By Naseema Shafi, Jou Pabalate, and Safa Hassan
Summer Bummer? Not when you’ve got this guide for thriving and adventuring this long, extra long, vacay.
- Literally Chill
Snow in Riyadh and in summer at that? Yes, you read it right. Snow City, which opened last year is an experience to be had. Whether you want to build a snowman or ride a tube down some icy hills—this adventure is sure to cool you down. For a more casual day, why not try ice skating and sashay away across the rink.
Rinks in Riyadh: Hayat Mall and Fal Center (Kids and Men), Royal Mall (Women and Kids)
Snow City Location: Othaim Mall
- Schedule a Field Trip to Almarai Farm
This is an amusing activity for the entire family. Living in a city clogs your mind with the mundane routine, so, why don’t you enjoy the country-side for a while? Touring Almarai farm would give you a glimpse of the process your bottle of milk and dairy products goes through, just to get onto your table. It’s a great field trip for groups and get this, it’s totally free and they’ll even arrange a bus pick up for you.
Location: Al Kharj
Book your visit: almarai.com
- Channel Your Inner Sherlock Holmes
Let’s get real, you’re in Riyadh, temperatures are going to reach the 45s and 50s on Celsius scale. Hence, we get it, the AC is your friend. So, why not get yourself locked up indoors—literally! There are plenty of escape rooms in the city. These interactive games sharpen your noodles and fun for just about everyone. Organize a battle between crews, see who can escape first. Or better yet— get into character and dress up for your next challenge.
DR Favorites: Excape X KSA, Breakout Riyadh, Escape Arabia
- Hangout at the Library
We know some of our young readers are going, “ehh, no thanks” but hear us out. The King Fahad National Library is not just pretty to look at, it’s actually housing a fine collection of rare photos, hard to find manuscripts and books, both local and international. They also offer some summer programs and if you go from day to night, the surrounding area of the building comes alive! You can spot food trucks here and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a local street performer.
Location: King Fahad Rd.
- Historical Trip at Al Masmak Fort and the National Museum
If you are one to cherish history and fancy the essence of Arabian tradition, then Masmak Fort is the ultimate go-to place this summer. It is the fortress on which the capital was established. For a broader blast from the past experience, head to the National Museum.
Timing: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Weekdays) / 4 – 7:30 p.m. (Fridays) / 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Saturdays)
Location: Both places are located a mere few minutes away from each other at the King Abdulaziz Historical Center, Murabba Dist.
- Get Creative, Take a Class
What’s a better way to spend summer than by learning something new? Have you been fascinated by a language recently? Craving to bake something but don’t know how? Want to be in a book club where your fictional characters come alive with passion? Then this summer, join a learning center! A book club or cooking classes; whatever it maybe, you know it’ll be super fun!
- Blends Culinary School
- Cakedelights Baking school
Facebook: Cakedelights baking School
Location: Alhamra Oasis Village Compound, Exit 8, Northern Ring Rd.
- Bake Fresh
- Tavola Baking & Cake Decoration
Location: Shop # G176-177, Next to Danube Hypermarket, Hayat Mall
Lastly, have an in-city getaway
Check out our special article on chalets and hotel options for Riyadh weekend fillers.
The one time we’re letting Sharqiya and Jeddah Woo You.
Okay, we get it, it’s a very long vacation this year and so it would be fun to venture out… but look no further than to your left and right. Actually, make that to your east and west. The Kingdom is vast and our siblings down at Sharqiya and Jeddah, can offer a splendid holiday that’s still pretty close to home.
The West Side Story
- Have a Day at the Beach
Admittedly Jeddah and the Eastern province has this one over us. Embrace the sun with a day at Ubhur, where you can book chalets and even try some watersports available all year round.
- Discover King Abdullah Economic City
This city within the city is host to a variety of workshops and regular events. It’s also your go-to place for a family day. Unlike Riyadh’s parks that tend to turn brown in the summers, KAEC’s park areas are always green.
- Seafood Experience at Dahban
This Fish market offers a unique experience in Jeddah. You get to select from a variety of locally farmed fish and have them cooked on the spot for you! While we are legit meat lovers, we do love the fishy business the west has going.
- Get Transported to Another Time in Al Balad
Hejaz is probably one of the most vibrant and colorful cultures in the country and we love that about Jeddah. They have a very unique history that makes this port city have its own “HIjazi vibe”. Take a cultural trip at Al balad, where you’ll find everything from beautifully preserved architecture, art galleries, and yes, food.
- Fakieh Aquarium
Discover sea creatures and have a magical time here. There’s something about walking through a tunnel surrounded by fishes swimming and cool blues of hues that will send you into a state of calm and fun relaxation.
Easy Breezy East
- Go Corniche Hopping
The eastern province has a variety to choose from, you can explore: Khobar, Dammam, Qatif and Saihat.
- Cross the Bridge When You Get There
Whether you want to go all the way to Bahrain is your call or you can at least just take the drive to immigration island, have a meal, enjoy the view and go back.
- Visit Souq Al Hub in Dammam
Traditional crafts and middle eastern finds, Souq Al Hub is also a window into the culture of the eastern region.
- Have a Full East Coast Experience
Head to Half moon bay for a bit of kitesurfing, boating for families and areas where you can frolic. Or if your feeling lucky, go fish! At Five Fingers Al Khobar.