Where To Go During The Eid Vacation (Riyadh Province)

A lot of friends have been asking where we can possibly go in Riyadh during the coming eid vacation (which is uh, starting tomorrow). For those of us who are planning to stay in Riyadh because we love it so much, haha, because we have no other travel plans whatsoever, there are the usual places. They’re what we can call repeat places because we’ve probably went there a couple of times already and we’re pretty much bored now. Haha! There’s the usual Red Sand, Hidden Valley, and Al Heet Cave. Even though I won’t recommend these places now because it’s so hot outside (have you felt the temperature nowadays?!?), it’s still a staple for expats and first-time visitors. Also, most of the places below will let you spend a good time under the hot Saudi sun anyway. If you don’t want to venture to the great outdoors then you can always visit the air-conditioned view decks of the city in Faisaliah Tower and Kingdom Tower. You have to shell out SR 65 per person now to enter. I find this really ridiculous since there’s nothing special with their viewing decks apart from seeing part of Riyadh on a bird’s eye view. If you want something more affordable then the Water Tower near the National Saudi Museum is as good and only costs SR 10 to enter (that is, if they haven’t also increased their entrance fee).

Oh great location pins of Riyadh, please lead us where to go. (I'm kidding, these are huge lamps! Have you seen 'em around the city?)

Oh great location pins of Riyadh, please lead us where to go. (I’m kidding, these are huge lamps! Have you seen ’em around the city? LOL.)

There are more places in and around Riyadh province that you can go and venture out, especially when you have your own car. You can just take your family and friends, prepare some food for a picnic or snacks to tide you over while on the road, and voila, instant vacation! I haven’t been to some of these places personally so I’m not sure how worthy of them of your time so please manage your expectations.

1. Various Parks in Riyadh
I know, I know… you’re probably groaning now… parks? Seriously. This article is not a clickbait and we’re going to list down some worthy places to visit. However, you might want to know where the eid celebrations are happening right? The parks in Riyadh are not that well-maintained but we have to give them props for opening public places for families to enjoy. And I’m not listing these parks down just because they’re parks, hooray. But because again, the eid celebrations will be happening here from July 6-8, 2016 (hoping that the Arriyadh website is dependable). Here are the schedules:

  • Historical Dirriyah (Al Bujairi District) [MAP] will feature Saudi traditional Ardah dance and popular folklore and lots of activities for kids including drawing, coloring, meeting cartoon characters and photography from July 6-8, 2016 from 8:00PM to 2:00 AM.
  • King Salman Park [MAP] will display a group of beautiful camels (like you’ve never seen them before!) and a collection of old cars from July 6-8, 2016 from 7:00PM to 2:00AM.
  • Landmarks Park [MAP], apart from its world monuments and landmarks, will have theater shows and carnivals for kids from July 6-8, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • King Abdulaziz Historical Center (Al Murabaa Center) [MAP] will hold activities on traditional folklore dances and visual presentations from July 6-8, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 12:00 AM while activities for families will be held at the King Abdulaziz Memorial Hall, Gardens of King Abdulaziz Historical Center, National Museum and and Al-Watan Garden from 5:30 PM onwards on the same dates.
  • Ar-Riyadh-AlQassim Highway (Eastern Riyadh Park) [MAP] will be featuring air shows on July 6-8, 2016 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM.
  • Qasr Al Hokm (The Ruler’s Palace) [MAP] will be the center of eid celebrations. Be there from 8:30Pm onwards on July 6-8, 2016. (Programs might probably be in Arabic.)
Fireworks displays this eid are worth watching.

Fireworks displays this eid are worth watching. Photo from my sister-in-law, Peachy.

Most locals and expats are excited for the fireworks. According to the Riyadh City website’s events page, there will be three locations in the city but they didn’t exactly tell where. If previous locations will dictate the ones for this year then we’re guessing King Abdullah Park and King Fahd Stadium will be two of the locations. But don’t quote us on that. Haha!

2. Ushaiger Heritage Village
Every travel blogger in Riyadh has probably written about Ushaiger, the small village near Shagra in Saudi Arabia. (And we haven’t because uh, we’re lifestyle bloggers, haha, excuses.) Going there will require you to venture out of Riyadh for around 200 kilometers. That’s around 2 hours travel time (so yeah, better bring those snacks I was telling you about earlier). The name “Ushaiger” means the “small blonde” which is a description of a red mountain that borders north of the village. Now, ask me why it’s called blonde when the mountain is red. Let’s just say they didn’t have the terms “ginger” or “burgundy” for redheads way back then. Haha! Seriously now, the locals were said to have interchanged blonde and red in the old days so there you go. If you’re into heritage and culture stuff, you’ll be fascinated by Ushaiger Village; it’s one of the first places in Saudi Arabia that is approved by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage as a holiday destination. It has the old mud houses of the yesteryears and also the crafts and products of the village on display. I asked one of the known travel agencies in Riyadh if Ushaiger Heritage Village is open this eid and his answer was “every thing is open!” Not sure if he’s being ironic or what. Haha! Worth trying your luck though.

 

Ushaiger Heritage Village
Shagra, Riyadh Province,
Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Coordinates: 25°20′33″N 45°11′0″E

SideTrip: When going to Ushaiger, you can also drop by the Raghbah (Al Marqab) Tower, a 22-meter high observation tower that is one of the famous ruins of Najd. You can also visit the Al Gassab salt flats. You might think what’s so special about salt. Come on, salt in the desert? Don’t you ever wonder how come there’s still salt in that part of the desert? Because there’s still sea water beneath it! Thousands of years ago, the Al Gassab flat was under water and some of that water stayed. The people of Al Gassab dig and pump the salt water to shallow pools where they dry and become what is known as the “white gold”. Yes, salt to you and me.

The salt flats in Al Gassab

The salt flats in Al Gassab. Photo from Sagessojourns.

Raghbah (or Rughabah)
Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia [MAP]

3. Musayqirah Petroglyphs / Qaryat Al Asbah (Graffiti Rock)
If you venture out to Riyadh’s Makkah Highway, you’ll reach Red Sand and Hidden Valley where there are graffitis. I mean the rock faces you’ll see in the area are full of graffiti but the annoying kind, like “So-so person was here” or “I love so-so person!” Seriously, these rock faces are not meant for your announcements and ugly handwriting (harshhhh! haha!). But all nature’s asking is for us to respect it. These are not the types of graffiti you want to see so if you’re looking for some legit graffiti, head on to Musayqirah Petrogylphs near the town of Jilah. It’s 120 kilometers away from Riyadh proper and four kilometers of the journey will be off road (bring 4×4 vehicles). These rocks have a number of scripts and drawings of hunters and animals like ostrich and camels. These petroglyphs are said to be drawn in the neolithic period (around 3000 BC). A fair warning though, articles on this petroglyphs said that the graffiti rock is fenced in but that there’s a hole (hooray for people who bring wire cutters in their road trips, lol) that you can enter through. Not sure if it’s still there though.

Interesting!

Artworks of the ancestors. Photo from the Arabian Rock Art Heritage.

Musayqirah Petroglyphs
Along Makkah Al Mukarramah Highway,
Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Coordinates: 24° 18′ 58.23″N, 45° 38′ 25.84″E

SideTrip: Did I mention Red Sand and Hidden Valley already? Yup.

4. Khararah Lake
As much as I want you guys to go ahead and visit this lake, I’m not sure if there’s actually water in it at this time of the year. Lake Khararah is what we know as a seasonal lake. Yes, very much like seasonal fruits that only grows on a certain time of the year, this lake only forms during the rainy season and you know Riyadh, there’s no long rainy season ever. The rain water forms the lake and once summer sets in, the water is drained and the lake goes missing until the next rainy season when it appears again. Don’t fret though because even if there’s no water, the lake area becomes a green pasture. You can venture into the area but knowing how hot it is right now, ugh. (I keep on dilly dallying with my suggestions… what kind of a tourism ambassador am I?!? haha). The surrounding areas are good picnic areas during the morning though.

You'll never know what to see at Khararah Lake.

You’ll never know what to see at Khararah Lake. With water? None? Photo from Borobudur-Art.

Khararah Lake
Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Coordinates: Latitude (24.4068247), Longitude (46.24485649999997)

SideTrip: The golden sands and the Tuwaiq mountain is within your sight when cruising through the Makkah Al Mukarramah Highway. Watch the road when it opens up to the Grand Canyon-like views. You’ll know you’re out of Riyadh, the city.

5. Al Thumamah National Park
If you’re hellbent on having some fun in the desert sand, then head off 40 kilometers outside of Riyadh and visit the Al Thumamah National Park where all outdoor pursuits can be done like hiking, camping, and rock climbing. Of course, being eid holidays why will you want to exert physical force? Haha! Just have a picnic and take lots of photos!

The great outdoors in Thumamah.

The great outdoors in Thumamah. Photo by Adel Mohamed.

Al Thumamah National Park
Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Coordinates: Latitude (25.2709994), Longitude (46.525890000000004)

SideTrip: Fantasy Land in Thumamah [MAP] has a dolphin show and is one of the known entertainment and theme park in Riyadh. Of course, don’t expect Disneyland levels. Haha! Most theme parks are open during eid to cater to children and their young-at-heart parents.

Man-made lake for the boats of Fantasy Land.

Man-made lake for the boats of Fantasy Land.

Okay, so there you go. If you’re really itching to go out this eid but don’t want to empty your wallets in the process then these are your options. There might probably be more but that’s all for now from this Pink Tarha who’s staycationing in Riyadh for the eid vacation. If you have more suggestions, our comment box is open for you. Happy eid! 😉

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Janelle
Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

7 Comments

  1. Avatar AlterEgo Reply

    Thanks for the informative post (this one and many others).

    Dont know how many would be there, but I am pretty regular male follower of your blog , since the time I have moved to Riyadh , to get to know where in the world am I and whats happening around :-).

    Great job you (and team) are doing. Keep at it

    • Janelle Janelle Reply

      Thank you so much for reading The Pink Tarha! We’re glad to know we’re being of help to some people of Riyadh, haha! Cheers! Happy eid! 🙂

      • Avatar AlterEgo Reply

        Thanks. One little help if you can. The website for the events list in the city as below

        http://www.arriyadh.com/eng/cgi-bin/Events2/r_DayEvents.aspx?EDay=7&EMID=7&EYID=2016

        has the details and timings of the event. But the location URL link just points to a general district (Qudisya) instead of a pinpointed location.

        Dont know if you have been to such events, can you get to know what is the exact location where the fun would happen. I was interested in Cars Show , RC Airplanes Show and Fireworks. Do they happen regularly every year at the same place.

        Thanks for the help.

        • Janelle Janelle Reply

          Hello! We usually don’t go to the air shows and car shows as they’re mostly for men. The locations on the Arriyadh website are probably correct and you will find the exact location once you reach that area because there will be a lot of people. Sorry we couldn’t help further because we haven’t attended those events personally.

  2. Avatar Marc Magsino Reply

    hi… just a note, as per my friend in STC those are not lamps, they are antennas to boost 3G signal.

    • Janelle Janelle Reply

      Really! We came close to one of them and there’s a sign/label in the pillar that says it’s a lighting system. Thanks for the info! 🙂

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