The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture also known as Ithra, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
We have been visiting Ithra once or twice a week for the past 18 months.
Ithra is by far our favorite venue in the Eastern Province to visit to beat the heat, burn off some energy & make memories with my little team.
We first heard there was a children’s section from a recommendation on the Eastern Province Shopaholics Group.
The museum itself is free to visit & wander round, however you have to pay for some activities, screenings & workshops.
Did you know Ithra has a library, a knowing tower, an idea lab, a children’s museum, a museum, a great hall, theater, anergy exhibit, a cinema, a plaza & even an Ithra Store.
You can find more information at www.ithra.com
Our typical day at Ithra:
We usually park opposite the main entrance to Ithra, pick up tickets at the reception desk (you have the option of ordering & paying for tickets online beforehand). Once we have our tickets we head to the children’s museum which is charged per child & a small fee per accompanying adult / caregiver.
The children’s museum is suitable for 0 to 12 year olds, grown ups too. The staff & volunteers working at Ithra are so friendly, they welcome everyone, there is always someone near by to help with any questions you may have & they love to play with your children & encourage everyone to have lots of fun. Little ones are asked to wear wristbands with their name & an emergency contact number on for safety purposes, no food or drinks allowed, strollers are to be stored in the stroller bay & there’s stairs & a lift option.
Here’s a few memories we have made in the Children’s museum…
The Children’s Museum is the first museum in the Kingdom for children up to age 12, and aims to develop children’s skills from an early age through interactive and educational exhibits, games and programs.
These skills not only support increasing a childs brainpower but also increase self-confidence and help them to identify their interests.
The Children’s Museum offers various methods in exposing world cultures to children in the Mazzanine (targets ages 0 to 5) and the Ground floor that has four thematic zones.
Eco-Lab: Children explore marine science, environmental science, physics, geology, and environmental stewardship.
Islamic Arts: Children explore the rich history of Islamic Arts through investigation of calligraphy, geometric patterns and abstract imagery.
Our World: Children develop awareness and appreciation about different people and cultures around the world.
Story Cave: Children exercise their imagination and creative expression to act out traditional stories or create tales of their own
I’ll let you into a little secret~
Ithra’s children’s museum is FREE on the first Monday of every month. Yes, that’s right, free, completely FREE!
Once we have had fun in the Children’s museum we usually have a wander through the center, check out what’s on at the cinema, take a walk through the gardens & then we see the dinosaurs.
The Energy Exhibit is a separate building to Ithra, you will find dinosaurs, the museum & history of how oil was found & how it is used today. Another secret hidden gem we found whilst exploring is there’s a free indoor soft play area, a quaint aquarium & a separate sensory play area.
(Grown ups~ the Energy Exhibit houses a Starbucks coffee shop next to the free sensory play tables, ideal for 5 minutes peace and a hot cuppa~ you’re welcome).
In all honesty, by this point both littles are getting tired after a few hours of fun playing in the Children’s museum, the grounds & Energy Exhibit , it’s hits & miss if we make it to the cafe or gourmet restaurant on site.
We love Ithra, have you been yet?
If not, what you waiting for?
For Ramadan opening hours please click on Ithra’s website or call 800 1221224. Once you’ve been, let me know all about your favorite Ithra experience below.
Stay tuned for more adventures and tips on beating the heat.
Ithra information ~
8386 Ring Rd, Gharb Al Dhahran, Az Zahran 34461
Contact Number (During working hours):
Saudi Arabia: 8001221224
For visitor services (Lost & Found, and Ticketing): customerCare@ithra.com