It’s that time again — one of the nicest times of year to be out and about in Israel and there is a lot on offer this Sukkot. Popular venues will be open, many of them running special events. It’s always worth calling ahead to see if there’s anything special happening that day and to check if they have a Sukkah if you need one.
TOP TIP! I always recommend getting to places early on holidays to really enjoy them! Although it can be difficult to drag everyone out of bed, don’t waste time indoors when the weather outside is perfect — get up, out and avoid the crowds. You will feel smug at finding parking and feel happy and accomplished when you leave just as the masses are arriving and see the trails of cars parked miles from the starting point for national park hikes and big events!
In order to help you plan your Sukkot I decided to split this list of ideas into different themes. So here are some of the most recommended days out by users of LoveLoveIsrael.com to add to your itinerary for this Sukkot (and you can check out my summer blog for water fountains and other great, still-relevant ideas!) :
Moshav Country Fair — The 16th Moshav Country fair will take place on Wednesday September 30th, 2015, from 11:00 till 22:00 at Moshav Me’Or (Mevo) Modi’im. Great live music, talented artists, authentic country fair sports and games, special children’s programs, theater and performances for all, juggling, face-painting and all sorts of fun entertainment.
The Taste Festival in the Galil — On September 30th and October 1st, from midday at Lake Montfort in the Galil. Food, music, shows, entertainment for children and free entry!
Music Festival in Rishon Lezion — September 28 -October 3 — Rishon Lezion is hosting a variety of musicians including performances aimed at children.
The Timna-LIVE festival takes place September 29 – October 1. Jam-packed with music workshops and performances. A great event if you will be spending time in the South or Eilat.
Beit Lechem Festival will run on September 29 from 17:00-23:00. This annual festival is always a huge success, packed with vendors and musical entertainment. The whole road of Derech Beit Lechem in Jerusalem is closed and the event takes place all along the road! Free entrance.
The 30th annual Kite festival is lots of fun at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. It takes place on September 29 from 10:30-19:00; you can make your own kite for 30-40 shekel or bring your own and fly it with 100s of others. Bonus — children go free during Sukkot!
International Balloon Festival 2015 — The Gilboa Balloon Festival will take place on September 29-30, 2015, in Ma’ayan Harod National Park.It will start at 10:00 on 29th September and will bring hot air balloons and their pilots from around the world, as well as the Galilee region.
The balloons then move to Eshkol Park in the northern Negev region in the evening of October 1 with a beautiful experience including GLOW balloons that light up the sky at night. In the early morning of October 2, the balloons will take off again. Due to the popularity for this event it is recommended to buy your tickets for camping in advance.
Sukkot-Themed Educational Events
Jerusalem March 2015 — Thursday Chol Hamoed Sukkot, October 1. 60 years of the Jerusalem March — 60,000 participants, of which 7,000 are coming from more than 35 countries, will participate in the march. The march will be led by 40 of the soldiers who liberated Jerusalem from the Jerusalem Brigade and nostalgic military vehicles from 1967. This year marks the Jerusalem March’s 60th anniversary and the march will officially become the oldest and largest march in Israel. Three major events will be held as part of the Jerusalem march: morning marches along nature trails, an event at Gan Sacher (Sacher Park), and a festive parade will pass through central Jerusalem. For more information as well as other Jerusalem events, look on Jerusalem’s Municipal site.
Neot Kedumim — September 29 – October 1. Sukkah Trail — see many different types of kosher sukkot, nature trails, nature workshops, musical performances, storytellling, petting zoo, gymboree (and bike rental and guided tours for an additional cost). Open from 9:00-17:00 (last entry at 14:30).
Susiya Ancient Village is offering various educational tours during Sukkot. Call beforehand to book.
Ein Yael Harvest Festival is taking place in Jerusalem September 29 – October 1; Open 10:00-17:00. Plenty of fun activities, actors, workshops, music, singing, make sukkah decorations, petting zoo and more…
Netanya beaches Sironit and Poleg are highly recommended. Sironit beach has a Kosher meat restaurant and a Sukkah.
There are very nice beaches in Herzliya and Rishon Lezion and Palmachim and Achziv Beach are firm favorites.
Park Herzliya — Great for cycling and climbing with huge slides.
Park Raanana — Apart from the kids playground equipment and mini zoo, which is all free, paid-for activities include a boat ride, train ride, trampolines and carousel. They will have a succah.
Park Anabe in Modiin — Lots of fun to be had playing and climbing; paid-for activities include boating and trampolines.
For a small fee, Park Hamishpacha in Carmiel is great with giant outdoor games, sprinklers, playground and more. Park Hayarkon has plenty of activities such as boating and bike hire, as does Park Beko in the North (paid entry and additional paid activities).
Finally the fun atmosphere and great parks at Tel Aviv Port are not to be missed. It will be buzzing there with events during Sukkot. In fact they will have a giant sukkah with events and prayers every day for everyone!
The weather this time of year is perfect for camping all over the country! Our top recommended camping sites are:
Horshat Tal in the North is set in the beautiful Golan with natural streams that you can camp right next to.
Shaal Camping in the North provides everything you might need for a great camping experience.
Ashkelon National Park is very popular for it’s proximity to the beach and strict rules for quiet during the night. Great for young families.
Kfar Hanokdim in the South will give you a real Bedouin experience including Bedouin food, camel rides and meeting a real Bedouin to hear all about their way of life.
Ganei Huga in Beit Shean is a beautiful nature spot. You can spend the day there by the natural pools and camp alongside during the night. Great facilities and family friendly and even an option to sleep in air conditioned yurts.
Achziv is another family friendly popular camping spot highly recommended!
Technoda is the fabulous Science Park in Hadera. Open during chol hamoed, 9:00-16:00 the theme is science in films. As well as many special activities around the park there will be special events at added costs (you can book online) such as ‘Frozen’ themed scientific experiments — like making snow and dry ice as well as a workshop about dinosaurs.
Carasso Science Park in Beersheva will be holding its 3rd annual science festival on chol hamoed. Activities include a Rocket Launch , Planetarium , Air Cannon , Laser Maze, Chemistry Experiments and a ton of other surprises…topped off by a play by local actors. more festival info here.
The Solar Garden in Binyamina is a unique place really worth a visit. You need to pre-book a tour.
Park Ariel Sharon — The Park is running special tours, bird watching and creative workshops using recycled materials. Click here for more information and link to book tickets.
Active Days Out!
Sovev Tel Aviv — hurry and register for this unique opportunity to cycle all over Tel Aviv with your families. There are 4 different routes to choose from and there is sure to be be a great atmosphere. Friday 2nd October 2015
Dov Halavan in Emek Hefer is a fantastic extreme activity for all ages. Bungee jumps, tight-rope walking, wall climbing and lots of energy and fun. Adults are encouraged to join in too!
Caliber 3 –– a unique experience for in Gush Etzion that you need to book for. It teaches you about about counter terrorism and self-defense.
Archery in Beit Lechem Haglilit — learn how to shoot with professional bow and arrows and then go out to the forest and use your new skills.
Soosveagala in Kadima holds the Guinness World Record for the largest rocking horse and the tiniest. A special family run carpentry workshop where children select a project and make it from scratch — from sanding it down, screwing it together and painting it. Highly recommended. You need to pre-book.
Metukaya is a fondant workshop in the North. Enjoy special workshops for Sukkot.
Saidels Artisan Baking Insitute is a unique baking workshop which is great for all ages where you will make lots of delicious bread. Must be prebooked. Especially recommended is their exciting new Bread Codex workshop.
Beit Avichai has various workshops over the Succot period, including graffiti art, comics and music.
Kfar Kedem takes you back in time to the Mishnaic period. Dressed in ancient style clothing you will milk a goat, make cheese, ride a donkey and learn all about how things were done at the time of the Mishna in the most beautiful surroundings and by fun, animated tour guides.
Scavenger hunts in the Old City or Gush Etzion make a fun way to learn and explore with your family. Book your place and tour Israel in a unique way.
Archaeological Dig in Beit Guvrin is a great activity in ancient caves. Be the first to discover new finds with tools just like real archaeologists. Great guides make this very meaningful — a real experience of Israeli history at your fingertips.
Factory Tours — there are so many, but here are a few listed together with age restrictions. Many tours are free or very low cost but do abide by dress and age codes to avoid disappointment. If you are too late to book for Succot…book now for Chanukah if they let you!
Top Tiyulim and National Park events
National Parks — As well as usual hikes, there are special events at some National Parks (free for National Park members), for example, Mamshit Nabatean Market, September 28 – October 3, The secrets of the Megillot at the Qumran, sand sculpting competitions and more…
Ramat Hanadiv — lots of choice here — great trail paths and beautiful gardens to explore as well as a lovely milky kosher restaurant.
Majrasa — Probably the most popular Tiyul especially for young adventurers — a beautiful half hour-long shaded walk in the water!
Einot Tzukim — more swimming than hiking this is a beautiful oasis in the desert great for the whole family
Nesher Park, Haifa, was hugely popular with our website users this year. Stunning views over amazing bridges.
Please share and feel free to add more special events and concerts in the comments below!
Have a wonderful Chag!