From ancient villages to hair-raising theme parks, we check out some of the best things to do with kids in Saudi Arabia.
If you are moving to Saudi Arabia with a young family and worried about how to keep your kids entertained, don’t be. There’s plenty to keep them occupied in their new home. To help get you and your family inspired, here’s our pick of the coolest things to do with your little ones.
Al Shallal Theme Park
With over 1 million visitors every year, Al Shallal amusement park is a firm favorite among adventurous families. The attraction is spread across 60,000 square meters on Jeddah’s popular Corniche promenade, making it ideal for an evening’s entertainment. From full-throttle rollercoasters to gentle teacup rides, the park has thrills and spills for every taste. Attractions, shops, and international food outlets are located both inside and outside. There is also an ice rink if you want to cool down. Wednesdays are reserved for women and children only, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
Al Shallal Theme Park, Al Kurnaysh Road, Jeddah
If you’re looking to introduce your little ones to the history of their new home, then look no further than Masmak Fortress. Located in the historic heart of Riyadh, this majestic fortress played an important role in the kingdom’s history and dates back to 1865. Nowadays, the sandcastle-like building is home to a museum, where exhibitions in both Arabic and English reveal its past. The Masmak museum is free for visitors, however the fortress is only open to families at certain times during the week, so make sure you check first before you visit.
Masmak Fortress, Al Imam Turki Ibn Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Street, Riyadh
Marine life might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Saudi Arabia, but don’t let all that desert confuse you. With almost 1,800km of Red Sea coastline, the country has a rich and colorful underwater ecosystem. If your kids are too young to scuba dive, why not take them to Fakieh Aquarium along Jeddah’s Corniche. From seahorses to sharks, you can get up close and personal with all sorts of creatures from beneath the waves. And with the ever-popular dolphin show your family will feel like explorers of the deep blue sea.
Fakieh Aquarium, Al Kurnaysh Road, Jeddah
Ushaiqer Heritage Village
If your kids are interested in all things historical, then make sure you take them to Ushaiqer Heritage Village. The restored village will give you and your children a glimpse into how people used to live in Najd in the 17th and 18th Century. Start at the visitor center before wandering along the village’s atmospheric lanes and alleyways, past mud houses and mosques. You can either hire a guide at the visitor center or simply choose to experience Ushaiqer alone with the help of the friendly locals who are happy to talk about their home. This is without a doubt one of the most memorable things to do with kids in Saudi Arabia.
Ushaiqer Heritage Village, Ushaiqer
Quad biking at Red Sand Dunes
If you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, then why not explore another side of Saudi Arabia by going quad biking at the Red Sand Dunes. Just a short drive out of Riyadh, you will soon come across vendors by the side of the highway renting out quad bikes of all shapes and sizes. Once you’ve chosen your sand buggy, you can head off into the dunes. Guides are usually available and there are smaller bikes on offer for children. Be warned, though, prices and crowds at the dunes can vary significantly. Weekdays are usually quieter, and quad bike rentals are generally cheaper the further you venture from the city.
Red Sand Dunes, near Al Awsat, Riyadh
Looming over Riyadh, the 99-storey Kingdom Center is a great place to visit for the whole family. As well as luxury hotels and apartments, the tower is also home to the Al Mamlaka mall, where you will find plenty of shops and restaurants. The true magic of the Kingdom Center, however, can be found 300 meters up in the air, on the exhilarating Sky Bridge. Extending 65 meters between two sides of the tower, the bridge offers spectacular views over the capital – especially at night. Be warned, though, the Sky Bridge is not for the faint-hearted or those who suffer from vertigo!
Kingdom Center, Riyadh
Atallah Happy Land Amusement Park
Another popular attraction along Jeddah’s Corniche waterfront is Atallah Happy Land Park. The park boasts one of the highest number of amusements in the whole of Saudi Arabia, with over 100 rides located inside and out. As well as the usual amusement park staples, there’s an ice rink, bowling alley, and even a climbing wall if you’re feeling active. Inside the park there are also plenty of food and drink options as well gift shops. The park is open daily until 2am and is located near Sail Island Resort.
Atallah Happy Land Park, Corniche Road, Jeddah
King Abdullah Park
Located in the heart of the Saudi capital is the green oasis of King Abdullah Park. Immaculate lawns are criss-crossed by wide tree-lined pathways that are perfect for cycling and jogging. There are also children’s play areas and plenty of cafes where you can grab something to cool you down. The park’s star attraction is the singing fountain – yes, that’s right, when the sun goes down colorful fountains come to life on the park’s main lake in a dazzling show of music and light. Grab a picnic and settle in for the show.
King Abdullah Park, Al Ameen Abdullah Al Ali Al Naeem Street, Riyadh