingdom Arena. This unprecedented Champions vs Champions fight card will feature World Champions and the biggest names in combat sports going head-to-head in the PFL SmartCage. The card will also feature the first-ever female MMA fight in Riyadh. Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and women’s boxing champion Claressa Shields takes on Kelsey DeSantis in a Women’s Lightweight bout. With PFL’s acquisition of Bellator, MMA fans will see two MMA giants descend on Saudi Arabia to see who comes out on top.

PFL Super Fights: Champs vs Champs, Feb 24, 8.30pm, Kingdom Arena. The ticket price starts at SAR70 and can be purchased here. @riyadhseason

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