It’s unbelievable but Pesach is here once again and this year with a full week of Chol Hamoed to make the most of this fabulous country.

As in previous years I have tried to collate all the information out there of fun ideas of things to do over Passover, including:

  • Essential tips
  • Shows
  • Top Attractions
  • Bank Hapoalim-sponsored free sites
  • Events at National Parks and Nature Reserves
  • The most popular Pesach days out of last year from users of LoveLoveIsrael.com

As more events are announced, I’ll keep adding them to this blog, so check back!

I wish you all a fantastic, happy Pesach!

Feel free to add any other ideas in the comments section!

First – my essential top tips for successful days out during Pesach:

  • Bring hats and plenty water for everyone – it can get very hot over Pesach! Depending on where you are visiting, it might be wise to bring changes of clothes too.
  • Get to free and National Park events as early as you can – in fact everywhere will get very busy. To find parking easily and enjoy the sites before they are crowded it is worthwhile being the first to arrive!
  • Don’t forget to pack your matza sandwiches and collect any trash you make, keeping our country beautiful.
  • Many events will have food stalls (some will be kosher for Pesach) or craft stalls with unexpected costs so be aware and bring money in case your children want to do these things.
  • While there are many things to do, don’t forget to make the most of this amazing family time and relax and enjoy and take lots of photos to capture the memories!!

SHOWS:

mikiYuval Hamebulbal and Miki in the circus! 

קרקס בראבו - פסח 2015Bravo Circus – Euphoria

_2015Medrano Circus

autoVintage Car Exhibition 5-8th April at Ganei Hataarucha (free for under 5s)

abirim-teaserThe Fortress – Battle of the Knights in Acco 5-11 April – taking you back in history to a Knights horse event and banquet in the fortress!

פסטיבל חיפה להצגות ילדים פסח 2015The Haifa International Festival  Children’s Theater Festival: April 5-7

_Saba Tuvia at Chai-Kef in Rishon Lezion: April 4-11

_2015 (1)Adventure in the Kingdom of Toys in Tel Aviv and Haifa – A musical show with all your children’s favorite characters

_2015 (2)Shuliat the Magician at Kfar Hayarok in the circus tent

_ (1)The Sound of Music is showing in Tel Aviv University 4-6th April

_2015 (3)The Prince of Egypt

OTHER TOP ATTRACTIONS:

The First Tractor Festival by the KKL is free! Based at the Water Museum, Nir Am, this is a collection of over 50 tractors and ancient 1agricultural tools alongside modern day ones. Guided tours, activities and a farmer’s market. Suitable for the whole family.  It will be running 7th April from 10:00-16:00. Call 1-800-350-550 for details

Shvil Hasalat – ‘The Karpas and the greens’ at Moshav Talmei Yosef. 5-11th April at 10:30am. 45 shekel per person. Learn how to pick vegetables, get lost in the passion fruit maze and more. Reserve by calling  08-9982225 (their website still says 2014 but I am assured it is happening this year!)

Neot Kedumim’s theme this year is ‘aliya leregel’ – ‘pilgrimage’ where visitors will walk on the paths and meet characters who each have a different profession and will tell groups who they are and where they are going. There will be a film to introduce the theme as well as ancient arts and crafts. 40 shekel for children age 4+.08-9770770

Dov Halavan (Center/North-Emek Hefer) – A great fun indoor extdov2reme sports and circus tricks. Suitable for all ages as well as adults. You will have a great time here with special extras especially for Pesach holidays. If you get there later in the day call ahead to ensure they have space…

Mini Israel – On April 6-16th there will be a show ‘Hakeves HaShisha Asar’ as well as others at Latrun.

Soos Agala (center) – a hidden gem and a unique experience – The soosagala1Guinness Book of Records winners for the biggest wooden rocking horse invite you to create your own handmade carpentry table decorations as well as many other wooden toys at special Pesach workshops during Pesach. They help you every step of the way and you will take home a fabulous creation of your own. Read reviews here and book before you go!

Tel Aviv City Farm (center) – every year runs great programs along the Pesach themes and this year promises to be great fun once again. Details will be posted on their website soon.

Design week in Holon falls during Pesach this year. There will be a special toy exhibit ‘Vist the toys’ with all the toys of your childhood. See Holon’s Site for details.

Miriam’s maze at Derech Hatavlinim. 4-11th April. Workshops for children, tours and more. 050-4272004

FREE ENTRANCE SITES, SPONSORED BY BANK HAPOALIM

Bank Hapoalim annually sponsors the following sites so that you can have great free days out: (This is the updated list for 2015)

North:

Ghetto Fighters House Museum 04-9958052
The International Family Galilee Sculpture Festival in Maalot 04-9578871
The Deer Forest  050-8723920
The Golan Antiquities Museum  04-6961350
Park Katzrin 04-6962412
The Umm El Fahem Art Gallery  04-6315257
The Wilfrid Museum of Israeli Art  04-9899566
The Robotic Dairy 054-4962656
Museum of Art at Ein Harod    04-648 5701

Haifa Region:

The Museum of the First Aliyah (in Zichron Yaakov) 04-6294777
The Janco Dada Museum (in Ein Hod) 04-9842350
Haifa Zoo – 04-8372886 (open 10am – 3pm)
The National Maritime Museum in Haifa 04-8536622
The Haifa City Museum 04-9115888
The Mane Katz Museum 04-911 9372
Hermann Struck Museum 04-6359962
Museum Otzrot Hachoma (in old city of Acco) 049911004

Central Israel:

Tel Aviv Museum of Art 03-6077000
The Diaspora Museum 052-6130503
Visitor’s Center of Igudan Water purification center 03-9555222
The ‘Chan’ Museum, Hadera 04-6324562
The Nachum Gutman Museum of Art 03-5161970
Museum of Israeli Art – Ramat Gan 03-7521876
IDC Museum for communications, Herzliya 09-9602845
The Rishon L’Zion Museum 03-9598862
The Rabin Center Israeli Museum *4585
The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center 03-5339278

Jerusalem:

Yad LaShiryon, Latrun 08-9784302
The Bible Lands Museum 02-5611066
Hasmonean Aqueduct Tour *6033
The Temple Mount Sifting Project *6033
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens 02-6794012
The Old Yishuv Court Museum 02-6281266
The House of Shai Agnon  02-6716498
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center 02-5652018
The Ariel Center – Historic Jerusalem (First Temple Period) 02-6286288

South:

The Negev Museum of Art  08-6993535

Art Museum Monart Center, Ashdod 08-8545180

Museum of Philistine Culture – 08-6224799

The Museum of Water and Security at Kibbutz Nir Am 050-9672874

The Joe Alon Center for Bedouin Culture  08-9913322
Air Force Museum at Kibbutz Chatzerim 08-9906853
Chai Negev – Ecological Village 08-6562688
The Eilat Municipality Museum – 08-6340754

There are also tours by KKL. Check their site here.

EVENTS AT NATIONAL PARKS & NATURE RESERVES

Note that last entry into National Parks on the Friday before Pesach (erev pesach) will be at 12pm. They will close at 13:00.

Key: G – Guides. W – Water. A-Animals.  E – Event.  AR–Archaeology. N-Night. Get a membership card for National Parks and Nature Reserves here.

NORTH 

Nachal Amud: April 4-10,  Entrance fee for non-members G*W*

Nachal Snir: April 4-10, Entrance fee for non-members G*W*A*E*

Beit She’arim National Park: April 4-10, Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*

Shmurat Hahula: April 5-6 at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, Entrance fee for non-members G*A*W*

Harod Springs: April 5-11, There is a fee, G*W*N* – For Camping,  You must reserve in advance. Call 04-6532211. Includes a tour about Gidon the Judge

Tiberias Hot Baths: April  5-10, On the hour from 10:00-15:00. Entrance fee for non-members, G*AR*W*. Activity: Find the Treasure with guides

The Ceasaria National Park:  Sun-Wed, April 5-8, 10:00-16:00. Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*W* Festival of Ancient Caesarea – Gladiators, music, poetry and dance, a roman market and experience of ancient Caesarea.

Key: G – Guides. W – Water. A-Animals.  E – Event.  AR–Archaeology. N-Night. Get a membership card for National Parks and Nature Reserves here.

CENTER   

Beit Guvrin National Park: Sunday, April 5, 11:00-15:00 and Shabbat April 11, 11:00-15:00. Entrance fee for non-members.*E*AR*, Dungeons and Dragons: A game of adventures between the arches, huge buildings and dark rooms…Also at extra cost – craft stalls, workshops, food on sale

Ashkelon National Park, April 3-10, Children under 5 free otherwise there is a fee:                                                                                AR*W*N*             For camping, reserve in advance   08-6736444 G*W*A*  Pesach themed guided tours hourly 11:00-15:00 and ‘Young Detectives’ booklet / Find the Afikoman

Ein Hemed: April 5-8, Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*W*, Crusader Fortress – Pesach themed guided tours on the hour 10:00-15:00 Also ‘Young Detectives’ booklet find the Afikoman

Yarkon National Park: April 5-10, Children under 5 free otherwise there is a fee     G*A*W*N* Watch a film in nature! For camping, you must book in advance 03-9348462

Key: G – Guides. W – Water. A-Animals.  E – Event.  AR–Archaeology. N-Night. Get a membership card for National Parks and Nature Reserves here.

Judea and Samaria    

Har Grizim: April, 5-8, 11:00, 13:30 (show) / 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 for guided tours. Entrance fee for non-members, G*E*, Drama and Kite flying on Har Grizim – you can purchase kite kits for 10shekel

Einot Tzukim: April, 3-11, 9:00-15:00, Entrance fee for non-members G*A*W* – Secrets of Einot Tzukim – guided tours leave hourly on the long route to the water pools. Recommend getting there early.

Herodian National Park: April, 3-11, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, Entrance fee for non-members G*AR. Activity: The King says…Following King Herod at Herodian

Ein Prat: April, 4-11, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*W*. Enjoy the peace and beauty of this historically significant water source.

Qumran: April, 5-8, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*. Activity: Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls – theatrical journey for the whole family at Qumran Do the family treasure hunt!

Key: G – Guides. W – Water. A-Animals.  E – Event.  AR–Archaeology. N-Night. Get a membership card for National Parks and Nature Reserves here.

SOUTH 

Masada: April 5-8, 20:30, Tickets at the door. G*AR*N*. A unique theatrical show of the Masada story under the stars. You can also camp – book in advance 08-6280404

Ein Gedi: Entrance fee for non-members, G*AR*W*, Craft workshops and food available at extra cost

Park Habesor (Eshkol): April 8-9, 10:00-16:00. Entrance fee for non-members G*E*A*W*. Jump, walk, navigate, relax…giant trampolines and climbing (for extra fee), bike trails, navigation trails, grass loungers, picturesque springs…

Mamshit National Park: April 5-10, from 10:00. Entrance fee for non-members G*AR*E* The Nabatean Market: tradesmen, music, artists and crafts, workshops and storytelling. Some for extra fees. Night time events from 20:00

Key: G – Guides. W – Water. A-Animals.  E – Event.  AR–Archaeology. N-Night. Get a membership card for National Parks and Nature Reserves here.

Eilat   

Harei Eilat: April 5-9, 10:00-17:00. Entrance fee for non-members G*E*W*. Guides will be stationed at Eilat mountains; Amram, Black Canyon to give information and booklets about the areas

Hof Almog: April 5-9, 9:00-18:00. Entrance fee for non-members G*A*W*. Nature films and snorkelling instructors (for groups – reserve ahead. You need to pay to hire snorkel equipment)

Chai Bar Yotvata: April 5-9, 10:00-19:00. G*E*A*N*. Desert Safari and sunset tours. See a variety of animals, such as wolf, tiger, onyx, ostrich and animals including bats and rodents in a dark room. Camping by reservation only 08-6373057

TOP PESACH DAYS OUT FROM LAST YEAR FROM LoveLoveIsrael.com Users:
Gan B’Ivrit in Rishon Lezion was the most popular park over Pesach last year. So many of you went and enjoyed the lovely new park which has a few well shaded playground areas aimed at different age groups, working water sprinklers (even though it is April), plenty of picnic areas, bike paths, a small kiosk and a maze all themed with the Hebrew letters/language.
Other popular parks were Park Herzliya, Park Anabe in Modiin, park Ashdod, the playgrounds at Namal Tel Aviv and the Zichron Yaakov sensory Park.
Susya Ancient Village was popular with many of you attending the organized tours over the holiday period. Plenty for all ages and stroller friendly, as well as few traffic complaints.
Kedma Flower picking was the most popular for this type of activity. Not too crowded, most of you thought it was beautiful and a lovely activity for all ages. Be sure to go at Pesach or before as the crowds over Pesach certainly depleted a lot of the flowers by the end. Also popular was Petel Tov for the yummy berries and many of you complimented the helpful staff.
Ganei Huga – the place to go instead of the better known Sachnein the Beit Shean area. Much more shade and less traffic to get to, but as with anywhere on chol hamoed it is always best to get there early. Lovely (but crowded) camping there too.
Park Zikit opened in Maaleh Adumim and provided fun mostly for younger ages although now they have Laser tag and more games for older children.
Beaches – free, fun and perfect at this time of year – especially as they are still a novelty for the children.
The Ice Skating at YamBakerach in Jerusalem was a popular attraction last year and is now running at Cinema City until 23rd April.
Ramat Gan Safari – again, you want to avoid arriving with the crowds as this is an extremely popular activity but even though some of you queued a long time to get in, everyone seemed to have positive feedback about their visit. I personally think that if you can go you again when it is emptier you will enjoy it even more so don’t rule out going back there soon!
Ein Hemed –As with many of these sites (popular National Parks) it is essential to get there early for an enjoyable experience. Once there you will enjoy the knight themed activities, bbqing in the shady trees, paddling and discovering in the water streams – fun for young children and families.

You can see more discounts here. Please do send feedback of your trips and contribute your tried and tested days out in Israel – you can also search a much more comprehensive directory here!