For many Israeli parents, it is still the calm before the storm. Yes, even though school and gan have come to an end, that July savior – the kaytana – is still occupying our children’s time. But, as Israel sizzles, the summer break can seem dauntingly long.
That is exactly how I felt this time last year – desperate for ideas of what to do with my children that would be age-appropriate and worthwhile. So I sat down and created a facebook group for a few of my Anglo friends through which we could share our ideas with one another. I only wanted to hear about places that my friends thought were good from personal experience – not just turn up somewhere only to be disappointed or unprepared. I had no idea that this small number of friends would in a matter of hours turn into a community of parents, sharing the most amazing and varied places for tried and tested days out in Israel.
So here, to help you out, are the top ten things to do with your kids in Israel this summer, in order of popularity on the website, as recommended by other Anglo parents. Whether you are a parent or a grandparent living here or tourist from abroad, read, visit and enjoy. Just one thing — don’t forget to comment and share feedback on what you thought of these days out, and contribute your best suggestions of other places to visit. Enjoy the Israeli Summer!
Moshav Mevo Modi’im plays host to a day of goat-milking, cheese-making and a tour of the ancient olive and wine press. Halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Pre-booking is a must.
One for older kids — the bullet factory at the Ayalon Institute, where munitions were made for the pre-state Jewish underground under the noses of the British, who thought it was a regular kibbutz. Interesting and engaging, pre-book for the tour.
Bamba, the peanut flavored snackfood, is synonymous with childhood in Israel. Tours are in Hebrew, and as its free it gets pretty booked up so reserve in advance. The Bamba baby will be waiting to take you for a quick one-hour trip behind the scenes.
A fun, educational set of workshops to see how honey is made will make for a great day out — and with a great gymboree too! An unexpected and really well-put together day out that will keep kids going for hours.
A hidden treasure at the top of the Azrieli Towers. Not the cheapest day out, but lots of pirate fun, with things to climb on, slide on and splash in.
Ignore the funny, Google-translated English mistakes on the website and head to a mini-town for little ones, where kids can shop, drive and even get sent to prison.
It’s science made fun at this outdoors educational park. A treat for the senses and an outdoor hands-on experience for children and early teens.
Shaded areas by orange trees, soft play, boating, mini golf, electric cars, climbing towers, trampolines, carpentry, a paddling pool and water shooting area — lots of fun for ages two to 10, a 15-minutes drive from Hadera.
This is a small attraction, near Jerusalem, that captured the hearts of Anglo parents and entertained their kids for hours, yet few people had heard of it before the recommendations on our Facebook page came flooding in. A kibbutz off the beaten track where you can press grapes with your feet and build a mud hut may not sound like the perfect day out for pampered Anglos, but it certainly is for their kids.
This indoor climbing center was new last year when we visited, and it is now a huge hit with kids of all ages — from toddlers to teens. Older kids will enjoy bungee jumping, trampolining, indoor rappelling, rope-walking and wall-climbing, and there’s an indoor “road” and cars for the little ones. Fifteen minutes’ drive north of Netanya, and definitely worth checking out. You and your kids won’t want to leave.
Hopefully these days out will help the hofesh hagadol seem a little less daunting.
Where have you been that you’d recommend to others? Please share in the comments section below.