Purim had literally just finished and the first Facebook post went up on the group I run, asking for recommendations for stroller friendly hikes for the Pesach period. Within days many of you have asked what will be going on over Pesach and are trying to plan how to best entertain your families – adults and children alike.

The good news is, even though you are still only thinking about where to start with the Pesach cleaning as I am writing, Pesach events for 2013 are already being finalized and publicized! The range of activities available is incredible and many of them have clever links to the story of Passover which is what in my view makes experiencing chaggim in Israel so unique and special. It is a chance for everyone – whatever their background – to remember how Hashem freed us from Egypt and experience it in whatever way it means most to them. This could be looking into the science of making blood at the Science Garden, or sculpting Moses in the basket out of fondant icing – you will find what suits you and your family somewhere here…! I am also sure more events will be disclosed as Pesach approaches and I will update you accordingly…but here is a starter for you!

A few (obvious but essential) tips from our contributors for successful Pesach outings –

  • Bring hats and plenty water for everyone – it can get very hot over Pesach! Might be wise to bring changes of clothes too.
  • Get to free and National Park type places 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.
  • Some hikes may not be stroller friendly but you could carry babies in slings/on your back. Check on our tried and tested reviews.
  • Many events will have food stalls (some even hechshered) or craft stalls with unexpected costs so be aware 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!!

Please do send feedback of your trips and contribute your tried and tested days out in Israel! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Deborah Dickson

Creator www.KidsloveIsrael.com and www.LoveLoveIsrael.com

Special Events

The International Space Exhibition is at the MadaTech in Haifa! –(north)The exhibition was presented in New York and Canada and is the beginning of Israel’s education opportunities about space as Israel prepares first spacecraft to the moon. For further information: Madatech Haifa Space Exhibition: 04-861 – 4444 The exhibition aside, this is a great museum – check out useful comments here.

The Marzipan Museum, Kfar Tavor (north)-Special Pesach activities, include a film how marzipan was made, seeing a new special exhibition from the recent marzipan sculpture competition on ‘animation’ featuring the Smurf village, Winnie the pooh, fairy tales and more…and a special workshop on making your own cartoon marzipan figures to take home. Reviews on visits to the Marzipan Museum can be found here!

The Jerusalem Ice Festival 2013 (Jerusalem) is open until 30th April with a Far East theme and emphasis on more children’s attractions, slides and other activities. They recommend age 3 and above but read comments from our members here before you book!

Soos Agala (center)– a hidden gem and a unique experience – The Guiness 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!

The ‘Hidden Treasure’ Musical is going on at Mini Israel (Jerusalem) this Pesach with tv celebrities. You can book now….and check out Mini Israel reviews here.

The Spicy Way (north) – special tours and activities – some free and some 35 shekel activities. A herbal market, Marzipan workshop, spice kaleidoscope, games using our senses to name but a few. Phone for more details.Tues 26th March-Monday 1st April 10:00-17:00. BetLechem Galilit.

The Biblelands Museum (Jerusalem) invites the audience to a special activity following the mysterious Egyptian world. Activities will take place on Wednesday to Friday, and Sunday -27-29.3 -31.3. Come discover the secret of eternal life, the Egyptian mummy, make an amulet of eternal life and make papyrus paper. Free entrance and free theatrical tours, sponsored by Bank Hapoalim. Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 to 14:30 -28-27.3 (workshops from 10:30 to 15:30), Friday and Sunday, -29.3 and – 31.3 10:00-13:00.

Tel Aviv City Farm (center) – 49 shek per person – A colourful experience, theatre performances, water workshop, storytime, carpentry, petting zoo, oil painting, colored sand in jars, paint nature, pick and make your own bouquets of beautiful flowers as well as navigation challenges for the whole family and more…

Phestichai(center) – for all you animal lovers – the purpose of this event is to give the general public, animal lovers and especially children, a rare opportunity to get to know the greatest diversity of animals House pets: lizards, snakes, horses, cats, dogs and more. There will be a huge range of activities for the whole family such as an inflatable area, clowns, puppets and show tractors from early agricultural settlements. Events include an exhibition including 150 different cats, 200 reptiles, a horse arena and 1500 dogs will compete to be the ‘champion of Israel’. Chol Hamoed Pesach,Israel Kennel Club, Holon.

Pioneers (Chalutzim) at the Courtyard Museum, Ein Shemer (north) – 25 shekel per person. Activities will take place on the 27-30.3 from 10:00 to 15:00. After the children are dressed in clothing of pioneers, they will join in a variety of attractions in the spirit of the pioneer days including: the old laundry tub, putting up tents, touring by tractor around the kibbutz including a tour of the Cowshed. Additional attractions at the museum include an exhibition of tractors and farm equipment from the beginning of the century, guided tours for all ages, story time for children, other crafts and activities and more.

Metukaya (north) – Fondant icing sugar sculpting workshops – all kosher for peach! Program: Workshop for young children, creating the fondant flowers and colorful butterflies and a workshop making of Moses in the basket that is suitable for children adults and teens Sunday, 17.3, through Tuesday, 2.4 between the hours of 10 :00-18: 00 (On Fridays and holidays until 17:00). Please note: the eve of Passover, the 25.3 is closed. The workshops can be started every hour until one hour before closing and there is no need to coordinate in advance (except for groups). 43 shekel per person. 04-6775422 or 052-8197190 Review here!

The Science Garden at the Weizman Institute (center) – dark and light games and close acquaintance of scientific phenomena hiding behind the ten plagues of Egypt. Different types of invisible light will reveal demonstrations and activities that will allow us to see ourselves and others in a whole new light.A quirky Egyptian Plague means the eldest child in each family will receive a free entrance (presenting their identity card). From Tuesday, -26.3 to -2.4 Tuesday between 10:00-17:00, Fridays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 Review here!

Chai Goats Farm (Modiin) – Great activities open on the days before Pesach include goat milking, cheese making, spinning and weaving raw sheeps wool to yarn, Batik nature picture (clay work for infants) and more! Book first to arrange.

Dov Halavan (Center/North-Emek Hefer) – A great fun indoor extreme 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. Read reviews and get a discount here and if you get there later in the day call ahead to ensure they have space…

Shvil Hatapuzim (Center-North) will be open throughout Pesach with orange picking as well as great fun activities outdoors for children. Reviews here.

Pesach…for free?

The factory tours – for example the electricity power stations (Hadera) and the Bamba factory (Holon) are highly recommended. The coca cola factory(Bnei Brak) is great but has a small charge – but you do need to book them ahead of time and adhere to age restrictions.

Events in most Malls – again – get there very early and go to less well known shows to avoid the big crowds.

This is the list of attractions with free entry sponsored by Bank Hapoalim for 2013 …we recommend getting to these places early!

To conclude I have listed below all the events going on at Israel’s beautiful National Parks around the country. I hope this helps you find the perfect days out for your family and would love to hear from you if you know of any other events or if you want to send in a review of somewhere you have been! E-mail kidsloveisrael@gmail.com or check us out online!

Wishing you all a Chag Sameach…

Israel’s National Parks!

Free if you are members or just the entrance fees if you are not….Please let us know how they were if you do go!!

Where? When? What?
NORTH
Beit She’arim National Park Thursday, 03/28/2013 at 18:00, 20:00 Caves at Night – a magical experience in the underground caves giving you insight into the world of the Mishna and Talmud tour the caves and meet characters from the past and ancient times.
Ein Afek Nature Reserve04-8778226 Thursday 03/28/2013, Saturday 30/03/2013 at 10:00 to 15:00 Birds, stories, flowers and music – celebrate spring in this magical landscape on a pastoral route with spectacular landscapes, an ancient flour mill and an audio-visual film. Special guides to the plants and a musical performance to recognise birds songs.
Tel Megiddo National Park Wednesday – Thursday 27-28.03.2013 Lost Treasure of Megiddo – treasure hunt game and dramatized tour and experiential activities for the whole family with great prizes!
Dor Habonim BeachReview at KidsloveIsrael Saturday, 30/03/2013 Sadly only open for one day – Young Inspectors day – learn how to identify birds, learn about forest fire fighting, saving seat turtles and more with a competition too.
The Ceasaria National ParkReview at KidsloveIsrael Wednesday – Thursday 27-28.03.2013 Saturday 30/03/2013 at 11:00 and 13:30 The Hippodrome Horse Show – a fantastic ancient style horse show.
CENTER
Yarkon National Park (site of Tel Afek – Antipatris)03-9348464 Wednesday – Thursday 11:00 to 15:00 hours 27-28.03.2013 OLYMPIC EVENT – In honor of 2022 anniversary of Antipatris, King Herod’s City there will be a big ‘ancient’ sports event! Includes building competitions, bowling pottery…jugglers and musicians with crafts (with a fee) and food stalls.
Yarkon National Park Saturday, 30/03/2013 at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 Walks along the cardo, lake, theatre and gardens
Palmachim03-7265633Review at  KidsloveIsrael Saturday, 30/03/2013 at 10:00 to 14:00 Sand sculpture competition – Life in the Ocean
Alexander River National Park (Beit Yanai Beach)09-8666230Review at KidsloveIsrael Monday, 04/01/2013 at 10:00 to 14:00 Sand sculpture competition – Life in the Ocean
Ein Hemed National Park 02-5342741Review at  KidsloveIsrael Thursday 03/28/2013, Saturday 30/03/2013 at 11:00 to 15:00 Knights ForestA mighty castle, giant green trees are the backdrop for this village of knights in Jerusalem. Don’t forget your sword…
Apollonia National Park09-9550929Review at KidsloveIsrael Friday and Saturday 29-30.03.2013 Variety of puzzles and tasks in the magical fortress with the four elements – wind, water, fire and earth – will lead the determined and courageous to the secret to win the fifth element.
Yehuda and Shomron
Herodion National Park Wednesday 03/27/2013 at 10:30, 12:30 and 14:30 Who was Herod? Genius or crazy? King of the Jews or the Romans? Fascinating story of the “King Builder” in Life such “King Herod – Theatre” place “unites you with the king and characters on a colorful and funny journey into the past…
Wednesday – Sunday 27/03/2013 3/31/2013 Free tours at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 Children archaeological workshops (nominal fee)Young inspectors initiation every day at 15:00
Mount Gerizim site Wednesday – Thursday 9:00 to 14:00 hours 27-28.03.2013 Pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim Impressive archaeological finds, landscapes and views Guided tours in a biblical atmosphere combined with street performers and the creation of ancient crafts.
Qumran National Park Sunday, 31/03/2013 at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 Where are the scrolls? What is the connection of the third secret agent all about? Let’s Dress Up for ‘togetherness’ and join a theater of actors in time travel to one of the great discoveries of the last century – the Dead Sea Scrolls
Wednesday – Friday, 27-29 March. Free tours at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 Treasures of the scrolls – a family treasure map that includes puzzles and tasks – throughout the entire holiday!
SOUTH
Re’al national park, a world heritage site08-6556478 Wednesday – Monday 27.03.2013 -01.04.2013 from 10:00 Nabatean market Ancient Market Street comes to life. return to the bazaar – connect to the smells of the past, experience “historic” colorful and magical sights, smells and tastes. Authentic traders, artisans, various carpets, “antiques”, copper, spices, frankincense… Stands artists, storytellers, old games … all accompanied by music, dance and a colorful atmosphere that is hard to put into words!
Thursday, 03/28/201310:00 to 22:00At 20:00 “Night Market” – a magical and mysterious atmosphere in the heart of the Nabatean city including live band dance music and exciting fire juggling.
Masada National Park, World Heritage SiteReview at KidsloveIsrael Wednesday – Sunday 27-31.03.2013 10:30 and 13:30 “The last of Masada” – Amazing circus, and performing actors
Information: 08-9959333 3639 Tuesday – Thursday from 26 to 28.3 , Saturday 30/03/2013 at 20:30 “Front side” – an impressive audio-visual and exciting displays of the fascinating story of Masada, the theater is outdoors in the open air, at the foot of Masada west. Access only via Arad Road 3199
West side campsite Every day of Passover Registration and payment 08-6280404Access only via Arad Road 3199 Masada Camp ” – Accommodation with a difference Accommodation Campsite regulated at the foot of the western side of Masada. A unique experience for the whole family.
Parking, every day from 08:30 Masada Museum – an exciting experienceUnique museum displays the findings discovered on the mountain backdrop that brings the past to the present.
Avdat National Park – “World Heritage Site”08-6551511 Every day “Arises from the ruins”You are invited to walk the streets of the ancient city, which was rebuilt over the last three years
Wednesday – Saturday 27-30.3.2013 11:00 and 15:00, sunset tour at 17:00 ‘The masters of the desert’ - a tour to the Roman Nabatean city alleys declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site – reliving the life of ancient people
National Park Eshkol Park08-9985110/120 Tuesday – Tuesday 03.26.2013 -02.04.2013 Picturesque fountains and wading pools, picnic meadows and lovely spots signposted bike routes, navigation fun (fee), dry rides and wet, huge trampolines and inflatables (fee required)
EILAT
Hai-Bar Nature Reserve YotvataReview at KidsloveIsrael Wednesday – Friday 27-29.03.2013 Workshops and games, nature films and predator training center.

 

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