Seriously, you have to get over the fact that it’s boring in Riyadh. We know it! You know it! It’s boring in Riyadh and if you don’t help yourself and make an effort to make living here worth your while, you’ll always be stuck in a rut. The key here is to finding something that you’re passionate at, or at least something you’ll be interested in doing while you’re (or your husband is) fulfilling a work contract. It’s getting boring complaining about being bored you know. Haha!
Anyway, we’re here to tell you about some new stuff you can do in Riyadh, or at least places that might interest you. We’re using the term “new” here loosely. Some of the places below are newly-opened but some are old but it’s only recently that we heard and researched about them. Of course we don’t expect you to visit every day or that you will enjoy all of the five adventures we’ll be suggesting but at least there are options right? Get out of your houses and flats once in a while! Here are the five (not exactly top but we have a category to maintain so…) fun things you can do in Riyadh with your family and friends. (Diclaimer: We haven’t visited these places personally but when we will, we’ll write a full feature on them.)
1. Break out of a room using your brain and common sense. (Breakout KSA)
Breakout is a live escape room game that will challenge you and your companions. It’s exciting because you’ll have to think of a way to escape a room, literally, with the help of clues, puzzles, brain teasers and riddles. Ohhhh playing detective is a dream of mine! This kind of live game genre is already popular in the Philippines and I’m glad to know that there’s BreakOut here in Riyadh already. They only have one room for now called “221b Baker St”. It’s the home of a missing detective working hard on a case. Two to five team players will be given 60 minutes to breakout. Just thinking of this excites me! Break other team’s time too for bragging rights. They have a booking page in their website with the rates which range from SR 115 to 200 depending on how many you are in your team (maximum of 5) and if you’re playing on a weekend or a weekday. Can you BreakOut Riyadh?
Address: Office #4, 1st Floor, Tilal Center 2,
Al Imam Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz Rd, Al Masif, Riyadh [MAP]
Contact No.: +966 56 766 7007
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2. Jump and fly until you get tired. (Sky Zone Trampoline Park KSA)
Bet you didn’t know this indoor trampoline park is already somewhere in Exit 14! Yup, you read that right. You can go jumping all day (or at least as long as their operating hours allow) and getting some fun fitness sessions! You can experience the art of weightlessness by bouncing, flipping and landing in trampolines or a pit filled with foam cubes! FOAM cubes! It’s like swimming in clouds. Well, maybe, haha. They also have dodgeball and SkySlam. So much fuuuun! However, girls who are over 7 years old are not allowed in the jumping court. Wait, that includes most of us ladies! Waaah where’s the fun in that? We can only go as far as the Family Zone aka waiting area. (READ: ladies cannot jump on the trampolines, cannot play dodgeball, cannot… enjoy this so might as well skip this!) Pfffft. Rates are as follows: 30 minutes (SR 50), 60 minutes (80 SR), 90 minutes (SR 100), and 120 minutes (SR 110).
3. Find out what career you missed out on. (Minopolis Saudi)
Or find out what your kids would want to be when they grow up. This is more for your kids but we know that if you’re kids are happy, you’re happy too so why not bring them to Minopolis Riyadh? Minopolis is a mini city where your kids (aged 4 to 12) can roam around and take on “jobs” in over 30 establishments. The city even has its own currency called Riyalino (how cute is that?) which they can earn and spend on their own. They can be a fireman, a chef (with real food!), engineers, doctors, etc! What’s neat is that most stations are sponsored by real companies. Example, the hypermarket is by Panda, the merit awards are given by The Saudi Investment Bank, the production and dairy lab is by Nadec, and more! Learning is more fun! These are great motivation and inspiration for children. Why didn’t build these things when I was a kid?! This might have helped me in choosing a career better than dozing off on our school’s career talks! Haha! Entry ticket for children aged 4-12 is SR 149 while it’s SR 95 for adults.
Address: First floor, beside Pizza Company,
Hayat Mall, King Abdulaziz Road, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Contact No.: +966 11 205 8138
4. Re-learn your science lessons. (Prince Salman Science Oasis)
This interactive service center is developed and managed by the PSSO, a non-profit organization. The science center aims to improve the public awareness of science and to promote scientific knowledge and technologies and how they can apply in real life. It also aims to teach respect for cultural diversity and freedom. The Science Oasis has huge telescope, mirrors, lasers, star dome, mini planetarium, and educational games. Your kids will have fun in here and they will learn lots. Well, you too especially when you’re into science stuff. The center is open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM for school tours and open from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM for the public. Family days are Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Tuesday evening is for men only. They’re closed on Saturdays. (Check schedule here.)
Address: Diplomatic Quarters, As Sarafat
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Contact No.: +966 1 482 8276
5. Go on the flight of your life! (SAFA’s Discovery Flight)
The Saudi Aviation Flight Academy is a world-class pilot training school that has the most modern, technologically advanced aircraft and flight training devices that will prepare students for aviation careers or recreational flying. The flight school itself is a dream institution for those who want to become pilots someday. Their Private Pilot Licensure course is designed to provide a solid foundation of aeronautical knowledge and flying skills and you need a whopping SR 43,000 to SR 52,000 for this while the Commercial Pilot Course for advanced aircrafts will set you back at SR 141,000 to SR 160,000! You’re probably thinking why I even bother mentioning SAFA here when technically, it’s not at all fun looking at those course fees. Well that’s because you might be interested in their Discovery Flight which is the perfect opportunity to experience the fantasy of flight! For SR 1,200, you will be allowed to fly in one of SAFA’s technologically advanced aircraft DA40 NG for one hour… with one of their certified flight instructors of course! If you’re feeling more adventurous, then try their Flight Of Your Life experience where you’ll be flying in an EXTRA 330LX to do some adrenaline-filled aerobatics with an expert instructor. Fee is a bit steep at SR 3,750 but hey, it’s the flight of your life! Don’t expect anything less.
Saudi Aviation Flight Academy
Address: Thumamah Airfield, King Khaled National Park
P.O. Box 305695, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Contact No.: +966 11 415 1987
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Add-ons: Star gaze indoors! (King Fahd Cultural Centre Planetarium)
It’s dubbed as one of Riyadh’s best kept secrets but if it’s a planetarium that can house a lot of people and enjoy looking at the stars without going outdoors, why keep it a secret? This information should be shared! Anyway, so yes there’s a planetarium in Riyadh and it’s located inside the King Fahd Cultural Centre. It’s said to have seats which can recline and rotate so guests can enjoy looking at the “sky”. It shows the earth, solar system, comets, constellations, clouds, and shooting stars (you can wish as much as you want!). Shows last for five to 25 minutes and are available in English and Arabic. The public is allowed as long as you send a request first to the general manager at +966-11-4800864. They’re open from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.
Discover more of science! I also wanted to add the Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy because it looks like a cool place to be at but they’re not yet open for the public. Only schools can do their field trips there. It’s the first science discovery center in Riyadh with its hands-on exhibits, cutting-edge technology and “electrifying” activities and events. Sounds awesome!
Anyway, there you go… places and things you can do in Riyadh for fun. You’re probably rolling your eyes right now because they’re not free and near you but surely you now realize that in Riyadh, you need to make an effort to discover and see new things. It doesn’t hand you these places, activities and events in a platter. You need to go out of your comfort zone to enjoy and experience these things. Take that extra step, make that extra mile. No excuse to complain of boredom, Riyadhizens!